Liam Byrne MP today called for a new Mayor’s Taskforce to mobilise the West Midlands to deliver 300,000 Covid vaccines a week - allowing all 1.6 million residents in the top priority groups in the region to be vaccinated by Valentine’s Day.  Byrne’s plan, based on new House of Commons data for the West Midlands, reveals there are 1.6 million West Midlands residents in the top 6 priority groups (which account for 99% of Covid deaths) - and 2.7 million residents over the age of 50. Byrne’s 5 point plan asks for the following:

  • A Mayor’s Taskforce to bring the NHS family together with local councils and public services to triple current vaccine delivery capacity  
  • Confirm regional supply of the vaccine with national government at 300,000 a week
  • Transform the number of settings used for vaccinations, including bringing online community pharmacies
  • Mobilise a vaccination field force of at least 2,600 people, including medical students at the region’s 9 medical schools and universities providing medical education  
  • Implement systemisation of data creating a Covid Passport that allows us to re-open the region. 

 Liam Byrne MP, says: “Vaccine is the fastest way out of lockdown. The sooner everyone is safe, the sooner we can get back to normal. The leaders of the key pharmaceutical companies are telling us they can ship what we can jab. So we need to throw everything at a mass-vax programme - and we need to do it now. ‘Too many have lost their lives and livelihoods. The tragedy is our country has one of the worst death rates in the world, and one of world’s the biggest shock to the economy. We can’t go on like this. We have to pull together like never before to jab like never before.” The region-wide research complied by Liam Byrne MP argues: 

  1. A Mayor’s Taskforce to galvanise and coordinate the ‘mass-vax’ plan, by bringing together the local NHS family, Primary Care Networks, local authorities and relevant Government departments. 
  2. Confirm regional supply with national government, including a forward pipeline of 300,000 vaccinations per week for use across West Midlands as well as 12 million nationally. 
  3. Activate unused spaces. Pharmacies across the region already provide flu vaccinations, so it is fundamental that they are fully used for Covid. By using smaller pharmacies instead of solely relying on large vaccination centres, we bring the vaccine closer to the people that need it. They will also free up space in NHS hospitals for non-Covid affected patients in need of help. 
  4. Recruitment of a vaccination field force of 2,600 people. Supervision would need to be provided by trained doctors, but a volunteer force that has regular online training and support, aiming at a total jab time of 20 minutes per jab would enable the region to push forward as fast as possible.
  5. Implement systemisation of data and build good digital records that can interact with the Patient’s Care Record and be integrated into a health passport and their track-and-trace data. 

 At the current pace of around 1 million injections a week, it will take until 27 April to vaccinate all 1.6 million high priority residents - and it will take until the 14 July to vaccinate everyone over the age of 50.  At 3 million vaccinations a week - 300,000 delivered in the West Midlands, everyone in the top priority groups would be vaccinated in 5.3 weeks, taking us until 12 February. Everyone over the age of 50 could be vaccinated by 10 March.   NOTES TO EDITORS  The ‘West Midlands ‘Max-Vax’ Strategy’ can be found attached separately and contains more detail on each point. It also contains further information on the unreliable provision of vaccinations across the ten West Midlands constituencies.  ContactOliver Longworth – Head of Communications for Liam Byrne – olongworth@gmail.com – 07468611694