The Director of Public Health for Blackpool Council, Dr Arif Rajpura (pictured), who was a driving force in opening up the Winter Gardens as a mass vaccination centre, has today expressed his extreme disappointment at the Government’s decision to reduce vaccine supplies by a third to the North West of England from February. The cuts in vaccine supply will affect our region, as the cuts to deliveries include Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside, and South Cumbria. Consequently, this will impact upon Lytham St. Anne’s.
The Department of Health and Social Care told the highly respected ‘Health Service Journal’ that targeted deliveries were being made to areas with more people left to vaccinate in the priority cohorts, proportionate to their at-risk population. As of 24 January,2021, the North West had vaccinated around 12 per cent of its total population — the second highest proportion, behind the South West. Other regions were lagging behind.
Dr Rajpura shared his worries and concerns that these cuts in supply would affect the elderly and vulnerable patients of the region, especially considering we have one of the highest rates of Covid-19.
He added, ‘The North of England has suffered disproportionately throughout this pandemic and it therefore seems unjust for the Government to take a decision that flies in the face of the need to tackle health inequalities. Many areas of the North West have faced consistently high levels of COVID-19 infection since the summer and have faced ongoing severe restrictions. The vaccine offers us the opportunity to get back to some degree of normality later in the year so that we can start to protect lives and livelihoods and get our children back into school.’