But care urged before visiting can resume
Care providers today praised the Government for the speed at which the country’s oldest and most vulnerable had received their first vaccination against Covid-19.
But they warned that the country had to remain vigilant against the threat of the virus to care and nursing home residents and those being cared for at home.
The Government has announced that all residents in care and nursing homes had been offered a Covid-19 vaccine, ahead of its 31 January deadline yesterday.
Care provider organisation The Independent Care Group (ICG) said it welcomed the news.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Credit where credit is due, the Government is to be commended for the swift way they have rolled out the vaccine to people in care and nursing homes. This is a tremendous step forward in our fight to protect the most vulnerable.
“But we must stay on our guard as most of those people will only have had the first dose of the vaccine and their immunity will not be full at this stage. And where homes have not had their vaccines yet because of outbreaks, we must ensure that they are picked up as soon as it is safe.
“People will understandably be looking to homes to resume normal visiting again soon, and I know that all homes will want that to happen as soon as possible. But we must tread carefully until all our residents and staff have had the second dose and are fully protected.
“Even then, we will need to be careful as there will still be risks and so protective measures will need to be in place.
“Today’s news is wonderful, but we still have a long way to go, not least in also ensuring that all people who receive care in their own home and other vulnerable groups, along with those who care for them, are also fully protected against Covid-19. “
Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) Chief Executive Kathryn Smith says:
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.