Care home residents and staff are being prioritised by the NHS for new, variant-tackling COVID-19 vaccination jabs.
England’s care home residents and staff, as well as people who are housebound, are first in line for the autumn booster rollout. The NHS plans to visit thousands of care homes throughout September and October.
Around four million high-risk people, including the over 75s and those with weakened immune systems, are also now eligible to book a vaccine through the National Booking Service.
The autumn booster campaign is part of a package of NHS measures to prepare for winter as the health service continues to face record demand. The measures also include ramping up bed capacity, increasing the number of 999 and NHS 111 staff, and working with the social care sector to ensure patients can be discharged to it in a timely manner.
The latest phase of the vaccination drive has undergone extensive planning and local areas have already booked care home residents in for their vaccine to ensure they can get protected at the earliest opportunity.
NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “The precision and speed of the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme allowed us to get back to a pre-pandemic way of life and doing the things that we love.
“While we know that this winter will be challenging with a likely resurgence in both COVID and flu for the first time since before the pandemic, the best way to protect yourselves and your loved ones from serious illness is to get the newly approved, next generation COVID vaccine when invited to do so, as well as your annual flu jab, to ensure you have maximum protection.”
NHS director of vaccinations and screening Steve Russell added: “NHS staff are gearing up once again to deliver these vaccines at speed rolling out jabs at more than 3,000 sites across England in order to provide the maximum protection ahead of winter.”