Home Coronavirus: News and Advice Community Vaccine Champions Scheme coming to Knowsley

Community Vaccine Champions Scheme coming to Knowsley

by Guy Murphy

Across Knowsley, a new Community Vaccine Champions Programme is being launched, following a successful bid for £485,000 from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Knowsley is one of 60 councils to have secured funding for the scheme.

Current vaccination rates (as of 19 January) in Knowsley remain lower than national figures. 74% of Knowsley eligible residents aged 16+ have had 2 doses of Covid-19 vaccine, compared with 83% in England. 53% Knowsley eligible residents have had 2 doses and a booster, compared to 63% nationally.

The aim is to increase the number of people getting vaccinated across the borough, through reducing inequalities in uptake and tackling barriers to vaccination.

The scheme is to be led by Knowsley Council and One Knowsley, in partnership with voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations. The programme will be delivered by volunteer Champions to raise awareness of how easy and convenient it is to get vaccinated and protected from being seriously ill with Covid-19.

The scheme will be used as a springboard for developing a long-term Community Champions programme.

Dr Sarah McNulty, Director of Public Health at Knowsley Council, welcomes the scheme.

She said: “The Community Vaccine Champion initiative is a fantastic way to increase uptake of vaccination across the borough. We know that young people aged 20-34, and people living in our most deprived wards have the lowest uptake of the vaccine, and so the programme can help to target support for these individuals. The vaccine is our best protection from the Omicron variant, and I encourage everyone not yet fully vaccinated to come forward to receive a second or booster dose of the vaccine.”

Cllr Christine Bannon, Cabinet Member for Health at Knowsley Council, added “We know that this initiative is going to really help to make a difference with improving our vaccination rates.

“Developing a vaccine champions programme provides us with a  valuable opportunity to increase uptake through engaging with residents and learning about their needs, and how we can support people who have not yet been vaccinated.

We are delighted to have secured the funding for delivering this important programme.”

Racheal Jones, Chief Executive, One Knowsley, said: “The Community Vaccine Champion initiative reflects the important role and contribution the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector have in providing targeted support to our communities.  The initiative is a brilliant example of One Knowsley and Knowsley Councils shared commitment to secure funding into local groups and social enterprise to support partnership working.”

All information in relation to the national Community Vaccine Champions programme can be found at: National effort to vaccinate vulnerable communities receives funding boost – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)