The Government has announced its winter plan to tackle Covid-19 and protect the NHS and care services.
People aged over 50 will be offered booster vaccinations from next week. Children aged between 12 and 15 will be offered one dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 jab – this will be delivered in schools and will need parental consent.
Tessa Linfield, North Lincolnshire’s Director of Public Health, said: “We know that the winter period will be challenging for the NHS and care services. Vaccination is the key measure to limit the severity of the illness and I would urge anyone who has not yet had the vaccine to get the jab as soon as possible. The vaccine provides high levels of protection from serious illness and hospitalisation.
“To maintain these high levels of protection there will be a booster programme for those at greatest risk. This includes people over the age of 16 with underlying health conditions, everyone aged over 50 and all frontline NHS and care workers.”
Alongside the vaccination, a raft of other, simple measures can be taken to help reduce the transmission, avoiding illness and additional pressure on health services.
Tessa Linfield added: “Good ventilation reduces the risk of airborne transmission by up to 70 per cent. We know that with the colder weather this can become more difficult but opening your window for just 10 minutes if you are meeting indoors can make a real difference.
“Good hand hygiene remains important, as does wearing a face covering in crowded places, continuing to use the free testing kits twice a week and booking a test if you have symptoms. The rules around self-isolation for anyone testing positive remain.
“The Government has announced a Plan B, which includes measures that could be used if the health and care system is struggling to cope, but if we work together to keep each other safe, get fully vaccinated and follow the advice we reduce the risk of these measures being needed.”
The announcement comes as the infection rate in North Lincolnshire in the seven days to 9 September was 355 per 100,000 people.