Vaccine changes everything... but it changes nothing just yet

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The start of the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine has been warmly welcomed by health chiefs in Wolverhampton – but they say that, while the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic is now in sight, people must continue to do everything they cvac pican to stop the spread of the virus.

Thousands of people across the country began to receive the vaccine for the first time on Tuesday (8 December), with jabs being given to those aged 80 and over and frontline health and social care workers.

Vaccinations will be rolled out to other groups over the coming months, initially to those deemed to be at greatest risk of Covid-19 because of age or underlying health conditions, and then to the wider population.

To date the vaccines have been delivered from hospital hubs, however some local GPs in Wolverhampton are on standby to start vaccinating patients – with the first jabs due to be administered next week.

Mass testing begins to help drive down Covid-19 infection rate

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People without symptoms of coronavirus are being invited to get a free test at Wolverhampton's Covid-19 mass testing centre, which will open to the public on Monday (7 November). Mass testing is one of the key weapons in the fight against Covid-19 and uses lateral flow test technology which provides results in as little as 30 minutes. 

It was piloted in Liverpool recently, helping to drive down infection rates there dramatically – and health and council chiefs hope it will have the same impact in Wolverhampton, cutting the number of infections, hospitalisations and deaths and enabling the city to move out of Tier 3 restrictions more quickly.

Testing for people without symptoms of Covid-19 will be available at the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Civic Centre from 8am to 7pm weekdays and 10am to 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays from this Monday. The facility is staffed by volunteers from the council and has the capacity to deliver hundreds of tests each day.

All eligible West Midlands people urged to get their flu vaccine as soon as possible

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As public health professionals concerned at low uptake in the region’s care home workers and pregnant women

  • People who have not yet been vaccinated, including pregnant women and those with long-term health conditions, are urged to take up the offer before flu starts circulating
  • Flu vaccine uptake in pregnant women is low in the West Midlands – putting mothers and their unborn children at risk
  • Uptake in care home workers in the region is slow – putting staff and some of the most vulnerable people in their care at risk
  • From 1 December, 50 to 64-years-olds became eligible for a free flu vaccine
  • Nationally, uptake in 65-year-olds and over is the highest since 2005/06 and higher than this time last year in most other groups

Black Country and West Birmingham People served by Good CCGs

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Health boss Paul Maubach has congratulated his teams as each of the four CCGs in the Black Country and West Birmingham are rated as Good. The ratings were published today by NHS England and Improvement as an annual assessment of the CCGs leadership, financial management, and performance.

In letters sent to the CCGs by NHS England the organisations, responsible for planning and buying health services locally, are recognised as strong in key areas including:

  • The CCGs all have a good financial track record
  • The CCGs are committed to improvements in the quality and safety of services at local providers
  • The CCGs are building strong relationships with partners and are working well across the system of health and care

Paul Maubach, Chief Executive Officer, for the CCGs said: “I am really proud to lead such a dedicated team of people – and particularly how our team have responded to coordinating our efforts to manage the coronavirus pandemic. Their hard work and commitment helps us to ensure that people across the Black Country and West Birmingham benefit from high quality health services.

City’s seventh Covid-19 test centre opens in Whitmore Reans

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A seventh coronavirus test site has opened in Wolverhampton. The creation of the walk-through site, in the car park of Whitmore Reans Library on Bargate Drive, further increases testing capacity in the city. Anyone who has symptoms of Covid-19 – including a fever, a new continuous cough or a change to their sense of taste or smell – is reminded that they must book a test by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.Got Symptoms

The Whitmore Reans test centre joins six other test sites in the city for people with symptoms of Covid-19 in the city – a drive-through centre at Aldersley Leisure Village and walk-through centres at Faulkland Street, Showell Road and Blakenhall Community Resource Centre in Wolverhampton, the Sikh Community Centre on Rookery Street in Wednesfield, and at Mountford Lane in Bilston.

All sites are accessible via appointment only, except for the Faulkland Street centre which also has up to 50 tests per day available on a first come, first served basis for those without an appointment.