CoronavirusStockport

Statement from the Director of Public Health

Next week is the bank holiday weekend and we’ll all be looking forward to a few days off work or school to celebrate with family and friends. However, Covid-19 is still with us. That’s why, if you’re celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee over the long bank holiday weekend, it’s especially important to remember these simple steps to help protect yourself and those around you:

  • Get vaccinated to reduce your risk of becoming seriously unwell
  • If you don’t feel well and have flu-like symptoms with a high temperature, avoid close contact with others and stay at home if you can
  • Let fresh air in if meeting others indoors, or meet outside, especially if they are at high risk from Covid-19
  • Wash your hand regularly and cover your mouth and nose if you cough and sneeze
  • Consider wearing a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces and when coming into contact with people at higher risk from Covid-19.

 

Pharmacies in Stockport may have different opening hours than usual due to the Jubilee and June bank holidays (2 – 3 June). To see find your near pharmacy and opening times this Easter, click here or visit the NHS website. Repeat prescriptions can be ordered online (through your GP website) or on the NHS app. Patients should only request a repeat prescription when they reach 7-10 days of remaining supply. For urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – call 111 if you’re unable to get help online. In an emergency, always call 999.

Monday 30 May is World No Tobacco Day. With a respiratory disease like Covid-19 still being around it is more important to your health than ever to quit smoking for good. Every year around 78,000 people in the UK die from smoking and it causes 7 out of 10 cases of lung cancer. Smoking damages your heart and blood circulation system increasing your risk of having a stroke, heart attack and coronary heart disease. It can also lead to impotence. The benefits from quitting smoking start the moment you stop. It improves your physical health, boosts your mental health and wellbeing and saves you hundreds of pounds. Even if you’ve tried to quit before or smoked for many years, it’s never too late to quit so give it a go. To get help quitting call the Smokefree National Helpline on 0300 123 1044, visit the Healthy Stockport website, visit NHS website for advice, or speak to advisors to find out about the support available locally to help you quit, call the START team on 0161 474 3141, email ([email protected]) [mailto: [email protected]]or complete the online form.

This week (23 to 29 May), is Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Week 2022. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin, the insulin it does produce doesn’t work properly (insulin resistance) or a combination of both. Find out your risk of type 2 diabetes by using the Diabetes UK Know Your Risk Score. Diabetes can cause serious long-term health problems, including vision loss, kidney failure, lower limb amputation, heart disease and stroke, as well as lead to a higher risk of Covid-related death. Groups at higher risk include older people, men, people of South Asian or Black ethnicity, people who are overweight, those with high blood pressure and people with a family history of type 2 diabetes. For more information on Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Week 2022 visit Diabetes UK.

Estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest that around 2% of people are currently Covid-19 positive based on samples for the North West from the ONS infection survey and based on these estimates, around 5,800 people in Stockport. See the latest published data online.

So far, 87.4% of those aged 18+ and 87.1% of those aged 16 plus have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in Stockport. Also, 85.5% of those aged 18+ and 84.8% of those aged 16 plus have received their second dose. Also, 64.9% of healthy 12–15-year-olds have had a first dose and 48.2% have had their second dose. In addition, 72.9% of the adult population have had a booster dose and 71.5% of those aged 16 plus. Also, of those cohorts eligible, 68.2% have had a spring booster.

Vaccines remain our best defence against the virus and they are credited with preventing more than 157,000 hospitalisations, according to figures from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). COVID-19 is more serious in older people and those with a weakened immune system. Protection from the vaccine may be lower and may decline more quickly in these people and as such, we’re now offering spring boosters to the elderly aged over 75s, care home residents and the most vulnerable immunocompromised aged over 12 to protect those that really need it.

An extra booster is beneficial for those at higher risk of severe coronavirus, because immunity derived from vaccination declines over time and many of the oldest adults received their most recent vaccine dose in September or October 2021.

To help protect yourself and your family, we have extended the pop-up vaccination clinic throughout June at One Stockport Hub (OSH), in the former Argos store, in Merseyway, SK1 1RA. It will open on Saturdays, 9.30am to 3:30pm, (apart from the Jubilee weekend) and Wednesdays 1 and 8 June, 9.30am to 4.30pm for eligible cohorts aged 12 plus. Those aged 5-11 can receive a vaccination from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays and at the same times on Wednesday the 1 and 8 June to tie in with the half term school holiday. No appointment is necessary, just walk in.

In addition, 5 to 11 years olds can book a vaccination can book a vaccination from 9am to 6pm on Sunday only, at Trinity Methodist Church, 351 Bramhall Lane, Bramhall, SK3 8TP. Appointments must be booked in advance, as the clinic is not accepting walk-in appointments for children of this age, via the national booking website, or call 119 free of charge.

As well as facilitating the spring booster programme, anyone who has not yet had a first or second vaccination or booster in a convenient place to get boosted and stay protected from COVID-19.

If you can’t make it to one of the pop-ups, GPs in Brinnington, Bramhall, Cheadle Hulme, Hazel Grove, High Lane, Marple and Reddish are inviting all their eligible patients aged 75+. Vaccinations are also being offered by some pharmacies and you can book your appointment via the National Booking Service or by calling 119. The appointment dates you’ll be offered start from 3 months (91 days) after your previous dose but booking an appointment around 6 months after your previous dose is preferable to get maximum protection from a spring booster.

Walk-in and booked appointments clinic for first, second, booster and spring booster doses for those eligible for all those aged 12+ are also available at Trinity Methodist Church, 351 Bramhall Lane, SK3 8TP, each Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 6pm.

Full details of places to get a vaccination in Stockport, including many options available without prior booking, are on the CCG website.

While free PCR or lateral flow device testing is no longer be available for most people, they are still available to purchase, so if you do carry out an LFT test, please do continue to report the result.

If you do test positive, our advice is that adults should isolate for 5 days and children for 3 days. After this period, you can end your isolation if you feel well and don’t have a temperature but should avoid contact with anyone who might be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 until 10 days after your positive test.

Don’t forget the basics of good hygiene. You can also still continue to adapt your behaviour to reduce the risk of catching and passing on COVID-19. The guidance on what you can do to keep yourself and others safe outlines these measures well and all of these behaviours can help to reduce the risk of infection and help us live safely with COVID-19.

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