'Final push' on jabs in Lancashire ahead of Monday's lifting of restrictions

It has been revealed that 85 per cent of people in the Lancashire and South Cumbria area have been vaccinated against Covid-19 ahead of restrictions being lifted on July 19.

More than 8.6 million vaccinations have been delivered in the North West to date, part of over 68 million total vaccinations that have been delivered in total by the NHS in England.

And those who have not yet received their vaccine are being urged to visit a drop-in clinic over the weekend ahead of the lifting of restrictions on Monday's proposed 'freedom day'.

But Professor Chris Whitty said the UK is “not out of the woods yet”, just hours after Boris Johnson declared it was “highly probable” the worst of the pandemic is over.

85 per cent of people in Lancashire have been vaccinated against the virus ahead of Monday's freedom day

The online web tool that allows people to find their nearest centre by simply entering their postcode will be updated from today, July 16, in a bid to make it easier for people to find their nearest drop-in centre.

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Jane Scattergood, Lancashire and South Cumbria Vaccination Programme senior responsible officer, said: “We have now vaccinated 85 per cent of the adult population in Lancashire and South Cumbria which is an incredible achievement. We will continue to make every effort to give everyone the best opportunity of getting protected.

“It is not too late for anyone to come forward for their jab – whether you are 18 or 80+ – call the national booking system on 119 or visit one of our walk-in clinics.

Drop-in centres are still available over the weekend

“And to those who haven't come forward for their second dose, remember – it’s a game to two halves – you need both doses. Do the double, be a champion and let’s beat this virus together.”

GP, NHS medical director for primary care, and deputy SRO for the vaccine programme Dr Nikki Kanani said: “As we approach 19 July, there has never been a more important time to get your first vaccine, it not only protects you and your family but also your friends and those around you.

“So while you’re out enjoying the glorious weather we are expecting this weekend, do your bit and ‘grab a jab’ too.”

Second doses are also available to people who had their first dose eight weeks ago or longer, in line with JCVI guidance.

One of Preston's main vaccination clinics is at St John's shopping centre

Anyone aged 18 or over are being urged to visit their nearest walk-in centre this weekend or book their appointment on the National Booking Service website.

The news comes as Lancashire County Council extended their thanks to front-line staff working to help administer the vaccine, including the Fire and Rescue Service.

Lancashire's county councillors have paid tribute to the work of the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service throughout the coronavirus pandemic in yesterday's full council meeting.

All councillors backed a motion thanking the service for the invaluable contribution that they have made in taking on a range of additional duties to support the national effort to fight coronavirus.

This has included coordinating the distribution of PPE supplies to health care settings, fitting face masks for frontline NHS and care staff, and providing digital education and support to children and young people, some of whom were incredibly vulnerable and isolated during the pandemic.

LFRS has also supported the vaccination programme, working at vaccination sites seven days a week in marshalling and vaccinator roles. They have assisted in the delivery of nearly 400,000 vaccinations so far, with 43,000 of these administered by LFRS staff.

County Councillor Barrie Yates, chairman of Lancashire County Council, said: "We're so proud of our brave firefighters, volunteer firefighters and staff for the crucial role they have played during the pandemic.

"They provided invaluable support to other emergency services - assisting vulnerable people and NHS staff - in addition to carrying out their usual duties.

"During this time, they have also carried on responding to emergencies, including dealing with a major incident involving multiple wildfires, widespread flooding, a bonfire period with increased risk of fires and injuries across the county, multiple large-scale fires, and a devastating gas explosion.

"Everyone in Lancashire is so grateful to them for their hard work, dedication and the difference they have made and continue to make here in our great county."

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