MK residents who are eligible for their COVID-19 vaccination are being urged by MK Council to book a slot without delay.
The UK’s vaccination programme, which this week marked more than half of all adults (more than 28 million people) receiving their first dose, is also going well in Milton Keynes with 96,484 MK residents having had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 24 March. 94% of people aged 70 or over in MK have been vaccinated.
From next week (29 March) fewer doses will be available for first doses, as more supplies will be used to vaccinate people who are due their second dose.
MK’s public health team is urging people in the first priority groups to come forward without delay if they haven’t yet booked their vaccination. That’s people aged 50 or over, eligible carers and healthcare workers, care home residents, people with learning disabilities, and people who are clinically vulnerable or extremely vulnerable.
Book your vaccination online at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination// or by calling 119.
Vaccination uptake in the initial cohorts has been lower among Black MK residents (61% uptake) and residents from a Pakistani (73% uptake) or Bangladeshi background (81% uptake). This vaccine hesitancy and uncertainty is not limited to Milton Keynes and has been seen across the UK, underscored by long-term negative experiences relating to discrimination, including under-representation of ethnic minority groups in health research.
Local concerns reported in a survey of MK residents about vaccination hesitancy include whether the COVID-19 vaccines are safe, and whether enough time has been spent on their development.
MK’s Director of Public Health, Vicky Head said “We want to do everything we can to reassure local people that the vaccines are safe and have been tested on large numbers of people. Safety standards have not been cut in their development, it’s more that we have been fortunate to harness very significant global funding and collective scientific endeavour, with lots of volunteers coming forward to take part in trials, which has sped up the process enormously.
“If you have serious concerns, please speak to your GP who will want to spare the time to help you make the best decision for your health and for the health of those around you. Otherwise please book your slot without delay.”