New move to tackle ‘concerning’ numbers of Peterborough people failing to take Covid-19 jabs
An urgent appeal has gone out to Peterborough community groups and businesses to step up efforts to encourage more people to take the anti-Covid jab.
The new push to drive up Peterborough’s vaccination numbers comes amid growing concern that the city has one of the highest numbers of non-jabbed people in the country.
Yet health chiefs say the harm that the unchecked spread of Covid-19 can cause on the population is eminently preventable.
A virtual ‘summit’ meeting of civic and community leaders called on everyone to ‘double down’ on efforts to encourage more people to get vaccinated.
Peterborough City Council leader Councillor Wayne Fitzgerald told the meeting that vaccinations in Peterborough were 20 per cent behind the rest of the country - and that in some parts of the city were as high as 25 per cent lower than national average.
He said: “We have begun a three month push to focus on those areas where we see greater numbers of people who are not protected.
“Now we need your ideas to encourage a greater take-up of the vaccines.”
Jyoti Atri, director of public health for Peterborough, said that Peterborough’s Covid case rate for all ages stood at 436 per 100,000 people compared to a rate of 300 people per 100,000 for England.
She said the rate for people aged 60 and above was 220 to 100,000 - again higher than the rate for England.
She said that current causes for concern were the return of youngsters to school and that the contacts of people with Covid were no longer required to isolate.
She warned: “As time goes on, it’s likely the infection rate will increase further.
“Increasing the vaccination numbers can make a huge difference to the harm this virus can cause.
But she added: “The good news is that the rate for the over-60s is lower than it was in January - an indicator of the success of the vaccination campaign.
“Hospitalisations and deaths are nowhere near the January peak.”
Chief Nurse for the CCG, Carol Anderson, said a targeted approach was needed to raise vaccination numbers as the take-up was often proving to be lower in areas of ethnic minority populations.
Figures show one area of concern is that served by the Central and Thistlemoor Primary Care Network where just over 60 per cent of people have not yet had one vaccination.
The meeting was told that hoax information on social media, a distrust of Government, shifting vaccination centres, busy work routines all tended to contribute to the low take-up.
But Dr Kanchan Rege, Deputy Chief Executive and Medical Director, Peterborough City Hospital, said a major impact of the spread of Covid was on the city’s health services.
She said: “Patients in hospital with Covid are likely to pass it on. When that happens we have to close beds, emergency departments are full and ambulances have to wait, elective surgery, like hip replacements are cancelled.
She said: “It all just highlights the importance of vaccinations.”