Coronavirus in Portsmouth: Public health director hits out at vaccine misinformation urging over-50s to get jab

VACCINE misinformation has been branded ‘unhelpful’ by Portsmouth’s public health director.

By Ben Fishwick
Sunday, 28th March 2021, 10:57 am

Helen Atkinson based at Portsmouth City Council, gave the warning as she urged all over-50s offered the Covid-19 jab to take up the opportunity.

Figures released on Thursday by NHS England showed 89.8 per cent of that age group had received at least one dose in Portsmouth. Fareham, Gosport and Havant have seen more than 90 per cent take up.

Ms Atkinson said: ‘Unhelpfully there has been some misinformation spreading about the vaccine so I would encourage people to make sure that what they're reading or hearing comes from trusted sources like the NHS and to challenge others on where their information is coming from.’

Helen Atkinson, director of public health at Portsmouth City Council

A senior GP told The News on Thursday that decisions in Europe over the AstraZeneca vaccine had seen a small but noticeable increase in people not attending for jabs. That has since reduced.

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Ms Atkinson said: ‘Vaccination offers us the best protection from Covid-19 and is our way out of the pandemic.

‘The vaccines are safe and effective and are being offered to people at higher risk first. Over 80,000 Portsmouth residents have already had theirs, which is great news.

‘When you're invited to have your vaccine please take up the offer and encourage your loved ones to do the same.

‘Those in groups 1-9, which includes people aged 50 and over, carers and those with certain health conditions, are being urged to come forward by the end of March so that the programme has reached those who are most vulnerable. If you haven't booked yours yet the time to act is now.’

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