MARGARET Jones, Sefton Council’s director of Public Health has reiterated the importance of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
She also warned that without full protection the Omicron variant can still make some people seriously ill, despite it having been described as ‘mild’ by some commentators.
Margaret Jones said: “The news that fewer people are being made seriously ill by Omicron and that the government is considering reducing the time infected people are required to self-isolate is being interpreted by some as the now-prominent variant being mild.
“However, unless you are fully vaccinated, which means two jabs and a booster, you are not fully protected and could end up having a stay in hospital, which surely none of us wants.”
The Government is reporting that monitoring shows protection for those aged 65 and over remains at about 90% around three months after their third dose booster. Having only two doses means protection against serious illness drops to around 70% after three months and to 50% after six months.
Mrs Jones added: “While we still need to be wearing face coverings and maintaining social distance while out and about, vaccination is the single best way we can help prevent the huge disruption that is being caused to medical, transport and other services, while at the same time protecting ourselves and those around us.”
The council has said that hospitals in Cheshire and Merseyside currently have “extremely high levels” of bed occupancy and are seeing a huge rise in demand for their services.
The majority of people being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 have either not had their booster, or have not had the full course of the vaccine.
Fiona Taylor, chief officer at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “As Sefton is seeing some of the highest rates of Covid-19 infections in the country, it is vital that we get boosted to get protected.
“Even if you have recently had Covid-19, you still need to get your booster jab. The vaccine is designed to give you stronger immunity than having the illness.”
If you are eligible for your booster jab, people can call 119 or visit the NHS website to book an appointment or find a walk-in vaccination site that is offering booster jabs at www.nhs.uk/covid-booster.
Booster jabs are also available from local vaccination sites in Sefton, which are taking bookings by telephone for anyone eligible. People can contact the local vaccination sites to get booked in:
- Seaforth Village Surgery, 20 Seaforth Rd, L21 3TA: call 07979 938 229
- Netherton Health Centre, Magdalen Square, L30 5SP: call 0151 247 6413
- Southport Centre for Health and Wellbeing, 44-46 Hoghton Street, PR9 0PQ: call 01704 395830
Residents can also find out more about local vaccination sites in Sefton by visiting: www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk or www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk.