Deadline looming for Suffolk care home vaccinations

Doctor Parikh with the Pfizer vaccine, which is being rolled out at Constable Country Medical Practice.  

Vaccinations for care home residents need to be completed by Sunday - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Concerns have been raised about the ability of all Suffolk care home residents to be vaccinated by a Government deadline.  

All of those people living in care homes in Suffolk as well as the staff supporting them are due to be vaccinated by Sunday, January 24.  

Earlier this week it was revealed that a third of over-80s have been given their first dose of the Covid vaccine in Suffolk and north Essex but that, that figure is the lowest in England. 

Prema Fairburn-Dorai chairs the Suffolk Assocation of Independent Care Providers and says carers have been working their...

Prema Fairburn-Dorai said their remained concerns that residents and staff would not be vaccinated in time - Credit: Archant

The leader of the Suffolk Association of Independent Carers, Prema Fairburn-Dorai, said that she still had concerns that the deadline would be met.  

“There are still some care homes whose residents have not been vaccinated yet and some of the care home staff,” said Ms Fairburn-Dorai.  

Ms Fairburn-Dorai said that there had been “glitches” with some of the systems which had caused some of the issues.  

Despite this she said that there had been positive experiences with some of the vaccine hubs preparing well ahead of time to make sure they were ready to meet with demand.  

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Suffolk’s clinical commissioning groups remain confident that they will be able to meet the Government’s deadline this weekend.  

A spokesman for NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups, said: “The speedy vaccination of care home residents remains our priority and we aim to have all residents vaccinated by this Sunday, in line with the Government’s plan.” 

Bury St Edmunds MP and junior health minister Jo Churchill said she and her colleagues had been determined to ensure the vaccine roll-out was as fair as possible and was confident that the target of vaccinating all those in the top groups by the end of the month would be met.

She said: "We're now up to 54% of people over 80 who have been inoculated and we've got another 40,000 doses that are waiting to go into people's arms in this area.

"We are on target to get everyone in care homes vaccinated by the end of Sunday. It is a huge operation and we have got new centres and volunteers starting all the time. We can't make promises about how long things will take because we are in the hands of the vaccine manufacturers but we are on course to meet our first targets."

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