We are making good progress as we continue to deliver the biggest vaccination programme in the NHS history. 49,674 Merton residents have received their first dose and across South West London we have vaccinated over 335,000 people. Vaccination data for South West London boroughs, parliamentary constituencies and local authority wards has now been published nationally for the first time, you can see this break down on the NHS England website.
With important progress already made – including everyone aged 63 years old and over being offered a jab – the NHS is now seeking to drive uptake among the next priority groups. This week the national booking service started to invite people aged 60 and over encouraging them to book at a large vaccination centre or pharmacy site. GPs have also made good progress in vaccinating priority group six; those who are considered ‘clinically vulnerable’. This group includes those identified by the new national Covid risk assessment and adult carers. Following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) people who are on a GP register for learning disabilities, as well as adults with other related conditions, including cerebral palsy will now be prioritised for a vaccination.
We are also working to make sure we reach under-served communities including the homeless, asylum seeker, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. This task is too big to achieve on our own, so we are grateful to you and our partners across South West London in helping us to co-ordinate an approach to reach these groups. By using our collective knowledge and expertise we can ensure that the vaccination programme is informed on how best to reach these groups so they can be immunised as quickly as possible.
As trusted voices, voluntary sector organisations in our local boroughs can reach out and speak to specific groups who need to be prioritised in receiving the vaccine. We are exploring how we can further fund voluntary sector organisations in Wandsworth to help boost our existing engagement plans to reach and inform communities with low uptake. We are most keen to reach those communities disproportionately affected by Covid – and we will continue to share with you improving data about how uptake differs for certain ethnicities and areas of deprivation across the borough to help inform our joint work. It is important that people in at-risk communities get the information they need from trustworthy sources to make decisions about their health that are right for them.