Lancashire County Council urges residents to get vaccinated to help 'fight' Omicron variant of Covid-19
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The Omicron variant of coronavirus appears to be "more transmissible" than the Delta strain, Boris Johnson told ministers, as the UK reported its highest weekly number of new Covid-19 cases since January.
A total of 336,893 new Covid-19 cases have been reported in the past seven days, including 45,691 on Tuesday, Government figures show - the highest since the week to January 16.
Official figures also showed 101 additional confirmed cases of the Omicron variant have been reported across the UK, taking the total to 437.
Lancashire County Council said "the best thing people can do is to follow the new measures that have been reintroduced and make sure they are up to date with their vaccinations".
Coun Michael Green, Lancashire County Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, added: "Above all, vaccines provide the best defence against the main variant of coronavirus and although studies are ongoing, it looks likely it will provide some level of defence against the severity of the Omicron variant.
"It's never too late to receive your first or second dose of the vaccine and our partners in the NHS won't ask why you haven't come forward before.
"Those eligible for a booster dose between the ages of 18-39 will shortly be hearing from the NHS to be invited for a booster."
He added: "In Lancashire we have been hard hit by coronavirus, and we want to do everything we can to ensure we keep supporting each other during what we expect to be a difficult winter period.
"We also now need more people to get involved as volunteers for the next phase of the vaccination programme.
"If you can spare a few hours a week, please sign up - and thank you to the thousands of people who have already given up their time to support this national effort."
Several measures have been reintroduced by the government to prevent the new strain from spreading:
- It is now mandatory to wear a face covering in shops and on public transport
-Close contacts of anyone who tests positive for the Omicron variant will have to isolate for a 10-day period regardless of vaccine status.
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Director of Public Health, said: "Everyone is strongly advised to wear a face covering in any situation where you are mixing with people you do not usually come into contact with.
"Where possible, meet outdoors or in a place with fresh air circulating and practice regular hand hygiene.
"People should also continue to test regularly using lateral flow tests and before they go to a high-risk situation, such as meeting friends to socialise. If you test positive, isolate straight away and book a PCR test to confirm.
"While they are not enough on their own, the most important thing we can all do to protect ourselves and others is to get vaccinated, whether that is a first, second or booster jab."
Details of when and where residents can access the COVID-19 vaccination are available online at www.healthierlsc.co.uk/getmyjab or by calling 119.
If you want to volunteer to support the vaccinations programme, register at www.healthierlsc.co.uk/volunteer.
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