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NHS told to redouble vaccination efforts as covid cases rise

A PARLIAMENTARY committee called for increased efforts to vaccinate people in vulnerable groups against Covid-19 today as infection rates continue to rise.

A report by the public accounts committee said it wanted to reduce the number of unvaccinated adults in England from three million to 2.5 million.

Committee chairwoman Meg Hillier said: “The department and NHS England must build on the initial successes of the vaccine programme and redouble efforts to reach people who are unvaccinated and at greater risk of becoming hospitalised or dying as a result of Covid-19.

“Despite work to date, low vaccination rates persist in many vulnerable groups and fresh approaches are needed.”

But the report stated that it was “not yet clear” how NHS England would increase vaccination rates with the limited services available to do so.

Analysis by UK Health Security Agency has confirmed that both full and booster vaccinations reduce the risk of someone falling ill, being admitted to hospital or dying due to Covid-19.

Pregnant women are one of the groups with a low vaccination uptake, with only 58 per cent receiving two doses as of February 2022.

The committee report also outlines that people of black, black British and Pakistani origins were also less than half as likely to have had their boosters compared with those of white British origin, despite being more vulnerable.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 2.7 million people in private households in the UK are estimated to have had Covid-19 last week, up 18 per cent from 2.3m the previous week.

A government spokesperson said: “Our world-leading Covid vaccination programme has saved countless lives and continues to do so — more than four in five of those eligible having received their spring booster and we urge anyone eligible to get their jab.

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