Main image: Richard Little has the vaccine.
Care home residents have celebrated getting their Covid vaccinations with a sherry and a sing song.
So thrilled were the residents at Swansea’s Newton Court with the visit from vaccinators from West Cross and St Thomas Surgery that the gathering for jabs turned into an impromptu party.
Care home worker Jake Jefferies jumped on the piano in the lounge while his colleagues rolled out the drinks trolley.
“One hundred per cent of our residents at Newton Court choose to receive the vaccine. We were able to talk to them about it in the weeks before and all residents felt it was the right decision to receive the vaccine,” said Jeremy Brown, Managing Director of Christadelphian Care Homes (CCH), which owns Newton Court.
Assistant manager of Newton Court, Michelle Ross, said: “The residents had gathered in the lounge, socially distanced, to be vaccinated and had also had a coffee morning.
“When the vaccinations were done one of our residents requested Danny Boy, staff got the Baileys and sherry out and it went from there.
“It was a joyous occasion because we have managed to go through the whole pandemic without a case in our home.”
Newton Court has 23 residents aged between 76 and 102.
Jeremy said they have had very high take up of the vaccine from residents and staff in all of their homes across the UK.
“The experience in Newton Court manifests the sense of relief, hope and purpose that the vaccine provides,” he added.
Dr Nicola Jones, lead GP for the local surgeries, said: “It was lovely to finally be able to vaccinate our care home residents. It was the best present we could have given them.”
Across Swansea and Neath Port Talbot the majority of care home residents have now been vaccinated by GPs and nurses in the community.
Latest figures show that 58 care homes have been visited with 1,600 vaccinations given.
Those residents who are currently infected with Covid cannot have the vaccine, but will be revisited soon.
Cllr Clive Lloyd, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Community Health Services, said: “The last 10 months have been exceptionally challenging for care home residents and staff but there is now light at the end of tunnel as the vaccine is reaching them.
“There is a long way to go before life returns to normal but I’m sure having the vaccine will come as a huge relief to residents and their relatives.
“It will be equally welcome for care home staff who have done an outstanding job during the pandemic at personal risk to themselves and their families.
“We work very closely with our colleagues at the health board and I know they and the GP clusters are making every effort to deliver vaccines as quickly as possible to those most at risk of this dreadful virus.”
Director of Public Health for Swansea Bay University Health Board, Dr Keith Reid, said: “This vaccination programme is a massive and complex undertaking for everyone involved, but scenes like this make it all worthwhile.
“I’d particularly like to thank our colleagues in local GP practices who didn’t hesitate to volunteer to take the vaccines into care homes and acted swiftly as soon as they had the supplies.
“Residents can be reassured that everyone in the NHS and local councils are working together to ensure the Covid vaccinations are given to the most vulnerable members of our communities as quickly, conveniently and safely as possible.”