Government urged to provide additional vaccines to tackle Delta variant
Date published: 15 June 2021
A volunteer administers a Covid-19 vaccine
Rochdale Borough Council is calling on the government to reverse its decision to not provide additional vaccine supplies as the Delta variant continues to drive an increase in Covid-19 cases across the borough.
Councillor Daalat Ali, the council’s cabinet member for public health, made the plea after a request for the early release of supplies to support further surge vaccinations was turned down.
Following the government's announcement that the whole of Greater Manchester, including the borough of Rochdale, had been put into an Enhanced Response Area, a strengthened government package was expected to offer an increase in vaccine supplies and support around surge testing, tracing, and self-isolation.
The additional support would help tackle the variant of concern, the so-called Delta variant, which has been a major concern in Bolton recently, and is continuing to drive a sharp rise in infections in many areas of the borough of Rochdale.
In May, the council successfully delivered a surge vaccine programme, which saw more than 5,000 residents receiving their first dose at local pop-up clinics and a new drive-through vaccination site.
Councillor Ali said that the ask for support from government was submitted, which made a strong case for early delivery of vaccine supplies to move more quickly through our unvaccinated residents.
He said: “The government’s promise of a strengthened package of support for our area to tackle the Delta variant is already looking like an empty slogan. We quite sensibly requested extra vaccine supplies to help us carry out another surge vaccination programme, but unfortunately this was knocked back.
“Only a few weeks back, we trialled a surge vaccination approach, which was successful in getting thousands vaccinated and tested. A repeat would see many more residents receiving vital protection against the virus, but we can’t do it without the vaccine supplies. It’s no good extending the timetable for easing restrictions without speeding up the vaccination programme for our community. Therefore, it is extremely disappointing that on vaccine supplies the government has, on this occasion, failed to match its words with action.”
Councillor Ali said the council would continue to make the case for additional vaccine supplies to be urgently provided.
He added that vaccine clinics, including further walk-ins would still be operating at the hospital and other locations in the borough over the coming days and weeks. Further details are at www.rochdale.gov.uk/covidvaccine
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