blank
Connect with us

Coronavirus

Public torn over COVID-19 booster jabs and flu vaccinations

Published

on

New research by a Swansea University expert has highlighted how torn members of the public are over the issue of Covid-19 booster vaccines and the flu vaccine.

The study by Dr Simon Williams revealed how people’s attitudes to Covid-19 boosters corresponds with their attitudes to initial Covid-19 vaccines – with those who were hesitant towards initial Covid-19 vaccines also uncertain about the idea of boosters.  Those keen to accept their initial vaccines tended to see boosters as an extension of their previous vaccines.

It has just been published on PsyArXiv , a site used by researchers to share new findings on timely issues before they have been peer-reviewed for publication in a journal.

The main findings of the study were:

  • Booster intentions correspond with decisions around initial vaccination.
  • There are mixed views on the idea of booster vaccines and flu vaccines. Some people are worried that taking booster and flu jabs together might interact to have unpleasant side effects.
  • Messaging around booster vaccines needs to take into consideration that some are still hesitant around Covid-19 vaccines. There needs to be an emphasis on booster jabs as a way to maintain immunity over time and a collective act to protect others and retain normality.
  • Messaging around boosters and influenza vaccines need to stress they are safe and convenient to be taken together and that both are important, especially for those clinically vulnerable.

The study is the latest report from the Swansea University Public Views of the Covid-19 Pandemic project. The research has involved online focus groups and interviews with people from across the UK, exploring their views and experiences on a range of topics related to the pandemic, including Covid-19 vaccinations. 

Advertisement

Dr Williams, Senior Lecturer in People & Organisations, said: “Messaging around Covid-19 boosters might tap into the fact that those who have already had their Covid-19 vaccines see a booster as a way to simply extend their immunity.  Because the vast majority of adults, especially older adults and those in vulnerable groups, have had their initial vaccinations, I would expect most people to accept their booster jabs if and when offered. 

“Although there was initially some hesitancy for many when Covid-19 vaccines were first being developed, booster jabs are likely to be seen by most as less ‘new’ and therefore less risky in terms of potential side effects.  However, those who remain hesitant about their initial vaccine decision tend to be less favourable towards the idea of booster jabs.

“Another key message is around seeing boosters as a way to protect the freedoms we are currently enjoying and to avoid future restrictions.  In this way, boosters can be seen as a collective act that can help to protect normality.

“One concern is over potential uptake of the flu vaccine this coming winter.  In this study, some people were concerned over the possibility of an interaction between a Covid-19 booster jab and a flu jab if taken at the same time.  It is important that health authorities communicate clearly to people in the relevant categories, not only how it is safe to take both at the same time, but also their importance in protecting themselves and others in the coming months.”

Advertisement
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Coronavirus

Calls intensify for First Minister to announce Wales specific Covid-19 enquiry

Published

on

By

Welsh Conservatives have repeated the call for a Wales-specific Covid-19 inquiry.

On behalf of the Senedd Conservatives, Paul Davies MS challenged the First Minister over his refusal to hold a Welsh specific inquiry and denying victims’ families the answers they deserve.

The questioning from the Welsh Conservatives follows a tweet from Mark Drakeford which provoked an emotive response from the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice-Cymru group.

Following a summit yesterday between the British Prime Minister and leaders of the devolved administrations, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford tweeted:

Later, the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice-Cymru tweeted:

Taking up the issue on behalf of the families in the Senedd, Mr Davies said: “There is no reason why the Welsh Government can’t take part in a UK-wide inquiry and a Welsh inquiry. An open and transparent Government must be accountable to the people it serves, and the people of Wales deserve answers.

Advertisement

 “An open and transparent Government must be accountable to the people it serves, and the people of Wales deserve answers. ‘Responsible, but not held responsible’ seems to be the mantra of this Welsh Labour Government. Now, organisations like the bereaved families group, Medics 4 Mask Up Wales and the British Lung Foundation have all joined calls for a Welsh inquiry.

