Door-to-door bid to get Ipswich jabbed

The Covid-19 vaccine bus on Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich

The Covid-19 vaccine bus on Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich - Credit: Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG

A major drive to get 6,000 families in Ipswich to take up the Covid jab begins next week - with health chiefs even offering to drive people to appointments.

From Thursday, leaflets will be delivered to homes in parts of Ipswich where vaccine take up is as low as 50% encouraging people to get their first dose, or back it up with a second dose or booster where eligible.

Then next weekend teams will be out door knocking to address concerns, answer questions and even take people to vaccination centres.

Teams will start around Barrack Corner and Burlington Road in Westgate ward, and over the next three weekends will target homes in Gipping and Chantry, Maidenhall and Stoke.

The drive comes after Suffolk was designation as an Enhanced Response Area which garners national support and means rapid surge response teams will be joining local teams in the bid to encourage vaccine take up.

The vaccination bus and pop-up vaccination clinics will be set up in those areas encouraging people to take up their jabs.

Public Health Suffolk director Stuart Keeble told Thursday’s Health and Wellbeing Board that teams would even drive people to the centres if needed.

“We know in some parts of Suffolk the vaccination rates aren’t as high, and Ipswich is an example of that. In some areas the uptake is only about 50-60%,” he said.

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“We recognise in Ipswich we do have those low vaccine uptake areas and we have done bits, but we are going to do some really high focused work in some very small areas over the next four or five weekends to bring the vaccination bus and pop-ups, do leafleting, go and walk those communities, invite people in and if need be to drive them to the site to help them to do that.

“It’s just to make it as simple as possible. For some people their lives are really busy and actually don’t live and breathe what we read all the time, they try and get on with their lives. If we can make it as simple as possible then I think it is worth us giving that effort.”

Ipswich had the highest rates of the virus in England in mid-October, peaking at 854.5 cases per 100,000. That is now at 410.4, 46th out of 350 local authority areas.