Agenda item


Members to receive a report providing details of the Autumn Winter vaccination programme focusing on the latest position across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and providing details of the areas of particularly low uptake and the reasons behind that.


Members received a report providing an update on the Autumn and Winter Covid-19 and flu vaccination programme across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.


Kay Darby gave a brief summary of the report which included the following points:

·         Reminder of the background policy framework and previous decisions.

·         The Autumn campaign was greater than in previous campaigns, but the pattern of uptake was considerably lower and that was consistent across Leicester Leicestershire and Rutland.

·         Teams had started to see slowdown in uptake figures, with Covid at around 2-3% per week, in response there was a concerted push towards Christmas to get people protected.

·         Targeted approaches were also being taken to address inequalities and directing resources to areas of lowest uptake as well as specific initiatives for young people, and specific clinics for people with learning disability.


Members discussed the report which included the following comments:


Concerns expressed about low uptake levels across the City but also in Rutland where text messaging from GP’s had caused confusion and there was a need to make people better aware of the options available. In response it was advised that vaccination programmes were not in a steady state so there were still different approaches to communication, and it was accepted there was still some confusion as there was not one consistent way of inviting people in.


Concerns had been raised by residents about family members on autistic spectrum and the need for different environments to get vaccinated noting that for Rutland residents the nearest facility catering for special needs was in Melton, which had costs of travel and time implications e.g. if a person finds it stressful then the length of journey is a time when those stress levels are increasing. Officers agreed to consider that point and look at what was being done for those with special needs.


Regarding accessibility for elderly or vulnerable people that had difficulty travelling it was noted that there was now an offer of transport using council vehicles and the team were engaging and co-ordinating efforts to create hubs and get the resources together to provide, targeted ward hubs for vaccination of these groups.


In terms of the issue about all GP surgeries not providing the Covid vaccination it was reminded the limitations, because the vaccine had to be specifical stored with specific expiry requirements which all GP surgeries could not meet, and it was important to avoid vaccine wastage which was monitored as it is an expensive vaccine to produce. It was noted that although vaccine producers were looking to develop the vaccine to be just one, they were not at that point yet.


As far as the issues of low take up in the city it was advised that was not through lack of trying and a lot work had been undertaken with public health colleagues but despite that some populations were particularly resistant. Other steps being taken to drive uptake included work with street teams, targeted campaigns and specific engagement activity around educating people why it is important.

They were also still holding webinars for people to directly ask questions or talk through concerns with a GP. National guidance was not to engage with anti-vaxers or engage in conversation about that, so it was a challenge and there was certainly a greater degree of interest in the covid vaccine and people who were not persuaded by the science.


The Chair commented that a lot of well-known people and prominent people in theatre world were actually promoting the idea of how important the vaccination is too.


Members suggested a leaflet/poster in surgeries warning people about misinformation around vaccine might be helpful.


In relation to efficacy of newer vaccines and longevity of immunity it was advised this was well documented and people could be directed to that outside the meeting. It was noted that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) used this data to decide who was vaccinated and reference was made to the Green Book Chapter 14 (b) Rationale and Thinking (HM Treasury issued guidance on appraising policies, programmes and projects). As for further campaigns JCVI were considering a spring campaign similar to that held this year but there was no formal announcement yet.


The Chair thanked officers for the report and answers to points raised.



                        That the contents of the report be noted.

Supporting documents: