Agencies try to get more of Thurrock’s “lower-uptake” communities to take vaccine

THURROCK Council has been working with the UK Health Security Agency’s Surge Rapid Response Team (SRRT) to encourage residents to have the COVID-19 vaccine.

The SRRT delivered nearly 16,000 leaflets to households in West Thurrock, South Stifford, South Chafford and Grays Riverside from Friday 18 to Sunday 27 February. Team members also knocked on more than 7,000 doors and had nearly 2,000 conversations, answering questions and responding to residents’ concerns about the vaccine in lower-uptake communities.

Feedback direct from residents’ doorsteps will be given to the council’s Community Vaccine Champions so they can understand first-hand residents’ worries and help to encourage communities to get vaccinated.

Cllr Allen Mayes, Cabinet Member for Health, said: “We want to help protect our residents by making sure everyone has access to the facts about the COVID-19 vaccines.

“The Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) vaccination bus was parked up at IKEA, Lakeside, from Monday 21 to Friday 25 February. Thanks to the hard work of the SRRT team, 88 per cent of the 103 people who received a COVID-19 vaccine at this pop-up clinic did so because they’d received a leaflet or had a conversation with the team on their doorstep or in the car park.

“Last week (Monday 28 February to Saturday 5 March), 149 people received a COVID-19 vaccine when the vaccination bus was at South Essex College in Grays.”

Twenty-year-old Megan-Louise Hanmore from Grays had her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine when the vaccination bus was outside South Essex College. She said: “I want to keep my family and friends safe as I see them all the time, and other people too as I work in retail. Having the COVID-19 vaccine is helping me protect them.”

Residents can visit EPUT’s vaccination bus when it pops up in the borough during a new eight-week programme of activity. During Week One it will be at South Essex College, Grays, on Thursday 10 and Saturday 12 March, and IKEA, Lakeside, on Friday 11 March from 10am to 3pm. More information about the pop-up clinics, and three fixed vaccination centres in Thurrock which have weekend and evening opening hours, at: essexcovidvaccine.nhs.uk

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