Halton Borough Council’s Director of Public Health is urging everyone who can have a vaccine to come forward and have it.
Almost 70,000 people across Halton have now received at least one dose of Coronavirus vaccine.
This is excellent news and is saving lives and protecting people from the effects of this life-threatening virus.
Across the UK, over 30 million people have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine since the start of the programme, which Public Health England (PHE) estimate has prevented at least 6,000 deaths in the first 3 months of 2021. Analysis of infection data since the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccines in the UK demonstrates that vaccination is highly effective and substantially reduces the risk of infection and severe COVID-19 disease.
Yesterday, as a precautionary measure, the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised that it is preferable for adults aged under 30 with no underlying conditions to be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine where available. This follows reports of an extremely rare adverse event of blood clots and low platelet count following vaccination with the first dose of AstraZeneca.
People in these categories can still choose to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to receive earlier protection.
All those who have received a first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine should continue to be offered a second dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, irrespective of age. The second dose will be important for longer lasting protection against COVID-19. To date, there are no reports of blood clots following the second dose
Professor Wei Shen Lim, COVID-19 Chair for JCVI has stressed the importance of getting a vaccine when offered saying: “The COVID-19 vaccines have already saved thousands of lives and the benefit for the majority of the population is clear – if you are offered a vaccine, you should take it.”
This message is echoed by Eileen O’Meara, Halton’s Director of Public Health who said: “Vaccine safety is really important and we would like to reassure everyone that we take the issue very seriously. In the UK every incident that involves a vaccine is reported and examined and the appropriate action is taken as needed, as in this case.
“The Coronavirus Vaccination Programme has been successful in saving lives and protecting people from ill health across Halton. We have seen a huge number of people vaccinated in a short period of time. It is a credit to our health services and to our local community that we are able to tackle this virus so effectively. We have seen infection rates fall since the vaccine programme started and we need to keep going.
“The vaccine is safe and it is working. I had my vaccine when I was invited, with no real side effects. I would not hesitate to encourage my family and friends to have their vaccination too.”
Currently, everyone in the top nine priority groups are eligible to book their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination – this means everyone aged 50+, all frontline health and care workers, unpaid carers and anyone aged 16-64 with an underlying health condition which places them at higher risk. Second doses are also being delivered in line with the nationally agreed schedule.
PHE Data: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-vaccines-have-prevented-thousands-of-deaths-in-older-adults-new-data-shows