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Older People’s Commissioner ‘disappointed and concerned’ that a significant number of older people in care homes still waiting to be vaccinated

01.2.21

Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:

“The progress made in rolling out the coronavirus vaccine and the increasing speed we have seen during the past couple of weeks are of course to be welcomed, and I would like to thank vaccination teams and volunteers throughout Wales for all of their hard work.

“However, it is disappointing and concerning that, based on the latest published figures available, a significant number of older people living in care homes in Wales – around a quarter – appear to still be waiting to be vaccinated, despite being at the very top of the JCVI’s priority list.

“It is also disappointing that, despite confirming that visits to care homes by vaccination teams have been planned, the Welsh Government did not provide any information about when vaccines would actually be delivered to residents.

“I have written to the Welsh Government to raise my concerns about this delay, and have asked them to provide me with a detailed timeline that sets out when they expect all older people living in care homes to have received their first dose of vaccine. I am also seeking assurance that this delay will not impact upon the roll-out of the vaccine to other priority groups or the roll-out of people’s second doses. 

“Every dose of vaccine delivered to older people offers protection and reduces the chance of those who are most vulnerable to coronavirus of becoming seriously ill, while any delay in vaccinating those in priority groups leaves older people’s health and lives at risk.

“I will therefore continue to closely scrutinise the roll-out of the vaccine, to ensure that all possible action is taken to ensure that those in priority groups receive their vaccinations as soon as possible.”