NHS England announced today (16 December 2021) that a fifth (20.6%) – around 60,000 – of people in older adult care homes have still not received their COVID-19 booster vaccination. The number of people in these care homes who have received their booster (79.4%) is just 4% higher than last week’s number (75.4%). This is despite the Government’s promise for all care home boosters to be completed by 1 November.
James White, Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at Alzheimer’s Society said: “With Omicron cases skyrocketing, how is it that a fifth (20.6%) of care home residents – more than 70% of whom have dementia – still haven’t received their booster? People with dementia have been worst hit by coronavirus, and delays in the rollout are potentially life threatening.
“NHS England set itself the deadline of 1 November to provide all these jabs, but seven weeks later, the target still hasn’t been hit, with only a marginal increase from last week.
“As we approach Christmas, further restrictions have been placed on care home visits – with worrying reports of some providers effectively stopping visits. The Government must urgently tell care home residents and their families when the booster target will finally be met. This will limit the heart-breaking time people in care homes will spend without their loved ones and reduce the risk of more deaths.”