Government funding backs army of vax volunteers in Preston and Lancaster

An army of vaccination volunteers is set to help people in Lancashire get their Covid jabs, backed by a share of £1.7 million in government funding.

By Phil Cunnington
Thursday, 13th January 2022, 3:45 pm

A total of £1,710,000 has been allocated to councils to encourage vaccination uptake across the north west, including Preston and Lancaster.

Community Vaccine Champions in Preston and Lancaster will be tapping into their local networks and using their trusted voice to encourage people in their community to come forward and get vaccinated.

The funding will enable councils to identify barriers to accessing accurate information and to provide tailored support, such as phone calls for people without easy access to digital technology, helplines, and linking to GP surgeries.

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The Government is funding community vaccine champions to help encourage people in the north west to get their Covid-19 jabs and boosters

Communities Minister Kemi Badenoch MP said: “In England, more than 80 per cent of eligible adults over 18 have had a booster and for over-50s it is 90 per cent. 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 said: “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.”

More than 14,000 volunteers joined the first Community Champions scheme in 2021 – helping the vulnerable and isolated across the country throughout the pandemic.