Devon Gets Boosted – Radio Exe
Boosterism is big in Devon (courtesy: Steve Cornfield, Unsplash)
Third highest jab in UK
Parts of Devon are among the highest in the country for the number of people who have experienced a covid recall.
Across the UK, 42% (as of Monday 13 December) of people over the age of 12 have received a recall, as government urges the public to ‘get a boost now’ amid concerns over the new variant Omicron.
In eight of Devon’s ten areas (excluding Devon County Council) the proportion is higher, with only Plymouth and Exeter lagging behind with just over a third – likely due to their younger populations.
East Devon ranks first in the county with 53%, one of the highest figures in England. West Devon also has more than half of its eligible population now fully vaccinated (52 percent).
Teignbridge, Torbay, the South Hams and Torridge all rank first with just under half, while Mid Devon and North Devon also sit above the national average.
This week, the Devon NHS said it was working to increase the number of vaccination clinics and extend opening hours following the Prime Minister’s announcement of the recall mission to emergency Omicron.
More volunteers are being recruited to offer all people over 18 who received their second dose at least three months ago a booster by the end of the year. However, people who have had a positive covid PCR test must wait 28 days before having the third jab.
Since the Prime Minister addressed the nation on Sunday, vaccination sites have seen unusually high demand. Those in attendance are urged to be prepared to queue, be patient, and use public transportation whenever possible, due to the pressure on parking.
It is now mandatory to wear masks again in public transport to reduce the risk of infection when traveling.
NHS Devon Chief Nurse Darryn Allcorn said: ‘It is essential that people listen to the message that two doses are not enough to give you good protection against the Omicron variant. We need a third booster dose to restore our immunity.
“We already have people hospitalized in the UK who have the Omicron variant and scientists cannot say that it is less severe than other variants of covid-19.”
Steve Brown, Director of Public Health for Devon, added: “The emergence of the Omicron variant and the current uncertainty about its impact on our health is a reminder of how quickly situations can change.
“We know that the Omicron strain of the coronavirus is more infectious than previous variants, and it is clear that we need to do more to reduce the risk of transmission. Getting a third or booster vaccination is vital, and I encourage all eligible to do so as soon as possible.
“I also urge everyone to follow national guidelines for wearing face coverings, now a requirement in most public places, especially confined, indoor and overcrowded spaces; work from home if you can; and social distancing as much as possible.
People can register as volunteers through a simple application form on the ‘Our Plymouth’ website, the regional volunteering organization that coordinates volunteers for all mass vaccination centers in Devon.