WV Active Bilston-Bert Williams becomes latest Covid-19 jab site

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WV Active Bilston-Bert Williams will begin to support local GPs to deliver their vaccination services from today (Monday 1 March, 2021).

The site at the City of Wolverhampton Council-run leisure centre has been approved by NHS England & Improvement and will give additional capacity and enable more patients to receive their Covid-19 vaccination in Wolverhampton.

Dr Salma Reehana, Clinical Chair, Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "We hope that, by delivering the vaccine at sites such as WV Active Bert Williams, the opportunity to have the vaccine is accessible to our most vulnerable population. We're working with our GPs and partners to ensure that we can vaccinate those with most need as outlined by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. We will be in touch with those eligible for a vaccine as soon as we have appointments available – there’s no need for people to contact their pharmacy or GP – and I'd encourage people to step forward when they’re asked to do so because this is our opportunity to protect ourselves and each other.”

Call for those aged 60-plus to book your COVID-19 vaccine

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People aged 60 to 63 in the Black Country and West Birmingham are now being invited to get their life-saving Covid-19 vaccine. The latest batch of letters, arriving from this week, will mean everyone in the first seven priority groups will have been offered a jab.2

People aged 64 were invited to have a life-saving jab last week and letters have now started arriving at the homes of those aged 60 to 63 explaining how they can arrange a vaccination through the national booking service. Those most at risk are being vaccinated first in line with guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

Sally Roberts, Chief Nurse for Black Country and West Birmingham CCGs said: “We are pleased to be able to invite everyone over 60 to come and get their Covid-19 vaccine. We want to ensure everyone in an eligible group has had the chance to get protected, especially those who are clinically vulnerable and most at risk of serious illness. No one will be left behind, but we are seeing some people not taking up the offer. I would urge anyone who is eligible to contact the NHS and make an appointment now. If you have already been offered a jab but have not taken it up it is not too late. Please come forward and we will get you booked in”

For those that are eligible, the easiest way to arrange a vaccination is through the national booking service which can be accessed at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination

Hundreds receive life-saving Covid-19 jab in faith setting clinics

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Hundreds of people received their first Covid-19 jab in special vaccination clinics held in faith settings in Wolverhampton on Sunday (14 February, 2021).Gertrude and Clifford Sulumba

While uptake of the life-saving vaccine among eligible groups has been generally very high, GPs are reporting more hesitancy among some Black and Minority Ethnic communities.

To encourage more people to get their jab and make it more accessible, a team from Wolverhampton North Network Primary Care Network visited the Jamia Masjid Bilal and the UKIM Madinah Masjid mosques, the Gurdwara Nanaksar Thath and the Wednesfield Seventh Day Adventist Church on Sunday to administer the first dose of the vaccine to eligible members of their congregations.

Dr Shahid Rafiq, Clinical Director, Wolverhampton North Network Primary Care Network: “We were delighted to organise outreach pop-up vaccination clinics in religious centres across the city. These clinics were in addition to our main Vaccination Service at Keats Grove Surgery, which has been very successful and has already vaccinated thousands of Wolverhampton residents.

Over 70 and not had your COVID-19 vaccine? Contact the NHS now to book

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People aged 70 and over who have not yet been vaccinated against Covid-19 and who would like to are being asked to contact the NHS to arrange a jab.

Until now we have asked local people to wait until they are contacted to help ensure that those who are most vulnerable are protected first - and that remains the case for most people. However, to ensure absolutely everyone across the Black Country and West Birmingham in the highest priority groups is offered the vaccine, people aged 70 and over can now contact the NHS so they can be vaccinated by the middle of this month.

The easiest way to arrange a vaccination is through the national booking service which can be accessed at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination The system allows patients to choose a time slot and location that suits them. Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week. If a suitable and convenient slot is not available people can also call their GP practice.

Many who have not yet booked an appointment are already receiving follow up letters and phone calls this week to encourage them to take up the offer of a jab.

Local GPs are also contacting their clinically extremely vulnerable patients, who have been asked to shield, to ensure they have been offered the vaccine also.

Health and social care workers, who are also among the top four priority groups for vaccination, should speak to their employer about arranging their jab.

Faith and health leaders host online Covid-19 Q&A session

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A special online question and answer session about the Covid-19 vaccine is being held this week with health experts and faith leaders.

Taking part will be Dr Masood Ahmed, Chief Medical Officer with the Black Country & West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group, Madhu Patel from the Shree Ram Mandir in Walsall, Imaam Moulana Ibrahim, the Bishop of Lichfield the Rt Rev Dr Michael Ipgrave and Sikh speaker Gurdip Singh.

It takes place at 6pm on Thursday (11 February, 2021). To book a free place, visit https://vaccine-and-faith.eventbrite.co.uk.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "This online session will enable the community to hear from NHS experts and local faith leaders about why they think people should make sure they get their jab when they are offered it. Sadly, there is a lot of misinformation and 'fake news' around the vaccine, so this is an opportunity for people across Wolverhampton and the wider region to ask any questions they have in relation to the vaccination programme.”

Mohammed Yasin, BAME Covid-19 Community Development Worker at Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, has helped to organise the event. He said: “We know that the current uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine amongst the BAME community is a lot lower than amongst others, so it’s really important that as a health and social care system we do everything we can to encourage this community to take up the vaccine when offered. This event is the perfect opportunity for people to understand more about the vaccine and its development and ask questions which will hopefully help to alleviate any concerns they might have.”

Latest figures show there were 305.9 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the seven days to 6 February. That means 805 people in the city tested positive for the virus in that seven day period – though the true number of new cases will likely be considerably higher.

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/coronavirus. Information about the vaccine can be found at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/covidvaccine. Further details of the lockdown restrictions currently in place, and the answers to frequently asked questions, are available at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/covidalert.