Portsmouth residents aged 45 and over urged to book Covid vaccine
CITY residents aged 45 and over have been urged to book their first Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible to help protect themselves and their loved ones.
Portsmouth bosses welcomed the government's announcement today that the next age group was now eligible for a jab, having already offered one to all those aged 50 and over.
Helen Atkinson, director of public health at Portsmouth City Council, said: 'It's really positive news that we've moved into cohort 10 of the vaccination programme and that people aged 45 years and older can now get vaccinated.
'The vaccination provides you with the best protection from Covid-19, which we know can cause very serious illness and death, and that is why I would strongly encourage residents to take up the offer.
'It's still important to follow guidance around hand washing, face coverings, social distancing and allowing fresh air inside even when you've had the vaccine to help minimise risk to yourself and others.'
According to the most recent figures from NHS England as of April 4 a total of 97,666 people in Portsmouth have had at least one dose of a Covid vaccine.
And of these 64,042 people over the age of 50 have had theirs.
Portsmouth council leader, Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said: 'It's really great news.
'When you look at the statistics we're doing really well in Portsmouth with vaccines. In care homes effectively 100 per cent of people have had a jab and in the other age groups it's more than 80 per cent. It's the highest take up we've ever had of any kind of vaccine.
'The more people who have their vaccine the better. We have seen our infection rates collapse in recent weeks. And not only this but the rate of people being admitted to hospital and dying has massively reduced.
'The combination of lockdown and the vaccine is working. So if you are offered your vaccine, take it. It's so important to protect yourselves, your family, friends and co-workers.'
It comes as Portsmouth's voluntary network the Hive has called for more volunteers to sign up to help out at various vaccine centres in the city.
To book a vaccine or to find out more visit nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination.