Anti-vaxxer label could stop people getting jab - health chief

The trust does not have records of a Covid-19 vaccination for roughly 17pc of staff.

People are still coming forward for their first jabs in Suffolk - Credit: PA

Suffolk’s public health chief has urged caution on labelling people anti-vaxxers - to avoid driving them further away from getting a Covid-19 jab.

Latest data indicates that 87% of people in Suffolk have had a jab, and people are continuing to come forward.

Members of the Health and Wellbeing Board were was told around 1,000 people in the county had a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine last week, with around 1,700 getting their second.

Health bosses are keen to address disparities across the county, with data earlier this week indicating that one in five people aged 12 and over in Ipswich were yet to be vaccinated. Men are also more likely to refuse a vaccine than women, according to the team.

Stuart Keeble, director of public health for Suffolk said a dedicated team was working with the coun

Suffolk's director of public health Stuart Keeble - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s director of public health, Stuart Keeble, has urged caution on labelling people as anti-vaxxers.

He said: “I know some people are concerned sometimes and say surely if people have had the chance now they are not going to take it up, but I don’t actually agree with that.

“I think we need to be careful about labelling people anti-vax as actually life is complex and for people sometimes it takes them a while to make a decision.

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“We need to be there and support with conversations to help those people to make sure we don’t drive further inequalities going forward.”

Mr Keeble said some people will have had Covid-19 over Christmas which meant they had to wait 28 days before getting a jab, while the mandatory inoculation for health workers due to come in from April may also trigger some more vaccinations.

He said: “Last week it was about 1,000 people had a first jab and 1,700 had their second so that offer is still very much there.

“It is important to push the message there is no judgement about it. If people want to come and get their vaccine they are there and also people are there to have a conversation if they want to come and have a conversation first.

“It is now about the conversations – the individual conversations are what is going to really push this forward”.