Covid and flu: Book your booster and vaccines, urges Sheffield director of public health Greg Fell
Book your booster jab because your immunity to Covid is wearing off.
That’s the message from Sheffield’s director of public health Greg Fell who is encouraging eligible people to get booked in.
The UK has a big problem with immunity waning and it’s more serious here than western Europe because we started vaccinating earlier.
Mr Fell says in a report: “This is much more likely than masks to explain the UK’s ongoing higher case and death rates.
“Indoor mixing and large gatherings, or large numbers of small gatherings, are also having an effect.
“The percentage of people attending large gatherings in the UK is surging way ahead of elsewhere.
“The percentage of people never wearing masks has rocketed in the UK but stayed very low elsewhere.
“Working from home has also dropped so it’s important to not allow masks to become a single flashpoint.”
Immunity is still “pretty decent” in middle aged and younger people and booster jabs are helping to bring down rates in older people.
It’s not too late to have your first and second Covid vaccinations
But there are still tens of thousands who haven’t had their primary two doses with gaps between east and west Sheffield and between BAME and white people.
Mr Fell said: “The booster rollout is happening and is absolutely critical, the same priority order as first vaccines.
“There is a good uptake but dose one and two remain of primary importance as a booster is no good if you’ve not had dose one.
“By far the most important intervention is primary vaccination in unvaccinated adults, especially older. If you haven’t yet had dose one and two then it’s never too late, please reconsider.”
Hospital numbers are “ticking up slowly” but the average length of stay is shorter than previous surges with around one death per day. Those most seriously ill are the clinically vulnerable and unvaccinated.
Mr Fell is also encouraging people to have a flu jab as catching flu and Covid together can be serious.
A&E, hospitals, ambulances and GPs are already under pressure dealing with Covid and respiratory illnesses and that’s before flu season is in full swing.