Nick Abbot 12am - 1am
Coronavirus vaccines offered to all eligible care home residents in England, NHS says
1 February 2021, 08:13
Boris Johnson has hailed a "crucial milestone" being reached after the NHS said all eligible care home residents in England have been offered a Covid vaccine.
Coronavirus vaccines have now been offered to all eligible care home residents in England, the NHS said today.
The Prime Minister said it marks a key moment in the ongoing race to vaccinate the most vulnerable against Covid-19.
However some care homes have not yet been visited because they're dealing with outbreaks of the disease.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "Today marks a crucial milestone in our ongoing race to vaccinate the most vulnerable against this deadly disease.
"We said we would prioritise and protect care home residents, and that is exactly what we have done.
"There will be difficult moments to come, and the number of cases and people in hospital remains dangerously high.
"But vaccines are our route out of the pandemic, and having protected 8.9 million people with a first dose so far, our rollout programme will only accelerate from here on."
NHS England said people living at more than 10,000 care homes with older residents had been offered the jab.
NHS England's primary care director Dr Nikki Kanani said: "I want to thank my colleagues, and everyone involved in the vaccine rollout for their extraordinary work in recent weeks, as it is because of their tireless efforts that millions of people have already been vaccinated, including hundreds of thousands of care home residents, and as a result we are a vital step further in our fight against Covid-19.
"It has been a privilege to vaccinate some of the most vulnerable people and the wonderful people who look after them.
"Many have had little contact with the outside world throughout the pandemic and so it has been truly humbling for all, giving them hope and importantly protection against the disease."
Older adult care home residents and staff were made high priority groups by the Joint Committee of Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI).
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: "This important milestone in protecting the vulnerable is the result of amazing partnership working between our GPs, community nurses and care homes.
"And with over two million more people vaccinated in communities across England this past week, the NHS's Covid vaccination campaign is off to a flying start - with nearly nine out of 10 people aged 80 and above, and over three-quarters of people aged 75 and over, now having had their first jab."
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock added: "This achievement to deliver a safe, effective vaccine has only been made possible by the remarkable scientists, our dedicated care home staff and volunteers and our incredible NHS all working together.
"While we celebrate this success, we will never forget the loss of life and my thoughts are with all those who have lost someone close to them."
Boris Johnson also insists the Government is not concerned about vaccine supply, after the EU briefly threatened to block exports in a row over deliveries.