The majority of care home residents in England are expected to be vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of the week, health officials have said.

NHS England has told GPs that it “expects” care home residents and staff at homes across England to be vaccinated by the end of this week, or by January 24 “at the latest”.

A letter sent to the groups of GP surgeries who have signed up to deliver the vaccination programme suggests GPs can do this from 8am to 8pm seven days a week.

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It comes as MPs heard that vaccinating just 25 care home residents against Covid-19 could save a life.

The figures demonstrate some of the reasoning behind the priority list set out by experts advising the Government.

Care home residents top the list which sets out nine categories of those most at risk.

The next category include over 80s and all frontline health and care workers.

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, welcomed the “excellent” news and called on care home staff to be prioritised too.

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Vic Rayner, executive director of the National Care Sector, added: “Communication and planning between GPs, care homes, residents and their relatives will be fundamental to ensuring that everyone who so desperately needs this vaccine can take up their rightful place at the front of the queue.”

Vaccinating 250 people over the age of 80 will save one life, the Science and Technology Committee was told yesterday.

But “many thousands” of train operators would need to be vaccinated to save a life, MPs heard.

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The Government aims to have the top four priority groups – including care home residents and their carers, frontline health and social care staff and all those over the age of 70 – offered their first jab by mid-February.

Professor Wei Shen Lim, chairman of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), told the committee: “In terms of protecting people within a constrained vaccine supply, the estimates are that we have to vaccinate only about 250 people aged over 80 to save one life.

“For care home residents, we only need to vaccinate somewhere between 25 to 45 care home residents to save one life."