Care home residents have celebrated getting their Covid-19 vaccinations with banners and some bubbly.
All Surrey care homes which support older people have now been visited by vaccination teams offering the first dose of the Covid-19 jab.
At Greys Residential Home, in Woking, residents enjoyed a glass of fizz and posed with placards after getting their jabs last month.
As older care home residents, they were the top priority group in the national roll-out of the vaccine, along with the staff who look after them.
Roving vaccination teams have worked intensively over the last few weeks to visit Surrey care homes administering the jabs, with high levels of take-up. The vast majority of homes had been visited by the end of January, and now even homes which couldn’t be called on previously due to cases of the virus have been visited.
The vaccine roll-out in Surrey is being spearheaded by the Surrey Heartlands Partnership and Frimley Health and Care which bring together partners including local NHS services and Surrey County Council.
Sinead Mooney, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “Celebrations like these are a joy to see after the difficult months we’ve had.
“Thanks to the diligence of vaccination teams on the ground, we’ve been able to visit every care home for older people in Surrey in the space of just a few weeks.
“We’re now working hard to vaccinate other vulnerable groups and frontline health and social care workers and I’d encourage everyone who is offered the jab to get it.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank care workers across Surrey for the incredible dedication and compassion they’ve shown throughout the pandemic.
“This vaccine milestone gives us hope but we can’t let our guard down. Care homes are continuing to follow the public health advice and we must all, even after we’ve received our vaccine, stick to the rules so we don’t let up on beating the virus.”
Erica Lockhart, chief executive of the Surrey Care Association, said: “This is such welcome news. Not only have older people in care settings been vaccinated, but care staff across all settings, who have been so heroic throughout the pandemic, are also receiving their jabs.
“There’s a great sense of relief across the Surrey care sector and beyond. The vaccine has given us hope that the overall risks will be greatly reduced in the not-too-distant future and I’d like to thank all those involved in the vaccine rollout for their tireless work.”
More information about the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Surrey, including frequently asked questions, can be found here for Surrey Heartlands and here for Frimley Health and Care, which covers Surrey Heath and Farnham.