Responding to the news that a COVID jab has now been offered at every eligible care home in England, Danny Mortimer, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:
“That the COVID jab has been made available to so many older care home residents is an amazing achievement and should be celebrated. The efforts of the whole NHS, and especially primary care, to ensure those who are most vulnerable are protected first have been truly humbling.
“However, the figures only show how many care home residents have been offered a jab, not how many have been vaccinated. We’re still a way off protecting everyone, and unless staff are also protected, the threat from the virus will remain.
“While cases may be coming down, infection levels and demands on the NHS are still high overall, including as a result of new variants. Today, we have learned that door-to-door COVID testing is being rolled out in some parts of the country to try to halt the further spread of the South African variant. It is imperative that we get a grip on this, especially as we seek to establish whether the approved vaccines are as effective against some mutated COVID strains.”