Biggest Covid-19 vaccination worry is misinformation, says Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust boss

A Leeds health chief says her biggest concern about the Covid-19 vaccination rollout is that people are not accessing the right information when deciding whether to get a jab.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Thea Stein, chief executive of Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, said the national vaccination programme was progressing well but there was still important work to be done to reassure people who had concerns about getting vaccinated.

Read More
Spare Covid-19 vaccines go to West Yorkshire police and firefighters amid calls ...

She said: "The vaccination programme is off to a strong start, and more than 1.3 million doses have now been delivered across the country, covering almost one in four people over the age of 80.

Thea Stein, chief executive of Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust.Thea Stein, chief executive of Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust.
Thea Stein, chief executive of Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust.
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"NHS teams have been working hard over the last month to deliver the Pfizer vaccine in hospital hubs, local GP-led services and care homes across Leeds, at the same time as providing care to those who need it.

"The main concern is that people are not accessing the right information to help them make the decision. As a city we understand vaccine hesitancy and we encourage people to speak up about it and seek answers, either through conversation or by accessing the many accurate and factual resources available such as"

Ms Stein, who has previously addressed Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board on the challenges arising from vaccine hesitancy, said the issues behind it were as individual as each of the people being offered the opportunity to get a jab.

"In the main, most people want to know if the NHS is confident the vaccine is safe - and the answer is yes," she said. "The NHS will not offer any Covid-19 vaccinations to the public until independent experts have signed off that it is safe to do so.  

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"The MHRA, the official UK regulator, have said these vaccines are safe and highly effective, and we have full confidence in their expert judgement and processes.

"As with any medicine, vaccines are highly regulated products. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process, and continued monitoring once it has been authorised and is being used."

She added that the MHRA had recommended that those with severe allergies to any of the ingredients of the vaccines should not receive them.

As part of its A Shot In The Arm campaign, the Yorkshire Evening Post has previously reported on concerns about the potential for low uptake among Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in particular.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The campaign, run alongside sister titles across JPIMedia, urges Prime Minister Boris Johnson to deploy the country’s network of 11,000 pharmacies to ensure that every citizen is only a short walk away from a vaccination centre.

Our campaign also requests further reassurance for local communities from the Government and more easy-to-access information on the vaccine programme and its progress.

Ms Stein said: "We understand that some communities have specific concerns and may be more hesitant in taking the vaccine than others. The NHS is working collaboratively with partners to ensure vaccine messages reach as diverse an audience as possible and are tailored to meet their needs.

"This includes engagement with community and faith-led groups, charities and other voluntary organisations."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Staff at the trust have been working at sites across the city and alongside other health and social care providers including Leeds City Council, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust and Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group to support the vaccination programme.

They have also been capturing and sharing information and stories routinely to inform and reassure the public.

Visit the trust's website to read a first person piece from one of its nurses who shares her thoughts, feelings and experiences around receiving the Covid-19 vaccine.

Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United. With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.