The Lancashire Resilience Forum is urging eligible people in Burnley and the surrounding areas who have not yet had their first Covid jab to come forward without delay.
Speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon (Wednesday 19th May), Health Secretary Matt Hancock named Burnley as one of six areas where surge vaccinations and testing will be deployed.
The decisive action is being taken to tackle the spread of rising cases of the B1.617.2 variant of concern first identified in India.
Mr Hancock said the vaccination programme “underpins” the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown – but warned the race between the virus and the vaccine has “got a whole lot closer”.
While there is no evidence to show this variant has a greater impact on severity of disease or evades the vaccine, the speed of growth is of note and the government is working quickly to ensure the appropriate action is being taken.
Testing will be ramped up to meet local needs, which will include additional Mobile Testing Units, door to door testing and extra PCR test kits for community testing sites.
Following today’s announcement, the Lancashire Resilience Forum is urging eligible people Burnley and the surrounding areas to book their first Covid jab without delay.
Vaccination of residents is according to a priority list, as set out by the Joint Committee on
Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), based on age and vulnerability of people and the risk of them becoming seriously ill and dying from Covid-19.
However, public health chiefs in Lancashire believe some people may not be aware they are eligible for a Covid jab, such as people who look after their family members or those who work with someone with an underlying health condition.
The current eligibility criteria to receive the Covid vaccine is:
• Aged 36 and over (or turning 36 before July 1)
• Aged 18 and over with any underlying health conditions
• Aged 18 and over AND living, caring or working with anyone with underlying health conditions
• Health and Social Care staff
• Any carers – paid or unpaid. You will not be asked for proof as unpaid carers are eligible.
Sakthi Karunanithi, Director of Public Health for Lancashire County Council, said: “Vaccinations remain the biggest weapon we have at our disposal against Covid.
“We believe many people are not coming forward because they do not realise they are eligible, such as those who provide help and care for their loved ones, even in an unpaid capacity.
“The next few weeks will be critical, but by coming forward for your vaccine if you are eligible, and by getting tested to stop the spread of the virus, we can help keep Lancashire safe.”
As well as securing extra first doses, the NHS is continuing to give second doses when they are due.
If you live in Burnley and its surrounding areas, you can book your vaccination at Burnley Hospital Hub and Acorn Medical Centre via lancashireandsouthcumbriaics.nhsbookings.com/v2/#book/count/1/provider/any
You can also book an appointment at Burnley Mass Vaccination Centre via www.nhs.uk/book-a-coronavirus-vaccination/do-you-have-an-nhs-number
If you are having problems booking an appointment online at Burnley Mass Vaccination Centre you can call 119.