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More Covid-19 vaccination centres are coming to Plymouth – Plymouth Live

https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/plymouth-news/more-covid-19-vaccination-centres-4880519

NHS England is planning more Covid-19 vaccination centres in Plymouth in addition to the ones already identified.

The city’s director of public health, Ruth Harrell, said more details would be released when the locations were confirmed.

Dr Harrell said the rollout of the vaccination had been good so far, and the new centres meant people would not have to travel outside the city.

Care home residents and hundreds of front line social care staff have been receiving vaccinations in the city.

But Dr Harrell warned that people needed to carry on complying with lockdown rules, social distancing and hygiene measures, as the city was seeing its highest infection rate of the pandemic so far.

She told a meeting of the council’s Cabinet on Tuesday afternoon, a week after the announcement of the new lockdown for England, that the latest rate in the city was 303 per 100,000 population.

Dr Harrell said that had increased significantly in recent days, but was still below the South West average of 398, and the England average of 640.

The director said experts had expected to see the rate increase in the early stage of the lockdown before the measures in place cause cases to flatten and reduce.

Dr Harrell warned that the virus was still causing a “significant problem in the city” and people should only leave home if they had to, and carry on complying with hygiene measures.

She thanked people for seeking tests and working with the national and local test and trace systems.

Dr Harrell said the city council was asking to be included in the scheme announced by the Government to extend testing, with lateral flow tests for people who might not have symptoms, although tests would be targeted first at areas with the highest rates.

Cabinet member for health Kate Taylor said that of the 97 care homes in the city, 16 had an outbreak of Covid-19, and 19 had a single case.

She said that residents in 10 homes had received their first vaccination over the Christmas and New Year period, and five primary care networks were piloting one home each.

She said: “The rollout for vaccinations for the most vulnerable is happening, and obviously the quicker that happens the better, however it is reassuring to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel for our most vulnerable residents in the city.”

Vaccinations were also being issued to front line social care staff, with 712 being vaccinated at the weekend.

Cllr Taylor said: “This is really fantastic news. It represents further progress in our fight against Covid in the city and across the country, and we’re continuing to work closely with NHS colleagues to co-ordinate this vaccination offer to all social care staff across the city.”

The Cabinet member said the Caring for Plymouth support scheme for vulnerable people who are shielding had been relaunched.

The new lockdown rules mean it is illegal to leave home without a “reasonable excuse”, including work that cannot be done from home, education, essential shopping or exercise in the local area once a day.

Police can fine offenders £200 for a first offence – doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.

Devon and Cornwall Police said since the start of the national lockdown through to Sunday, January 10, the force received around 885 Covid-related report, with 699 resulting in advice. It asked people to follow the spirit of the law as well as the letter.

The force issued 36 fixed penalty notices, including nine for outdoor gatherings, four for leaving home without a reasonable excuse and for 15 indoor gatherings. More than 800 stop-checks were carried out with around a dozen fixed penalty notices issued.

A statement said: “Our roads do appear to be quieter as shown by the notable reduction in road traffic collisions since lockdown, and crime is down around 11 per cent compared to pre-lockdown figures. 999 calls are down around 10 per cent but calls and contact to our 101 service is up around 23 per cent compared to the week prior to lockdown.

“Devon and Cornwall Police operate over the largest geographical force in the country and we cannot be everywhere at once, so it is vital that all are doing their part in adhering to the rules of lockdown as this will ultimately save lives.

“The figures show the vast majority of communities are complying with the regulations and we will always look to respond to all calls where non-compliance is being reported.”

The Government has set out plans for everyone to be within 10 miles of a vaccination site, with capacity to vaccinate two million people a week in England by the end of the month.

People have been advised to wait for an invitation for a vaccine appointment, which are being issued in line with national recommendations to prioritise groups most at risk.