Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent COVID-19 Vaccination Programme | Stakeholder Bulletin
Our focus on overcoming vaccine hesitancy and complacency continues, as we work on encouraging people to come forward. This includes those aged 18-29, members of ethnic minority communities and pregnant women, particularly when some in these groups also live in our low uptake, higher case rate areas.
We continue to be level with, or even ahead of some systems, in terms of uptake, including for the 18-24 age group, which is hovering around the 65% mark. However, we need the younger population to come forward without delay, and we’re continuing to promote the importance of the vaccine to these groups.
Every week, we gradually see more people come forward for the vaccine – it’s slower than before, but every vaccine matters if we are to reduce hospitalisations and deaths.
We’d also like to thank everyone who has been involved in the pop-up clinics. A huge amount of work has gone into the Tamworth area, with additional clinics at the Ventura Retail Park – hopefully catching shoppers and workers. Importantly, we are starting to see case rates fall in the area, but we need more people to get their vaccine. We’ve also returned to Leek Hospital to offer additional clinics for people who need their second dose.
Worryingly, we’re seeing cases of unvaccinated maternity patients getting COVID-19 and in some cases, finding themselves and their unborn children, in our intensive care units. We cannot emphasise enough, the benefits of pregnant women getting vaccinated against the cost of potentially getting COVID-19. With two doses for the best protection. If you are worried, speak to your midwife – you can also watch their short video here.
A recurring question we hear, is whether you need an NHS number or to be registered with a GP before you can be vaccinated? The answer is a resounding no. It’s important that you get both doses, so please don’t let this stop you – however why not use this as the opportunity to get registered with a GP as well, in case you need one in future. You can find out more here.
Our attention is very much focused on Autumn and the preparations for the booster jabs. We’re working with all our vaccination sites to understand how they can support us in this next phase. There are a range of logistical challenges we have to work through, if we are to potentially offer flu and COVID vaccines together. This is being worked through both nationally and locally, and it will take our ingenuity and partnership working to solve them. What is clear is that we still have the energy and enthusiasm from our vaccinators, and we continue to be impressed by how they are mobilising for the Autumn.
If you are a care worker, please read below as there is some important information if you are to meet the Government’s deadline for second doses by 11 September – you will need your first dose by the 16 September! Avoid that last minute rush and get your vaccine now.
As we get ready for the Autumn, we’d also like to encourage those who have not had their first dose (or second dose if it’s been eight weeks) to get one now – without delay. Autumn is a busy time for the NHS. We have the capacity and the vaccines available right now – so please don’t wait until September, when we will be beginning our booster campaigns.
Sticking to hands-face-and-space rules that are in place across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent healthcare settings, as well as nationally, also helps you and everyone around you. And as we barrel towards autumn booster jabs, we need you more than ever over these summer months to stay safe.
Keep up the momentum.
Neil Carr Senior / Responsible Officer /COVID-19 Vaccination Programme
Dr Paddy Hannigan / Clinical Lead/ COVID-19 Vaccination Programme