Asylum seekers offered vaccines as part of Blackpool health checks

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Medics are screening 270 asylum seekers who are currently living in Blackpool’s Metropole Hotel after being moved there by the Home Office.

 

Health assessments for the arrivals, who are said to be living in family groups, will include Covid testing and offering vaccinations where required.

The town’s director of public health Dr Arif Rajpura told a meeting of the full council the vaccine van was being used to deliver Covid jabs from the Metropole car park.

Updating councillors on the latest Covid situation in Blackpool, he warned of “a bumpy winter ahead” as the NHS dealt with all the usual winter pressures as well as a backlog of patients and potential spikes in Covid.

Asylum seekers are being accommodated in the Metropole Hotel

Asylum seekers are being accommodated in the Metropole Hotel

He said: “We’ll have Covid cases rising at times, we’ll have flu, other viruses and all the other things winter brings.

“The health and social care system is already under pressure so it’s really important to keep up with measures like hand washing, getting the vaccine and social distancing.

“Do that and get to April and maybe we can look forward to a post-pandemic world.”

While 92 per cent of over 60s in Blackpool are now double-jabbed, just under half of 16 and 17-year-olds have had the vaccine.

By September 26, the vaccine van had delivered 8,118 doses, with many of these reaching those who have been hesitant to have the vaccine.