UK: Local Govt Going Door-to-Door to ‘Encourage Vaccine Uptake’

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Local government officials are sending representatives door-to-door to “encourage vaccine uptake” in Cheshire, England.

“You might see Community Champions in Fairfield and Howley this week ahead of our door knocking to encourage COVID vaccine uptake,” warned Warrington Borough Council in a social media post on Saturday, sharing a digital leaflet explaining they were especially concerned to “support” people from groups it considers be “most at risk from coronavirus”, including not just “people with disabilities” but also “people from ethnic minorities” and “those without access to the internet”.

“Our public health team will be going door-to-door to visit households in parts of Fairfield and Howley to encourage vaccine uptake,” the council explains in more detail on its website, noting that its “trained, specialist teams” are “targeting specific areas of Warrington where vaccine uptake is particularly low and where the rate of testing is low.”

Residents who have already been vaccinated are advised on the Warrington Borough Council website to “Just let us know if we come to visit” and to “continue to spread the word around the benefits of vaccination.”

Warrington Borough Council is pressing people to be vaccinated even if they have previously been infected with the Chinese virus and recovered, warning them not to put their faith in natural immunity.

“Even if you’ve had Covid and you think you’re safe with antibodies, we don’t know how long the antibodies are lasting,” a woman insists in a video shared by the council on social media.

“Please, it’s safe to take the vaccine,” she asserts.

“It is important to be safe so you can have a quality life with your family.”

Warrington Borough Council was criticised last year — a time when healthcare, social care, and other public services were said to be under great pressure — for advertising for a “public health consultant” on a salary of £72,828-£78,030 pro rata.

“Council ‘austerity cuts’ are no more it seems,” remarked one social media user sarcastically.

“What exactly is ‘a proven track record of public health success’?” remarked another, in reference to one of the attributes the council was looking for in potential applicants.

“There’s only been one real public health issue recently and nobody’s handled it at all well,” he suggested.

Warrington Borough Council also blocked efforts by a local parish council to set up an emergency food bank in a deprived area during lockdown in 2020, refusing to allow a closed community centre to be opened for the purpose and forcing a local pub owner to step in and offer his shut down business instead.

“The thanks of the parish go out to him for his generosity – it is unfortunate that the borough council could not show such community spirit and compassion,” the parish council chairman remarked at the time.

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