Care home in the South East becomes one of first in country to offer booster vaccine to residents

One of the first care homes in the South East of England to offer the Covid-19 vaccine to its residents last year has begun its Covid-19 booster roll-out.

Residents at Salt Hill Care Home in Slough, Berkshire, were delighted to receive their Covid-19 booster yesterday afternoon (16/9), as the biggest and most successful vaccination programme in NHS history moves to the next stage.

Mr Vijay Bali, a resident at the care home, said “I am happy to have my covid-19 booster vaccination as it helps me feel safe and protected.”

In line with new advice set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on Tuesday 14 September, the NHS vaccination programme will now offer a vaccine ‘top-up’ to eligible people who had their second COVID jab at least six months ago.

Those who are eligible include:

  • those living in residential care homes for older adults
  • all adults aged 50 years or over
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 (as set out in the green book), and adult carers
  • adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals.

Acosia Nyanin, Regional Chief Nurse for the South East region, said: “As the Covid-19 booster programme rolls-out across the South East region over the coming days, weeks and months, I would urge all those who are eligible to take up the offer when invited.

“We have already seen the huge benefits that come from having as many people as possible vaccinated, with the vaccine remaining our strongest defence from the virus.”

Hospital hubs across the South East will vaccinate frontline health and care workers as well as identify other eligible patients for their booster vaccine immediately, with GP-led local vaccination services and vaccination centres offering the booster jabs to thousands in the community. Community pharmacy-led sites will come online following final checks, giving people further protection from the virus ahead of winter.

People do not need to contact the NHS to arrange their booster vaccine as the NHS will be in touch when they become eligible for the jab. Around 4.5 million people in priority groups are eligible for a booster over the coming weeks.

People will get a call or text from their local GP-led site to get the jab, or will be invited by the National Booking Service, which will start issuing invitations from next week.

Booster jabs are effective for topping up protection for people who have had both of their jabs from at the very least six months on after their second dose.

Some of those in the original nine priority groups will not be eligible for the top-up until the new year.

The NHS made history when Maggie Keenan received the first COVID jab outside of a clinical trial in December 2020.

In the nine months since the largest vaccination programme in NHS history began, 77 million vaccinations have been delivered, with four in five adults already receiving both doses of protection.

Latest statistics published by Public Health England show the impact of the largest ever NHS vaccination programme with around 112,000 lives saved thanks to the programme.