CARE homes around the town are carrying out the first coronavirus vaccinations for their elderly residents.

Since the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines passed their clinical tests, staff have been busy preparing for the injections to be given and arranging for enough vaccines to be delivered to each facility.

Ridgeway Rise was one of the first to have the majority of its residents receive the protective jab – 60 out of 62 had the first dose, so far.

Care workers set up a clinical room within the building, where injections would be given, and a waiting room for post-vaccination observations to sort out any sore arms or other issues.

Management increased the workforce capacity so that the procedures were carried out as safely as possible.

Elderly people living at the home with dementia needed a bit of extra reassurance as it was difficult for them to understand the situation.

General manager Bella Balaci said: “This is the hope for a change that we all have been waiting for.

“Thanks to support from North Swindon Practice, we are very fortunate to be one of the first care homes in Swindon that could offer vaccinations to their residents.”

The jabs will reduce the risk of an outbreak at the home and Covid-related hospital admissions. It is hoped that soon residents’ relatives and friends will be able to visit their nearest and dearest safely.

Kenna Bishop is a friend of one of the residents. She said: “Marge is one of those many millions of people who will be given the vaccination.

“This means so much to us, in that our loved ones will be protected and hopefully, in the not too distant future, we will be given the opportunity to hug them and visit them on a more regular basis.

“All the care staff at Ridgeway Rise have been tremendous and have gone out of their way to make sure that residents are safe and well. Thank you.

“This was a big day for many people – not just for the residents at this care home but across the UK.”