Coronavirus latest: Missed appointments at Luton vaccine centres leads to 'plethora' of spare vaccines

Missed appointments at Luton's Covid-19 vaccine centres have led to a 'plethora' of available vaccine doses, a meeting heard.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 10:20 am
Updated Friday, 19th March 2021, 10:24 am

Getting health staff vaccinated in Luton care homes is also proving a struggle - with just 57 per cent taking up the offer.

Four local GP sites and two mass vaccination centres in the town are currently open, a meeting of the council's health and wellbeing board was told.

"We've had quite a lot of 'did not attend' cases," explained Nicky Poulain, of BLMK Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Despite challenges, Luton's vaccination programme is making progress

"These are people who've made an appointment, but haven't arrived for it. There's been a plethora of vaccines this week."

Ms Poulain stated the Medici Medical Centre called through a list of 50 people in order to find someone to take up a spare vaccine.

"So we have many available, but we're struggling," she said. "We want to guide our residents into those sites on Friday (March 19) and next week."

The latest figures show:

> 87.5 per cent of over 80s vaccinated, with 743 in this age group still to have a jab;

> 88.6 per cent of 75 to 79-year-olds, with 432 remaining;

> 86 per cent of 70 to 74-year-olds, with 767 remaining;

> 76 per cent of 65- to 69-year-olds, with 1,744 remaining;

> 65.2 percent of 60- to 64-year-olds, with 3,538 remaining.

Almost 91 per cent of the residents in elderly care homes have been vaccinated, with 63 remaining, according to the director of primary care.

And the figure for residents in learning disability care homes is 88.2 per cent, with only 13 remaining, she said.

Vaccines for elderly care home staff are at just 57 per cent, with a further 405 to do, while for staff in learning disability premises "it's a slightly better" at 60.6 per cent.

"There are plans in place to target 640 homeless residents and also 558 travellers.

"This shows the diligence of the work to vaccinate everyone."

Labour Farley councillor Mahmood Hussain asked whether there were figures for health and social care staff making home visits to individuals.

"I take a very strong view that such employees have a special responsibility and a duty of care because of the vulnerability of the people they work with," he said.

Ms Poulain replied: "Those are a difficult cohort of people to encourage for whatever reason to have the vaccine."

Service director adult social services Maud O'Leary said: "There's been a real drive with providers to increase those numbers.

"The position we're having in Luton at the moment is similar in all of BLMK.

"There's a real struggle with the domiciliary care market, but we're doing everything we possibly can.

"It's still a choice if people have the vaccine. People don't even have to tell us whether they have or haven't.

"We're concerned as you are to protect the most vulnerable. We need as many as possible vaccinated."

Luton GP and director of clinical transformation BLMK CCGs Dr Nina Pearson said: "We had vaccination hesitancy which we discussed before and then the picture out of Europe has made it even harder this week.

"The data absolutely stacks up. That will make a difference for some of those who've been hesitant this week."