More than half of care home residents vaccinated in first few weeks of spring campaign

Joyce Rushton, 90, receives NHS COVID spring vaccination
Joyce Rushton, 90, receives NHS COVID spring vaccination

The NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Programme in Cheshire and Merseyside has vaccinated more than 7000 older adult care home residents in the region in the few weeks since the spring campaign began – which is over half of those eligible.

As of 27 April, roving teams of NHS staff had visited more than 50% of the care homes in the region, delivering life-saving protection to those most at risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19.

Around 215,000 people in Cheshire and Merseyside became eligible for the latest dose, as part of the current spring booster campaign, which began jabbing those in care homes, on 3 April.

Everyone else who is eligible, including people aged 75 and over and those with weakened immune systems, have been able to book an appointment on the National Booking Service or on the NHS App since 17 April.

Latest data shows that Cheshire and Merseyside has delivered more than 82,000 spring doses, and NHS teams will continue to visit care homes and deliver vaccinations to those eligible at hundreds of sites across the region, until the offer ends on 30 June 2023.

The NHS will this week send one million invitations nationally to people aged 75 and over, and those who received an invite at the start of the programme, people aged 85 and over, will receive a reminder to book their spring dose.

However, people who are eligible don’t have to wait to be invited, and can book an appointment today.

As well as the spring booster, the current evergreen offer of at least two COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone aged 5 and over, on or before 31 August 2022 will also end on 30 June 2023.

This means that any adult who has yet to have a first dose of the vaccine, who wants to also have the second dose before the offer ends, will need to have the initial vaccination by Friday 5 May, which will allow for the recommended interval between the doses.

Since the largest and fastest vaccination drive in NHS history began, almost 18 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered in Cheshire and Merseyside

Jayne Wood, Director of Vaccine and Testing Operations, NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, said: “The COVID-19 vaccine still has a crucial role to play in protecting those at greatest risk of severe illness from the virus. Thanks to the hard work of NHS staff, partners and volunteers in Cheshire and Merseyside more than half of eligible older adults living in care homes in the region have got the best protection against becoming very ill with COVID-19, due to the spring booster dose.”

Dr Fiona Lemmens, Associate Medical Director, NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, added: “I would urge anyone who is eligible for the spring dose to come forward as soon as you can, to protect yourself and your loved ones.

“The final spring vaccination appointments, as well as the final evergreen appointments will be offered on 30 June, so if you’re yet to have a first, second or booster dose, book an appointment on the NHS App, the National Booking Service or find a walk in centre, which is close and convenient to you, as soon as you can before the offer ends.”

Those who are invited for a spring booster dose should ensure that their appointment is scheduled at least three months from their last dose. The last date to book a spring booster dose is 29 June, with the final spring vaccinations on the following day, 30 June.

You can find out if you’re at increased risk from COVID-19 and eligible for a spring dose here.