- Owners blame availability or rollout problems for lack of jabs for care homes
- Some care homes are yet to be contacted regarding the third covid injection
- The boosters began to expire last month and are part of a plan to control the virus
Care home owners today blasted Britain’s chaotic Covid booster vaccine drive, which has yet to reach hundreds of thousands of elderly people.
Industry heads revealed that some facilities have not even been approached about giving top-up jab to residents and employees.
And he claimed that vaccination teams don’t always bring coronavirus vaccines with them when they give flu jabs to the elderly.
National Care Association president Nadra Ahmed claimed that the roll-out was not going as “smooth as before”.
Meanwhile, the Outstanding Managers Network – a group representing care home managers – spoke of their ‘frustration’ and ‘nerves about winter’.
On 16 September the boosters started running out-50s, health and social care workers, and people with underlying health conditions. They are an important part of the government’s winter plan to manage the spread of the pandemic.
But the slow rollout has been criticized, with up to 5 million people eligible for a third dose yet to receive it.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair today demanded that the government set a concrete target to ramp up the campaign to 500,000 jabs per day. It is currently only reaching 200,000.
NHS owners are already facing calls to accelerate the programme, with the 5 million people eligible for a third dose who have not yet received it. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair today demanded that the government set a concrete target to ramp up the campaign to 500,000 jabs per day. It is currently only reaching 200,000. The graph shows the cumulative booster dose given in October (red line) and the cumulative, number of booster jabs administered each day (orange bars), compared to the rollout of the second dose given in April (blue line).
The boosters began being distributed on September 16 to those over 50, health and social care workers and people with underlying health conditions.
Ms Ahmed told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘The whole method of getting this booster is not exactly the same as we did last time.
She said care homes are waiting to be contacted and if they approach surgery, GPs tell them to contact the NHS instead.
Ms Ahmed said: ‘We have some households telling us they have not been contacted at all, which is really worrying because they know they are in cohabitation for this to happen. they are worried.
‘We’re hearing every day providers telling us that “we haven’t been contacted yet” or “we were contacted to be prepared and it’s been two weeks since”.
‘There is a concern because obviously the six-month gap is getting bigger and bigger so the efficacy of the vaccine is decreasing.’
Ms Ahmed said: ‘We have rising infection rates, so there is this fear for both staff and residents.
Is UK Slack Booster Drive Already Starting?
According to official figures, the UK may already start reaping the benefits of its Covid booster vaccine drive.
The more than 85 – who were first in line for their top-ups – have seen the biggest slowdown in the growth of cases, which scientists believe are ‘early signs’ of a repatriation drive.
Health department figures show that cases are increasing in all age groups.
But MailOnline’s analysis of the week-to-week percentage change in infections shows that the pace of growth began to fall earlier and accelerated among those eligible for the booster.
In the ’90s, week-on-week growth peaked at 35.2 percent on October 11, falling to just 10 percent by October 14, falling to 24.4 percent.
The weekly increase also fell sharply last week among those aged 85 to 90 – 11.5 percent in the past three days – and 10.3 percent among 80- to 84-year-olds.
But Covid cases are still not showing the same signs of slowing in younger, less-vaccinated groups – especially children and young adults.
Dr Simon Clarke, a microbiologist at the University of Reading, said falling rates in elderly groups could be an ‘early sign’ of a booster effect, but it could also be that senior Britons are ‘reducing their socialization as we move into autumn’. Let’s move on’.
Discussing MailOnline’s analysis, he said: ‘It only represents a few weeks of data, so some caution is needed, but it is an encouraging sign.
‘The news that only half of people in this age group have had a booster jab means that, hopefully, the number may decrease further to come. As more age groups reach their six-month period and are called for boosters, I expect to see similar effects.’
‘We still have visitors who don’t need vaccinations to come into our service.
‘It is the pressure of the challenge now when we too are facing this chronic shortage of staff which is not being addressed at all.’
Of the 2.7 million eligible double-jabbed over-80s in England, only half have received their booster dose.
NHS chiefs have yet to publish data on what proportion of care residents and staff have received top-up injections, but data leaked yesterday suggested only a quarter of residents have received one.
Outstanding Manager Network co-founder Jane Brightman said managers are reporting a mixed picture of access to Booster.
He said there is ‘great appreciation’ for health aides in areas such as Kent, Portsmouth and Hampshire, where the rollout is going efficiently.
But care managers in other areas are reporting no exposure yet to a booster or flu jab, Ms Brightman said.
In Greater Manchester, a manager said some services have reported offering boosters, but ‘many’ are saying they have not been approached for it or a flu jab for residents or staff, she said.
Ms Brightman said: …