How do you boost take up of the coronavirus vaccine? – BBC Newsnight

it's the map that defines england right now what tier its inhabitants live in we know the tears could change but it will almost certainly be a vaccine that will finally get rid of them for good so what needs to happen for the vaccine to do its job first it needs to be licensed by the regulator to make sure it's not only effective but safe to use regulators will demand at least two months if not four months follow-up to be sure that the vaccine does not have adverse events occur occurring at a rate of say one in five thousand vaccinated that are serious we really don't want to have that most of those sort of serious adverse effects will occur in the first two months but monitoring vaccines doesn't stop once they've been approved for use sometimes a side effect might be so rare many tens of thousands of people will need to have had a jab for it to become apparent more trials and big databases will allow further follow-up to happen we actually try and calculate what your risks are of having the disease over let us say the next year and compare those with the risks of having let us say a vaccine-induced adverse effect and we make sure that that balance is extremely favorable because we aren't treating people for a disease with this vaccine and we are treating people who are otherwise healthy we've heard much about herd immunity throughout the course of the pandemic the need to stop the spread but who gets it in the uk in the first instance is a matter of protection in reality many of the programs that we use for vaccines have a much broader perspective and really about trying to protect the entire population by reducing circulation of the infection but in this case in the first instance things are being very much targeted at people who are either at very high risk of exposure to the virus through their occupational uh pastimes and and so on or people who we know are very likely to get very sick or die if they get the infection once the vaccine has been approved there's the task of giving it to all those who need it the vaccine may roll off the production line but it will take thousands of extra hours work for gps could administering it leave some surgeries out of pocket even though as i understand it the box that it comes in can be stored in a normal fridge i think you will find that there will be problems in taking it out defrosting it and it probably one that will be for the large centers and hopefully the ones that we'll be getting will be the oxford one which is much more stable can be stored in a normal fridge the highest risk group of course are those in care homes and what we will be doing is making sure rather than one gp go into one care home and only immunize their own patients one gp or nurse or pharmacist will go in and immunise everybody in the care home on behalf of everybody else finally with such fast development will people hesitate before having it remember this i think the mum test is very important here my mum is um 78 she'll be 79 shortly and i've already said to her mum make sure when you're called you're ready some experts say that we need to give more detail than what's included on a press release and asking if it'll pass the mum test this should include what it is and isn't known so what harms have been reported and by whom plus the effectiveness in different groups the impact on transmission and longer term immunity because the program is targeted as i said to people at particularly high risk the majority of those people are going to be particularly keen to receive immunization once the vaccine's been properly uh licensed and authorized um because the the balance of risk and benefit is clearly very strongly in favor of receiving the vaccine this actually contains the vaccine the pm was visiting a vaccine manufacturer today the vaccine itself is within touching distance but making a success of it will take a while longer we're joined now by paulette hamilton the labour councillor and cabinet member for health on birmingham city council major general tim cross a retired british army officer and military logistics expert and james johnson who was theresa may's pollster in number 10 downing street very nice to have you all a major general tim cross i'm going to start with you if i can in terms of the military logistics do we have the capacity to to roll this out now and what is it how does it work well we don't have we don't have it in the military logistics system i mean the nation as a whole has the capacity logistics is about getting the right stuff to the right place at the right time and the trick is to ensure that you have the command and control in place to ensure that the capacity we've got is used effectively and coherently to deliver the plan whatever the plan is um the military part of this is part of a what's been legislated for for many many years it's called military assistance to the civil authority the military are not in charge of this we're here to support the government and the local governments in in the plan we will put people into their headquarters into their various command cells to help them work their way through what that plan might look like and we will put assets out and about um to help deliver you know the the the virus the vaccination wherever it needs to go so alone the military is not in a position to do this we don't have sufficient assets of our own we have to work alongside the nhs and all the other providers i'm guessing a lot of people will be looking at the problems that we've seen over the last year the problems that the government's had with test and trace or with pp procurement at the beginning what do you need or what does the army i should say need to get this right and to make it work what's the most useful thing you can get from government well it's not just the army i should stress it's it's the military as a whole maybe in the air force only deed some civilians too within the mod i mean this is all i stress what i've said before it's about command and control it's the about the ability to think through um getting the stuff to where it needs to go to the care homes to the gp surgeries or to any other outlet i mean every every village has a parish church you know whatever facility we want to use to deliver deliver it um so it's about it's about command control and an efficient communication system to the distribution of the of the vaccine wherever it needs to go right um the military as i say are in support here we're not here to take the thing over um we're here to support those who would i mean i had my flu jab a couple of months ago there is a system in place we just need to look at that and decide what needs to happen in terms of ramping up uh to get it to you know get the vaccine to the various places in a timely way because it's a whole different scale isn't it if i go to scale hamilton where you are um how nervous are you there about take up do you sense is there an is there an appetite for the vaccine can i be honest with you emma emily there is something in the community guardians conspiracy theories people feel very nervous they're nervous at the speed at which this vaccine as has come to the market they're nervous because many people think that there is a chip in the vaccine that will be put into them they're nervous because we as a community we have been disproportionately affected by 19 and i've had people come to my ward meetings and different things saying why are black people going to be at the front of the queue and that's just not the case so i've been saying and i've said all along and i'll say on here government has to be absolutely clear on the messages that it that are going out and i hear what the sergeant major says but people will not take this vaccine if people do not believe it's being given for the right reasons ever since dominic cummings went out and broke the rules in parts of the community some people feel that there is one rule for some and another rule for others so we ups have to be absolutely clear read this virus to the groups we're giving we need the messages to be clear and we need the people that are giving these vaccines to be absolutely all singing from the same imminent because that's the man that in your intro has it got the mom's test and