Public health boss 'worried' about Omicron and urges public to get booster jab as hospitalisations remain low
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Between December 10 and 16, 902 people in Barnsley tested positive for coronavirus, a decrease of 7.2 per cent compared to the previous seven days.
Between December 6 and 12, 26 people went into hospital with coronavirus in Barnsley, up 30 per cent compared to the previous week.
On December 14, there were 32 patients in hospital with coronavirus, and six deaths were reported in the borough within 28 days of a positive test between December 10 and 16 – a 40 per cent drop from the previous week.
“We don’t know yet the full extent of how it will translate into hospitalisations, but we do know there will be a significant impact because of the sheer number of infections and its rapid spread.
“Even a very small proportion of the expected numbers of people becoming infected and then becoming seriously ill could add to other winter pressures and overwhelm the NHS – and that affects everyone – not just those with Covid.
“Although the numbers of hospitalisations aren’t going up In Barnsley right now as Omicron came later to South Yorkshire than other places, the two-to-three-week time lag between initial infection and becoming seriously ill means we need to take advantage of this slight delay and do as much as we can now to protect ourselves and reduce wider spread.
Ms Burrows urged those eligible to have their booster jab, adding that it ‘increases your immune response substantially’, which makes it more likely that protection will be maintained against Omicron, especially for severe illness.
“I really do urge you to act now before the full force of Omicron hits.
“I will be making use of my registered nursing qualification to help out with the vaccination effort at the Metrodome so I look forward to seeing some of you there!”
Walk-in booster jabs are being offered at the Metrodome for anyone over the age of 18 who had their second jab more than three months ago.
It is open seven days a week, closing only on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, running from 10am with the last appointment at 8pm.
Andrea Parkin, chief nurse at Barnsley Healthcare Federation, who heads up the vaccine service, said: “Getting your booster as soon as you’re eligible is really important. We’ve already had over 86,000 people in Barnsley have theirs, which is amazing.
“There are around 90,000 people across the borough who we’re now asking to come forward.
“If you are 18 and over and have had your second dose at least three months ago, can get a walk-in slot down at the Metrodome before December 29.
“Or book online www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine for other sites – the sooner you can get your booster the better.”