The initial roll-out of COVID vaccinations in care homes is to focus on services with over 50 beds, according to press reports.
The Mail reported that the strategy for the Pfizer vaccine was outlined at a meeting between NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care, and care provider representatives yesterday.
A Care England spokesperson said: “We are delighted that at the moment for the next two weeks the push will be on care homes. We want to do everything we can to get it rolled out.
“It’s important that care home residents and staff are prioritised as indicated by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).”
Sunrise of Westbourne, a care home for elderly residents in Bournemouth, is expecting to receive the vaccine on Christmas Eve.
Anna Selby, head of Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare’s COVID-19 task force, said: “We are really pleased, especially given all the horrible news we have been hearing in the last couple of days, this gives us hope that we can keep people protected even with the new variant virus. This is the best news we could have had.”
While welcoming the news, Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group, said it was imperative for the vaccine to be rolled out “much faster”.
“We understand the challenges in transporting and storing the vaccine and the impact that has on distributing it quickly,” Mike said.
“Nevertheless, residents in smaller homes need the vaccine too and as these homes operate on tight margins when it comes to staffing levels it is vital that they get vaccinations for their staff as a priority as well.”