43,000 people in Sunderland have now had second Covid vaccine as 9/10 accept jab
Second vaccine doses have hit at least 43,000 in Sunderland, with nine in 10 across the city accepting their offer of a jab.
Roll out of the two-stage programme started late last year (December 2020), with about 140,000 first jabs given out in Wearside since then.
And NHS chiefs for the city have praised the latest figures showing nine in 10 patients are accepting the offer in the city.
“Uptake is at 90 per cent, which is a really strong number, so you can see we’re making good progress,” said David Chandler, chief finance officer at Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
“We’ll continue to invite those in cohorts one to nine who have not already been vaccinated and we are really actively pursuing those who have not yet come forward to take that up.
“We will continue with second doses, that’s our primary focus in the month of April – we’ll keep on doing the first doses as long as we get the deliveries.”
Chandler was speaking at this week’s (Wednesday, April 14) meeting of Sunderland City Council’s (SCC) Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee, which was held by videolink and broadcast via YouTube.
Sunderland has now been given authorisation to begin vaccinating 45 to 50-year-olds from the city’s six PCN (primary care network) sites.
And all of Wearside’s practices have opted in to deliver jabs to cohorts 10, 11 and 12, covering those aged 18 to 49.
However, while Chandler told the panel Sunderland’s vaccination programme is ‘ahead of the North East average on every single metric’, he also warned supplies were dependent on a ‘push’ model which could make predicting future availability difficult.
He also insisted care chiefs were working ‘doggedly’ to track down anyone in the highest priority groups who was still yet to receive their first dose.
As well as making contact by phone call and text message, drop-in clinics have also been held in an attempt to fill the gaps.
Tracey Teasdale, of the Sunderland GP Alliance, added: “The offer to everybody in our city is an evergreen offer, and they will have multiple contacts from ourselves.
“Sometimes they eventually decline and ask us to record their declined status, which we then do, so that we don’t continually bombard them with messages.”