Last week, the UK became the first country in the world to approve the use of a vaccine for Covid-19, with many elderly and care home residents set to receive it this week.
The vaccine, developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, will be available via the NHS. Administered in 2 doses over a period of 3 weeks, the first batch of the vaccine is aiming to provide 20 million people in the UK with immunity to the Coronavirus.
According to the NHS on their website, the vaccine has “met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).”
Care homes across England have suffered severely under the pandemic, particularly in the first few weeks when the UK lacked a definitive lockdown policy.
A study from the University of Manchester estimated the excess deaths in care homes as a result of the pandemic totaled almost 30,000 by August 2020. These deaths were more likely to have occurred in nursing homes rather than in residential homes, and larger homes with more residents also fared worse compared to smaller homes.
Despite being situated high on the priority list, care homes in Salford have expressed their concern about the lack of clear information being provided to them about it.
Sue Ellis, the deputy manager at Beenstock Home in Salford, said that after “going through all the residents”, attitudes towards the breakthrough were relatively positive. However, she also stated that “families want more information about possible side effects” of the vaccine, particularly in relation to how it could affect those suffering from heart conditions.
Other care homes in Salford have revealed that they are also lacking clear and coherent details, and were unable to talk to Salford Now at length on the issue.