More vaccinations – but please keep following the rules

I am delighted to report that I have joined the growing number of people to get a Covid-19 vaccination.

My appointment took place at the Thistlemoor Medical Centre and the single injection to my upper arm was quick and painless. I’m feeling fine and I’d like to thank the wonderful staff there for making it so straightforward.

john holdich vaccine

The vaccine works by teaching an immune system to create antibodies which protect from Coronavirus. The first dose gives good protection and the second dose, which I will get within 12 weeks, gives longer lasting protection.

The biggest immunisation campaign in history is gathering pace and a mass vaccination centre has opened Peterborough.

Over six million people in the UK have had a first dose and a record-breaking 491,970 people were vaccinated in a single day over the weekend. By the time you read this those numbers will have significantly increased, so it’s an amazing effort and we are leading Europe.

I would urge everyone to accept their appointment invite, get the jabs done and help control the spread of the virus which remains prevalent in our city.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam has warned that vaccinated people may still spread the virus, so everyone must continue to follow the national guidelines for case numbers to reduce, whether you’ve had the vaccine or not.

To recap, don’t invite people into your home who you don’t live with all the time, don’t go out unless it is essential – and when you do take particular care because the new variant of the virus is so much easier to catch.

You also need to continue to wear face coverings in shops, keep socially distanced and wash your hands thoroughly and regularly.

Everyone has done amazingly well and there’s light at the end of the tunnel. As always, rest assured that we will continue to work hard to keep the city moving forward.

Rapid testing launches across Peterborough

While the vaccine rollout gathers pace, another key element in the battle against Covid-19 is also being stepped up locally.

Rapid testing for key workers and those who cannot work from home has launched across Peterborough this week, helping to track virus cases and drive down transmission rates.

Rapid tests are being offered at St Michael’s Church hall, Lincoln Road, in the city centre to people aged 18 and over who have no Covid symptoms. You can get a test from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council have been allocated 100,000 tests over the next six weeks, with the potential for more. The tests are free and take around 15 minutes from arrival to departure.

Roughly one in three people infected with Covid has no symptoms and could be passing it on unaware. Broadening testing to key workers showing no symptoms will identify positive cases more quickly, helping to break the chains of transmission.

If you test positive you will need to isolate at home for 10 days along with everyone you live with. NHS Test and Trace will also get in touch with you to offer advice and ask about contacts.

Anyone who receives a negative test shouldn’t consider it a ‘free pass’ and ignore the guidelines. You could develop symptoms after a test and become infectious, so once again please continue to follow the rules.

For more information about rapid testing locally and how to book visit the council’s rapid testing webpage.

Self-isolation support available

Whilst our increase in testing is another big step in the right direction, the testing itself will not reduce transmission rates. What people do after they have been tested is key – if people choose not to isolate after a positive test the virus can still spread.

Self-isolation is a legal requirement for those who have tested positive, have symptoms or have been identified as a close contact to someone with the virus or symptoms.

self isolation graphic

As a council, we fully understand that self-isolation may be difficult for many people, for financial reasons or other commitments, so we can offer lots of support to those who need it including:

  • The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme which entitles people who meet certain criteria to a one-off payment of £500 if they lose income from not being able to work.
  • For anyone not eligible for the government support – a local discretionary fund which offers financial support to make sure people do not suffer financially.
  • The Peterborough Hub can support people with grocery shopping, medicine collection, dog walking, befriending services and in many other ways.

Please get in touch if there are barriers preventing you from self-isolating or you have started to self-isolate and are struggling, we are here to help.

For full details about our support schemes visit the council website. People can also contact the hub on 01733 747474.

Civic Awards winners announced

The winners of our annual Civic Awards were announced this week, recognising residents, groups, organisations and businesses who make a real difference to their communities.

In all the years the scheme has been running, there has never been a more important time for people to help those in need, so a big congratulations to the winners.

We will hold a presentation ceremony for all the winners when we are able to.

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