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25th Jun, 2022

Health chief's vaccination plea as Solihull Covid rates start to soar

INFECTION rates in Solihull from Covid-19 are soaring, with the borough having the highest figures of any upper tier authority in the West Midlands.

Health chiefs are particularly concerned about high rates in Dorridge, Hockley Heath, Olton and Blyth, particularly among young people aged 17-18.

And the news has brought a quick response from the council’s director of public health, Ruth Tennant, who said: “Get your jab, then get your second jab and then encourage everyone you know to do the same.”

Ms Tennant spoke out after last night’s Downing Street press conference where the chief medical officer Chris Whitty explained that, despite rising rates of infection, vaccinations are keeping people out of hospital and preventing deaths.

She said: “But I have to be clear, although the vaccine has weakened the link between cases and hospitalisations, it has not broken it and hospital cases will rise as rates rise although at a slower rate.

“As of today (Tuesday, July 6) Solihull’s rates are the highest of any upper tier authority in the West Midlands region with 9.2 per cent of people who get tested testing positive.

“In the last week we had 736 new cases. Our local rate is now at 420 per 100k and, in line with national projections, we are expecting this to rise.

“We have had seen increases right across the borough but we are particularly worried about high rates in Dorridge and Hockley Heath, Olton and Blyth wards where rates are now over 450 per 100k.

“We are also particularly concerned by very high rates in younger age groups: our rate in 17-18 year olds is now 1,444 per 100,000k – or 1.4 case for every 100 people in this age group.

“In the 19-24 age group it stands at 1186 – or just over one case for every 100 people. These are all people who will not be able to work, socialise or study while they are infectious.

“We are also seeing high rates in secondary schools with Covid rates at 875 per 100k and have therefore advised our schools heads to reintroduce face coverings until the end of term.”

She added: “And, we can’t forget the football – keep your eye on the ball and be a safe supporter for tomorrow’s big match. We all need to think hard about the risks we may be taking when we’re out and about.”

Vaccinations are now available to everyone over 18 – find out all you need to know at https://www.birminghamandsolihullcovidvaccine.nhs.uk/.

Solihull also has a walk-in vaccination session with the mobile testing unit this Friday 9 July at Asda in Chelmsley Wood (341 Bosworth Drive, B37 5EX) between 11am and 5pm.

No appointment is needed.

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