It is expected to be announced that the NHS has offered Covid-19 vaccines to residents at every eligible care home with older residents across England.
Official figures are set to be released later today, with the expected news representing a major milestone for the NHS vaccination programme.
More than 10,000 care homes with older residents across England have been offered the life-saving jab by the NHS, with nurses, GPs and other NHS staff on hand to deliver the vaccine dose.
A small remainder of care homes have seen their visits deferred by local public health directors on the grounds of safety, due to a local outbreak of infections. These homes are earmarked for visits shortly, as soon as NHS staff are once again permitted to do so.
According to NHS England, any care home yet to be visited for a vaccination clinic is set to have one booked in as soon as it is deemed safe to do so by local public health protection clinicians. There may be a very rare situations where a severe Covid-19 outbreak limits this from happening for a period of time.
Vaccination staff are also returning to homes that have been covered to jab any resident who was unable to have it during the previous visit, either because they had recently had Covid-19 or for any other clinical reasons.
Already more than eight million vaccine doses have been administered, as part of the largest vaccination programme in NHS history.
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.”
Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS England’s Primary Care Director, who as a practising GP has also been personally delivering vaccines to care home residents and staff, added: “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.”
“I would urge anyone who is offered the vaccine to come forward.”