Boston has been awarded £185,000 in the latest round of government funding aimed at encouraging vulnerable communities to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.
The borough council is just one of four in the East Midlands to receive the cash, which will see an army of ‘community vaccine champions’ encouraging people in their local area to jabbed.
The £22.5 million project is targeting the 60 councils with the lowest vaccine uptake across the country.
The funding will also help identify barriers to accessing accurate information and provide tailored support, such as phone calls for people without easy access to digital technology, helplines, and linking to GP surgeries as well as other initiatives.
According to NHS statistics, more than 4.6 million people aged 18 or older remained unvaccinated in the 60 local authorities selected to take part in the programme.
Communities Minister Kemi Badenoch MP said: “The unvaccinated are up to eight times more likely to be hospitalised than those who are jabbed.
“By funding community vaccine champions – an army of volunteers who are at the heart of their communities – we can reach those yet to be vaccinated and encourage them to protect themselves and the NHS.”
It comes as Boston-born Jonathan Van-Tam – England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer who has played a key role in the COVID pandemic – announced he will step down from his government post at the end of March.
Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup said: “We are doing everything we can to reach those who haven’t yet come forward for their jabs and we know some people are more likely to listen to those they trust, such as community and religious leaders – that’s why we are giving extra funding to our brilliant community champions.
“The offer of a vaccine will always be available, it’s not too late. Please come forward as soon as you can so we can learn to live with this virus.”
Boston Borough Council has been contacted for a comment.