HEALTH bosses are setting the record straight by dismissing misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine and encouraging everyone eligible to get their jab.
GPs and public health officials across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) are helping to dispel some of the misinformation circulating about the vaccine that may be preventing people from getting their jabs.
Despite walk-in and pop-up clinics being made available across the area more than 30,488 people* in BLMK, who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, are yet to take up the offer of a first jab and over 7,490 people are still to have their second vaccination.
Dr Sarah Whiteman, local GP and Chair, NHS Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “It’s important that we reach as many people as possible to dispel ‘fake news’ that is circulating about the vaccine and provide true, factual, information to enable people to make an informed choice about having their jab.
“It’s always good to question and understand the benefits and risks of any medication. Unfortunately, some people have been discrediting the vaccine, which can be very damaging, but thankfully that’s just a small minority.
“It is really important that as many people as possible have their jabs and that we can tell people about the good, reputable, scientifically backed information available about the vaccine to put the public’s mind at ease.”
Recently leaflets have been shared with households and wrong information has been spread via social media. This has included incorrect details around:
Addressing the concerns, Immunisation Coordinator, Emily Chedy from the NHS England Screening & Immunisation Team – East of England said: “All of the vaccines have gone through rigorous clinical trials to determine their safety and efficacy, and all have been proven to significantly reduce the chance of getting seriously unwell with the virus, as well as helping to reduce spreading of the infection.
“While young healthy people are less likely to get sick than older people, they can, and have, ended up in hospital with COVID-19. They can have long covid symptoms for months after the virus has cleared their system and can also unknowingly carry COVID-19 to people who are more vulnerable and put loved ones in danger of becoming severely sick.
“Even if you have already had COVID-19, you should get vaccinated; the injection is very quick and painless.
A recent study from the Office for National Statistics, looking at all COVID deaths in England between January and July, found the vaccines were extremely effective in preventing loss of life with only 256 out of 51,281 deaths in people who were fully vaccinated.
A list of available walk-in vaccination clinics in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes is available here: www.blmkccg.nhs.uk/drop-in
Further information on the Covid-19 vaccines can be found here:
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Notes to editor
Interview opportunity is with named spokesperson, Emily Chedy. Emily has worked as a nurse in general practice for over ten years. Emily is currently employed in the immunisation and vaccination team. Contact [email protected] to arrange an interview.
*Outstanding vaccinations, which excludes declined, for those in cohorts 1-9 which are:
Cohort 1 Elderly Care Home Residents
Cohort 2a – 80+ Years
Cohort 2b – Health and Social Care Staff
Cohort 3 – 75-79 Years
Cohort 4 – 70-74 Years
Cohort 5 – 65-69 Years
Cohort 6a – 16-17 Years – At Risk
Cohort 6b – Learning Disability/Other Care Homes Residents
Cohort 7 – 60-64 Years
Cohort 8 – 55-59 Years
Cohort 9 – 50-54 Years