There are a number of people that still won’t get the Covid vaccine due to a fear of needles, it is believed.
As councillors were briefed on the plan for the autumn vaccine programme to protect Wiganers from Covid-19, it was revealed there is still hesitancy in the area about getting the jab. During previous rollouts there have been people nervous or unwilling to get the jab which provides better immunity against the virus that was the cause of a global pandemic back in 2020.
The Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee were told this hesitancy was expected when 131,000 eligible people in the borough come to get the booster this autumn.
Coun Ron Conway asked if a number could be put on the amount of people that turned down the vaccine due to fear of needles and the side effects of the jab itself. In response, a council officer from the team behind the rollout said: “Can’t put a percentage on it, but from when we did the mass (vaccination rollout) there was definitely hesitancy from individuals.”
Coun Michael McLoughlin weighed in on the debate by condemning the ‘misinformation’ spread around about the side effects of the vaccine that is putting people off getting a vaccine that could be beneficial for their health. He added that there are ‘certain organisations’ that specifically target these people for their own gain.
The committee in Wigan Town Hall heard how the council was already working to spread the word about the benefits of vaccination and eligibility in order to offset any fallacies.
Coun Sam Brown praised the sensitivity with which health teams have dealt with fears and anxieties some patients have. She explained that her daughter has a severe phobia of needles – which meant it took around two hours before she was able to get the jab.
Coun Brown credited the vaccination staff for their patience and understanding in order to get her daughter the protection she needed.
Eligibility criteria for an autumn Covid booster:
- Residents in care homes for older adults
- All adults aged 65 years and over
- People aged six months to 64 years in a clinical risk group
- Frontline health and social care workers.
- People aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression