Director of public health for Nottinghamshire: We're living with covid but rates are still high
It’s springtime and I’m delighted we are enjoying more freedoms as we are ‘living with covid’, writes Jonathan Gribbin, director of public health for Nottinghamshire.
However, rates of the virus are still high, and covid-19 hasn’t gone away. As we learn to live with covid-19, we can all take simple steps to avoid catching the virus and passing it on to others.
These steps include getting vaccinated, letting plenty of fresh air in if you’re meeting others indoors and wearing your face covering in crowded or enclosed places. Practising good hygiene such as covering your coughs and sneezes (Catch it. Bin it. Kill it.) and regular handwashing is also essential in helping to prevent other infections such as the flu, sickness and diarrhoea and the common cold.
Thank you for playing your part. Whether you’re wearing a face covering in the supermarket or on the local bus to work, following PPE guidance when visiting your loved ones in care homes or staying at home because you’re experiencing covid-like or flu-like symptoms and don’t want to pass it on to your friends. Some of these actions have become a habit for us, and it’s these simple steps that can help us keep safe.
The covid-19 vaccine is the single best thing you can do to protect yourself and others from the virus. So, if you haven’t already had the vaccine, please remember it is never too late to get your first, second or booster dose.
Older people and those with a weakened immune system are particularly at risk, which is why people aged 75 years and over, those in care homes for older adults and those aged 12 years and over with a weakened immune system, are being offered the spring booster to strengthen their protection.
The NHS advise you to wait six months after your previous dose to get maximum protection from a spring booster. There are plenty of appointments available at more than 50 sites across Nottinghamshire, including pharmacies, vaccination centres and GP practices. So, if you’re eligible, I urge you to book online or find a walk-in site at nhs.uk/covidvaccine or call 119.
Thank you to everyone for taking steps to remain safe and protected against covid-19 as we enjoy the warmer seasons. Remember, the offer always stands, so don’t hesitate to come forward for your free covid-19 vaccine.