ELDERLY residents of care homes are being encouraged to get their vaccines this week - after the emergence of a new Covid variant brought the scheme forward.

The winter adult Covid and flu vaccination programme will prioritise those who are most at risk.

Starting with care homes and people who are housebound, other eligible groups will begin to be invited to get their top up protection ahead of winter, from next week.

Anthony Fitzgerald, NHS South Yorkshire vaccination programme lead, said: “We are working across the whole of South Yorkshire to deliver the Covid and flu vaccines to those at highest risk from severe illness.

“I would encourage anyone who is eligible to get both vaccinations as soon as possible after being contacted to ensure you and your loved ones stay protected during the colder months.

“With concerns arising over new Covid variants, NHS staff have worked hard to bring the programme forward to ensure services are ready for patients at an earlier stage.

“I would like to thank all the NHS staff involved across our region in making this happen.”