HUNDREDS of staff at the East Suffolk and North Essex Trust are still not vaccinated against Covid-19.

NHS England data shows 97 per cent of the 11,016 health care workers at the trust which runs Colchester, Clacton and Harwich hospitals, had received at least one vaccination by the end of December, meaning 361 were unvaccinated at that point.

The figures also show 10,420 workers had received two jabs – 95 per cent of staff – and 8,999 had received a booster dose (82 per cent).

The Government’s mandatory vaccination rules mean that NHS staff must receive a first jab by February 3 and be fully vaccinated by April 1 to continue working in frontline roles.

Despite widespread protests and calls to delay the policy, the Department for Health and Social Care says there are no plans to extend the deadline and that ensuring staff are vaccinated is the “right thing to do”.

The Royal College of GPs and the Royal College of Nurses have encouraged the take-up of vaccinations among NHS workers but are among those who have expressed concern over the rapidly approaching deadline.

Mandatory jabs could have a significant impact on staff retention and put further pressure on the NHS, according to the RCN.

Across England, 94 per cent of healthcare workers had received at least one vaccination by December 31, meaning more than 85,000 were still unvaccinated.

Kate Read is Director of People and Organisational Development at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT).

She said: “More than 94% of ESNEFT staff have already had both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, ahead of the 1 April deadline.

“The Trust’s HR and Occupational Health teams are currently supporting managers to contact colleagues whose vaccination status is incomplete. They may have had their vaccinations elsewhere or are off work due to long term sickness or maternity leave.

“Managers are also having kind and compassionate one to one conversations with their staff to understand where colleagues may be exempt on health grounds, or why staff may not wish to have the vaccine, to enable them to make an informed decision.”