MP’s concern at slow vaccine take up rate in Peterborough

North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara has expressed his concern at the slow vaccine take up rate in Peterborough.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 6:49 pm

As of June 13, 59.2 per cent of over 18s have had one dose of the vaccine, while 40.9 per cent have had two doses.

This compares to the UK rate of 79.2 per cent for first doses and 56.9 per cent for second doses.

This week the Peterborough Telegraph revealed that in some areas of the city around two thirds of the population had not even had one dose - and in three areas of Peterborough, less than a quarter have had two doses.

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Vaccine take up has been slow in some areas of Peterborough
Vaccine take up has been slow in some areas of Peterborough

The Peterborough Telegraph has spoken to Peterborough City Council, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG, NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care, and no explanation has been given as to why the city’s rate is so low.

Speaking to The Peterborough Telegraph, Mr Vara said: “This is very concerning. I know that the local health authorities, together with Peterborough City Council, are working very hard to ensure as many people as possible are vaccinated.

“These figures, however, highlight the need to see how the delivery of vaccines can be improved.

“I will be contacting the relevant people to discuss what further steps can be taken to ensure a much bigger uptake.

“It is vitally important as many people as possible are vaccinated and that includes the second jab too.”

Peterborough MP Paul Bristow urged people to get vaccinated.

He said: “It’s really important that when people are offered the vaccine, people take it up. The new variant is largely affecting those who are unvaccinated. If you can’t get an appointment locally using the central system, please do contact your GP.

“The best way to protect ourselves, the ones we love, and see an end to restrictions is by getting the vaccine!”

Dr David Vickers, Medical Director, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, which runs the large scale vaccination centres across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough said: “We currently have plentiful supply of the Astra Zeneca vaccine for people who need their second dose, as well as Pfizer vaccines for people booking their first dose. 

“Vaccines are extremely safe and effective and I’d encourage anyone who has been invited to book their first or second dose to do so, and join the millions of people who have already had theirs.

“Anyone aged 23 and over can book their vaccination via nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119 and we expect everyone aged 18 and over will be eligible to book an appointment by the end of the week.  Levels of infection in young people are rising nationally and we know that Covid can have long term implications, so it’s really important young people do book their first jabs as soon as they are invited. No-one is safe until everyone has had their two doses – it’s our only way out of lockdown.”

Dr Gary Howsam, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Chair and local GP said: “Millions of people are now benefiting from protection from the virus and this has contributed to dramatic falls in infections, hospitalisations and deaths across the country.

“But it’s important that everyone has two doses and appointments have been brought forward from 12 to 8 weeks for people aged 40 and over, and those who are clinically vulnerable.”

“This will ensure people have the strongest possible protection from the virus at an earlier opportunity, so I strongly urge anyone in these groups who hasn’t booked their second dose yet to do so.”

Anyone aged 23 and over can book their vaccination appointment via nhs.uk/covid- vaccination or by calling 119.

To encourage more people to get vaccinated, a Walk In Vaccination Clinic will be held in the city this weekend.

The clinic will be the largest of its kind put on by the NHS in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and will take place at the Thomas Walker Surgery on Princes Street on Saturday and Sunday (June 19-20).

The drop in will be running between 8am and 8pm and local residents have been asked to bring proof of identity and a face covering with them.

Peterborough’s COVID case rate (cases per 100,000 people) has risen slightly in the past week -the latest data available shows the rate on June 10 was 23.7 in Peterborough - on May 31 in was 14.3.

However, this is a long way below the UK rate as a whole, which stands at 70.2.