All residents in care homes for older people will receive an additional Covid booster jab this spring, PM Boris Johnson said last week, setting out the government’s plan for living with the virus. But Alzheimer’s Society responded that the plan did not go far enough to protect people with dementia.
While details of the additional booster deployment are awaited, Johnson made it clear that vaccinations would now be the main means of controlling the virus as legal restrictions requiring self-isolation and free tests were abolished.
Alzheimer’s Society said the plan raised serious concerns about how people with dementia could safely re-enter society.
“The scaling back of free community testing will put family members and carers, desperate to keep their loved ones safe, out of pocket at a time when the cost of living is already rising,” said head of public affairs and campaigns James White.
“Ending the need for people to self-isolate after a positive test will leave many feeling anxious about catching Covid-19 as they try to get on with their lives.”
Pointing out that 30,000 people with dementia had died due to Covid-19 in 2020/21, the Society called for free lateral flow tests for everyone with the condition as well as their carers, adding that the new booster programme should prioritise those receiving care not just in care homes but in their own homes too.