Rough sleepers and people experiencing homelessness are to receive their COVID vaccine at Oasis Community Housing’s Gateshead drop-in centre, after being recognised as clinically vulnerable.

Research shows that people with no home have an average of seven long-term health conditions, far higher than people in their 90s. They are also substantially more likely to report having chronic diseases such as asthma, chronic OPD and heart problems with an average life expectancy of just 44 years old.

Oasis Community Housing has been working with The Gateshead Housing Company, Gateshead Recovery Partnership, Changing Lives and the GP Federation in a concerted effort to ensure all vulnerable, and off-the-radar people who are in need of the vaccination are able to receive it.

So far, Government figures estimate a third of the UK population has received their first COVID vaccine.

Phil Conn, Director of Programmes at Oasis Community Housing, said, “The clinic at our drop-in resource centre will help deliver the first layer of protection to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, many of whom already have additional underlying health issues.

“As a charity, we have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic to make sure the people we support haven’t been left behind in getting the health advice and intervention we all need right now.”

Rough sleepers have been recognised as at high risk of COVID harm since ‘Everyone In’. The Government initiative, which began in the first lockdown (March to June 2020), aimed to provide COVID-safe accommodation for people facing homelessness.

Phil continued: “We’re extremely proud of how we have responded to the pandemic, rapidly redesigning our services in order to support the hundreds of people who we helped into temporary accommodation as part of ‘Everyone In’ while staying focussed on the bigger picture; conducting outreach, offering financial support and ensuring no one is missed from the current Census.”