A project is launching this summer to stop the spread of fake news and disinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine and make it easier to get vaccinated.
Cheshire West and Chester Council want to make sure residents in the borough who are not fully vaccinated have access to accurate information about the vaccine and are easily able to make an appointment or visit a walk-in clinic.
The Vaccine Tracing Team is working with GPs in the borough to make contact with residents and find out whether there are any barriers in accessing the vaccine and provide information to help people make an informed decision about it.
Ian Ashworth, Director of Public Health, said, “We are seeing high COVID-19 infection rates across the country and in our borough so are keen to get the message out that the vaccine is our best defence against the virus.
“We have had amazing uptake in the borough, with 81% of eligible residents fully vaccinated, and this has meant that we aren’t seeing the same numbers of people getting seriously ill and having to be treated in hospital.
“The vaccine has meant that restrictions can be relaxed and we can all get back to a more normal life again.
“But we know that there are people out there who can’t access information about the vaccine, or the vaccine itself, as easily as others, and we want to make sure that everyone has had the same opportunity to find out about the vaccine and make an informed decision about it.”
The team will begin contacting adults registered with a GP practice in the Chester Central Primary Care Network which has the lowest vaccine uptake in the borough, with 24.2% of adults unvaccinated as of 11 July.
Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said, “Everyone needs to make an informed decision about the vaccine based on accurate and trusted information and, as a Council, it’s important for us to make sure everyone has had equal access to information and to the vaccine itself.
“This project is about finding out if, where and how we can help.”
For more information about the vaccine or to book an appointment visit: nhs.uk/covidvaccination
For information about local walk-in clinics visit: www.cwp.nhs.uk/our-services/vaccination-programme
Image: The vaccine tracing team will help people access information and clinics