Senior NHS doctor fires warning on post-jab Covid outbreaks
A senior NHS geriatrician has expressed concern about outbreaks of Covid-19 in care homes after residents have received a first dose of vaccine.
Professor Martin Vernon (pictured), a Greater Manchester-based consultant geriatrician who was NHS England’s clinical director for older people in 2016-19, said care home residents who have received only one dose appear to still be vulnerable to the disease.
“One month into the care home vaccination programme, I am deeply concerned to be seeing Covid-19 infection outbreaks among first dose vaccinated residents within, and beyond 21 days of vaccination,” he tweeted.
Vernon told the Reaction website that in the “reasonably large system” of care homes he deals with there have been cases of residents contracting Covid-19 following a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
“In just under 20 per cent of them, I have experienced outbreaks in the 31 days after vaccination. None of them received second doses.”
Ministers have ruled out shortening the 12-week gap between doses for care home residents.
Vernon later shared an Financial Times article avia Twitter about the UK’s decision to rule out reducing the 12-week gap between vaccinations in care homes, saying “Sad to say I think this decision by @MattHancock is a mistake we may all live to regret…”.
The NHS doctor meanwhile told the Manchester Evening News that care homes must continue to be vigilant following vaccination.
“We know care home residents are among the most vulnerable and the best protection comes with two doses given 21 days apart,” he said. “Anything outside of that and you’re into the unknown.”