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Coronavirus update from Somerset County Council – 04/03

Posted on 4th March, 2021 in News

All our help and information is now available in a single place on the SCC website https://www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus/covid-19-latest-advice/

This page is refreshed through the day so please check in regularly to keep across developments and news.

Public Health dashboard: Detailed Public Health information dashboards are available on our website www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus just scroll down to ‘Covid-19 dashboard’. These are updated daily.

Top stories today:

More than 200,000 vaccinations offered in Somerset

The latest national figures confirm that 20 million people across the country have now been offered the COVID jab. Locally, the NHS vaccination programme in Somerset has also reached a new milestone, with more than 200,000 vaccinations given to people in the highest priority groups.

Health and care teams have continued to work extremely hard to offer vaccinations across 20 different locations in Somerset, with hundreds of GPs, nurses, vaccinators, administrators, marshals and volunteers joining together to invite and vaccinate as many eligible people, as quickly and safely as possible.

In Somerset, phenomenal vaccination efforts mean that more than a third of the local adult population have now had their first COVID vaccination, with plans now in place to extend the roll out of the programme to invite people who are aged over 60 to come forward for their vaccination.

This week, local residents, from priority group seven (aged 60 plus), will start to receive letters from the NHS inviting them to book their vaccination appointments through the National Booking Service, online or by calling 119. People are encouraged to book their slot, as soon they receive their invitation.

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Clinton’s catch-up focuses on back to school

It is welcome news for many that from Monday 8 March all students in Somerset will be able to return to school, college and university.

Although this will come with its own challenges, work is underway to make sure our teachers, support staff, children and young people are kept as safe as possible. This will include regular testing and a number of different social distancing and safety measures depending on the set-up of each individual school.

In this week’s Somerset Covid Catch Up, former BBC Correspondent Clinton Rogers visits Willowdown Primary School in Bridgwater to see what safety measures they have put in place and speaks with Lead Member for Education and Transformation, Cllr Faye Purbrick, who has a message of thanks for all school staff for what they have done and continue to do in response to the pandemic.

Watch the video in full on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/_dfLPphYr2o

Next week’s film will focus on the return of Secondary schools and Further Education settings. For more information, visit gov.uk/backtoschool

Data shows vaccines reduce severe coronavirus in older people

Public Health England (PHE) has submitted a pre-print report that shows that both the Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines are highly effective in reducing coronavirus infections among people aged 70 years and over.

A pre-print is a research report that has not yet been certified by peer review.

In the over 80s, the data suggest that a single dose of either vaccine is more than 80% effective at preventing hospitalisation, around three to four weeks after the jab. There is also evidence which suggests the Pfizer vaccine leads to an 83% reduction in deaths.

The new analysis adds to growing evidence that the vaccines are highly effective in protecting people against severe illness, hospitalisation and death.

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