Just 19 Covid vaccine appointments set up in Blackpool after door knocking on 800 homes

Just 19 Covid vaccine appointments were set up in Blackpool by council workers in the first week of a campaign to get the resort close to a 100 per cent uptake of jabs to protect against the disease.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 10:26 am

The campaign was promoted by the council’s director of public health, Dr Arif Rajpura, and at the beginning of the June officials were out door knocking in specific areas to help people make their vaccination appointments.

They used devices to book slots and were aiming to help those without internet access.

The authority said just 35 eligible people were spoken to over seven days – an average of five a day – after around 800 doors were rapped on. Many spoken to have already booked their jabs.

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800 resort homes had doors knocked by council workers
800 resort homes had doors knocked by council workers

And just 19 bookings were made – an average of just less than three a day – with almost half the 35 refusing.

A number of neighbours were targeted, including Claremont, Talbot, Bloomfield, Brunswick, Waterloo, Victoria, and Tyldesley.

Dr Rajpura said campaign was to “encourage uptake” of vaccinations and added: “The feedback from many of the people that answered their door from the older age group was that they had already had their first vaccination.

“However, we did speak to 19 people who signed up for their first vaccination, which is good news as every person that does this will help us achieve our challenge to residents to get as close as possible to 100 per cent vaccine uptake.

“Council workers have been assisting people with making their vaccination appointments if they choose to.

“Staff used portable devices to make appointments digitally for residents on the spot, particularly for those without online access.

“We also have an officer based at our Customer First and Job Centre Plus centre, who has been providing advice and offering support to people to help them book, as well as giving them self-testing kits to take away. 25 people signed up during one week for a vaccination appointment which is a really positive outcome.”

He added: “Two in three adults in Blackpool have already had a least one dose of the vaccine and of those that have been offered the vaccine aged 50 and over, the take-up has been above 90 per cent.”

The council said that, now the vaccine program is open to anybody aged 18 and over, the door knocking campaign will end.

Instead, a vaccination van will make the rounds.

A spokesman said: “We are doing everything we can to try to remove any barriers there are to vaccination.

“The van will take the vaccine into communities and the places where people are to make getting vaccinated as easy as possible.

“We hope this will help to drive Blackpool’s take up of the vaccine even further.”

NHS chiefs have not released further details of van’s locations.