Luton groups given cash to help to improve the low take up of the Covid vaccine in the area

A newly launched Covid-19 vaccine community fund, with the aim of increasing vaccine take-up, saw a large number of applications from community groups, local organisations and local businesses.

By Lynn Hughes
Thursday, 14th April 2022, 3:02 pm

The fund is part of a larger grant of £485k, awarded to Luton council by central government for areas that have low take-up of the vaccination.

Applications saw a diverse range of creative and community-focused projects that were targeted at different sectors of Luton, and especially where there have been lower vaccination rates.

Groups were able to bid for amounts ranging from £5,000 to £20,000. Many of the bids addressed language barriers, difficulties in accessibility and provided insight to vaccine hesitancy within the different communities in Luton.

A 'drop in' Covid Vaccination bus in the car park of Sainsbury's in Bury Park, Luton, was used to encourage people to take the Covid jab

Funding applications closed on Monday, March 21 and the fund panel met on the following Friday to score the applications based on remit, ability value for money and innovation for how they intend to tackle vaccine take-up across the 19 wards of Luton.

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Cllr Khtija Malik, who formed part of the panel said: “It was great to see such a diverse range of projects and from some groups that had not come forward before. The panel had a rigorous discussion over the applications, especially around feasibility and effectiveness of the projects and measures proposed.

“Each application was chosen on their ability to deliver the project, who the target audience were, value for money and creativity in their engagement with the community to encourage take-up of the vaccine”.

“We know the importance of having the vaccine and how it decreases the risk of hospitalisation especially for those that are elderly and vulnerable, so I am pleased that this process will help us keep Luton safe.”

For a list of successful applications, visit the council website. In total, 15 projects were selected by the panel and range from mentorship schemes to information campaigns.

There are also many opportunities for those who wish to get their first, second or booster vaccine - you can walk in to the Redgrave Centre or the Old Post Office in The Mall with no need to book. Visit the CCG's website to find out more.