Over 50 and haven't had your first dose? If so, do head down to the walk-in service in the St Paul’s Medical Centre this Saturday 3 April (10am-4pm).
The overwhelming majority of over-50s in Cheltenham have now received their first dose. But some may not have booked, or may have been hesitant for a variety of reasons. If you go along on Saturday you'll be given the opportunity to talk with doctors and other healthcare professionals about vaccination about any issues or concerns.
If you can avoid coming by car, that would be appreciated by the local NHS, who are keen to avoid congestion. Please do not attend if you have already made an appointment at a vaccination centre in the county, or you have already received your first dose of vaccine or both doses. Also, the NHS ask that you stay away if you have symptoms of COVID-19, or have had a positive COVID-19 test within the last 4 weeks.
Here in Gloucestershire nearly 400,000 doses of the vaccine have already been given. Across the country it’s around 35 million first and second doses. This is already saving lives. According to one recent study, over 7,000 people over-70 have avoided death thanks to the protection of the vaccine.
I know people are weary – including of public health messages. But from the bottom of my heart please, please take care. I don’t want any more Cheltenham residents to lose their lives. The fact is, no vaccine is 100% effective. Some have yet to take up their vaccine offer. And even if you’re under 50, the virus may leave you battling long-term consequences, even if it doesn’t manage to kill you.
Just look across the Channel. France and Germany are reeling. Further afield in Brazil, over 3,000 people are dying every day and the situation is the worst it has ever been.
We’re slowly taming this virus in Gloucestershire. Let’s not drop our guard now.