Covid: Tens of thousands of people in Sheffield still unvaccinated says director of public health Greg Fell

The campaign urging people to get a Covid jab is faltering as there are still tens of thousands of people in Sheffield unvaccinated.

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Monday, 29th November 2021, 10:35 am
Updated Monday, 29th November 2021, 12:44 pm

Director of public health Greg Fell says the rollout of primary vaccinations has slowed, with 70 per cent of the eligible population now jabbed.

But Mr Fell is struggling to know what more can be done to encourage the remaining 30 per cent to get a vaccine.

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Director of public health Greg Fell says there are still tens of thousands of people in Sheffield unvaccinated against Covid

He told a scrutiny meeting: “I’m partly preaching to the converted now as there are no new messages about Covid.

“If you’ve seen my videos, I largely say the same thing every week, sometimes it’s difficult to think of new things to say.

“What we are finding is that big carpet bombing communication just doesn’t cut through anymore.

“It cuts through with those who are listening but not with the people that we really want to get to.

“So we’ve flipped the comms message to a very localised approach, working with community and faith leaders.”

Vaccination saves lives

Mr Fell says there is a gap between the east and the west of the city and a gap between BAME populations and white populations.

He added: “There are still tens of thousands of people who haven’t had the first two doses, including lots of elderly people, and that’s the thing I’m most worried about. It’s really difficult to know what more we can do.

“There’s a lot of pressure on the hospital system and bed occupancy is increasing steadily. It’s mostly the unvaccinated, with some clinically vulnerable and immunocompromised.

“The vaccination programme is doing what is expected – had we had an unvaccinated population it would be 20 to 30 deaths a day territory.”

Mr Fell said targeting unvaccinated people was the top priority, followed by giving boosters to those whose immunity was waning.

“The timing between when you had your first and second vaccination is the issue, there is waning immunity hence the need for the booster programme.

“The booster programme is having a definitive effect, there’s no two ways about that. You can see that with the naked eye in terms of numbers.”