With all of us likely to need an annual covid jab in the years ahead, a leading Liberal Democrat Councillor in Gateshead has called on any system set up to administer vaccines in the future to tackle other health issues as well.
Cllr Jonathan Wallace, Leader of the Opposition on Gateshead Council, believes that an annual visit to a health centre for a covid jab would be an ideal opportunity to identify the early stages of cancer, tackle obesity, address substance abuse and help with mental health issues.
“For most people, an annual covid jab will be their only direct contact with the health service,” said Jonathan. “But we also know that many people will miss the signs of early onset of illnesses such as cancer.
“The longer we ignore our health problems, or the longer we simply don’t realise we have a health problem, the lower our survival chances and the higher the cost of treatment.
“But if each of us is going for an annual covid jab, we will be face to face with medical staff. It is an ideal opportunity to address other illnesses at an early stage.
“This would benefit not only the people receiving their covid jabs, it would also relieve the burden on the NHS in the future.
“I’ve asked Public Health if there are any plans for how covid vaccines will be delivered to the whole population on an annual basis in the future. At present, I’m told, there are no plans but work on this will have to start soon.
“It is an ideal opportunity to build a system that can reach every person in the country and address their health issues.