Derbyshire health chief calls for surge vaccinations in county's Covid hotspots

Give us the ability to surge vaccinations in Covid-19 hotspot areas, says the man leading Derbyshire’s pandemic response.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 4:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th May 2021, 4:23 pm

Dean Wallace Derbyshire County Council’s public health director, says the move would be a hugely useful tool for him and his colleagues.

He does, however, note that there could be shortcomings from the change, which would pull vaccines from other areas of the county and city.

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Dean Wallace, Derbyshire's public health director.

Mr Wallace’s public health counterparts in the North West have been crying out for surge vaccination abilities in areas where there are Covid outbreaks.

These calls were eventually answered in Blackburn, with health chiefs calling on all adults aged 18 and over to book a vaccination, with new pop-up sites set up to help meet the surge in demand.

Surge vaccinations were also rolled out in Bolton, with 6,200 people receiving a jab in a makeshift mass vaccination site last weekend.

Mr Wallace told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “Having the ability to direct local capacity to vaccinate would be useful.

“This could be directed at populations with higher rates of Covid and people who have a higher risk profile.

“It could potentially slow the vaccine roll-out and it would all have to be considered carefully and thoroughly.

“It would possibly be even more useful in the winter when we may have small outbreaks.

“To have the ability to respond with surge vaccinations, on top of test and trace would allow a more rapid health response and would help keep the community open and keep businesses, so the economy, open.”

Mr Wallace clarified that the decision to surge vaccinations in outbreak areas would be made and discussed in cooperation with other health leaders in the county and city.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s statement in Parliament on Monday (May 17), said: “The approach is to make sure that we get done as many second vaccinations as possible, as many first vaccinations as possible among the vulnerable groups, and then as many vaccinations as possible among those aged under 50 in the eligible groups.

“We have taken that approach because that is what is likely to save most lives. That second jab is vital. The first jab for anybody over 50 could mean the difference between life and death."