Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed today that the COVID-19 booster campaign has begun and pledged to “level-up” health in England.
Speaking at a think tank event in Blackpool on Thursday afternoon, Mr Javid confirmed that the first person had received a jab under the scheme, with millions of eligible people being offered the Pfizer vaccine.
Katherine Cargill, who works at Croydon University Hospital in south London, was one of the first people to get the vaccine under the new campaign, which targets frontline key workers, anyone aged 50 and over and people with serious health conditions. targets.
She said: “I just took my booster vaccine, my Pfizer vaccine, and I took it before the winter season to make sure I’m safe, to make sure I can continue working Well, I can spend time with my family, and so I can continue with my studies.
“I definitely want to encourage you to get your booster shot when you are invited to do so.”
Hospital centers have now started vaccinating key workers and are set to follow GP-led vaccination services in the coming days, followed by immunization centers and pharmacy-led sites that will join the campaign next week.
As well as announcing the start of an NHS booster campaign, Mr Javid was keen to emphasize the “two backlogs” facing the country as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
He told attendees at The Center for Social Justice event that the first and “priority” are 5.5 million people on the NHS waiting list, but the second issue was dealing with the “social backlog in mental health and public health”.
Mr Javid said: “Pasting the peak of the pandemic is like a receding tide, revealing the underlying health of our nation. Few fractures have been detected and in many cases the epidemic has deepened those fractures. “
He pointed to disparities in Covid admissions between the least and disadvantaged parts of the country, and differences in death rates between white people and people from black, Asian and ethnic minority groups.
He continued: “These are symptoms of a different disease, the disease of inequality.”
The health secretary said he was launching the new Office for Health Reform and Disparities (OHID) as part of efforts to “level-up” health in the country and correct inequalities in health outcomes.
He said its mission is to “raise the level of health and ensure that everyone has a chance to lead a happy and healthy life”.
Mr Javid said it would focus on “preventable health conditions” such as obesity, drugs, alcohol and tobacco, but “widespread factors” influencing poor health, along with “health inequalities and access to health services”. Will check too. such as education, housing and the environment.
He added: “While I said we cannot go up economically without improving health, it is equally true that we cannot tackle health inequalities without tackling widening inequalities.”
Mr Javid also addressed mental health, saying “many people” had experienced loneliness and isolation over the pandemic, while the numbers waiting for regular mental health treatment have risen.
PA. Additional reporting by
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /