The Care Provider Alliance (CPA), the collective, national voice of adult social care providers in England), has welcomed the news of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been echoed by many colleagues across the adult social care sector. It is they say “a landmark achievement and one that will, when implemented, successfully save the lives of many of the vulnerable people in our communities of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine However, the sector says the challenge of getting the vaccine to people who need it is very real.”
Kathy Roberts, chair of the CPA says: “The welcomed news of the Pfizer vaccine has been echoed by many colleagues across the adult social care sector. It is a landmark achievement and one that will, when implemented, successfully save the lives of many of the vulnerable people in our communities.
“Current evidence strongly indicates that the single greatest risk of mortality from COVID-19 is increasing age, and the risks increases exponentially with age, and so it is right that the people with first priority to the vaccine are those at greatest risk – older people living in care homes.
“However, we must not lose sight that there is good evidence that certain underlying health conditions increase the risk of morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 when compared to people without underlying health conditions. The wider adult social care sector continues to support daily many of the people in the high-risk category and who are also on the priority list for the vaccine. For example, people with learning disabilities or autism, whose death rates have been 30 times higher than those of comparable age without a disability, and the disparity in deaths of people from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background. Our members will expect specific arrangements for vaccinations in all types of care settings.
“The challenge of getting the vaccine to the people who need it most is very real. The onset of winter pressures and the logistical challenges for storing and transporting the vaccine needs to be carefully thought through. Adult social care providers have different responsibilities according to the type of service and the needs of the people they support. Nonetheless, there are steps that must be taken now to support all care providers to assist the seamless rollout of the vaccines and to improve take-up amongst service users and staff.
“Our work with DHSC colleagues has never been more essential to ensuring that all parts of the adult social care sector is prioritised for the effective rollout of the vaccine. In particular, we want to see a coordinated approach used for the care workforce to make sure that care workers are supported to get the vaccine, so that in turn they can support people receiving care and support to be vaccinated.”