Concerns over vaccine take-up in young people in Oldham as virus described as 'a very real danger'

Date published: 21 October 2021

An Oldham health leader says Covid still presents a "very real danger" as cases increase across the UK.

National daily Covid cases have been above 40,000 for eight days in a row, with 49,139 new infections reported on Wednesday.

Oldham recorded a further 821 cases in the last 7 days, a rate (per 100,000) of 345.

The Government signalled this week that if these rates don’t start to come down and pressure on the NHS eases then new restrictions may have to be considered. As of Tuesday, there were 7,891 patients in hospital. Another 179 people were reported to have died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus on Wednesday.

Director of Public Health in Oldham Katrina Stephens said: "To avoid risking a winter crisis everyone has to play their part in getting Covid infection rates down. We have to acknowledge that Covid is still here and a very real danger.

"As the weather gets colder we’re going to be seeing more people inside where the virus is more likely to spread, so we need to act now in order to keep each other safe. Over 70% of those aged 16+ in Oldham have had their first and second vaccine so If you haven’t already please get yourself vaccinated, get a booster jab if you’ve been offered one, get tested regularly and remember the importance of good hygiene, ventilation and wearing masks in busy areas."

Cllr Arooj Shah.jpg

Oldham Council Leader, Arooj Shah says the virus still poses a significant threat: "Nobody wants to go back to restrictions this winter, we need businesses to stay open and the ability to see our loved ones, and that means accepting that Covid has not gone away; this isn’t over.

"At the moment we’re not seeing enough of those who are eligible taking up the offer for a booster jab and there are real concerns around the take-up rates in our young people as well. We know that the vaccine is the best way to get protected from the worst effects of the virus so it’s vital that people come forward and get the jab when they can.

"We will get through this but in order to do that we have to acknowledge that this virus is still with us and we must act now if we want to avoid the risk of new restrictions this winter."

Figures released today show 12,367 of Oldham’s registered population have been vaccinated with their booster dose.

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