Around 6000 people in West Dunbartonshire still to receive Covid vaccinations
Around 6,000 people aged 16 and over across West Dunbartonshire are yet to get a single Covid-19 jab.
The British Society for Immunology says UK Governments must redouble their efforts to reach adults who are still not jabbed to encourage them to get protected against the virus.
UK Government data shows 66,553 people aged 16 and over across West Dunbartonshire had received their first vaccine by September 5.
That leaves 6,303 people in the age group who are still completely unvaccinated, according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) population estimates - including some who are medically exempt.
There are an estimated 3,991 children aged 12 to 15-years old in the area who could next be in line for vaccination, although some will already be eligible as they suffer from serious underlying health conditions.
Across the UK, around 48.3 million people of all ages had a first dose reported by September 5 – equivalent to around 89 percent of people aged 16 and over.
The British Society for Immunology said that, while the vaccine uptake had been impressive so far, there was still work to do.
Dr Doug Brown, the group’s chief executive, said: “We know that more than one in 10 eligible adults have yet to come forward for their first vaccine dose.
“This means that they are at significantly higher risk of catching Covid and experiencing severe symptoms that could result in hospitalisation, as well as potentially suffering long Covid.
“I would encourage anyone who has yet to receive their first vaccine or hasn’t yet completed their vaccine course to come forward to get the jab to protect themselves against falling sick with this horrible disease.
“The government, local authorities and healthcare professionals must redouble efforts to engage and build trust with these groups and to make sure everyone has access to reliable evidence-based information about the vaccines.”
The four UK nations’ chief medical officers (CMOs) are considering whether to back healthy children aged 12 to 15-years old having the jab.
This comes after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recently said the evidence was not strong enough for it to recommend all 12 to 15-year olds getting it on health grounds alone.
But the advisory group told UK Governments to seek further advice from their respective CMOs on the wider implications of children getting the vaccine, such as the impact on their education.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are aware of some vaccine hesitancy in some communities and are addressing this by working alongside third sector and community groups.
“All NHS Boards have dedicated inclusion plans within the vaccination programme, outlining how they will actively offer vaccination to people who may face barriers in taking up the vaccine.
“Some examples of outreach include offering vaccinations in places of worship, in other community settings, providing concessionary bus travel to appointments and working with community leaders to promote uptake.
“There is no doubt that vaccination represents our best way out of the pandemic and the best way to protect ourselves, our family and friends and our communities. We thank everyone who has already been vaccinated.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said four in five adults in the UK have received both jabs, saving over 105,000 lives and preventing 143,600 hospitalisations.
The spokesperson added: “The government is working closely with the NHS to make it as easy as possible to get a vaccine, including through mobile vaccination centres and ‘grab a jab’ pop-up vaccine sites across the country, at football stadiums, places of worship and festivals.”