Health charities step up call for vaccination take up amid blood clotting fears

A partnership of charities, formed to encourage Covid-19 vaccination take up among people with underlying health conditions, has stepped up its campaigning.

The group, including Mencap, Diabetes UK, Asthma UK and the British Health Foundation, has published an open letter calling on people to book a vaccination.

The aim is to offer reassurances of the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.

The letter comes as health authorities across Europe, including Ireland and France, have suspended distribution of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being widely used in the UK, amid fears of blood clotting.

“The vaccine is safe and effective and very few people are advised not to have it,” states the charities’ letter.

It adds: “Please come forward to have the jab. It will help save lives and offers the best form of protection from this terrible virus.”

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said: “The backing of the charities who work every day to support those who are entitled to a jab as part of cohort 6 is a great boost for the vaccine rollout and shows what we can achieve when we pull together.

“This open letter is a hugely important way to reassure those with underlying health conditions, and their carers, about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.

“The charities’ support for this national vaccine effort is invaluable in encouraging more people to come forward and helping us to save lives.”

The charities are targeting those in ‘cohort 6’ of the vaccination drive with underlying health concerns. This includes those with chronic respiratory, heart, kidney, liver disease and neurological conditions, including multiple sclerosis (MS) and epilepsy, stroke, vascular disease and diabetes.

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