Care home staff were among the first to receive coronavirus vaccinations yesterday as the government pledged vaccines for residents by Christmas.
Staff at not for profit providers Brunelcare and The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) were amongst those being vaccinated at local hospitals, as Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, promised care home residents would receive their jabs by Christmas.
Colleagues from Brunelcare’s Deerhurst care home received their first doses at Bristol’s Southmead Hospital, while 36 OSJCT staff were vaccinated at Lincoln County Hospital (pictured).
Brunelcare CEO, Oona Goldsworthy, said: This really is the lifeline we’ve been waiting for in social care. We’re making it possible for all of our staff to receive the vaccine as soon as appointment slots are available.”
While OSJCT colleagues have begun vaccinations in Lincoln, teams in Oxford, Henley and Chipping Norton are booking their appointments, with teams in Wiltshire, Sussex and Suffolk expected to follow shortly.
Caroline Dunagan, OSJCT Regional Director for Lincolnshire, said: “Throughout the pandemic The Orders of St John Care Trust has taken a leading role in tackling this unprecedented challenge. We have taken part in pilot COVID-19 testing programmes and are now a key participant in the Vivaldi 2 study which seeks to determine how our antibodies react to the virus over time.
“Vaccination presents the best way forward to return to normality in our homes and we will continue to support all residents and colleagues in getting access to it.”
Lincoln Care Association Chair, Melanie Weatherley MBE, said the launch of the vaccinations marked the “beginning of the end” for the pandemic.
Melanie said: “The vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel, and we are delighted that some of Lincolnshire’s care home staff will be receiving their vaccination today. But for now, the virus is still a threat.
“Whether in a care home or out in the community, the best way to keep your service users safe is to wear PPE, social distance and keep washing your hands.”