Covid-19 jabs for all adults in some parts of Wigan
Coronavirus vaccinations are being offered to all adults in some parts of Wigan, as the roll-out of the jab continues.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that people in England aged 23 and 24 would be eligible for the injection from Tuesday, during the same speech in which he extended the current coronavirus restrictions until July 19.
But some GP practices in Wigan are already inviting patients aged 18 and over to book appointments to receive their first dose.
A post on Standish Medical Practice’s Facebook page said: “We have been given the go ahead to invite patients from the age of 18 years and upwards.
“If you haven’t received a text from Wigan GP Alliance within the next few hours (as information just been sent) please can you contact the surgery and we can book you in for Pfizer clinics next week, your mobile phone number might need adding to your record at the surgery.”
Shevington Surgery said: “Patients aged 18 and above are now being contacted to book an appointment for a Covid-19 vaccination.
“If you have not received a text message or have not yet taken up the offer of a vaccination, please contact the surgery on 01942 483777 and we will be able to book you an appointment at Robin Park Leisure Centre.
“Alternatively, please contact the national booking centre on 119 to book an appointment at one of the other booking centres.”
While the NHS is not yet officially inviting all 18 year olds to receive the jab, it is understood that some practices are running ahead of schedule and others are inviting all adults to get immunised in areas where uptake is low to increase protection in the community.
As Mr Johnson announced a delay to the easing of lockdown, he said all over 40s should have their second vaccination eight weeks - rather than 12 weeks - after their first.
It is hoped that will mean around two-thirds of adults will have been offered two doses of vaccine by July 19.
At a Downing Street briefing on Monday, Mr Johnson said: “By Monday, July 19, we will aim to have double-jabbed around two-thirds of the adult population including everyone over 50, all the vulnerable, all frontline health and care workers and everyone over 40 who received their first dose by mid-May.
“To do this we will now accelerate the second jabs for those over 40, just as we did for the vulnerable groups, so they get the maximum protection as fast as possible.
“And we will bring forward our target to give every adult in the country a first dose by July 19, that is including young people over the age of 18, with 23 and 24-year-olds invited to book jabs from tomorrow so we reduce transmission among groups that mix the most and to give the NHS that extra time.”
“Freedom Day” as June 21 was being touted, has been postponed because of a sharp upsurge in infections due to the more infectious Delta variant which is the now dominant strain of Covid-19 in the country.
Hospitalisations have started to rise again, albeit at nowhere near the same rates as was the case earlier in the pandemic when few or no vaccines were available, but scientists argue that not to delay the complete relaxation of restrictions could lead to another severe spike in cases which could put fresh pressures on hospitals, although deaths would be unlikely to occur at such high rates as before because so many of the people most vulnerable to the coronavirus’s effects have now been double jabbed.
But the Government and its scientific advisers don’t want to be taking any chances and say that four weeks to get even more people inoculated and for them to assess better the new surge’s infection rates and other figures will be a valuable window.
Cases have certainly yo-yoed in Wigan since the beginning of the year. In January the infection rate was at around 460 cases per 100,000 residents each week. This had fallen to 19 in early May but the figure had this week rebounded back into the 220s.
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