Members to receive a verbal update on the current position around Covid 19 and the ongoing vaccination programmes.
Caroline Trevithick of LLR CCG provided an update on the ongoing situation with Covid 19 and the vaccination programme including recent data and emerging patterns across Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland.
Members noted that:
· Uptake had slowed considerably and focus was on progressing vaccination uptake among those in population that haven’t had any vaccination; steps taken included opening more drive through centres i.e., at County Hall and across parts of the city and districts to make vaccination process more accessible.
· Roll out of the 2nd booster (4th dose) to over 75 years had started and those clinically vulnerable who had 3rd dose were now eligible for a 4th.
· Planning for Autumn was underway as well as for roll out of boosters should that be required.
· There were still some high numbers of covid patients in hospital and people being tested positive in hospital as a secondary issue.
· Uptake among 5-11 year olds was proving difficult as there was a lower willingness for parents to allow children to be vaccinated.
· 81% of population of LLR had now received a 1st dose and care home uptake was the best in region for boosters however, there were significant differences spread across LLR and it was agreed to share data by CCG cohorts for City, County East and West.
The Chair noted that there had already been significant discussion on this topic at the recent Leicester Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee and invited Members questions and comments which included the following points:
Concerns were expressed at the low uptake levels among younger age groups, the lack of information being provided to parents to help them make informed choices about the pros and cons of the vaccination and the scarce details around immunity e.g., in younger people that had already had Covid or for those that had a vaccination some time ago.
In response it was advised as regards the 5-11 year old group there was national recognition that delivery of vaccination in schools puts lots of pressure on small immunisation teams and stops parents getting their child vaccinated when they want so there was a different model being applied. There remained a vaccination programme in secondary schools and for any 11-12 years that missed the 1st programme details were on CCG websites about catch up vaccinations. As for pros/cons of vaccinating the main message remained that vaccination helped reduce the spread and severity of the illness particularly amongst those more vulnerable.
In terms of immunity, the understanding was that for those over 75 years immunity does wain at around 6 months and so boosters were encouraged.
It was acknowledged that messages around Covid had gone quiet nationally and locally and the CCG were looking to fill the communications gap. There was a large amount of concern about anti-vaxing and the impact of that on other vaccine programmes across the country and CCG were also looking at systematic targeted approaches to address that.
The Chair thanked health partners for the update and recommended colleagues to read the recent report to the City Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee by Ivan Browne.
That data by CCG cohorts for City, County East and West be shared with the Committee.