Surge vaccination call after 'significant outbreak' of Covid-19 variant in Derbyshire
An area of Derbyshire in the midst of a “significant outbreak” of the Indian Covid-19 variant may be getting surge vaccinations.
The measure involves the waiving of usual rules restricting jabs to certain age groups, in favour of vaccinating as many people as possible quickly. It is used when there is a particularly large local outbreak of Covid, such as a recent one in Bolton.
Robert Largan High Peak MP, raised the prospect of surge vaccinations for the Gamesley area in Glossopdale in the High Peak during a session in Parliament.
He also said that local restrictions, which Glossopdale previously had before any other area in Derbyshire, do not work.
In response, Nadhim Zahawi, Covid vaccines minster, said that he would work with Mr Largan on the move for a pop-up hub in Gamesley in a bid to help get as many people as possible their second jab doses.
Mr Largan said in Parliament: “The experience over the last year has shown that local lockdowns aren’t effective, as cases simply rocket in the areas immediately outside of where the local restrictions are.
“With this in mind and to get ahead of the curve, this morning I have been in discussions with Derbyshire County Council and my local director of public health to establish a pop-up vaccination site in Gamesley, where there has been a high number of new cases, so that we can deliver surge vaccination.
“Will the vaccine minister work with me and my local director of public health and the NHS to ensure we get the doses we need to get everyone in the High Peak vaccinated as soon as possible?”
Mr Zahawi responded: “My Honorable Friend is absolutely right. The important thing is to get everyone who is eligible vaccinated and get those who need their second dose to get their second dose within that eight-week period, because that is the way we will control this variant.
“I would very happily work with him on any local initiative that he is working on.”
Mr Zahawi also reiterated that eight areas of the UK in which there are heightened levels of the Indian variant detecting are getting and will continue to receive “turbo-charged” Covid vaccinations.
Last week Derbyshire County Council raised the alarm over rising Covid-19 cases in the Glossopdale area, with 14 incidents of the Indian variant detected – representing almost the entire number of these cases in the county.
An additional testing centre has now been set up in Gamesley, at the sports pitch opposite the Army Cadet building on Fauvel Road.
This was accompanied by a push from Dean Wallace, the county’s director of public health, for everyone aged 16 and over who lives or works in the Gamesley area to get tested for the virus – regardless of whether they have symptoms or not.
Last week, Mr Wallace told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that he would welcome the ability to surge vaccinations in key areas, such as those with higher rates of cases, including the Indian variant, and those which have a higher risk profile – such as deprivation levels.