Residents of Cornwall homeless charity Harbour Housing have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
The charity held its very own ‘vaccine day’ at its main site, Cosgarne Hall, last week where a delegation from St Austell Healthcare came along to offer the jab.
Dr Clare Taylor and Lisa Pearson set up in Harbour’s dedicated facility for visiting health professionals and provided the first dose of the vaccine to 34 residents.
The beneficiaries that Harbour supports have often spent long periods of rough sleeping or in insecure accommodation, and this can bring with it serious health challenges.
Many suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and several comorbidities which makes receiving the vaccine a high priority for them.
Dr Taylor said: ‘We’re really conscious of the extra background health issues in this population.
‘Anything we can do to make it easier for this group of patients to access the vaccine, we’re really pleased to support Harbour Housing with that.
‘We’re aware that uptake will be very low in this group but their risk is high.’
Emily Hill from Harbour Housing explained why the event was so important for the charity’s beneficiaries.
‘Harm reduction and the promotion of healthy lifestyles is really embedded within our service and it’s important to us that our residents are able to easily access the right health interventions to suit their needs.
‘We made sure that plenty of resources were available in the lead up to the event to allow individuals to make an informed choice about their own health.
‘It’s vital that everyone has access to the vaccine, and this is heightened for many of our residents who face several vulnerabilities and may struggle to attend external appointments.
‘We’re so grateful to St Austell Healthcare for their flexible approach in ensuring our residents had easy access to the vaccine.
‘Clare and Lisa were brilliant on the day, really putting those who were a bit nervous at ease.
‘It was a really positive event, with one of our residents even making cakes for everyone to have afterwards, and we’re glad that our beneficiaries now have that extra layer of protection from Covid-19.’
There is a wider consultation across Cornwall on how to reach groups who may otherwise struggle to attend appointments.
This event in St Austell was the first step towards ensuring that all at-risk groups across the county have access to the vaccine.
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