COVID-19: Blackburn officials deny over-18s will be offered coronavirus vaccine after communications error
Written by Hitmix News on 13 May 2021
Officials in Blackburn have been forced to deny that over-18s will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine, just hours after it had said extra doses would be made available next week.
Earlier on Thursday, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council said it and its NHS partners had secured extra doses of the vaccine that would be made available to anyone in the local authority area aged over 18 from next week.
The areas included Bastwell and Daisyfield; Billinge and Beardwood; and Shear Brow and Corporation Park.
However, in a later statement, the Lancashire authority said additional vaccines would not be widely available to all adults.
It comes as Blackburn experiences a jump in cases, while large parts of England have seen significant drops.
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The local authority did confirm that additional vaccine clinics are being set up but in a statement said: “Contrary to earlier social media and news reporting, vaccines at the clinics will not be widely available to over-18s.
“They will be available within current government guidance, which is currently anyone over the age of 38, anyone over-18 with an underlying health condition or who lives with someone who has lowered immunity, health and social care staff and carers.
“Blackburn with Darwen Council and NHS partners have responded immediately to provide doses of the Pfizer vaccine at the clinics following yesterday’s announcement on a rise in cases of COVID-19 linked to, in part, a new variant of concern, first identified in India, that may spread more easily.”
Sky News analysis found that in the two weeks to 4 May, Blackburn had the 10th highest infection rate in the country, with 114.2 cases per 100,000 people.
On Wednesday, it was announced that people aged 38 and 39 in England would be offered a COVID-19 vaccine but concerns over the Indian variant has meant some parts are accelerating the rollout.
Meanwhile, people in Bolton are able to get a vaccine without an appointment at the city’s mobile vaccine bus.
Last week, the UK medicine safety regulation announced that adults under the age of 40 will be given an alternative to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine due to a link with rare blood clots.
The UK’s medicines safety regulator said there were 242 clotting cases and 49 deaths, with 28.5 million doses of the vaccine administered.
But the risk is slightly higher in younger age groups.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “anxious” about the Indian variantand that the government was “ruling nothing out” when it comes to tackling the spread.
“We want to make sure that we take all the prudential, all the cautious steps now that we could take,” he said.
“So there are meetings going on today to consider exactly what we need to do.”
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Asked if the government was considering surge vaccinations alongside surge testing in areas with spikes of new variants, Downing Street said officials would not “rule anything out”.
The prime minister’s spokesman also said there were “no plans” to reintroduce the tiered system of virus restrictions used in England towards the end of last year.