FAST progress is being made on the Covid booster and flu jags in Dumfries & Galloway.
It comes as concern grows over another substantial increase in the region’s Covid numbers recently.
At the beginning of November, there was a total of 697 new Covid-19 cases.
This week saw a further 116 new people contract Covid, with a total of 835 contracting Covid – it was an increase of 18.6% compared to the previous seven days and a further increase from the beginning of the month.
Numbers of people identified as close contacts of positive cases had also increased.
Director of Public Health Valerie White said: “There is a very real and growing concern over the increasing numbers of Covid cases we’re seeing within Dumfries & Galloway.
“Very fortunately, vaccinations are helping to prevent some of the worst impacts on people’s health.
“However, a large and rising number of Covid cases brings with it the potential for an increased impact on services, upon staffing and on our communities, including the ability of businesses to function.”
She asked people to remember to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces and to meet outdoors or in a well-ventilated space where possible to help prevent Covid from spreading, and taking up the chance of regular testing.
“Most importantly, do please get vaccinated,” she added.
“If you are eligible for a booster, please get one.
“If you are unfortunate enough to contract the virus at a time now when there is an increased chance in the region of that happening, you hopefully will be helped to avoid experiencing its worst effects.”
Work is now taking place to begin offering Covid booster and flu vaccinations to people aged 60-69 in the region.
Data from this week, showed a total of 42,040 booster jags had been provided to people aged 50 and over, representing 56.7% of that population.
Flu vaccine uptake was described as ‘excellent’, with recent data showing 25,123 doses provided to people aged 70 and over, at 88.5%.
Immunisation co-ordinator for Dumfries & Galloway, Dr Nigel Calvert said: “It really is very important that everyone eligible to receive their Covid booster jag and their flu vaccination gives real thought to taking up the opportunity.
“This is especially important when cases of Covid-19 are on the rise within the region, increasing the chances that you could be exposed to this virus.
“We’ve seen the fantastic difference the vaccine programme has made in really reducing the worst effects of the coronavirus.”
He urged people to get the best protection against Covid-19, and the flu, and take the opportunity to have their vaccinations.
Vaccinations for people aged 60-69 are on track for completion at the start of December.
At that point work will take place to vaccinate the only remaining groups – those aged 50-59, unpaid carers, and people aged 16-plus who are a household contact of someone who is immune suppressed.
A national online portal for those people in these remaining groups to register for their vaccinations will go live shortly.
- Full details on opportunities to be vaccinated can be found by visiting the website www.nhsdg.co.uk/vaccines/.