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NHS announces Covid booster jab teams have visited every care home in England

The Guardian logo The Guardian 17/12/2022 Guardian staff and agency
Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA © Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

NHS vaccination teams have visited every care home across the country to offer Covid boosters and flu jabs.

A total of 15,019 care homes have been visited by vaccination teams – with 88.6% of eligible residents boosted, NHS England said.

Related: Covid booster jabs offered a month earlier for UK care home residents

This includes hundreds of homes which needed to have visits rearranged because of Covid-19 outbreaks.

Residents who have not yet received their booster can receive one either through a vaccine team returning to a home, through their GP or via the National Booking Service.

The NHS national medical director, Prof Sir Stephen Powis, said: “I am delighted that our dedicated NHS staff have been able to go into every care home in England in the last 12 weeks to make sure residents are protected ahead of Christmas, meaning they can spend much needed time with family and friends without the anxiety of spreading Covid and its potential consequences.

“It is fantastic that so many residents are already up to date with their jabs and I’d encourage everyone eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible as we head into colder months where we notoriously see increased illness and hospitalisation – especially among the elderly.”

The NHS director for vaccinations and screening, Steve Russell, said: “Care home residents are among those we prioritised at the start of this rollout to make sure our hard-working teams of vaccinators could get to as many care homes and provide protection to as many residents as quickly as possible.

Related: Dreaming of a Covid-free Christmas? How to stay safe over festive season

“We have now visited every care home to offer life-saving protection from Covid just in time to make sure loved ones can spend time together this Christmas and I would urge anyone eligible but yet to get their jab to book an appointment now.”

The number of people in hospital with Covid in England has risen 22% in a week, according to the latest figures.

Covid infection levels are on the rise across most of the UK again, with an estimated 1.3 million people in private households testing positive in the week to 5 December. This is up 16% from 1.1 million in the previous week.

The NHS is also urging those eligible to get their flu vaccine. Flu is now “circulating widely” across the country, with a sharp increase in hospital cases last week, particularly among the over-85s and children under five, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

Powis said: “While we have seen a resurgence in flu and other winter illnesses this year, there are still around 6,000 patients in hospital with Covid and that is why it has been so important that we protect those most vulnerable to the disease with a booster, including people who live in care homes.”


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