The City of Wolverhampton Council is proactively calling people to address vaccine hesitancy and encourage even greater uptake of the life saving Covid-19 jab.

Working with GP practices across the city, the council’s call centre has been contacting eligible patients who have not yet had their jab.

From practical support such as help with booking appointments to answering questions or concerns and providing advice and information, the proactive calls are helping make sure as many people as possible are vaccinated.

After calling people who had been offered their vaccine but, for whatever reason, had not had it, 60% went on to book their appointment.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Around 9 out of 10 eligible people in the city have now had the first dose of the vaccine, so the rollout is going incredibly well.

“However, it remains critical that everyone who is eligible has their vaccine, particularly as we see restrictions being eased and people begin to mix more, which will very likely increase the risk of transmission. By having your jab, you are giving yourself the best protection against serious illness caused by Covid-19.

“The most common reasons for people not having had their vaccine yet are concerns about safety, and about what the jab contains. Many of these are brought about by myths and misinformation on social media and the internet. 

“By calling people directly, answering any questions and giving them the facts, we are finding people are less hesitant, and nearly two thirds are deciding to go ahead and get the vaccine. We are also able to help people with booking and getting to appointments, which has also been a barrier for some.

“We will continue to work with GP practices across the city to support those who have not yet booked their appointment and ensure no one misses out. If you are eligible and have not yet had your jab, it’s not too late.”

The vaccine is currently available to anyone aged 55 and over; anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable; frontline health and social care workers; and people who are in receipt of Carer's Allowance or are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if their carer falls ill. It will be rolled out to further priority groups in the coming weeks and the NHS will contact people as and when they become eligible. 

Sally Roberts, Chief Nurse for the Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Groups and Senior Responsible Officer for the vaccination roll out in the Black Country and West Birmingham said: “The partnership working with colleagues at the city council is key to ensuring that no one gets left behind in our drive to vaccinate all eligible adults against Covid-19. 

“If you are over 55, a carer, if you have a clinical vulnerability or you are a health or care worker then please book your vaccine now. You can do so via your local GP or by calling 119 or visiting NHS.”

Latest vaccination figures – released on 11 March – show that 87,657 vaccinations have been given across Wolverhampton including 83,370 first doses and 4,287 second doses. Anyone who has been invited but has not yet had their first vaccination can book an appointment online at Coronavirus (COVID-19) or by calling 119.

For more information about the vaccine, including the answers to frequently asked questions, please visit Covid-19 Vaccine. People will need to register with a GP surgery in England in order to receive the vaccine. For more details, please visit NHS – GPs

Latest figures show there were 60.2 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the 7 days to 13 March. That means 158 people in the city tested positive for the virus in that 7 day period – though the true number of new cases will likely be higher.

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages. Further details of the restrictions currently in place, and the answers to frequently asked questions, are available at COVID Alert.