Fourth Covid booster jab likely as Sheffield faces ‘substantial’ fresh wave, says public health boss Greg Fell
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But he said rates of very, very severe illness were relatively low, and urged those who are not vaccinated to have the jab.
He said: “The epidemiology is beginning to spring back up, that’s pretty clear. Lots of people are being reinfected so people who previously had Covid are being re-infected.
“There is an important distinction between cases and harm. So, many people who have been vaccinated are being infected with BA4 and 5 but relatively low rates of very, very severe illness.
“The vaccination is doing the job it was intended to do and that continues to be the case.
I don’t know how it will play out over the next few months, but there’s been relatively little in place to stop it, so it's kind of likely to be a fairly substantial wave.
Concern over Covid impact on NHS and social care
“It is going to be an issue in the NHS and social care. There are plenty of people who have the illness and some of them become poorly enough to go and see a doctor and sadly, some of them poorly enough to go and be hospitalised.
“That will have knock-on consequences to the ability of the health and social care machine to provide care for others.”
He said his main messages were to get vaccinated, avoid spreading the bug, and that vulnerable people and older people could still order free tests.
He warned there were plenty of people, even people in high risk groups who had not had any vaccination yet, and added it was never too late to get vaccinated. which he believes remains the most important thing anyone can do to protect themselves from harm.
Fourth coronavirus booster jab expected
He added: “People worry about waning immunity, Actually, it's holding up pretty well. The protection that the vaccine gives us against severe disease is holding up pretty well, actually. It’s very, very likely that the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) will recommend a fourth booster dose for people 65 plus and clinically extremely vulnerable.”
“We’ll provide more information as soon as we know that but I think that is on the stock.
“Message two is don’t spread your bug if you’ve got symptoms – standard respiratory hygiene, don't spread your bug to others. Wear a mask, that reduces the spread for people in the household, and especially, don’t go visiting vulnerable elderly relatives while you’ve got symptoms, that remains pretty critical actually.
“Third one, vulnerable people and older people can still order free tests.”
He said there was a regular Covid vaccination clinic at the Moor Market, at stand 81. Clinics start from Tuesday July 5, up to September 29, which would be open all over the summer and into the autumn. They are running on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am until 3pm, open to anyone over 16.