A leading care group has called for COVID-19 booster jabs for care home residents and staff this autumn.
The largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, Scottish Care, issued the call following a sharp increase in COVOD increases in both the community and care homes.
After falling at the end of July, the average number of daily confirmed cases has risen again recently with a further 35,693 confirmed cases in the UK on Wednesday.
Scottish First Minister, Nicolas Sturgeon, issued a warning after COVID cases rose by 80% in one week in Scotland.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid has accepted independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice to offer a third vaccine dose to people aged 12 and over with severely weakened immune systems.
The JCVI is still considering a wider booster programme for other age groups.
Scottish Care called for the programme to be extended to care home residents and staff.
“As vaccination protection depletes over time we believe that booster vaccinations for both care home residents, at risk individuals in the community and those who support and care for them, will play a vital role in enhancing the existing high levels of protection,” the body said.
Care England, meanwhile, called for clarity on booster jabs for care home residents and staff.
Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO, Care England, told CHP: “A number of outstanding questions remain including whether a booster is necessary, whether it can be co-administered with the flu vaccine, if there is a programme and if so when it is due to start, which vaccines to be administered and by whom. It is important that all care home residents, including those with learning disabilities, are included in any guidance.”
A Government spokesperson said: “We are preparing for a booster programme to ensure those most vulnerable to COVID-19 have protection extended ahead of winter and against new variants.
“Any booster programme will be based the final advice of the independent JCVI.
“The phenomenal vaccine rollout is building a wall of defence across the country, with over 82,100 hospitalisations prevented and more than 105,000 lives saved.”