Luxurycare Group has raised concerns about the rush to issue a COVID vaccine to people in care homes.
The group, which operates five care homes in Dorset, voiced its concerns as preparations begin to deliver vaccines to patients in December, with priority set to be given to elderly care home residents and staff.
Luxurycare operations director, Sam Hoskins, (pictured) said: “As much as we’d like to see a vaccine rolled out across the UK, it just seems too soon to start offering it to the public. We need to see more information about its effectiveness and potential side effects – especially as one of the first groups being offered the vaccination is the elderly and vulnerable.
“The vulnerable and health workers should be the first to receive the vaccine – but only when we can guarantee it is safe to do so. Currently, we need more information and facts before offering the vaccine.”
Luxurycare believes priority should be given to providing rapid testing for the care sector and families in order to enable visits, rather than rushing towards a vaccine.
Mandy Kittlety, Managing Director of Luxurycare, added: “Whilst we’re waiting eagerly for more information on the vaccine, we’re very excited at the possibility of rapid testing. This would enable families to be tested on-site on the day of a visit and ensure that we can facilitate more COVID-secure visits.”
Since the start of the pandemic, Luxurycare has put in place robust infection control, including PPE for all staff and social distancing measures, and has asked families to name just one designated visitor for each resident. Regular testing for care home staff and residents was introduced in July.