Figures show encouraging uptake of Covid vaccination in central Bedfordshire, but rollout could now slow Bedford News

The rollout of Covid vaccines to residents of Central Bedfordshire at the start of quarantine could be slower than for previous age groups, a health official has warned.

The government is extending the vaccination program to people aged 40 to 44, the Central Bedfordshire Council’s Social Care, Health and Housing Watch and Oversight Committee has said.

But a challenge remains around sourcing vaccines for the first dose over the next few weeks, according to BLMK Clinical Commissioning Group performance and governance director Geraint Davies.

Covid vaccination
Covid vaccination

“We are looking at how we encourage the administration of the first dose to the appropriate age groups and how we prioritize the second doses,” he explained. “It is important that people receive their second dose within 11 weeks of their first vaccination.”

Over 454,000 first doses were given in the BLMK area (Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes) by April 15, and just over 113,000 seconds.

“We’re seeing some hesitation and a decline in people coming to the immunization program,” Davies said.

“It’s really important that people take their vaccinations. We have seen a decrease of 1%. 100 of people who should take it. For Central Bedfordshire there is a really positive result with our population aged 80 and over at 97%, our 75 to 79 also at 97%, and our 70 to 74 at 96%.

“Then our 65 to 69 is 94 percent, our 60 to 64 is 93 percent, and our 55 to 59 is 90 percent.

“The rest haven’t been vaccinated for that long, but our 50 to 54 year old is 89%, which is again a good result.

“For our second doses, over 80 is 87 percent, 75 to 79 is 70 percent and 70 to 74 is 40 percent. For residents aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions, these figures include those who are clinically vulnerable and this represents 95%. “

Heath and Reach Conservative adviser Mark Versallion asked what would happen if the system was forced to choose between the first and second dose.

Mr Davies replied, “We have sufficient supply to target vaccinations to those who need their first dose in the appropriate age groups.

“We are committed to providing sufficient supply to deliver a second dosage and need to make sure we do that by targeting it in the right way. We may not have the speed to expand the rollout to 40-43 year olds as quickly as we do to other age groups. “

Councilor Versallion, who chairs the committee, asked, “So if you are forced to choose, you would slow down the rollout for the younger ones to make sure the second dose is given within 11 weeks.”

The deployment “can be lengthened slightly to do this,” Davies added. “It is also very important that we target people who have not manifested in the current age cohorts.”

Biggleswade South Independent Advisor Hayley Whitaker questioned whether there was vaccine hesitancy “leading to an uphill battle” over the second dose.

Mr Davies replied, “We see ‘do not attend’ for the second doses, which is a challenge.

“The younger you are, the more hesitant you may be to take your vaccine. We should see advertisements on national television on this issue. “

Councilor Versallion asked if residents reluctant to get the vaccine would be told they would waste the first vaccine and be obligated to complete the program.

Mr. Davies replied, “We don’t physically knock on doors. We call people and text them to get them in. “

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This notice was published: 2021-04-29 12:03:13