With a COVID-19 vaccine being distributed across the UK this week, you can almost hear the collective sigh of relief. There is now a real prospect that 2021 could see us go back to what we know.
However, the experts are saying that the vaccine will not provide an immediate return to life as it once was. With a number of practical constraints, we may see the roll-out and therefore the effects of this vaccine take place over a much greater amount of time than first anticipated.
A reluctance to take it
Up to 40% of carers could potentially not take the vaccine, based on the vaccination being elective. This could be an issue as it leaves care homes wide open for potential outbreaks and whatever ramifications that may bring with it.
The owner of one care home said if half the workforce refused the vaccine, they would have to inform not only family members but the local authority, as it remains unclear who would be liable in the event someone was to fall ill.
There no doubt is a fear, as this is a completely new vaccine, that has had to be fast-tracked but hopefully once other carers start to see colleagues taking it, it may lower the stigma and help persuade people it’s the right thing to do.
There are those who are being advised not to take it for medical reasons also as the vaccine has been known to trigger certain allergies.
The distribution of the vaccine nationwide requires a lot of infrastructure, some of which has had to have been created specifically for this vaccine. Which the Welsh government has declared will make it ‘impossible’ to distribute the vaccine to care homes and carers. The statement also said that ‘for each candidate vaccine final deployment models will be similar across the UK’, meaning if Wales is already having issues then it doesn’t bode well for the rest of UK using the same distribution models.
This may mean that the anticipated vaccine to help add structure back into your care homes may not be immediate. Even with every effort from government and the NHS to get this vaccine out as quickly possible, choices made in care homes will still be a vital factor in protecting against COVID-19.
The Independent Care Group (IGC) Chairman, Mike Padgham stated that although “today is a great day as we witness the first people getting the vaccine… we have to remain on high-alert because COVID-19 hasn’t gone away and sadly people are still going to be taken away from us.”
Infection prevention tools
The adoption of digital tools will play a vital role in safeguarding care homes and lightening the work load for carers.
These tools will still be needed even when the vaccine is readily available nationwide, helping support the recovery of your care homes and resident within. Early warning tools, help you be able to use to detect a possible viral outbreak and act on it before it can impact your care home, flipping a usually reactive process into a proactive one, giving you back control.
If 2020 has taught us anything it’s the effects an outbreak can have on our care homes and residents within.
If you’re interested in learning more about how tech can help your care home read our recent post ‘New and innovative care home technology in 2020’ to highlight some of the best uses of tech in the care sector.
Or if you’re interested in joining the community of care home protecting and preventing their care homes from viral outbreaks, then enquire about a free trial here today.
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