Nearly a tenth of eligible older adult care home residents have not yet received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, the latest NHS England data have shown.
The figures, released last Thursday, revealed 23,561 out of 260,060 eligible residents (9.1%) had not received a Covid jab by 31 January, the deadline set by the government.
NHS England explained that it was not able to offer a vaccination to residents in the 0.9% of eligible care homes (92 out of 10,413) because of Covid-19 outbreaks. Valid medical reasons or a lack of consent also meant some eligible residents did not receive the vaccine.
The data excludes residents who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 28 days and so cannot be vaccinated for clinical reasons.
Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock told Parliament last Tuesday that vaccinations will start ‘as soon as it’s clinically possible’ in care homes ‘where the vaccination programme is still outstanding because they’ve had outbreaks’.
It is the first time that care homes have been included in the vaccination statistics – but no information has been released on the number of care home staff vaccinated. The Alzheimer’s Society and Labour have raised concerns over the pace of vaccination of social care staff.
The figures show just how many residents were actually vaccinated up to 31 January after Boris Johnson last week announced a ‘milestone’ had been reaced with every eligible care home resident offered a vaccination.
In Scotland, 98% of older people in care homes and 88% of care home staff have had the jab, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced last Monday.
The latest Public Health Wales figures showed 77.5% of care home residents and 82.1% of care home workers have had their jab in Wales, while in Northern Ireland the government has said 90% of care homes residents have had their second dose.
A target of 15 February has been set for the UK to vaccinate the over 70s, the clinically extremely vulnerable, and frontline health and social care workers.