Booster vaccine roll-out starts at Lilian Faithfull Care

Residents of Astell House in Cheltenham are among the first in the country to be offered the booster vaccine against Covid-19.

The charity Lilian Faithfull Care, who run five care homes and two day care hubs, has close relationships with local GP surgeries and it is thanks to Overton Park Surgery in Cheltenham for already starting the programme announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier in the week.

Residents were delighted to be receiving the booster jab. There was spontaneous applause after the first resident, Evelyn, received the vaccination “I haven’t been this popular for years” she exclaimed!  She was asked how did it feel being vaccinated? “ I don’t ever feel it, I’m a tough old lady!” She went on to explain, “I think it’s important we should have it and I think everyone should have it.  I know you can’t eradicate it but if you do develop it at least you have a chance of overcoming it.” Evelyn also spoke warmly of all the staff at Astell House “We have to pay tribute to the staff, they gave up a lot to keep us safe and we have a great deal to thank them for.

Graham, who is nearly 86 was next to be offered the booster, “I think it’s marvellous… It’s a help to me and everyone else, so I don’t mind.”  “Vaccines are a good thing and I am hoping it will get back to normal – I’ve done very well up to now.”

Another special moment was when Norma, Astell’s oldest resident at 102 years old, gave the vaccination a big thumbs up.

Suzanne Booker, Director of Care at Lilian Faithfull Care

“We feel very privileged that residents have been offered this booster vaccine at such an early stage.  Residents at Astell House have remained free from Covid infection and this is an important step to further strengthen their protection and enable them to spend more time with their families.”

Lilian Faithfull Care continues to be at the forefront of the vaccine programme. Another of its homes, Faithfull House, took part in an NHS pilot programme last December and was one of the first six homes in the UK to offer the Pfizer vaccine to residents.  By 6th January 2021, residents in all five of Lilian Faithfull Care homes had been offered the vaccine.

Chief Executive Martin Hughes said; “This protection, that our residents and staff have embraced over the year, is making our care homes some of the safest places to live and work in Gloucestershire. It is credit to the teams in the homes and testament to our relationship with our incredible NHS partners and GP practice teams at the surgeries, that we are at the forefront again of battling this virus with the vaccine.  We’re very proud to be leading the way with keeping our remarkable residents safe.”