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Slough care home one of first in country to offer booster vaccine to residents

One of the first care homes 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 this afternoon (16/9), as the biggest and most successful vaccination programme in NHS history moves to the next stage.

A resident from the care home, Mr Vijay Bali, 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.

Sarah Bellars, Director of Infection Prevention and Control and the Covid-19 and Flu Vaccination Lead at NHS Frimley Clinical Commissioning Group, which includes Slough and surrounding areas, said: “When we started the Covid-19 vaccination programme back in December 2020, we ensured that care home staff and residents were amongst those who were prioritised, and we’re doing the same again this year with the booster programme. It is really important that we offer the most vulnerable in our community, the best protection against Flu and Covid-19, especially as we head towards the winter months.”

Dr Bharan Kumar, the Primary Care Network Medical Director and local GP looking after the Slough care home said: “Both myself and my colleagues were really pleased to be back at the care home again, offering residents their Covid-19 booster jabs.

 “I would encourage everyone who is eligible for the vaccine, to take up the offer ahead of the winter months to boost their immunity and protect them from the virus.”

From next week, the hospital hub at Frimley Park NHS Foundation Trust will begin vaccinating health staff, with GP-led local vaccination services to follow in the coming days.

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 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.

Full vaccination rollout will begin from next week and across the Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care system, from existing Covid-19 local vaccination services, larger vaccination sites and additionally, community pharmacy-led sites will be coming online following final checks, giving people further protection from the virus ahead of winter.

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.

Frimley Health and Care