i'm not sure it's got that at the moment across the nation paulette what what do you say personally i mean are people coming to you and saying why are we being singled out in the black or asian community to go first do you explain it's because they're vulnerable not because you know their sense that their guinea pigs absolutely do and my word to people out there in birmingham we've done a lot of work in this area and what i've always said to people is it is the most vulnerable groups it's not about your color it's it's about the most vulnerable groups but what you have to understand is at the beginning of this particular pandemic they had said that the black and asian community were disproportionately affected so they truly believe that because they were disproportionately affected at the beginning that they're being used as the guinea pigs now gosh uh james johnson i i wonder what the government does to to correct that narrative and and i mean we don't know how widespread that is but certainly uh polit hamilton's talking as a labour councillor in part of birmingham city council what's the government's first job then just to make sure people feel it's safe yeah i think exactly i mean in relative terms to other countries um uptake in uk is looking relatively healthy about 65 of people in a poll that we conducted through keck cnc say they're likely or definitely would take it now that's higher than the other five countries in that poll higher than france higher in the united states and it's particularly high amongst over 65s that's the good news but as part of reference is there you know we do see people saying by quite a large margin by about 54 saying that they're they worried it's been rushed through um and we also see a small margin saying uh that it might not have been tested thoroughly so there are those concerns about safety i think the government really has to get on the front foot and deflect some of those negatives i think it has to be really honest really clear that clarity of message um is very important and being proactive and deflecting those things the thing that worries me most is not necessarily um the conspiracy theory side though that is important but is a is a sort of a general doubt rippling through the population um that somehow this isn't safe you know one story getting blown up concerns about side effects for example so the government has to be really clear in that and they also need to talk about the positives you know promote the positives of this vaccine we've seen today you know sort of talk referring to you know restaurant cinemas banning people from going in that's important that's the stick but they also need the carrot the sort of what does this actually mean for you what will this allow you to do what would this allow us to do as a country and would you get that positive message across too yeah and paulette we um started the show i mean you mentioned the mum test um we start the show with with uh an old picture of elvis who was the role model at one time for polio is there is it a carrot is there a role model this time would you like to see politicians themselves having it for your community is it is it good to have um the military on hand is that a reassurance i mean in what sense what would bring people around to sort of believing that this is this is the right thing to do can i be honest with you i'm in a community where 84 of the community that i'm a counselor in they're from um the black and minority ethnic groups and if you put the police or the military in front of them there is a level of distrust so i don't truly believe that that would necessarily work in areas such as mine but what i do believe will work and that's what we are doing in birmingham is we have something going on called covid champions and these are people that are and they know the local community and they're going out there and they're spreading the word in the local community what's up is very popular in birmingham we absolutely use our faith groups that are without them we couldn't have got this far they have been absolutely phenomenal social media quite a lot so facebook live instagram live we're on twitter but what we also do is we get things out in different languages because people are not hard to reach the issue here is that people people are not making the effort to reach those groups so for me the police would not be or the military would not be the entity i would want to use to get the messages out there but the faith groups and others would be far more advantageous in communities like mine let me just ask general tim cross that you've made it very clear that the the army aren't taking over here they're just they're just doing the logistics on the ground where it's needed do you have a concern when you hear what pauline says um that the your people could be a sort of a a blockade in a way uh a suspicion of authority in some of these communities well i hear that but i have to say that a huge percentage of soldiers that i've worked with over 30 40 years came from exactly the sort of communities that pauline is talking about i mean this is a matter of leadership so for example when i was in the first golf campaign and we had to have all sorts of weird and wonderful things uh jabbed into our arms and tablets taken and so forth because we were worried about chemical warfare it was the senior officers and the officers who took this stuff first alongside the soldiers and you know showed them that that's we were all part of the same team now if pauline thinks that she doesn't want the police and the military in there she's she's the lady on the ground she would understand it she's talked about the faith communities which i would endorse it's the leadership so it's people like her who need to appear in the media on whatsapp on all these other stuff but show being shown taken taking this inoculation it's interesting is that the other leadership in terms of the politicians and the local community leaders and so forth it doesn't matter whether it's military or police or civil uh but but it has to it's a leadership issue yeah it's very interesting uh james i wonder if you're recalling um the hoo-ha there was with with tony blair over the mmr jab he did give it to his youngest son but but from what i recall he never went public about it and there was some sense that if he'd only done that and been a bit more vocal about it he would have brought a lot of people with so is this a top down i mean it's interesting isn't it paulette's talking very much of sort of you know grassroots and it's the local leaders and it's the religious leaders and it's and it's social media and tim cross is talking about getting the leaders you know in a position where others are able to follow what what is it for you yeah well i mean as with any sort of you know communications campaign like this the key thing is you know realizing who the audience is and you know what sources they trust and who they look to for guidance so absolutely you know for the communities as paulie's talking about um you know community leaders and so on very important uh politicians potentially important for some people uh seeing them sort of take the lead though obviously that would need to match the sort of you know order of preference for for the vaccine but other institutions and things that people trust well the nhs and nurses i think you know and not nurses and doctors people in the profession i think you know tv ads really you know with nhs nurses and doctors saying you know take this for us do it for us that would certainly uh generate support amongst the public and i think there probably is a role for celebrities but there's also a role for experts as well i mean in the polling that we've done we looked at all the different scenarios that would most boost uptake for the vaccine in the uk and actually despite some negative press recently um it's actually the vaccine being backed by the world health organization that really drives up support so people are looking for that guidance and that sort of backing from expert bodies as well that may be contested in the sort of commentary bubble but to the average person on the street a vaccine being backed by the world health organization sounds pretty convincing

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