Nearly 3,000 care home residents to get virus jabs

A coronavirus jabA coronavirus jab
A coronavirus jab
Neatrly 3,000 care home residents in Northumberland have been prioritised for coronavirus vaccinations before the end of January.

Care Quality Commission data shows there were 2,943 elderly people in care homes in the area in December and GPs and local vaccination services have been asked to give injections to every resident in their area by the end of January.

With the rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, this is a target of around 105 a day.

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The figures assume an 85% occupancy level in the area, but there could be as many as 3,462 residents in Northumberland.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set a target for the four highest priority groups to be vaccinated by mid-February.

Care home staff are in the top two groups – with around 6,250 in the area as of September 2019.

Vic Rayner, executive director of the National Care Forum, said: "The scale of the challenge set by Government over the next month is significant.

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"It will rely on huge amounts of local communication and coordination but the response to the vaccine so far has been incredible, with residents and staff embracing it.”

He added: “Everyone is seeing this as a way forward and being able to mark it as ‘job done’ by the end of the month will be the booster that everyone across the country needs."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "The NHS is doing everything it can to vaccinate those most at risk as quickly as possible and we will rapidly accelerate our vaccination programme."