Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

Residents offered COVID-19 vaccine for the first time!

Our News in Brief

Residents offered COVID-19 vaccine for the first time!

1st April 2021
Last week the first of our residents received their first dose of the Oxford- AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

The vaccinations were organised by the Newham Transitional Practice (Manor Park), and we were fortunate enough to have an onsite visit from Mubshara Dodhy and Dr Duncan Trathen who carried out the jabs. We made sure we shared information about the Oxford-AstraZenca COVID-19 vaccine and encouraged conversations in advance with our residents so that we could answer any questions or concerns they had before the day.

Amar, resident of Caritas Anchor House (photographed above), said: “I feel so much better about the pandemic after receiving my first vaccine. It was so easy and done safely. Thank you to the doctors for coming in to do this. I know that this is not the end of the pandemic, and I still need to continue following the rules around here and in the shops on Canning Town high street. But it feels like the beginning of the end.”

We were able to offer our residents the vaccine after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recently advised that local health teams consider a universal offer to adults experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping alongside those in priority group 6. This was largely down Homeless Link’s campaigning efforts which we supported. This is important because those that we care for are prone to a higher than average number of long-term health conditions, making them vulnerable to this virus. Consequently, our frontline staff are at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 and of transmitting an infection to our residents.

That’s why we are pleased to also say that our staff have been offered appointments, which is critical in us minimising the COVID-19 risk across Caritas Anchor House and in keeping residents safe. We are proud to say that we have not recorded a single positive case of COVID-19 amongst our residents since the start of the pandemic. This is despite Newham having one of the highest R rates in London.

We are now working with the Newham Find & Treat team to arrange for peer outreach workers (staff with lived experiences) to come in and speak to residents that haven’t yet had the vaccine and are hesitant and would like to find out more. This peer outreach team will be accompanied by a medical team that will be able to do the vaccinations after speaking to residents. Every one of these vaccines that our staff and residents receive is a positive step forward as we edge closer back towards our usual programme.

Amanda Dubarry, Chief Executive of Caritas Anchor House.

“This is the first time that the vaccine has been offered to our residents, and the fact it was on-site made it much more accessible. We’ve developed a good partnership with the Newham Transitional Team and we look forward to working with the Find & Treat team to encourage more of our residents to get the jab. Thankfully we are yet to have a positive case of COVID-19 amongst our residents, this is despite Newham having one of the highest COVID-19 rates in the capital. The safety of our residents and staff have been our number one concern during these uncertain times, and it is great to see so many of our residents and staff getting vaccinated.”

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