Elderly people living in sheltered housing could soon avoid being forced to travel long distances for their coronavirus jabs following a local campaign.

The NHS has agreed to include sheltered housing residents in its programme of vaccinations to be delivered on site, according to emails from council officials seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

It comes after elderly people in Enfield raised concerns that travelling miles by bus or taxi to reach a vaccination centre could put them at risk of catching the virus – and, coupled with the cost of travel, that could put them off having the jab.

READ MORE: Fears travelling for Covid jab could put elderly and vulnerable at risk

Oliver Dines, who has been campaigning for sheltered housing residents to receive jabs on site, was contacted by council officials last week.

An email sent to Mr Dines from an Enfield Council official on Friday stated: “Having spoken to the representative of the NHS, and further to your campaign, NHS have now agreed to include sheltered housing residents in their programme of vaccinations to be delivered on site.

“We are informed that this will start from late next week.

“We provided local information to the NHS colleagues about the addresses of our sheltered housing schemes.”

Further emails from council officers stated that the policy “is being applied by the NHS by authority” and that “local health authorities have been asked to take the lead” on offering jabs to those in sheltered accommodation.

Vaccines do not offer instant protection against Covid-19. Government guidance states that “it may take a week or two for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine”.

Elderly people last week raised concerns that travelling for their Covid jabs could put them at risk.

Brenda Pearse, chairman of the residents’ association at Chaddlewood, a sheltered housing complex of 91 flats in Cockfosters, said it was “ludicrous” that people were being offered jabs in Enfield Town, Edmonton Green or Edgware. One lady was told to go to Stevenage or Birmingham, she added.

Ms Pearse said: “You have to get on a bus – and they are telling you not to travel – or you have to get in a cab. You don’t know who has been in there before. Some people are refusing to do it – which is putting them in danger as well.”

She pointed out jabs could be offered on site in the housing complex’s lounge, which has two entrances and would allow people to be socially distanced.

Mr Dines, who lives in Chaddlewood, has been campaigning for the Government, NHS and councils to work together to offer on-site jabs to those in sheltered accommodation – thought to number 800 residents in Enfield and thousands more across London.

A spokesperson for North London Partners said: “People in north London, including those in sheltered accommodation are being vaccinated in line with the guidance set by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

“While there are a range of vaccine sites opening in our community, including the large-scale sites such as the London Nightingale and high street pharmacies, we have also set up ‘roving teams’ of vaccinators who can visit people who are housebound.”