Wokingham Borough Council is encouraging residents who are yet to have the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to come forward for it in the next couple of weeks, ahead of restrictions potentially easing from 19 July.
All adults over the age of 18 are now eligible for the vaccine, which is bookable through the NHS website. The gap between first and second jabs will now also be shortened from 12 weeks to eight for all adults, so anyone who is eligible for the second dose is encouraged to bring their appointment forward.
This is particularly important as cases are reaching heights not seen since February 2021. The current weekly case rate per 100,000 people in the borough is 119.8 (up to 2 July), with the virus largely spreading in younger cohorts who are not yet fully vaccinated. More information is available on the Berkshire Public Health website.
Get both doses
Cllr Charles Margetts, executive member for health, wellbeing and adult services, said: “Official data up to 4 July shows that 83.6% of eligible adults in the borough have received their first dose of the vaccine, and 58.6% their second. This is really encouraging, and we now need everyone over the age of 18 to come forward for both doses.
“Remember, the first dose doesn’t offer notable protection until two weeks after you’ve had it, and you must have two doses for full protection. It is very safe and has proven to weaken the link between cases, hospital admissions and deaths.
“With restrictions likely to ease in a matter of weeks, and case rates remaining high in our borough, it’s very important that we get on the front foot. We are working closely with the NHS to make it as easy as possible for people to get vaccinated, and are having conversations about additional walk-in clinics, following the success of our surge vaccination programme at Bulmershe Leisure Centre last month.”
Later this summer, the Government also intends to exempt people who have been fully vaccinated from the requirement to self-isolate if they are a contact of a positive case; and if they have arrived from an amber country.
Stay safe, stay sensible
“Despite ‘freedom day’ being in sight, the race isn’t over when it comes to Covid-19, and we will face challenges in the months ahead,” said Cllr Margetts. “However, the vaccine offers hope and protection for all, especially with a third ‘booster’ jab on the horizon. Our residents have been incredible throughout the pandemic, but this final push is needed to help bring down infections and keep everyone safe.”
Residents are encouraged to keep up with their twice-weekly lateral flow tests to check they aren’t infected and spreading the virus unknowingly; as well as getting a PCR test if they develop any symptoms.
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