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Booster jab plea by Hampshire County Council leader as Covid cases rise in New Forest

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ELIGIBLE residents have been urged to get the Covid-19 booster jab as cases in the New Forest have more than doubled since August.

Brockenhurst councillor Keith Mans, Hampshire County Council leader and chair of the local outbreak engagement board, said it was important to take up the offer as the number of positive cases rises across the county.

He said: “As we head into the winter and with the number of positive cases rising, the vaccination is the best way for people to protect themselves and others from the virus, and the risk of serious ill health.

Eligible residents have been urged to get a Covid vaccine booster
Eligible residents have been urged to get a Covid vaccine booster

“The roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme has successfully reduced hospitalisations, and prevented serious disease.

"The booster jab offers ongoing protection to the most vulnerable and will help to ensure alongside other actions we can continue to prevent spread of the virus, get through the winter and enjoy the festive season and Christmas with our loved ones.”

In the New Forest on Tuesday weekly cases stood at 1,117 – well up from the last week of August when the number was 484.

It equates to a rate per 100,000 people of 621.8 – surpassing the UK rate of 485.6.

However, there were no new coronavirus deaths, according to the latest weekly report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which has logged 194 fatalities in the district this year.

The ONS figures showed one death in the BCP Council area, which includes Christchurch. There have been 666 deaths in the conurbation in 2021.

The weekly number of cases in the BCP area stood at 2,071, meaning a rate per 100,000 of 521.7.

The provisional ONS fatality figures related to Covid-19 being mentioned on the death certificate up to 15th October but registered up to 23rd October.

The booster jab is available to adults aged 50-plus, adults and children with a long-term health condition, and healthcare workers and carers.

Those eligible do not need to contact their GP surgery – the NHS will be in touch to arrange an appointment. Boosters will be offered no earlier than six months after being fully vaccinated.

HCC also urged people to wear face coverings in crowded places, take regular lateral flow tests, wash hands, and open windows if meeting indoors.

Secondary school and college students without symptoms of Covid are also being reminded to test the evening before they return from the half term holiday.

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