From the NHS England and NHS Improvement report, official figures later today are expected to confirm that the NHS has now offered the COVID-19 vaccine to residents at every eligible care home with older residents across England.
In a major milestone for the NHS vaccination programme, nurses, GPs and other NHS staff have offered the life-saving jab to people living at more than 10,000 care homes with older residents.
The small remainder have had their visits deferred by local directors of public health for safety reasons during a local outbreak. Those homes will be visited and jabbed as soon as NHS staff are allowed to do so.
While in a small number of cases a severe outbreak of COVID-19 will have prevented a team from visiting, any care home yet to be visited for a vaccination clinic is going to have one booked in as soon as it is deemed safe by local public health protection clinicians to do so. Vaccination staff are also returning to homes that have been covered to jab any resident who was unable to have it during the previous visit because they had recently had COVID or for other clinical reasons.
The vaccination programme, the biggest in NHS history, has got off to a strong start with more than eight million doses administered.
Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of national older people’s charity Independent Age said: “This is an important moment to celebrate the delivery of the first vaccination to the majority of people living in care homes who have been so badly impacted through this pandemic.
“Clearly there is more to do including delivery of the second dose to deepen protection and to ensure as many care staff as possible are also vaccinated. But this must begin to give us all hope that there will finally be a significant decrease in the terrible death toll we have seen to date. Thank you and congratulations to the amazing NHS England and wider team leading this important programme.”