North East leaders' impassioned plea to get vaccinated as cases rise rapidly
North East health leaders have launched an impassioned plea for residents to get vaccinated as the countdown to the end of Covid-19 restrictions continues.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week announced that most of England’s coronavirus restrictions would be scrapped from July 19.
On Friday a joint statement was released by leaders representing the Local Authority 7 (LA7) councils of Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland and Durham.
They said in order to help protect the vulnerable people need to take up the vaccine.
A statement said: “While cases are rising rapidly, hospital admissions are very low, as thankfully are deaths. However pressure on public services is building, with key workers having to self-isolate either as cases, close contacts or parents/carers of isolating children.
“Increasing vaccination coverage is our most important step now. Soon, those who have received both doses of a vaccine will no longer have to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive case of the virus.”
Walk-in vaccination centres have open across the region – operating in everything from buses to coffee shops and the LA7 said the incentives for getting both jabs “have never been greater”.
A full list of vaccination sites can be found by visiting https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/vaccination-sites/.
In coming months those who have received both doses of the vaccine will no longer have to self-isolate.
However, self-isolation is expected to continue for those who have not yet been immunised.
The statement continued: “We know vaccines are effective in reducing our chances of becoming seriously ill, and there are signs they help reduce the rate of infection. Soon, they will also prevent you having to enter difficult periods of isolation in certain circumstances.
“For vaccines to have the maximum effect, we all need to be vaccinated. So please, if you haven’t done so already, attend your nearest walk-in vaccination centre or book your appointments online at www.nhs.uk.”
The latest figures from PA Media show that in the seven days ending July 4 South Tyneside continued to have the highest rate, with 1,410 new cases in the seven days to July 4, the equivalent of 933.9 per 100,000 people.
In the same time frame Newcastle had 2,289 new cases or 755.9 per 100,000. Meanwhile, Sunderland recorded 2,073 new cases equivalent to 746.5, per 100,000.
In Gateshead, there was 1,507 new cases a rate of 745.8, and in North Tyneside there was 1,358 new cases or 653.2 per 100,000.North Tyneside, 653.2, (1358), 468.0, (973)
Northumberland had 1,320 new cases or 409.4 per 100,000 and County Durham had 3,435 new cases or 648 per 100,000.
They said: “We all have a role to play when it comes to protecting ourselves, our loved ones, and those we come into contact with.
“There will be personal choices we must all now make but good hand hygiene, meeting in well ventilated areas where possible and wearing a face covering where appropriate will not just help to protect yourself, but you also help others.”
The added: “In the past we have stood together against the virus and as we learn to live alongside it, let’s continue to work as one to limit any further damage from Covid-19.”