Jab campaign focuses on vaccine-hesitant hotspots

Alex Shawki who is a steward at the Norwich vaccine centre at City Hall, whose father died from Covi

Alex Shawki who is a steward at the Norwich vaccine centre at City Hall, whose father died from Covid. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

Health bosses are ramping up efforts the break down the hesitancy of those yet to receive their Covid vaccines, as the rollout presses towards its final stages.

Norfolk and Waveney continues to be among the country's best-performing vaccine programmes, with 85.6pc of the region's over 18s now having received their booster jabs.

The Norwich vaccine centre at City Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Norwich vaccine centre at City Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

However, with some still hesitant to take up the option and unvaccinated people making up a significant proportion of those requiring intensive hospital care, clinical bosses are increasing efforts to dispel misinformation around the jabs.

And throughout the week, more and more drop-in jab appointments are being made available across the region - in what the clinical commissioning group (CCG) is calling a 'jab-a-thon'.

Dr Anoop Dhesi, chairman of the Norfolk and Waveney CCG, said: "Some people, especially those who are younger, have been really conflicted about whether or not to get vaccinated against Covid-19 because of things they've heard online.

Dr Anoop Dhesi chaimrman of the North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group

Dr Anoop Dhesi chaimrman of the North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group - Credit: Archant

"As far-fetched and ridiculous as some of the rumours and misinformation are, unfortunately, there are people who listen and make a choice not to come forward and get vaccinated against this virus, which has killed thousands and made life for millions miserable."

The CCG has identified Great Yarmouth, King's Lynn, Thetford and parts of Norwich city centre as being hesitancy hot spots, where higher levels of people are appearing reluctant to get vaccinated.

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And as part of efforts to quell this, the CCG continues to offer advisory services including the 'jab cab' and the 'worry bus'.

The reception area of the Norwich vaccine centre at City Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The reception area of the Norwich vaccine centre at City Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

And with the vast majority of people in older age groups having already received three doses of vaccination, the focus is now honed on younger people to come forward, along with those with misconceptions or fears over jabs.

The 'jab-a-thon' is backed by NHS bosses regionwide, with 1,396 hospital beds in the east of England occupied by Covid patients as of Monday - the vast majority of whom are unvaccinated.

Ruth Ashmore, director of commissioning for the vaccination programme for NHS England, said: "The evidence is clear, getting your vaccine is the single best precaution you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones against the virus."