Residents at two Stoke-on-Trent care homes have become among the first in the country to be vaccinated against coronavirus.
Around 150 highly vulnerable residents at Adderley Green Care Home and Westfield Lodge Care Home, in Weston Coyney, were given their first dose of the vaccine.
The work was carried out by the Meir Primary Care Network (PCN) which represents GP surgeries in the area.
Meir PCN Clinical Director, Dr Sri Sundaram said: “We are delighted that we have become the first in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent to begin vaccination inside our care homes where some of our most at-risk residents live.
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“We are among the first in the country to carry out this work, and it is a real achievement for all involved and something we are delighted to be part of.”
This was echoed by Neil Carr, Chief Executive Officer of Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT), who is also Executive Officer for the Vaccination Programme in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent who said: “This is a huge step forward in protecting the most vulnerable members of our community and exceptionally welcome Christmas news.”
Val Gill, Care Centre Director for Adderley Green Care Home said: “We are hugely excited about the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine programme in our area. This is our opportunity to fight back against COVID-19 and help everyone work towards a more normal way of life again. We are proud to be part of the roll out in care homes and thank everyone involved.”
Dr Paddy Hannigan, Clinical Lead for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme said: “Last week we began vaccinating patients aged over 80 in GP led centres, and the number of vaccination sites has increased this week.
“That was a real landmark, but requires our patients to be mobile and independent enough to get to the centres to be vaccinated. Reaching residents who cannot leave their place of residence is an extra challenge and it is significant that we have now started to do this.
“While this is hugely welcome news I would remind everyone that we are still at a very early stage of the programme. We are facing increased cases and it is more important than ever to follow Tier 3 guidelines. Please remember Hands, Face, Space and get your COVID advice from the NHS.”
Families are asked not to contact care homes directly to find out when their relatives will receive the vaccine. Care homes and families will be informed when the time comes.