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Councillor's Plea over Rural Vaccine Rollout

January 12, 2021 2:48 PM

Heather Kidd and Nigel Hartin,Lib Dem Shropshire Councillor for Clun Division, has made an urgent plea for more information on the roll-out of the COVID vaccinations after a steep growth in the number of enquires from confused and often distressed residents.

Nigel said: "With much coverage on the national media a great many, predominantly elderly residents, have been contacting Councillors like myself to express their confusion and in some cases anger over the process locally.

"I know that the Health Authorities are trying hard to identify centres in the rural areas of the County but more information about progress in this sphere would be very welcome especially among the elderly and vulnerable who are fearful that they are being left out."

They have contacted Rachel Robinson, Director of Public Health for Shropshire asking:

1. Are the authorities responding to the offers of free halls for vaccinations made by several village hall committees in his division.

2. Confirmation when the Oxford vaccine will become available in Shropshire as it appears that at present that only the Pfizer vaccine (with its attendant handling difficulties) is available.

3. Is there guidance available that could help local community groups identify the types of premises the NHS are looking for as vaccination centres?

Heather added: "I can appreciate that there are many problems nationally with the distribution of the vaccine at the moment but it would be really useful if the health authorities could give residents a realistic heads up as to where we are with setting up local vaccination centres. As it stands patients in a few surgeries have started to be vaccinated but not others."

Nigel concluded: "It would also be good if we had some idea of the criteria being used to pick vaccination centres by NHS England so that we could guide local venues as to whether they might be suitable! Currently, it again looks very much like a centralised top-down approach to the rollout, with the Government yet again ignoring community offers of support!"