Update from Surrey Heartlands today.
NHS confirms Covid jab now offered at every eligible care home in England
Earlier this week NHS England announced that the Covid-19 vaccination has been offered in over 10,000 care homes with older residents. More information here. In Surrey/Surrey Heartlands we have now visited all care homes with the exception of three (due to local outbreaks), all of whom will be visited by 6th February.
Published vaccination data
NHS England publishes vaccination data for England here which you might like to bookmark as a favourite. The weekly data is broken down by health and care system and age band, currently defined as 80+ and under 80 years old, and the count of vaccinations by dose and ethnicity. The daily data gives a total figure for England and is broken down by region – i.e. for us that would be across the South East.
You can find a comprehensive set of FAQs on the local programme on our website here. In the meantime, we will regularly publish the answers to some of the most common/latest questions here.
Why has the second dose interval been extended to 12 weeks?
• Throughout this global pandemic we have always been guided by the latest scientific advice. Having studied evidence on both the Pfizer/ BioNTech and Oxford/ AstraZeneca vaccines the JCVI (Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisations) has advised that we should prioritise giving as many people in at-risk groups their first dose, rather than providing two doses in as short a time as possible.
• Evidence shows that one dose of either vaccine provides a high level of protection from Covid-19. This is because even with just one dose the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been estimated to offer 89% effectiveness from two weeks after it is given, and the Oxford/AstraZeneca 74% effectiveness from two weeks after it is given.
• For both vaccines, data provided to MHRA demonstrate that whilst efficacy is optimised when a second dose is administered both offer considerable protection after a single dose, at least in the short term. For both vaccines the second dose completes the course and is likely to be important for longer term protection
• The NHS across the UK will prioritise giving the first dose of the vaccine to those in the most high-risk groups. Everyone will still receive their second dose and this will be within 12 weeks of their first. The second dose completes the course and is important for longer term protection.
As the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jonathan Van Tam, has said: “The evidence clearly shows vaccinated individuals get almost complete protection after the first dose. Simply put, every time we vaccinate someone a second time, we are not vaccinating someone else for the first time. It means we are missing an opportunity to greatly reduce the chances of the most vulnerable people getting severely ill from Covid-19. If a family has two elderly grandparents and there are two vaccines available, it is better to give both 89 per cent than to give one 95 per cent protection with two quick doses, and the other grandparent no protection at all.”
As a local health and care system, we are following the advice from the Government’s Chief Medical Officers.