Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has said the government is “on track” to meet its target of vaccinating elderly care home residents against COVID-19 by the end of the month.
Speaking to MPs yesterday, Mr Hancock (pictured) said almost two-thirds of elderly care home residents had been vaccinated against coronavirus.
Mr Hancock said: “I’m delighted to say 63% of residents in elderly care homes have now received a vaccination, that is a really significant increase over the last week.
“And we’re on track to deliver on our goal of vaccinating elderly care home residents by the end of this month, and I hope sooner than that.”
Mr Hancock’s statement came despite delays caused by GPs postponing vaccinations of infected care homes.
Citing Public Health England data, The Guardian reported that 635 care home outbreaks were recorded in the last week, slightly down on the previous week, but four times higher than at the beginning of December.
The National Care Forum (NCF) said it was encouraging members to challenge vaccination teams who refuse to enter infected homes.
NCF executive director, Vic Rayner, said: “The whole drive is to get to these people, residents and staff, and they are the priority.”
COVID-related deaths in care homes in England and Wales almost doubled to 960 in the latest weekly update provided by the ONS on Tuesday.
An NHS spokesperson told us: “Just a fortnight after the Oxford vaccine – which allows teams to more easily vaccinate in care homes – became available, more than half of all care home residents have already received their jab, up from a quarter the week before, and vaccinating care home residents continues to be a priority for GP teams.”