Shropshire jabs lagging behind but second dose on the way as Covid vaccine roll-out hits 300,000 doses

Shropshire is lagging behind the rest of the Midlands in the number of over 50s who have had their second Covid jabs, figures show.

Health bosses say it is as a result of Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin getting off to a slow start with first doses given, and have offered assurances that the vaccination programme is on track to deliver second doses in line with the national guidance – 12 weeks after the first dose.

They say many people had their first doses in January, so they are now starting to receive their second jabs.

Patients started arriving for their second Covid vaccinations at Telford International Centre this week.

NHS England figures published yesterday show more than 88 per cent of 50 to 54-year-olds across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin have had their first Covid jab.

A total of 304,519 doses had been given across the county in the run-up to Sunday, including 37,746 second jabs.

It was announced earlier this week that over 45s are now being offered the jab.

It comes as the number of new cases of Covid has dropped in Shropshire.

In the seven days to April 8, there were 32 new cases reported – a decrease of 47 per cent compared to the previous week.

However, there was a slight increase in Telford and Wrekin last week, with 40 new cases recorded.

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire’s director of public health, said: “The further reduction in cases is welcome.

“Covid has not gone away and it’s more important than ever to act safely and prevent the spread of infection so that we can return to a life without Covid restrictions in the future.

“It is still critical that we continue to follow the basics – hands, face and space – to ensure that we do not cause a spike in our infection rates. It is as vital as ever that we are sensible, adhere to the guidance and not jeopardise our health and those of others.

“Every resident in Shropshire should get a regular symptom-free lateral flow test twice a week to ensure you are not unknowingly spreading coronavirus.

“You are now able to order symptom-free tests online or to collect from all our local testing sites, participating pharmacies, as well as local libraries and leisure centres.”

Liz Noakes, Telford and Wrekin’s director for public health, added: “Any outbreaks we have in the borough – and there were two outbreaks recorded over the last week – can significantly impact on the total case numbers.

“We ask everyone to please continue to be cautious, follow the rules and get tested regularly.”

Anyone who thinks they may have coronavirus, or are displaying any symptoms, is advised to self-isolate immediately and book an NHS test by visiting gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119.

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