Newcastle gets cash injection to help vaccinate hard-to-reach communities

The hope is the funding allows the council to reach out to new communtities

A cash injection of £370,000 has been allocated to be shared between Newcastle and Middlesbrough in an attempt to encourage Covid-19 vaccine uptake.

The grant comes from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and aims to target people in hard-to-reach communities who are still yet to be jabbed.

The hope is that the funding will enable councils to identify the barriers stopping them from accessing certain groups and implement tailored plans.

Those include phone calls for people without easy access to digital technology, helplines, and linking to GP surgeries.

Communities Minister Kemi Badenoch MP said: "In England more than 80% of eligible adults over 18 have had a booster and for over 50s it is 90%.

"This is a great take-up so far, but we need to do more as we know that the unvaccinated are up to eight times more likely to be hospitalised than those who are jabbed.

“By funding Community Vaccine Champions – an army of volunteers who are at the heart of their communities - we can reach those yet to be vaccinated and encourage them to protect themselves and the NHS.”

Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup added: "Thanks to the pace and scale of our COVID-19 vaccination programme, we are in a much better position than this time last year.

“We are doing everything we can to reach those who haven’t yet come forward for their jabs and we know some people are more likely to listen to those they trust, such as community and religious leaders - that’s why we are giving extra funding to our brilliant Community Champions.

“The offer of a vaccine will always be available, it’s not too late. Please come forward as soon as you can so we can learn to live with this virus.”