Lancashire Labour Group Leader, Cllr Azhar Ali has slammed a decision by the Government to relocate 33% of Lancashire’s vaccines to London and the South East as cruel and heartless adding:

The lives of the people of Lancashire are being sacrificed in order to cover up the government’s deceit and lies.

33% of Lancashire
33% of Lancashire's vaccines to be moved to the South

In the email below from Angie Ridgwell, Chair of the Lancashire Resilience Forum, she asks for urgent support to ensure that Lancashire gets its fair share of the vaccine.

You will have seen the alarming media reports that the supply of vaccine for the North West is to be cut by a third in order to allow London and the South East to “catch up” with the rest of the country. I am writing to you to ask for your urgent support to ensure that Lancashire gets its fair share of vaccine.

The roll-out of the vaccine has been phenomenal in Lancashire. Lancashire has the highest proportion of vaccinations in the North and one of the highest in the country. That is all down to the hard work and dedication of our local NHS, supported by other public bodies.

This success cannot be jeopardised. We should not be penalised because other parts of the country have not done as good a job as us. The resulting impact for the failure of London and the South East to be as effective in their vaccine roll out as elsewhere cannot lie with Lancashire. We already have significant health inequalities in our county which have been deepened by the national handling of the pandemic. These must not be exacerbated further by an inequitable restriction on vaccine supply.
Lancashire has intractable structural issues and consequent inequalities need to be prioritised. Significant pockets of our population are under 70 with multiple long-term health conditions. Our success at reaching our top four priority groups means that we can and must move quickly to other priority populations. We should not be slowed down so that others can “catch up” because reducing our supply risks stalling our recovery from the pandemic.
Given the North West has had the highest proportion of hospital admissions and in-hospital deaths, any reduction in the speed of our vaccination programme risks the recovery of the NHS. It is vitally important that we stop the spread of the virus in Lancashire and free up the NHS to get back to addressing the long term health issues such as cancer and cardiovascular disease which are major causes of underlying poor health in Lancashire. We should not be the victims of our own success.
We appreciate there are international issues around vaccine supply, but that should not translate into providing successful delivery areas with a proportionately lower supply of vaccine.
The NHS centrally and the government have refused to provide us with full data of what vaccine is going where, and we have had to rely on the media to find out about the proposed supply cut. We need transparency and proper engagement because we do know that in recent days we have experienced a significant reduction in supply which has not been experienced in under-performing parts of the country.

This lack of transparency is symptomatic of how the centre has behaved since the rollout of the vaccine started. We are also still not receiving full data of who has had the vaccine in Lancashire which hampers the programme and hinders our colleagues from performing even better.

I would ask you to join us in calling both publicly and privately on the Department for Health and Social Care to:
– Provide us with full data on where the vaccine is going and why
– Commit to providing Lancashire with its fair proportionate share of the vaccine that is not based on underperformance in other parts of the country
– Pledge that the “levelling up” of underperforming areas such as London and the South East will not be at the expense of areas like Lancashire and the North West, which have been amongst the worst impacted by the virus.
As well as raising with government, the LRF will be issuing a press release shortly to make public our concerns. We will also share this on social media. We would appreciate it if you could amplify this message on your channels once it appears.
If you decide to support us on this, please use whatever wording you feel is appropriate, but you may wish to consider sharing our post with wording along these lines:

Lancashire must get its fair share of the vaccine and our supply must not be cut. Lancashire has big health inequalities compared to other areas and these have been exacerbated by Covid. Our vaccine roll out must not be jeopardised because other areas have underperformed.

Despite all of this, our local NHS continues to vaccinate large numbers of those most at risk of death or serious health complications. It is vital that we also continue to get the message out there that people should get vaccinated when they are contacted by the NHS so please continue to share messages from @healthierlsc. All the latest information is available at the Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria coronavirus vaccine website.

Angie Ridgewell

Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner added his support:

I fully support the Resilience Forum’s response to reports that Lancashire’s vaccine supply is to be cut in favour of other areas in the South. Supplies must not be cut, our county deserves its fair share of the vaccine.

Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire Police & Crime Commissioner
Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire Police & Crime Commissioner
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