South Tyneside Covid 'street teams' praised for vaccine outreach programme under 'enhanced response'

Council bosses have praised 'street teams' deployed across South Tyneside over the weekend as part of efforts to increase uptake of Covid-19 vaccinations.

The move was the first step of 'enhanced response' measures announced last month to reduce infection rates in the region and boost vaccine uptake in areas where the rollout was slowing down.

South Tyneside hosted an initial trial with 25 public health workers arriving in the borough from Friday 6 August, and being sent to busy areas to talk to people.

This included working with community leaders and local authority staff to address any possible concerns from the public surrounding vaccines, as well as directing people towards clinics.

Councillor Tracey Dixon, leader of South Tyneside Council, gave an update on the vaccine surge efforts at the cabinet meeting on Wednesday 11 August.

She told the meeting: "On Friday, Saturday and Sunday we appealed to anyone who had not had their Covid-19 jabs to come forward and get vaccinated as soon as possible.

The meeting heard that street teams had received a "positive response" from the public - with more than 4,600 "detailed conversations with people."

Street teams are also expected to be out again in South Tyneside this weekend, with further specifics to be announced.

Cllr Dixon, leader of the council, went on to say: "The additional 25 boots on the ground were provided to us as part of the North East being an enhanced response area.

"We have had confirmation that we will receive the same support again this weekend with additional officers on the streets and working with communities on Friday, August 13 through to Sunday, August 15.

"We're yet to finalise the specifics but we aim to target Boldon Lane, Jarrow and Hebburn to bring the vaccine uptake even higher."