Vaccine Update – People are continuing to become infected with COVID-19 and the virus is still affecting our daily lives, we all need to play our part to protect ourselves, our families and communities. It’s important to remember that what’s comfortable to one person won’t be the same for everyone. The most important thing right now is for us all to keep doing the things which stop infection – and keep each other safe.
We still need everyone to do the basics:
- get vaccinated if you’re invited
- have a PCR test if you have symptoms and self-isolate if you are positive
- self-isolate if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace, or when advised to by the NHS COVID-19 app, unless you are fully vaccinated in which case please get a PCR test.
- keep washing your hands thoroughly and regularly
- wear face-coverings when you can
- ventilate workplaces and social spaces
- take a rapid or ‘lateral flow’ test twice a week, if you don’t have symptoms and self-isolate if the test is positive and get a PCR test.
Vaccine Update – Covid vaccination offer extended to all 12-15 year-olds
The government agreed last week that all 12-15 year-olds should be offered a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. This is to protect them against Covid-19 and the disruption it can cause. You can read more about the decision here. The government will take more advice on whether and when to offer a second dose in the future.
Hertfordshire County Council is working with Hertfordshire Community Trust (HCT), the NHS organisation leading the school aged vaccination programme in our area, which will mainly take place in schools. School immunisation nurses are very experienced in delivering routine vaccinations to children and young people. HCT works closely with parents and carers on consent issues and can provide clinical advice and guidance. HCT are making arrangements with schools to deliver vaccinations in the next few weeks. Arrangements will be made for children who do not attend school, or who are absent on vaccination days.
To help parents and children with any worries or questions they have, resources have been put together:
‘Booster’ jabs plans confirmed – The NHS is offering a booster vaccine dose to those most at risk from Covid-19 who have already had two doses of the vaccine. Protection given by the vaccine decreases over time, a booster dose helps give you longer term protection against getting seriously ill from Covid-19. Covid-19 ‘booster’ jabs are beginning to be offered
- People living in residential care homes for older adults
- All adults aged 50 years and over
- Frontline health and social care workers
- All those aged 16-49 with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe Covid-19
- Adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals.
Either the Pfizer vaccination or half dose of the Moderna vaccination will be given as a ‘booster’ dose. Eligible people will be invited by phone, text or letter to get their booster vaccination when it’s their turn. There will be no walk-in appointments for now.
Flu vaccinations – There have been nationwide delays in the delivery of supplies, but flu clinics are now getting underway in Hertfordshire GP practices, community pharmacies and schools. This year the flu vaccination programme has been extended to include all children aged between 2 and 15 years olds, who will be offered the vaccine via a nasal spray. Frontline health and social care workers working in a Care Quality Commission or Ofsted registered setting will also be given priority for the flu vaccination along with those receiving it due to their age, health or health of someone they live with or care for.
‘Grab-a-jab’ vaccination centres – The national ‘grab-a-jab’ NHS website helps people to find their nearest walk-in vaccination centre, wherever they are in England. This is a good resource for people who work away from home, or for anyone who wants to get vaccinated while they are on holiday. Click Here for the website
Pregnancy and vaccination – There’s increasing evidence that pregnant women who catch COVID-19 can be at greater risk of getting severely ill with the virus, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy or those with underlying health conditions. If they get ill, pregnant women are more likely to develop complications, which may result in admission to intensive care and the premature birth of their baby. Local maternity services are reinforcing messages from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives, with messages shared on social media and letters being sent to pregnant patients and health and care employees. We would appreciate your support with sharing these messages and pointing to advice and resources on this topic on the Healthier Future website Click Here
Rapid Testing – 1 in 3 people who catch COVID don’t display any symptoms, which means that the virus can be spread without realising it. Rapid testing is designed to detect COVID-19 in people without symptoms. You can order free rapid COVID testing kits to use at home or collect them from a local site or a pharmacy taking part in the lateral flow test scheme. See link below for more details.
Twice weekly rapid testing enables us to find cases and prevent the spread of infection. Getting into the habit of twice weekly testing helps to keep our friends and family safe, and alongside the vaccination programme, will help ensure we can continue to ease our way out of lockdown Click Here to book.
Anyone who thinks that they might have COVID symptoms must take a PCR test, either by ordering one to be delivered to their home, or by attending one of the test centres in our area. They must then self-isolate while they wait for the results. This approach means that if the person does test positive, they can be supported to self-isolate if necessary. Test and Trace staff will also work with them to contact and advise friends, family members or colleagues who might have been infected. Click Here to book a PCR test
The County Council roving rapid testing service will be stood down at the end of September, as demand for supervised testing decreases. Home testing kits can still be collected or ordered online Click Here
The Government has created a SHARE checklist to help and protect you from false information online.
You can find more information about the vaccination programme, including FAQs and resources for adults with learning disabilities and resources in different languages and formats Click Here
For more information and guidance for Residents and Businesses during the pandemic please Click Here
Continue to develop PSRA’s ability to communicate effectively with all residents
Communication is the 3rd PSRA Key Area of Focus