The CEO of the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has called for COVID-19 vaccinations to be offered across all care settings, following the news that all care home residents in England have been offered the jab.
Official data published yesterday confirmed that the NHS has now offered the COVID-19 vaccine to residents at every eligible care home with older residents.
Commenting on the news, SCIE chief executive Kathryn Smith (pictured) said: “This is really encouraging news and I’m sure it will be a huge relief to many people living in care homes and their relatives. We’ve said from the start of the pandemic that all care settings are likely to be supporting people who are the most vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19. The sooner that all care home residents and staff can get a vaccine the better, so that Covid-19 cases can start dropping as soon as possible.
“However, we are still calling for vaccinations in all care settings, including home care, where the consequences of infection can be just as devastating as in care homes.”
A target of February 15 has been set for the UK to vaccinate care home residents and carers, people over 70 and frontline care workers.
United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) said it has been working with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to meet a “high level of demand” for the COVID-19 vaccine amongst the home care workforce.
The organisation said last month that it is “encouraged” to hear from employers that they expect a high take-up of the vaccine when it is offered to their staff in the coming weeks.
However, data published by home care provider Cera shows that just 1% of its clients, more than half of whom are aged 80 and over, have received the vaccine.
The company said thousands of elderly people who use its services are either “too frail” to travel to vaccination centres or “fear infection” if they do. It believes this trend is likely to be reflected across the home care sector.