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The number of coronavirus cases in Hertfordshire is falling but now is not the time to get complacent. We must continue to play our part to stop the spread. We are still in a national lockdown, and we are urging all residents to stay home whenever possible. Thanks to the work of GP practices, hospitals, pharmacies and our larger vaccination sites, the number of people who have received at least one vaccine dose in Hertfordshire and west Essex is now over 461,000.
Vaccine safety information – The roll-out of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine has been temporarily paused in some countries, because of concerns about blood clots. Unfortunately, this has led to some people not attending their vaccination appointments in our area, which means they are not getting protected against COVID-19.
It is important to remember that blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon. Reports of blood clots received so far are not greater than the number that we would normally expect to see amongst the groups of the population who have been vaccinated. People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when invited to do so.
More than 11 million doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine have now been administered across the UK. Vaccine safety is of paramount importance and the regulatory agency, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) continually monitors the safety of vaccines in the UK. For more information and a statement from the MHRA, see this link.
Vaccine update – more people now eligible to book an appointment – Residents aged between 50 and 54 years old are now able to book themselves vaccination appointments via the National Booking Service Click Here or call 119 – translation support is available on this number for people whose first language is not English.
To make sure you get your call to be vaccinated, it is much easier if you are registered with a GP surgery. Anyone can register with a GP surgery. You do not need proof of address or immigration status. If you are not registered, there are instructions on how to do so here: Click Here to Register with a GP.
You will be invited to receive your vaccine when it is your turn, either through your GP practice or by letter or text from the National Booking Service for larger centres and pharmacies. Click Here for more information about the vaccine.
Vaccine Communications – How you can stop the spread of false information – The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have launched a new media campaign to tackle false vaccine information shared amongst ethnic minority communities Click Here for Defra.
The campaign is fronted by trusted local community figures such as imams, pastors and clinicians in short, shareable videos which include simple tips on how to spot misinformation and what to do to stop its spread. The key message is to check before you share signposting to the NHS for the best source of information Click Here for the NHS Covid-19 information.
The assets are designed to be shared via WhatsApp and Facebook community groups, as well as Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, to tackle false information spread through private channels.
This follows concerns from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) of low vaccine uptake amongst ethnic minority communities, and a recent Ofcom study which showed that people from a minority ethnic background were twice as likely as white respondents to rely more on people they know, people in their local area or people on social media for information about coronavirus.
Lateral flow testing: schools – Since 8 March, children have been returning to primary and secondary schools. Secondary school students are being tested 3 times a week in the first two weeks of school, before being provided with two tests per week to use at home. Parents and carers are being encouraged to get two rapid tests a week.
You can order or collect kits to test your household, childcare bubble or support bubble if at least one member is a school or college pupil or works in a school or college. Click Here for more information about Test Kits
HCPA Hertfordshire Care Providers Association: Click Here
BAME: Hertfordshire and West Essex Health and Care Academy Click Here
BBC Asian Network:BBC News Website Click Here
Keep on doing the basics:
- make sure we wash our hands regularly and thoroughly
- keep our distance from others
- wear a face-covering when required
- self-isolate when told to do so
If you or your family need financial or practical help and advice with the cost of food or fuel this winter, please get in touch with HertsHelp:
Click Here or email or call 0300 123 4044
For more information and guidance for Hertfordshire residents and businesses during the pandemic please Click Here