With most booster jabs being administered using the Pfizer vaccine, which has specific storage and transportation needs and patient observation requirements, the home visits teams are currently able to deliver far fewer booster vaccinations at pace than during the 1st and 2nd dose phases of the programme.
The teams administer COVID-19 vaccinations in a person’s home where they cannot easily attend a place where vaccination is being offered (e.g. to people who are bedbound).
Where those people cannot get to a place of vaccination because of mobility issues, the NHS is asking family, neighbours and friends to offer support by taking them there.
As an example, during the 1st and 2nd dose phases of the vaccination programme, one primary care network (PCN) was able to deliver an average of 47 vaccines per day. Under the booster phase, this has reduced to 12 vaccines per day.
Elizabeth Moloney, who is leading the vaccination programme for the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, said: “The home visits teams are doing incredibly well in reaching out to those people who cannot get to a place of vaccination.
“Their work will continue over the coming weeks, delivering the vitally important booster jab ahead of the winter months, to those who have mobility issues and find it difficult to leave their home.
“Yet, we know from experience in delivering the 1st and 2nd doses of vaccine, that not everyone who had their jab administered in their own home was housebound or unable to leave their home. For many, they simply did not have the transport to get them there.
“That’s why we are urging people to check on their friends and relatives and, where appropriate, offer to take them to the pharmacy, walk-in clinic, GP practice or vaccination centre to receive the booster.
“By doing so it’ll give that vulnerable person speedier extra protection and really help us get our local population vaccinated more quickly.”
Visit the local vaccination website at www.sneevaccine.org.uk