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CPD: Vaccinating hard-to-reach communities

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Some groups have proved harder to reach for the Covid vaccination programme. Dr Sharon Raymond details how obstacles might be overcome

The Covid vaccination programme has been a success. More than 25 million people in the UK had received their first dose at the time of going to press. But there remains a not-insignificant cohort in whom uptake has been less smooth, including people from black African, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Roma and Traveller backgrounds, people from deprived communities, and those who are traditionally less likely to access care, such as sex workers and homeless patients.

It can be challenging to spend time on reaching these groups, when your practice is probably fielding many queries from patients who are desperate for their turn.

But these groups may be among the most marginalised or at risk from the virus, whether due to socioeconomic or health-related factors. Here, we will discuss ways to try to reach these patients – and those who are reluctant to get the vaccine for other reasons.

Summary of key learning points:

  • Identify barriers
  • Understand patients’ particular concerns
  • Anxiety and problems with logistics
  • Divide into specific groups
  • Take action – Give clear information to counter misinformation
  • Assess different models of vaccine administration
  • Promote vaccine equality
  • Plan ahead

Dr Sharon Raymond is a GP in north London and the director of the Covid Crisis Rescue Foundation

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