Oxfordshire completes first COVID-19 vaccinations in care homes

The first round of COVID-19 vaccinations has been carried out across Oxfordshire’s care homes. GP practices, health care professionals and volunteers have all worked together to ensure that care home staff and residents received their first jabs before the government’s deadline of January 31.

Across the 110 older peoples’ care homes in the county, over 90 per cent of current residents and 72 per cent of staff have received their first jabs.This comfortably exceeds the government’s target for residents’ vaccinations and puts Oxfordshire on course to meet the target for the top four priority groups to be vaccinated by February 15.

Stephen Chandler, Corporate Director of Adult and Housing Services, said: “This is another great example of how Oxfordshire’s social care and healthcare systems are working in partnership to respond to the pandemic. Our thanks go to GP practices and everyone who has worked so hard to ensure that some of our most vulnerable residents are protected as quickly as possible.”

Oxfordshire residents are reminded that a vaccine only starts to become effective two to three weeks after being administered. Although the vaccine is likely to prevent serious illness, there is as yet no firm proof that it will completely stop transmission of the virus. People are therefore urged to continue to abide by lockdown restrictions and follow public health guidance even after they have had their first or second jab, including practising social distancing, wearing a face mask and washing hands regularly.

Councillor Lawrie Stratford, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “These are really encouraging figures for the take-up for vaccinations among Oxfordshire’s care homes. I would urge everyone who is offered the vaccine to take up the opportunity so that we can see the back of this pandemic as quickly as possible.”