Measures to ensure housebound people are vaccinated against Covid-19 are being stepped up, while over-70s who haven’t yet had their jab are being urged to contact the NHS to arrange it.
This week the NHS announced it will pay GPs an additional £10 for every Covid-19 vaccination they deliver to someone who is housebound as part of the drive to protect the most vulnerable people as swiftly as possible. The move comes amid growing concern that some housebound people might miss out on the jab because they can’t attend a vaccination appointment outside their home.
And as the national vaccination programme continues, all over-70s who haven’t yet had their jab or been given an appointment for it are being urged to contact the NHS. They can either call 119 free of charge, or get in touch online by clicking here. People aged 70 and over can arrange to be vaccinated at a local Vaccine Centre or pharmacy service, or have the jab at home if they are unable to get out.
The new payment to GPs for vaccinating housebound people aims to ease the extra financial pressure on GP surgeries taking on the work, especially in rural areas. Over the past couple of weeks, GPs and healthcare teams in some rural areas have been driving through heavy snow to make sure housebound patients get their vaccination.
Some GP services working in towns and cities have been vaccinating more than 100 people in their own homes each day. There are various medical grounds that could prevent vulnerable people safely leaving their home, one of the main ones being dementia.
The NHS vaccination programme is the biggest in health service history and has seen more than 12 million people jabbed in England in a matter of weeks. It means the NHS is on track to offer a vaccination to all those in the top four priority groups by the middle of February. Those groups are:
- anyone over 70
- people who are clinically extremely vulnerable due to a medical condition
- all care home residents and staff
- NHS workers.
If you are not in one of those groups, you should wait to be invited by the NHS to have your vaccination when it is your turn. People cannot be vaccinated by just turning up at a vaccination centre or GP surgery without being invited.
Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and NHS medical director for primary care, said: “Tremendous efforts have been made by GPs across the country to ensure we vaccinate those people who are in the priority cohorts.
“Since the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine was approved for use and we began administering it on January 4th, my colleagues across the country have been prioritising the vaccination programme rollout, which is our biggest chance of beating this virus.
“Please remember the NHS will be in touch with you when it’s your turn to be vaccinated.”