The National Pensioners’ Convention is asking the government for more information on the Prime Minister’s “invisible shield" measures to protect the elderly and vulnerable during the new Covid-19 lockdown.
The NPC welcomes Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement last night on the roll-out of COVID vaccinations to care homes, the clinically vulnerable and older people.
However, the UK’s largest campaign group for older people is concerned that the government guidelines on administering the second jab has already changed from 21 days to 12 weeks.
The NPC would like clarification on the timescale change which has confused many older people, and to know if the government is planning to reinstate the invaluable package of support measures they introduced in March 2020 for the clinically vulnerable who are shielding at home.
Jan Shortt, General Secretary of the NPC said: “We are really pleased the vaccination programme is rolling out first to a priority list. However, we have already had calls from those who were scheduled for their second jab this week.
“We know many will worry, be confused and perhaps not understand they still need a second vaccination after 12 weeks to be fully protected. The NPC calls on the government to issue clear guidance on vaccination dates, specifically for older people and to monitor the second vaccination to ensure that anyone who had the first one does not fall through the net.”
As we are all told to stay at home – possibly for two to three months – to slow the spread of the virus, the NPC believes there is a danger that many older people will be too afraid to leave home for groceries and medicines.
Jan Shortt said: “The Convention is asking the government to be clear about the reinstatement of the package of support measures introduced last spring, that also included a million food parcels for the clinically vulnerable. We hope the government acts quickly to mitigate difficulties for those who live alone and/or are designated clinically vulnerable.”
Most of the specific information regarding lockdown is online and many older people do not have access to computers, broadband or other devices that keeps them up to date. It is important that older people know how lockdown affects them, so the NPC will be distributing this information for our members and local groups.
We also request that the media provide details on how older people can obtain help and support by contacting their local authorities or charities. At the moment, those who do have access to the internet, can register as clinically vulnerable for assistance at: www.gov.uk/coronavirus-local-help
Download the press release below