William Eichler 20 December 2021

Councils to receive over £22m to boost vaccine uptake

Councils to receive over £22m to boost vaccine uptake  image

Volunteers are to be deployed across the areas with the lowest vaccine uptake and councils are to receive a funding boost to encourage people to get jabbed.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities yesterday announced it will be giving £22.5m to councils to encourage people to come forward and get vaccinated.

The Community Vaccines Champion scheme will also target the 60 local authority areas with the lowest vaccine uptake, with the help of 900 volunteers who will visit 21 popular areas across England every day until Christmas Eve.

‘We are in a race between the virus and vaccine and we are doing everything in our power to get jabs in arms as quickly as possible,’ said health and social care secretary Sajid Javid.

‘We are calling on people to Get Boosted Now as part of our national mission to reinforce our wall of defence against the rapid spread of Omicron.

‘I want to thank the thousands of people who have heroically stepped up to support our vaccine drive. We’re all in this together – please play your part.’

Vaccines minister, Maggie Throup commented: ‘It is extremely important everybody gets their COVID-19 vaccine now – whether this be your first, second or booster dose.

‘Vaccines are the best way we can protect ourselves and a booster will strengthen your immunity against the new variant which is quickly spreading across the country.

‘Thank you to all the selfless people for stepping up to join this crucial national mission.’

Commenting on the announcement, Cllr David Fothergill, chairman of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Community Wellbeing Board, said: 'Rising Omicron cases mean that COVID-19 remains a serious public health threat and it is vital we all continue to do everything possible to protect ourselves and each other over the Christmas period.

'Councils know their communities best and play an essential role in working to reach people and groups who might be hesitant or least likely to come forward for a vaccine.

'Getting our booster jabs will help minimise the spread, keep us on course for as close-to-normal Christmas as possible and prevent the NHS from coming under unsustainable pressure.

He added: 'Directors of Public Health, working in councils, also need the necessary support, long-term resources and proper joint planning and agreement in advance of what is needed, to respond effectively to local outbreaks, ramp up local contract tracing efforts and increase vaccination uptake.'

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