The leader of Preston City Council has written to the Health Secretary asking for prioritisation in the Covid-19 vaccination programme.Advertisement
In a letter to Secretary of State Matt Hancock, Councillor Matthew Brown asks him to “urgently consider” accelerating the roll out to higher risk areas such as Preston in order to “assure equal life chances and pandemic exit dates across the country”.
Councillor Brown lists the actions taken in the fight against Covid-19 by the City Council, Lancashire County Council and Lancashire Resilience Forum:
“We have hosted multiple community testing sites; worked extensively alongside community and faith leaders to target and support at risk community groups; led a high performing local authority track and trace programme; engaged with national campaigns and invested in local campaigns; provided comprehensive Environmental Health support to businesses in the local area; and now are providing administrative resource to enable the mass vaccination site in the city centre.”
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Councillor Brown says that, despite these extensive efforts, several factors put the city at continued risk from high transmission of the virus, including higher than average deprivation levels and higher risk demographic characteristics such as ethnicity.
Pointing to recent analysis by the NHS Test and Trace System, the National Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England, Councillor Brown described a number of these factors as being “highly relevant to Preston” and “largely beyond the capacity and control of the City or County Council to determine or influence”.
Councillor Brown ends the letter by saying action would help address the disproportionate effect on vulnerable sections of the Preston community, and that it’s “necessary in order to facilitate the reduction in mortality rates that we are all looking for”.
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Councillor Brown’s letter follows a similar request sent to the Health Secretary by Blackburn with Darwen Council. He had previously tweeted his support for the request.
Read more: Council leader calls for vaccine roll out to be “speeded up” in Preston
You can read the full letter from Councillor Brown to Matt Hancock on the Preston City Council website.
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What do you think of Councillor Brown’s letter? Do you agree that Preston should be prioritised for the vaccine? Let us know in the comments.