CONCERNS have been raised over the levels of vaccine hesitancy in parts of Bradford, as the latest NHS data reveals certain areas are trailing far behind in the rollout.

People eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine, particularly those over 60 and those from BAME backgrounds who are more at risk of serious illness or death, are being urged to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

The latest data on the vaccination programme from NHS England revealed that the Bradford East and West constituencies are trailing far behind the district and national average on vaccinations, and that some neighbourhoods in these areas are even further behind in the rollout.

It comes as research from Born in Bradford revealed an urgent need to tackle the “overwhelming misinformation” about Covid-19.

Bradford Director of Public Health has also urged people get the jabs which are proven to be safe and effective, and MPs have backed the calls and sought to confront false information around the vaccine’s contents.

Currently in Bradford, 88.5 per cent of over 60s have had at least one dose of the vaccine as of March 21, but in Bradford West this figure sits at 79.9 per cent and in Bradford East it is 84.9 per cent.

These compare to the national picture, where 90.5 per cent of over 60s are vaccinated so far.

Some parts of Bradford East and Bradford West are even further behind in the roll out, such as in Holme Top where only 67 per cent of over 60s have had the jab, Central Bradford and Barkerend West where the figure is 68.6 per cent, and Girlington, Manningham and Brown Royd where the figure for all three is under 71 per cent.

Of the Covid vaccine sites around the Bradford district, 10 are in areas with the lowest take up of the jab.

The study from Bradford Institute for Health Research at the end of last year found there is a much higher level of vaccine hesitancy in ethnic minorities and “if not addressed there is a high risk of inequitable roll out of the vaccination programme in the UK”.

It said: “The reasons for not wanting a vaccine included high levels of suspicion or distrust in those that had developed and approved the vaccines, as well as a belief in misinformation about the safety and/or the speed with which the vaccine had been developed.

“Similarly, those who remain uncertain expressed the need for more information, and confusion from exposure to prevalent misinformation.

“These results highlight a much higher level of vaccine hesitancy in ethnic minorities, those living in deprived areas and those that distrust the NHS.”

It recommended targeted work in deprived and ethnic minority communities to urge them to get the jab and dispel myths about Covid.

Imran Hussain, MP for Bradford East, had his first jab last week and has called on more people to follow suit in his constituency.

He said: “It is important people take the opportunity to get the Covid vaccine if they have been offered it by the NHS.

“Having received my own first jab last week, I strongly encourage all those who have received an invitation to get an appointment booked as soon as possible.

“We also need to ensure vaccination sites are as accessible, trusted and recognisable for as many people as possible, which is why I am continuing to push the Vaccines Minister and Health Secretary, as well as local NHS leaders, to look into expanding the vaccination sites in Bradford to include St Luke’s and Eccleshill Community Hospital.”

Sarah Muckle, director of public heath at Bradford Council, has also encouraged more people to get the jab and has sought to assure people that the vaccine is safe.

She said: “Both vaccines are safe and work well to protect us against COVID-19; there’s no reason to delay if you are invited to get your vaccine.

“Getting vaccinated is our best hope for returning to normal life and protecting ourselves and our loved ones against this awful virus.

“However it’s still more important than ever to stick with the guidance around social-distancing, wearing masks, washing our hands and isolating if we have symptoms or a positive test result.”

There had been concerns in continental Europe last week with many countries halting use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab due to blood clot fears, but these worries have been quashed by health experts.