Care home residents are among those in the first phase of the COVID-19 rollout and relatives will be keen to understand how it will all work. Andrew Parfery, CEO and founder of care support comparison site Care Sourcer, has put together a list of questions to ask and it has been published in the Derby Telegraph.
What are the logistics?
Schedules for administering the vaccine are continually changing and being updated, so it’s worth asking care home staff when your relative is likely to get the jab. You should also ask for confirmation of which vaccine is being used and, since all of those being used require two separate injections, when the follow-up will occur.
Where will the vaccine be given?
Various provisions are being put in place across the country and some vaccines will be given at a GP surgery or hospital, while others will be administered at the care home. Make sure you know which scenario your relative will be experiencing and offer to give them a call to reassure them before or after the injection, as the procedure can be stressful for some elderly people.
Is there paperwork to sign?
Sometimes permission needs to be granted by family members in order for medicine to be given. With the vaccine programme being such a large undertaking and restrictions in place on visiting care homes, make sure you know about these requirements in advance. Getting any necessary paperwork signed early could help the smooth running of the rollout.
Has your relative been fully informed?
It’s important that all care home residents who are going to be given the vaccine have it explained to them. The way that this is done may be different for some individuals, as those with dementia will not be able to retain the information. Even so, the situation should be outlined to them in a gentle manner, repeatedly if necessary.
Will you be able to visit your relative once they’ve had the vaccine?
The coronavirus pandemic has led to families having very restricted access to their relatives in care homes. Obviously, the vaccine offers hope that visiting will be more available, but it’s important to understand what a care home’s policy will be. Each home will have its own set of COVID-19 secure visitation guidance and you should be prepared to stick to it even after your relative has been vaccinated.
On December 8th, the first of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines was administered and since then more than 137,000 people have received their first dose. The UK pre-ordered 40 million doses of this particular vaccine and has so far taken receipt of 800,000.