Lincolnshire

Fears over missed vaccine targets as coronavirus cure sought

Health bosses fear not enough people in Lincolnshire will take up coronavirus vaccines and create “herd immunity” once they become a reality.

Lincolnshire County Council’s assistant director for public health Tony McGinty said it was “more important now than ever” to push the need for 95% of people to undertake vaccinations in order for them to have the most effectiveness.

“People are obviously worried about Covid-19 and looking forward to there being a vaccine available but it will be so very important that people do take it up and make the efforts of scientists working on it all over the world count,” said Mr McGinty.

“We need to get the population’s head somewhat into the fact that vaccines only work if you take them up and that’s how you get herd immunity.”

This week is the World Health Organisation’s International Vaccination Week and Mr McGinty said awareness of the issue was all the more important as top medical professionals hunt for a cure for coronavirus.

Organisations across the UK last year struggled to get more than 70% of targeted groups to take- up flu vaccinations against the 95% target.

The figure was reflected across Lincolnshire.

This, said Mr McGinty, showed that around “around 30% of people didn’t take up the offer in the sort of target groups we might see targeted for a Covid-19 vaccine when one becomes available”.

There was a similar story for measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations, with 91.5% of children getting the first dose against a 95% herd immunity target, dropping to 83.8% for the second dose at five years old.

“We need people to take up every vaccine offered, as we don’t need any outbreaks of preventable diseases whilst we are battling Covid-19 and when a Covid-19 vaccine becomes available it will need to be widely taken up to offer the protection we need.”

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