Pendle leaders urge Government not to reduce supply of vaccines to area

Pendle’s leaders are urging the Government not to reduce the supply of vaccines to our area.

“Getting people vaccinated in Pendle should be a top priority,” stated Coun. Mohammed Iqbal MBE, leader of Pendle Council.

“We’ve had the longest restrictions here in Lancashire and Pendle has been one of the country’s hotspots due to the spread of Covid-19 here,” he explained.

“The weekly number of new cases and rate of infection is still high in Pendle, with hospital admissions for people with Covid putting a huge strain on the NHS in East Lancashire.

Pendle Council leader Coun. Mohammed Iqbal

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“That’s why we are urging the Government to immediately reconsider their plans to cut the amount of vaccine available in Pendle and the rest of Lancashire by a third."

Deputy Leader, Councillor David Whipp, agreed, saying: “The news that supplies of the Covid-19 vaccine are being cut in the North West has been a bombshell, with the number of doses being slashed from 300,000 to 200,000.

“This summer Pendle hit the national headlines because of our high number of Covid cases. It’s meant that people in our area have been living with extra restrictions for six long months and many parts of the North West have been in the same position.

“On top of that, our hospitals are among the most badly affected in the country by the number of Covid patients. And the number of deaths is underlining the terrible impact this disease is having on our communities,” he added.

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The leaders praised the work of doctors, nurses and healthcare workers at local GP practices for the magnificent job they are doing at the two vaccination centres in Pendle.

Coun. Whipp added: “As well as vaccinating almost everyone in the top priority group, residents in care homes have been inoculated too. And home visits are underway to people in high priority groups who are housebound,” he added.

Vaccinations are also being offered to people over 70 and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

Coun. Iqbal stated: "The rationing of vaccine supplies will slow down this momentum, leaving more people at risk in our area where the level of infection remains high. We ask the Government not to cut our life-saving supplies of the vaccine."

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Pendle Council is stressing the importance for local people to keep following the Government’s stay safe guidance and regulations, with more information including how to get tested on www.pendle.gov.uk/coronavirus.

The Lancashire Resilience Forum, of which Pendle Council is a part, is putting pressure on the Government not to reduce vaccine supplies.

Angie Ridgwell, chairman of the Lancashire Resilience Forum said “We are working to ensure that Lancashire gets its fair share of vaccine. The roll out of the vaccine has been phenomenal in Lancashire thanks to the hard work and dedication of our local NHS, supported by other public organisations.

“This success cannot be jeopardised. We should not be penalised because other parts of the country have not done as good a job as us. We already have significant health inequalities in our county with significant pockets of our population under 70 with multiple long-term health conditions,” she explained.

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“Our success at reaching our top four priority groups means that we can and must move quickly to other priority populations. We should not be slowed down so that others can catch up because reducing our supply risks stalling our recovery from the pandemic."