A million south east Londoners in line to get coronavirus vaccine

Josh Salisbury (25 November, 2020)

Health officials are planning to combat "a high level of vaccine hesitance"

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A million south-east Londoners will be in line for the Covid vaccine when it is rolled out, health officials have said.

At a meeting of the Clinical Commissioning Group (CGG) on November 19, officials said they were looking for two sites per borough in which to do vaccinations for the public. Each of those in line for a vaccine are expected to have two doses.

Mass vaccination sites, jabs in GPs and medical professionals doing outreach to get to people to give them a vaccine are all being looked at.

A campaign to battle “a high level of vaccine hesitance and anti vaxx responses” is being prepared.

By order of priority, care home workers and residents are expected to be first in line for the inoculation and then in order of age, starting with the over 80s.

Health officials are also especially concerned about the need to make sure those at risk have a flu vaccine.

“Winter this year, with Covid-19 in circulation, means it is more important than ever that people are vaccinated to protect them from flu, and this year many more people are eligible for a free flu vaccination than ever before,” officials were told.

However, planners say they are confident that the supply of flu vaccines by GPs in south east London is secure.

“Regular communication with practices with advice and information ahead of a national campaign had been delivered,” said Dr Angela Bhan in response to questions.

“Supplies of vaccine were being monitored, and advice provided about ordering sufficient stocks.  All lead providers had submitted flu plans for audit and were asked to ensure their staff were vaccinated.”

Delivery of a vaccine to high-risk groups is being expected from next month, according to documents presented to the CCG.

It comes amid a string of positive news about vaccine trials, raising hopes of an exit from Covid restrictions next year.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca trial has reported 70 per cent efficacy, rising to up to 90 per cent depending on the dosage.

A vaccine from Pfizer has also reported 90 per cent efficacy in stopping symptoms, while a Moderna vaccine which uses the same method has reported 94.5% efficacy.

The vaccines are stored and given in different ways, making the logistics of using them for mass vaccination different.

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