As part of North Somerset Council’s commitment to tackling health inequalities and making sure all residents have equal opportunity for good health and wellbeing, public health teams work with the NHS and other partners to close the gap. A key step is making sure everyone, no matter where they live, has the same chance to access health services, including vaccinations.
It is harder for members of some communities to get the vital protection offered by Covid vaccinations. There are lots of reasons including, not owning a car which makes it difficult to travel to clinics, not being able to get time off work, or having caring commitments.
Council public health teams worked closely with the local vaccination programme, run by Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG), to identify areas where vaccination uptake was low. They then asked communities what was stopping them taking up the offer and are now helping address the issues.
It was found residents of Weston’s Bournville estate had lower uptake than other areas, so teams organised a series of weekly clinics in the area, which were run at the Healthy Living Centre by staff from Sirona Care and Health, One Care and North Bristol NHS Trust.
Four were planned, running in November and December, the last of which was yesterday (Tuesday 21 December). The sessions have seen nearly 1,000 people jabbed.
North Somerset Council’s executive member for health, Cllr Mike Bell, said: “We know getting vaccinated is one of the most important things we can do to protect ourselves and our families from the dangers of Covid-19, so it’s really important everyone has the same chance to access this potentially life-saving jab.”
Ward representative Councillor Ian Parker said: “I’m pleased we’ve been able to bring this vital service right into our community. I am delighted at the numbers of people who turned out and queued for their jab. Thanks to all involved for making this exercise a complete success.”
Mark Graham, Chief Executive for the Healthy Living Centre, said: “We’re delighted to have hosted the first walk in vaccinations at the centre. This has made access easier for many local people as is evidenced by the numbers who’ve attended. We’re overwhelmed with the success with hundreds of people turning up.”
To find out more about Covid-19 and flu vaccinations, including boosters, go to grabajab.net.
People aged over 18 can also book an appointment for a first, second, or booster dose of the Moderna vaccine at the Weston Hospital’s clinic. Go to the DrDoctor website to book.