Trust leaders will welcome the plan to eliminate disparities in the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines

13 February 2021

Responding to the new vaccine uptake plan, published by the Department of Health and Social Care, and the new nationwide drive this weekend to urge vaccine take-up in priority groups, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson said:

"We welcome the publication of a new COVID-19 vaccine uptake plan to help encourage vulnerable and under-served groups of people to take up the offer of receiving their jabs.

"The vaccination programme has so far been hugely successful, thanks to the dedication of health staff and volunteers, who are working tirelessly to protect people from COVID-19.

"It has been outstanding to see that the government's target of offering all health and care staff, those over 70, and the most clinically vulnerable, the vaccine by mid February has almost been achieved. In 10 weeks, almost 15 million people have become better protected against the virus.

"We welcome the focus this weekend to help ensure that this target is reached.

"However, despite successes, we know that disparities exist in the take up of the vaccine, and work must be done in communities to help eliminate these.

"Some trusts have reported a degree of vaccination reluctance among their Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff, which is reflected in the vaccination rates for the wider population. Trust leaders are addressing this issue, for example, by sharing best practice as it emerges on encouraging take up in these communities.

"They will welcome strengthened collaboration between the government, national bodies, charities and health organisations, as described in today's plan, to build upon successful local initiatives and innovations, so that disparities can be eliminated."

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