A roadmap to help tackle vaccine take-up inequalities in Leeds was published today ahead of the council’s main decision making executive board meeting next week.
Leeds City Council working alongside the NHS and third sector organisations is taking localised action to further increase vaccine uptake across all communities so that no one is left behind.
Details of this strategy can be found in the new Leeds Covid-19 Vaccine Inequalities Plan and Executive Board papers now available online.
The approach is less focused on increasing overall numbers of people vaccinated and instead on reaching those most at risk of severe illness and death from Covid-19.
Groups of GPs are working together with local communities to deliver the vaccine in local venues which are known to local people and easily accessible. One example has been drop-in clinics at the Bilal Centre supported by community leaders.
Conversations are also taking place with people who are hesitant or have refused the vaccine to build confidence and provide facts and information on the benefits.
A roving vaccine programme has been created which includes a vaccination bus with dedicated staff, pop up facilities suitable for churches or community centres and on-foot vaccination teams. Women only vaccination clinics are also being offered.
The council is working with over 50 organisations across the city to make the vaccine as accessible as possible, targeting those people who may face barriers to accessing the vaccine including sex workers, the homeless and drug users.
Community engagement plans have been developed in areas of low uptake working with local community champions, third sector organisations and faith leaders. Local activities include door-knocking and doorstep conversations to increase confidence in vaccines.
Accurate information remains important, with digital resources in development to address confidence; and sessions specifically to address culturally sensitive issues.
Cllr Salma Arif, Leeds City Council’s executive member for public health, said:
“We strongly believe that no one should be left behind in our city and we are doing all we can to ensure no community is unfairly affected irrespective of colour or religious belief.
“We want to hear from you if you are not sure about getting the vaccine or if there is something stopping you from getting vaccinated. Getting as many people vaccinated as possible is our best route out of lockdown; and will help us return to seeing more of our family and friends and doing the activities we enjoy.”
This post is based on a press release issued by Leeds City Council
Photo: The mobile vaccination bus’s first stop was in Beeston Hill