Slough Covid: Surge testing to begin Wednesday as city faces slow vaccination rate
Surge tests for Covid-19 will be deployed in Slough, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the county.
Free tests are being distributed in the postal code areas SL1 3, SL2 1 and SL2 5, while a mass vaccination program may soon follow.
According to the government website, Slough has one of the lowest doses of the Covid vaccine in Berkshire with 79,160 people having their first vaccine and 46,727 taking their second.
Read more: Covid symptoms change thanks to Delta variant, new signs to watch out for
By comparison, the neighboring towns of Windsor and Maidenhead saw 96,743 residents receive their first vaccine and Reading saw 55,149 people get bitten for the second time.
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In the seven days leading up to June 9, Slough saw 135 new confirmed cases. The week before, there were 109. The rate of new cases fell over the same period from 72.9 to 90.3 per 100,000 people.
At a Slough Outbreak Engagement Council meeting on Wednesday, June 9, the data concerned Councilor Rob Anderson, a senior member of Transportation and Environmental Services, who questioned whether the borough had a high rate of hesitation.
He said: “We are massively down from the national average. We have less than 50,000 people in the city who are fully vaccinated, which means well under a third of our population.
“We know that with the Delta variant, you need to be fully immunized to be protected from it.”
Sue Foley, public health consultant for the council, said Slough has always had low uptake of vaccines before the pandemic, such as the flu shot, and the Covid vaccine numbers are “very good” when viewed. compares with other vaccines.
Another reason could be that the borough has a high young population where it was only recently that the over 25 cohort was called in to get its jab.
Ms Foley said: “I hope now that we are opening up a bit more our numbers will increase to reflect this younger population.”
Of the older cohorts, Kate Pratt, senior communications officer, added that concerns about rare blood clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine had a “big impact” in Slough on people not showing up.
It has been reported by the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and other agencies that there is no established link or evidence that a particular vaccine caused the rare clots.
The government has decided to give AstraZeneca alternative vaccines for the under 30 cohort in an effort to allay concerns about the vaccine and encourage more people to come forward.
However, Ms Pratt said she saw many young people “eager” to be vaccinated as soon as they were eligible.
With the aim of increasing the vaccination rate in Slough, the council is working on plans to implement vaccination centers and walk-in buses, which could be introduced to places such as mosques and Gurdwaras.
On Saturday, June 12, the Salt Hill Activity Center vaccination center held a walk-in service for those over 18 to get their vaccines.
Other initiatives of the board, the public health team, and community champions are to engage with faith and other community groups for accurate vaccine information to allay hesitation.