Major 72-hour Covid jabs push launched across region as Delta cases rise

A 72-hour push to vaccinate thousands of people across the region has today been launched as cases of the Delta variant surge.

A major jabs push has been launched as Delta cases rise
A major jabs push has been launched as Delta cases rise

Health chiefs are calling on as many people as possible to get the Covid jab at walk-in centres over the weekend after cases rose sharply across parts of the West Midlands.

Although two-dose vaccination rates in the region are some of the highest in the country it is feared that the latest wave of coronavirus could lead to a spike in hospital admissions, which currently remain low.

Bosses are also hoping to boost vaccine uptake among harder to reach communities as well as those aged 18 and over.

The drive forms part of the national “Big Walk-in Weekend”, which the NHS has launched in a bid to make the vaccine accessible to everyone.

It came as West Midlands Mayor Andy Street confirmed the region would be receiving fresh supplies of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in order to meet demand.

Walk-in centres are in operation at Walsall’s Saddlers Centre, Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton, Birmingham’s City Hospital and Tipton Sports Academy, as well as other locations.

Vaccine buses will be on site in Brierley Hill, and East Park, Wolverhampton.

Sally Roberts, Chief Nurse for Black Country and West Birmingham CCG, said: “With all adults now invited to receive their first vaccination, we’re encouraging anyone aged 18 and over who hasn’t had their first dose yet to visit one of our walk-in vaccination sites this weekend.

“We want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to get their jab as quickly as possible, and our walk-in sites are perfect for those who want to drop in for their vaccine at a time that suits them.

“We have plenty of staff and plenty of vaccines for everybody, so please come on down.”

People aged 40 and over who had their first dose of the vaccine over eight weeks ago will also be able to get their second dose. No appointments are required.

Mr Street said an increase in the supply of vaccines in the region meant everyone aged 18 or over would be offered at least one dose by July 19.

He said: "It is now absolutely imperative that everyone who hasn’t already had the vaccine seriously considers getting vaccinated.

"The Delta variant is spreading across the West Midlands and is more transmissible than previous mutations, but two doses of any coronavirus vaccine can give up to 98 per cent protection against hospitalisation from the virus.

"Not only does it keep you safe, but it also helps protect others as you may become less effective at transmitting the virus."

Meanwhile in Staffordshire walk-in sites are open in Cannock, Lichfield and Stafford.

Dr Paddy Hannigan, clinical lead for the county’s vaccination programme, said: “We are making these centres available on a no-appointment basis to boost the uptake as we work to get every eligible person vaccinated as soon as possible.”

In Birmingham Covid cases increased by nearly 40 per cent in the seven days to June 19, while there was a 47 per cent rise in Sandwell where the rate is now 63.6 cases per 100,000 people.

Lichfield, South Staffordshire, Wolverhampton and Cannock Chase have also seen steep increases.

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said the UK’s vaccine rollout has saved more than 14,000 lives and prevented 44,500 hospital admissions in England. But despite hailing “real progress” he warned there was still “much more to do”.

Across the UK more than three in five adults have now received two doses.

Here is where walk-in services can be accessed:

First and second doses are available at the following venues: Saddlers Centre, Walsall (Friday to Monday, 8am to 6pm); Tipton Sports Academy, (Friday to Monday, 8am to 6pm); City Hospital, Birmingham (Friday to Monday, 8am to 6pm); Aldersley Leisure Village, Wolverhampton (Saturday 9am to 5pm).

Vaccine buses are on site at Dudley Moore Street Centre Car Park, Brierley Hill (Friday 12pm to 8pm, Saturday 9am to 5pm). First doses only; First and second doses are available at Hickman Avenue, East Park (Friday 3pm to 8pm; Saturday and Sunday 10am to 6pm).

In Staffordshire, from 8.30am tomorrow first doses are available for people aged under 40 at Whitemoor Lakes Vaccination Centre in Lichfield.

Kingston Centre in Stafford will offer the same service from 1pm to 4pm on Monday, while tomorrow between 9am and 1pm Roman Way Hotel in Cannock is offering first and second doses to the over-40s.

Alderwood Medical Practice Cannock is open to people aged under 40 between 10am and 1.30pm tomorrow.

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