Covid Control Plan: Vaccination Programme

Covid Control Plan: Vaccination Programme

Details of the NHS Covid-19 vaccines roll out for England are available here.

The aim of the vaccination programme is to protect those at most risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19 and to support the NHS and social care system.

Newcastle COVID Control Group are committed to supporting vaccination roll out on the basis of criteria set by the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations, which target people based on risk.  Our local approach is to recommend any individual who may be at specific risk but who are not yet eligible for vaccination as part of the JCVI-based roll out, has a consultation with a GP and assessment under the QCovid algorithm to determine individual risk and eligibility.

Emerging national data shows differences in uptake rates within the first four JCVI priority cohorts, despite overall high level of vaccine confidence and approval in older age groups. Initial data suggests that: 

  • Black African communities have the highest hesitancy compared to other ethnic groups
  • Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities have higher hesitancy than White British/Irish and Indian communities
  • Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, people experiencing homelessness and Asylum seeker, Refugee and migrant populations may need additional routes to access the vaccine
  • Income and socio-economic circumstances correlate with lower levels of uptake

The Newcastle System Vaccination Planning Group has established a subgroup to focus on addressing inequalities in vaccination in order to collaboratively consider our approach to access, outreach, and health literacy across the Newcastle population, ensuring that we reach all residents with the protection of the vaccine through appropriate and proportionate support. Development of an ethical framework to deliver a local vaccination programme that promotes equity and prevents unintended consequences, such as stigmatization, is underway through this collaborative working group.

Our approach is influenced by three factors of vaccine hesitancy identified by the WHO: confidence, convenience and complacency and is intended to support local systems to intensify meaningful and respectful activity in their local communities to improve vaccine uptake and ensure health inclusion.

This will be underpinned by our public health intelligence and in dialogue with local communities to ensure that our vaccination strategy is designed in respect of barriers to vaccine uptake. Our approach has already included a range of public-facing information resources, safeguarding guidance and a series of community engagement events for tailored messaging is being rolled out.