Over 1,000 care home residents to get virus jabs

Over 1,000 care home residents in South Tyneside have been prioritised for coronavirus vaccinations before the end of January.
A coronavirus jabA coronavirus jab
A coronavirus jab

Care Quality Commission data shows there were 1,100 elderly people in care homes in the borough 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 39 a day in South Tyneside.

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The figures assume an 85% occupancy level in the area, but there could be as many as 1,294 residents in South Tyneside.

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 2,275 in South Tyneside 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."