New Covid wave to hit Leeds, says health chief

time:2023-06-10 22:07:48source:Al Jazeera author:news

Leeds could be hit by a new wave of Covid infections because of complacency around vaccines, a city health chief has warned.

Victoria Eaton, the director of public health, said take-up rates of the Covid booster among vulnerable younger people were not as high as had been hoped.

She said high levels of vaccination had been seen in people over the age of 65.

But she predicted infections would rise after Christmas, because of "a drop-off among some of the younger groups".

Frontline health and social care workers, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions are entitled to another Covid jab this winter, as are those aged 50 and over.

However, Ms Eaton told councillors: "What seems to be happening with both Covid and flu vaccinations is that, both nationally and in Leeds, we are seeing really good take-up among those people who are most at risk of both Covid and flu.

"So in care home residents and older people over the age of 65, we have very high levels of vaccination. It's around about 82% in those groups."

She added: "What we are facing is a drop-off among some of the younger groups who are at risk, but who aren't taking up the vaccine as much as we'd hoped."

Ms Eaton said take-up rates for the jabs were around 40% among eligible under-65s.

"There's a lot of work to be done on advising and supporting people that there's a need to come forward and that it's something they'd benefit from," she said.

"In those older groups we're doing really well. But there's an element of vaccine complacency that's come in this year."

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said Ms Eaton told councillors: "With the current modelling we're expecting to see a wave of Covid.

"The latest thinking is that's likely to be after Christmas rather than before Christmas, but there will be another wave."

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