One in 10 eligible care home residents have not received a coronavirus vaccine

Jemma Crew, PA Social Affairs Correspondent and Jane Kirby, PA Health Editor
·5-min read

Around one in 10 eligible care home residents in England have not received a coronavirus vaccine, figures show.

Nine in 10 eligible residents of older adult care homes have had their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, NHS data on the vaccination programme shows.

It is the first time that care homes have been included in the vaccine data and follows an announcement by NHS England saying that figures were expected on Monday.

As of the end of January 31, 236,499 residents had received their first jab, out of 260,060 who were eligible for the vaccine – a total of 90.9%.

It means 23,561 eligible residents have not had a coronavirus vaccine.

NHS England said the number of eligible residents includes a small number of residents at care homes currently undergoing an outbreak and which cannot yet be visited for vaccination, along with residents who did not receive the vaccine for valid medical reasons, and those for whom consent had not been provided.

Cumulative Covid-19 vaccinations in the UK
(PA Graphics)

The data shows that there were 92 homes where local health teams had advised vaccination was not appropriate, meaning 99.1% of the 10,413 eligible care homes in England have been visited.

The data release did not specify how many eligible residents live in these 92 homes, how many did not receive the vaccine for valid medical reasons or those for whom consent had not been provided.

It also does not show how many care staff have been offered a vaccine, taken up a jab or refused one.

It comes as Nadra Ahmed, chairwoman of the National Care Association, said quite a “high average was emerging, around the 20% mark” of social care staff refusing to have a Covid-19 jab.

Government data up to February 3 shows that of the 10,992,444 jabs given in the UK so far, 10,490,487 were first doses – a rise of 469,016 on the previous day’s figures.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

One in five UK adults have received a coronavirus vaccine, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, adding that the UK remains on track to complete the vaccination of the top four priority groups by mid-February.

“We are on track to deliver the commitment we have made of offering the jab to all of the top four priority groups by February 15,” he told reporters.

“I’m just so proud of the team who are delivering this, it’s going really, really well.

“You saw yesterday 10 million jabs done. Today we passed the threshold of one in five of the population who have been jabbed already.”

These overall figures also do not include the number of vaccine doses offered and numbers refused.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi declined to say whether the Government is recording data on who has refused a coronavirus vaccine, when repeatedly asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

He also declined to put a date on when all over-50s can expect to receive a Covid-19 jab, but figures suggest late March may be an option if supplies continue.

Mr Zahawi said a target would be set for reaching all those aged 50 to 70, as well as those with underlying conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease, once the most vulnerable have been offered a jab by February 15.

Previously, NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens has said the aim is for all over-50s and those at risk to be vaccinated by the end of April.

But pressed on BBC Breakfast about when all over-50s and higher priority groups would be vaccinated, Mr Zahawi declined to set a firm date.

He said: “We will set out our target (for vaccinating groups 5-9) after we have hit our February 15 target.

Covid-19 vaccinations in the UK
(PA Graphics)

“But you can do the maths. We did 600,000 in a single day – the deployment infrastructure that we’ve built can do as much vaccines as we get supply, so the limiting factor will be vaccine supply.

“You can see that in the next 10 or so days, we’ve got to do another almost touching five million and so if we keep that rate up, we will very quickly go down the list of the top nine.”

Asked whether that meant it would take another 35 days from February 15 to have jabbed all 31 million people in the first nine cohorts, Mr Zahawi replied: “That assumes the supply, so I don’t want to commit to a date without going through it with a very fine toothcomb with the whole team, because our limiting factor is the supply of vaccines ultimately.

A seven-day vaccination centre has been set up at Villa Park in Birmingham, the home of Premier League club Aston Villa
A seven-day vaccination centre has been set up at Villa Park in Birmingham, the home of Premier League club Aston Villa (Jacob King/PA)

“With any manufacturing process, especially one that is new, there are challenges around that, as we’ve seen in Europe and as we saw in the early days in the UK as well.”

Slides presented by England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, at a Downing Street press conference on Wednesday suggested that around half of people who go into hospital with Covid-19 are aged over 70.

He said that after vaccinating the over-70s by February 15, “we would expect a situation where we can stop a very high proportion of the deaths but a rather smaller proportion of the pressure on the NHS – those very large numbers in hospital”.

This suggests that vaccinating people over 50 and the clinically vulnerable could be crucial for easing pressure on the NHS – cited as a major reason for ongoing restrictions.

Prof Whitty also told the briefing that offering every adult aged 18 and over a first dose by May and a second dose by August was “at the very optimistic end” of what was possible due to supply constraints.

Daily confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK
(PA Graphics)

Meanwhile, the Government is facing pressure over a lack of detail on its plan for hotel quarantine for returning travellers.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper said it was troubling the Government had not yet spoken to major hotel chains about the plan.

But Mr Zahawi insisted that quarantine hotels are “part of a much bigger plan”, adding that Health Secretary Matt Hancock will be setting out details “in the next few days”.