Over 100,000 people across Coventry and Warwickshire vaccinated against Covid-19 - The Rugby Observer

Over 100,000 people across Coventry and Warwickshire vaccinated against Covid-19

Rugby Editorial 4th Feb, 2021   0

OVER 100,000 people across Coventry and Warwickshire have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Dr Sarah Raistrick was one of four regional health experts speaking at an online roundtable for community groups and faith leaders, chaired by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street.

Dr Raistrick, the Chair of Coventry and Rugby NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, reported the Covid vaccination roll-out programme in the region had been ‘very good,’ with 108,000 vaccines delivered.

She said: “85 per cent of our over-80s have received a vaccine and as vaccines were going ahead over the weekend the number is still going up. Of the over-75’s, 80 per cent have now been vaccinated. Those with shielding conditions or severely vulnerable are now awaiting their notification. Coventry was the first place in the world to use the Pfizer vaccine in a hospital setting. It was very exciting to do this locally.

“As well as the hospital we have 20 vaccination centres including village halls, shopping centres, golf clubs and a couple of pharmacies.

“All care homes, bar a couple where there have been significant outbreaks of Covid-19, have been offered the vaccine.”

The online seminar aimed to share the latest update on the vaccination roll-out in the West Midlands and answer any concerns about the vaccine.

Issues raised included the first case of the contagious South African variant of coronavirus in the West Midlands, found in Walsall this week.

Dr Justin Varney, National Strategic Advisor on Health and Work at Public Health England, told the meeting the government was rolling out a rapid response with enhanced testing in the affected postcode.

He said thousands of variants had been discovered since Covid first emerged but this variant was “more infectious with a slightly higher rate of hospitalisation”. He said they know the vaccine works “but not quite as well”.

Questions were asked about whether it was safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding to have the Covid vaccine. Dr Ash Banerjee, a Screening and Immunisation Lead, for Public Health England and NHS England (West Midlands) said there was a “precautionary principle” not to give these women the vaccine, but advised patients to speak to their GP, particularly if their job was high risk.

He said there is no evidence the vaccine is unsafe if you are pregnant, but more evidence is needed before mums-to-be can be routinely offered the vaccine.

Dr Raistrick said there had been a couple of cases in Coventry where care workers had discovered they were pregnant after having the vaccine. She said: “It’s not something we see as a problem. There are no medical grounds for not continuing with a pregnancy.”

The panel of medics also talked about vaccine arrangements for the vulnerable, housebound and people with disabilities, who can request to have vaccinations at home. People with mobility issue can drive to a Covid-safe vaccination centre and remain in the car while their jab is administered.

Also on the panel was Sheikh Nuru Mohammed, imam of Al Abbas Mosque in Balsall Heath, Birmingham, which opened last month as a new UK vaccination hub, amid fears uptake is too low in BAME groups. He said it was important for faith leaders to dispel ‘fake news’ about the vaccine on social media.

He said: “Some feel the vaccine’s ingredients aren’t halal. It’s crucial that we send a strong, positive signal toward the vaccine among our community.”


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