Bolton has the highest case rate in the country as of 11 May, with 255 cases per 100,000 residents, though its vaccination rate was in line with the national average, with 88.9% of people aged 40 and over having received their first dose. The rate is significantly higher than parts of London, including Westminster, where the rate is 63%.
While the Bolton-wide vaccination rate is in line with the England average of 89.8%, there are large variations within the local authority. In Lever Edge, which has the highest case rate in Bolton, 84.7% of those aged 40 and over are vaccinated.
Case rates in Bolton are significantly higher in areas of high deprivation, while vaccination rates are lower in poorer areas and in those with higher black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) populations, in line with national trends.
Yasmin Qureshi, the Labour MP for Bolton South East, said the issue in the town was “incredibly complex” and it was “wrong” to suggest people from BAME backgrounds were to blame for the increased cases of the B.1.617.2 variant first detected in India.
Qureshi claimed there had been problems with the rollout of the vaccine in her constituency, something which she had raised with board members of the Bolton clinical commissioning group (CCG), NHS England and the local authority in February.
In letters seen by the Guardian despatched to the Bolton CCG and the Bolton GP Federation in February, Qureshi stated folks have been struggling to get the jab, and known as for vaccination centres to be “more rooted” in specific communities with excessive ranges of deprivation.
“Essentially people who had no access to their own transport were having to catch two, sometimes three buses, to get to a vaccination centre,” she stated. “I told them that we needed a centre closer because this could have resolved the issue of uptake … This wasn’t just BAME people, I have lots of white, working-class people in my constituency who were also struggling for access.”
Huge queues shaped outdoors a cellular testing centre now arrange at a Bolton secondary college, the Essa academy in Great Lever, which is a part of Qureshi’s constituency. The pop-up web site has been arrange particularly in response to the unfold of the brand new variant.
“Clearly people want the vaccine and now that we have a site right in the middle of the community people have turned up en masse,” Qureshi stated. “It’s not a case of hesitancy any more.”
Conservative MPs in Bolton stated there needs to be no delay in lifting additional restrictions. Chris Green, the MP for Bolton West and Atherton, stated there needs to be “no delays, no turning back, let’s return to normal and stay normal” and stated individuals who wanted to hunt routine medical therapy for different situations would undergo longer below lengthier restrictions.
His fellow Conservative Mark Logan, the Bolton North East MP, urged the federal government to step up vaccination in his city, saying it had remained below restrictions for longer than a lot of the nation. “Bolton must be fast-tracked for vaccinations and we must get that first dose out to all over-18s by the end of the month – as a priority,” he stated.
Mark Harper, the chair of the 60-strong group of MPs in the Covid Recovery Group, which has urged the quicker lifting of restrictions, tweeted a warning shot about how MPs may see any delay to unlocking perceived as being linked to vaccine hesitancy.
“Wider society’s fate can’t be sealed by the actions of a small group of people, whatever their reasoning,” he wrote.
Boris Johnson’s spokesperson stated there have been no plans to supply new incentives for vaccinations however that the federal government was nonetheless co-ordinating important outreach efforts in completely different communities to encourage folks to obtain the vaccine.
“It’s really important when we’re talking about hesitancy to highlight the fact that we have one of the most enthusiastic populations for vaccine uptake in the world and that is only increased as we’ve progressed on the rollout,” he stated.
“We’re not complacent and there are a number of different approaches we’re taking with vaccine-hesitant groups to engage in social media with community leaders, directly you know, using trusted voices and clinical voices, and that work continues.”
The spokesperson stated work to have interaction with completely different communities had been profitable thus far. “We know there is continually more work to do,” he stated.
“We have deployed thousands of additional doses to the areas involved so they can do this work of getting vaccines to people.”