 “It’s time for your government to do the right thing and commit to that inquiry. A Welsh inquiry is a necessary part in helping the country understand how decisions were made and whether lessons have indeed been learnt.”

Speaking outside the chamber, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Economy, Paul Davies MS said:“Welsh Conservatives have always said a Wales-specific inquiry, alongside a UK investigation, is essential in delivering justice for those affected by coronavirus and lockdowns.

“Throughout the pandemic we were told that different decisions would be taken in Wales to meet our specific circumstances, and now we need a specific public inquiry to scrutinise these decisions.

“Sadly, Wales has the highest Covid death rate in the UK and over 8,000 people have tragically died during the pandemic, a quarter of whom acquired the infection in hospital.

Advertisement

“The grieving families deserve answers, and full, independent scrutiny of the decisions taken by Labour ministers and Wales should get the transparency, accountability, and scrutiny that every democracy needs to thrive.

“Regrettably, responsible but not held responsible seems to be the mantra of this Labour administration.”

Continue Reading

Coronavirus

Health board using converted shipping containers as ‘local vaccination centres’

Published

on

By

Swansea Bay University Health Board say they are making it easier for older people to get their Covid-19 booster vaccinations with the use of converted shipping containers.

Three containers, known as Local Vaccination Centres (LVCs), have been located in communities across the Swansea Bay area for those who may find it difficult to get to a mass vaccination centre.

The containers build on the success and experience of the Immbulance, the health board’s mobile vaccination unit.

And they are able to free up the Immbulance to be deployed to cover new areas.

The units can be located in one place for several days and include staff facilities, which means they can stay there longer and don’t have to be driven away each night and be brought back the following morning.

Staff are providing Covid booster vaccinations for those with an appointment only and aim to deliver 60 jabs every day.

Advertisement

People can then wait the usual 15-minutes after a vaccination either in their cars or in the container itself.

One of the units has been placed in Seven Sisters Rugby Club car park to serve those in the Dulais Valley and neighbouring communities.

Another of the LVCs has been placed near the Guildhall in Swansea, which has proven to be a popular location for the Immbulance.

James Ruggiero, Swansea Bay University Health Board’s Assistant Head of Operational Planning for the vaccination programme, said: “This project is part of our ongoing effort to increase access to vaccinations across the Swansea Bay area. 

“These units are helping us in our aim to get as many people vaccinated as possible, particularly those who may have difficulty in travelling to our mass vaccination centres.”

Advertisement

Lead image: Matthew Armstrong, immuniser; Andrea Howells, clinical supervisor; Ian Worthing, immuniser (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

Continue Reading

Carmarthenshire

People with weakened immune systems eligible for third primary Covid-19 vaccine urged to come forward

Published

on

By

People aged 12 and over living in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire with severely weakened immune systems at the time of their first and/or second COVID-19 vaccines are being asked to contact the health board to request a third dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

The third primary dose is not the same as the booster vaccinations currently being rolled out at mass vaccination centres.

Bethan Lewis, Interim Assistant Director of Public Health for Hywel Dda UHB, said: “If your immune system was severely weakened due to an underlying health condition or medical treatment, you may not have made a good immune response to the first two doses of COVID-19 vaccination.

“A third primary dose of the vaccine will improve your levels of immunity to give you better protection and should be given at least eight weeks after the second dose, but timing will depend on any treatment you may be having. A booster vaccination may also be needed at a later date.

“If you live in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion or Pembrokeshire and believe you are eligible for a third primary vaccine dose but have not been contacted yet, we are asking for you to get in touch with us as soon as possible.”

People eligible for a third primary Covid-19 vaccination dose are urged to complete an online form on the health board’s website.

Advertisement

Those waiting for a Covid-19 vaccination booster are asked not to contact the health board yet, as they will be sent an invitation to attend a mass vaccination centre.

(Lead image: Hywel Dda NHS)

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Swansea Bay News