VACCINE VAN: Grab a jab campaign continues
A vaccine van has arrived in Chelmsley Wood as part of a fresh push for people to get their Covid shots as a fall in cases stalls.
While infection levels are still well down on last month’s record heights, the dramatic drop-off in the second half of July has faltered.
The drop-in sessions, which offer either a first or second dose of Pfizer, are largely aimed at the borough’s younger adults.
Solihull’s latest weekly update confirms significant numbers of under 40s have no protection.
More than a third of 20-somethings (around 35 per cent) are still to have a first shot, with almost 30 per cent of those in their 30s in the same position.
And take-up is lower than average in Chelmsley and its neighbouring wards of Smith’s Wood and Kingshurst & Fordbridge – falling to just over half of 20 to 29-year-olds.
A council spokesman said: “We still have the highest rates in the West Midlands, so it’s vital that you get both vaccine doses as soon as possible for maximum protection.
“In addition from next week self-isolation rules will change for those who’ve been double vaccinated, so don’t miss out this summer and get your vaccine as soon as possible.
“The NHS also recommends that pregnant women have the vaccine as soon as possible to protect themselves and their baby.
“Having Covid-19 whilst pregnant may mean that a woman’s baby is premature or may need an emergency caesarean.”
Solihull’s seven-day rate has plateaued at around the 350 per 100,000 mark for around a week.
While the virus has not continued on the upward trajectory some scientists feared, which could have forced a return to restrictions even before the end of August, there will undoubtedly be concern about community transmission staying high through the summer.
The prevalence of Covid remains so much greater than this time last year, albeit with few legal restrictions now in place and a large section of the population fully-vaccinated.
The big uncertainty is what will happen when children return to school next month and people start to meet indoors more going into autumn; both the holidays and summer weather no doubt reduce the spread.
Ruth Tennant, the council’s director for public health, this morning made a fresh plea for people to get their vaccines.
“We have REALLY high rates in 17-24-year-olds in Solihull so please spread the word and ‘grab a jab’. It will help make autumn a bit more normal.”
The vaccine van is at Asda, in Bosworth Drive, today and tomorrow (August 11-12). Over 18s can drop in at any time between 10am-4pm.
Please note that second doses are currently available eight weeks after the first has been delivered.
Words: David Irwin, Local Democracy Reporter
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