South Shropshire MP Philip Dunne has welcomed the UK reaching a significant milestone in the national vaccination programme – administering a total of 15 million jabs into the arms of the most vulnerable across the UK.
Following remarkable progress in vaccinating the four most vulnerable groups during the ten weeks since the earliest days when the first vaccine was approved, the Prime Minister has committed to setting out a roadmap on 22nd February detailing how the government will cautiously begin to start lifting restrictions.
If you are over 70, or Extremely Clinically Vulnerable or with another medical condition which impacts your immunity, you no longer need to wait to be contacted by the NHS - you can book your vaccine now, either online at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination or by phoning 119.
In Shropshire, the vaccine programme is now offering vaccinations to those in Priority Group 5, (those aged 65-69 or clinically vulnerable people). Letters inviting people in this age group to make appointments via the national booking service started to be sent out last week. Please do not call your GP practice to request an appointment if you are in this group, as it is being done centrally.
Mr Dunne said: “It is brilliant news that the UK has now administered the covid19 vaccine to over 15 million people, helping to keep safe those in the most vulnerable groups. I offer my thanks again to everyone involved in the rollout, both here in South Shropshire and across the country.
The Prime Minister has confirmed he will be setting out more details on 22nd February about how restrictions will start to be lifted. We will need to be cautious – allowing the virus to spread freely among even healthy adults increases the chance of new vaccine immune variants. But progress in vaccinating the vulnerable combined with falling cases is reason to look optimistically to the future.”
Mr Dunne visited the Vaccination Centre at Ludlow Racecourse on Saturday to thank all the staff and volunteers, working there through the snow on Saturday. He added: “There is a tremendous sense of community spirit helping sustain NHS staff and all the volunteers who are helping sustain this mammoth effort. We have achieved as a county and a nation a really important milestone, but there is much more still to do. I wanted to thank those in person for the efforts they are making to keep us safe.”
It is vital that if you experience coronavirus symptoms, you must immediately self isolate and book a covid test at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. Alongside the three main symptoms (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a change or loss in sense of smell or taste), a list of ‘precautionary’ symptoms you could experience has been developed, including: headaches, aches and pains, feeling very tired for no good reason, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, or tummy ache in children.
If you don’t have the classic symptoms when you are booking a coronavirus test, you can click or tell the call handler ‘I don’t have any symptoms’ option. When asked why you are booking the test, click the option ‘My local council or health protection team has asked me (or someone I live with) to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms’.
There are testing centres for booked testing appointments for those with symptoms in Ludlow at the Smithfield Car Park and those without symptoms in Craven Arms at the Halo Centre.