‘Street teams’ to target specific areas of South Tyneside in effort to counter 'slowdown' in Covid vaccine take-up
‘Street teams’ are set be deployed across South Tyneside in a bid to reverse a “slowdown” in Covid vaccinations.
The move is the first major step of “enhanced response” measures announced in July to reduce infection rates in the region and boost uptake of the vaccine in areas where the jab rollout was faltering.
South Tyneside will be the site of an initial trial this weekend, with 25 public health workers arriving in the borough and being sent to busy areas from Friday morning to talk to people about any possible concerns surrounding vaccines as well as to direct them towards jab clinics.
The teams will work alongside community leaders – from business and faith backgrounds – and local authority staff to help rectify the area’s flagging coronavirus vaccination effort.
Tom Hall, the director of public health for South Tyneside, told The Gazette that teams would target areas with low vaccine take-up rates or high footfall to try and encourage as many people as possible to get their jabs.
“This complements the extensive engagement work we have already undertaken in the borough through Inspire, key community groups and faith leader,” he said.
"We’ve also got an army of Covid Champions and our Business and Community Support Officers out on the street talking to residents and businesses in South Tyneside.
“After a surge in Covid cases across the borough people may have missed a jab due to isolation or may have recently recovered from Covid and are waiting for 28 days to pass until they can have the vaccine. If you fall into either of those categories, please don’t forget to get vaccinated as soon as you are able.
“More than 105,000 residents have already had their first dose and 89,000 of those are double jabbed. We want to make it as easy as possible for everyone who hasn’t had a jab yet, or who is waiting for their second dose, to get it.”
Mr Hall also urged young people in the area not to pass up on the offer of a vaccine, adding to calls from the South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group in recent days as it was revealed more than a third of residents in their 20s had not yet had their first dose of the jabs.
He added: “This weekend the public will see a more physical presence with targeted door knocking in areas that have lower vaccine uptake as well as more people on the street directing people towards the drop-in clinics available this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“Over 60% of 18 to 29 year olds have come forward for their jab, showing that people are keen to get the protection from the vaccine. We know that more people want to join the tens of thousands who are already vaccinated and a focused effort this weekend means we can help accelerate this.
“We are particularly appealing to young people, working-age men, anyone coming out of isolation and anyone who is over 28 days after illness.
“Our biggest priority is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible as it is our best protection against Covid19. For anyone who is unable to get vaccinated this weekend then please visit www.getyourjab.uk to find out how to book an appointment.”