Haringey coronavirus (COVID-19) updates
Winter is always a challenging time for the NHS, but this winter could be particularly difficult due to high COVID-19 infection rates, on top of the usual increase in emergency demand caused by seasonal respiratory diseases such as flu. Therefore, It has never been more important to ensure we are protected against flu and COVID-19, than it is this year.
It is expected that the impact of flu will be greater this winter because of the very low levels of flu seen last year, due in part to virus limiting behaviours such as mask wearing and social distancing. This has resulted in reducing the normal levels of immunity to flu in the community.
With social mixing returning to pre-pandemic levels, this will be the first winter in the UK when seasonal flu will spread alongside COVID-19 which is why it is important to get protected.
Getting your COVID-19 booster jab
COVID-19 vaccines are our best defence against the virus. Evidence shows that the COVID-19 vaccine gives high levels of protection and has saved lives. However, immunity naturally reduces over time, and if you received your 2nd dose six months ago, you will now be eligible to receive a booster jab.
The NHS will invite you to get your COVID-19 booster jab if you are:
- Over 50
- A frontline health and social care worker
- An older adult in a residential care home
- Aged 16-49 with an underlying health condition which puts you at greater risk of severe COVID
- An adult sharing a home with vulnerable people
If you have not been contacted within a week of reaching six months since your second jab, and you fall into one of the above categories, you can either call 119, book yourself an appointment online (external link) or attend one of our friendly walk-in clinics.
Getting a flu vaccine
This year will see the country’s biggest flu programme in history with 35 million people eligible for a free vaccine nationwide. You are strongly encouraged to book your flu vaccines alongside your COVID-19 jabs, to give you the best possible protection, as we move into the traditional cold and flu season. Those who are eligible for a free flu vaccine can book an appointment through their GP surgery or local pharmacy.
Those eligible for the free vaccine are:
- all children aged 2 to 15 (but not 16 years or older) on 31 August 2021
- those aged 6 months to under 50 years in clinical risk groups
- pregnant women
- those aged 50 years and over
- those in long-stay residential care homes
- close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
- some frontline health and social care staff
Remember it is safe to have your flu and Covid-19 booster vaccines together so don’t delay and book yours as soon as possible.
The offer of a first and second COVID-19 vaccine also remains open to those eligible, and if you have a child who is aged between 12-15, you can now book them an appointment online too.
To book any COVID-19 vaccine appointments visit the National Booking System (external link) or call 119 free of charge.
The UK Health Security Agency and ministers are calling on young people to make sure they take a rapid COVID-19 test before returning to school after the half term.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases among 10 to 19 year olds are currently the highest of any age group, with a weekly rate of 1,201 per 100,000 population.
Rapid testing is a quick, easy and reliable way to detect asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 among those that are most infectious. Identifying positive cases through rapid lateral flow tests will mean that we can ensure those with infection do not return to school where they could pass it on to others. Anyone who has symptoms should isolate and get a PCR test as quickly as possible.
It is also important that children get their COVID-19 vaccination. This is now easier than ever before as vaccinations are now available both through school or a walk-in centre.
Alongside testing and vaccination, there are other important measures children and their families can take to protect against the spread of COVID-19. Make sure to ventilate spaces by opening windows when meeting indoors, keep washing your hands regularly and thoroughly and wear face coverings in crowded enclosed spaces.
After COVID-19 vaccines, rapid testing and appropriate isolation is one of the most important ways to break chains of transmission and prevent the spread of the virus, especially as we enter the winter months.
Many families already have rapid tests at home already that could be used. They can also be collected from your local pharmacy. The government recommends that schools ask pupils and staff to test twice a week, and that families continue this during the holidays.
Taking a rapid test before going back to school will help prevent hidden COVID-19 cases from entering the classroom and ensure that children can continue to learn free from disruption.
The remaining seven countries on the government's travel red list are to be removed, meaning there will no longer be a requirement for hotel quarantine for arrivals to the UK.
Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela are being taken off the list from 4am on Monday, which will leave no countries left in the highest category of travel restrictions.
However, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the red list category and mandatory hotel quarantine was not being scrapped entirely and would be reviewed every three weeks, as the UK’s first line of defence.
The transport secretary also announced that a further 30 new countries and territories, including Peru, Uganda, Argentina, Tanzania and Cambodia, were being added to the list of locations with approved COVID-19 vaccine programmes. It brings the total number of countries on the list to 135.
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