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Improved access to vaccine for elderly is needed says MP

Over-80s living in the South Lakes are being asked to make a 40-mile round trip to get their COVID-19 vaccination, South Lakes MP Tim Farron has claimed.

Mr Farron said he was working with local health bosses to try and improve access to the vaccine for older people.

Currently people over the age of 80 who live in Ambleside and Windermere are being asked to go to Grange-over-Sands, while people living in Sedbergh have to travel to Kirkby Lonsdale.

Mr Farron said while primary care networks were doing an exceptional job of getting people vaccinated, it was important that provision was in place for those are unable to travel to their current nearest vaccination centre.

In Parliament last night, Tim asked the Minister for COVID Vaccine Deployment to intervene to fast-track any new potential vaccination sites.

Speaking during a debate in Westminster Hall, Tim said: “As a Member of Parliament for a very rural constituency, I am aware that delivering a vaccine in a place such as my constituency, which is bigger than Greater London, is a challenge.

“I am concerned that there are parts of my community where we have yet to get the vaccine rolled out; I ask for the Minister’s intervention, through the CCGs, to ensure that we fast-track site approval.

“We and the local primary care network particularly want to see delivery of the vaccine at the surgery in Windermere.

“The primary care network is already delivering it in Grange and in many care homes, but can we get it delivered from the surgery in Windermere as soon as possible?

“I would like to say the same for the Yorkshire Dales end of my constituency: people in Sedbergh in the western dales are having to travel to Kirkby Lonsdale or further to get the vaccine.

“It is important, particularly for older people and people who rely on public transport, that we do not overlook rural communities such as ours and that we ensure that the vaccine is delivered close to where people live.”

 

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