It has been a year since public health restrictions were introduced to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic. It has been incredibly tough on all of us, with too many people losing loved ones. However, there are now positive signs that the pandemic is subsiding with significant drops in cases both locally and nationally. You can find information on the latest local Covid-19 figures on the council's dashboard here.
The most important development since last March has been the development of Covid-19 vaccines. The vaccination rollout into our community has been going well. With our local NHS teams working hard to make it a success. All those deemed most at risk of the virus have now been vaccinated with the programme now progressing through the population in descending order by age. Anyone over 50 can now book a vaccination online, via 119 or their GP.
The uptake of the vaccine has greater than anticipated nationally but there have been challenges locally. Health data shows that Luton has one of the lowest vaccine uptake rates in the East of England
and this is especially pronounced amongst ethnic minority communities. Healthcare professionals are concerned that the uptake in these communities is being harmed by myths and untruths circulating on social media.
To encourage greater vaccine uptake amongst all of our communities, I teamed up with people from across our town to produce a video to help dispel some vaccine myths and encourage all of us to get vaccinated.
Those that took part ranged from healthcare professionals to local education leaders. The vaccination is the best weapon we have in the fight against the virus and we shouldn't let myths and hearsay put our population at risk. We should all do our part to protect ourselves, our families, our communities and our town and get vaccinated.