We have a few updates for you today:
From today, May 24 a Covid-19 vaccination bus will be visiting various locations across the borough providing first dose Pfizer vaccines to people in the area. Mosques, colleges, schools, leisure centres and community hubs are just some of the venues where the vehicle will be available for convenient and easy access to the vaccination. Clinicians on board the bus will also be able to answer questions and address any concerns. There is no need to book an appointment to visit the bus with people just invited to attend. Vaccination of residents is according to a priority list, as set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), based on age and vulnerability of people and the risk of them becoming seriously ill and dying from COVID-19.
The current criteria is:
- Aged 32 and over
- People who will turn 32 before 1 July 2021
- Aged 18 and over with any underlying health conditions
- Aged 18 and over AND living, caring or working with anyone with underlying health conditions
- Health and Social Care staff
- Any carers – paid or unpaid. You will not be asked for proof as unpaid carers are eligible.
The vaccination bus is in addition to the new sites at Penny Street, Revidge Fold Church, Royal Blackburn Hospital and Everest Pharmacy in Darwen which are also delivering first dose Pfizer vaccines. These sites are appointment only and bookings can be made here. http://www.healthierlsc.co.uk/getmyjab
The existing vaccination site at Blackburn Cathedral also remains in operation.
- Monday, May 24 – Masjid E Sajedeen Mosque car park: Plane Tree Road, Little Harwood, Blackburn. BB1 6LS. 10am – 5.30pm
- Wednesday, May 26 – Blackburn College Car park: Fielden Street, Blackburn. BB2 1LH. 9am – 12.30pm. Al Asr Mosque car park: Preston New Road at the junction of St Silas Road, Blackburn. BB2 6JX. 1.30pm – 4.00pm
- Thursday, May 27 – Audley Leisure Centre car park: Chester Street, Blackburn. BB1 1DW. 10am – 5.30pm
- Friday, May 28 – Mill Hill (Council car park land): Junction of Angela St and Francis St, Mill Hill, Blackburn. BB2 4DP. 9am – 12.30pm. Land next to Roman Road Health Centre and community hub area: Fishmoor Drive, Off Roman Road, Blackburn. BB2 3UY. 1.30pm – 4.30pm
- Saturday, May 29 – St Michael & St Johns Primary School Car Park: Swallow Drive, Blackburn. BB1 6LE. 12pm – 7.30pm
- Sunday, May 30 – Shadsworth Community Hub car park: Rothesay Road, Shadsworth, Blackburn. BB1 2JB. 10am – 5.30pm
More information on the vaccination programme can be found here. https://www.healthierlsc.co.uk/covidvaccination
Self-isolation support pilot
Lancashire, Blackburn & Darwen are being given funding to take part in a pilot scheme to test new, creative ways to help ensure people stick to self-isolation rules in areas with higher prevalence of infection including from new variants. This will include trialling a range of initiatives including providing alternative accommodation for people in overcrowded households, social care support such as increasing existing social care support for vulnerable adults and providing ‘buddying’ services for people whose mental health has been affected by lockdown and the variant outbreaks, and language communications support for individuals where English isn’t their first language. These pilots are designed to encourage people most at risk of catching and transmitting COVID-19 to come forward for testing and to self-isolate successfully if they test positive. You can find more information here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-launches-new-pilots-to-further-support-people-to-self-isolate
Update from Dominic Harrison, Director of Public Health
You can find the latest update from Dominic Harrison, Director of Public Health for Blackburn with Darwen here: https://theshuttle.org.uk/coronavirus-column-21-may/ Key points include:
- “Blackburn with Darwen has high and rising rates of the variant first ‘identified in India’ referred to as B.1.617.2. This variant may be up to 50% more transmissible than the previously dominant UK variant that emerged in the winter. That variant itself was about 50% more transmissible than the original Wuhan virus strain.
- “As of Wednesday 19th May, Blackburn with Darwen had a confirmed case rate of 114.9, a positivity rate of 4.4% and a testing rate of 382.7. A very high percentage of our cases are of B1.617.2. Bolton has similarly rising Covid rates and variant cases. In terms of transmission and spread, Blackburn with Darwen may be a week to ten days behind Bolton.
- “It is now estimated that as many as 50% of Local Authorities in England may have some B.1.617.2 cases. Not all positive PCR tests are yet being sequenced, so it is impossible to know the exact numbers and percentages.
- “Our three principal strategies to control the spread of the virus are: sticking to all the current rules of this lockdown stage, surge testing and surge vaccination. In addition we are offering local guidance on enhanced communicable disease control measures, such as continued mask wearing in schools until the next lockdown lifting stage on June 21st.
- “The challenge we have now is to find ways of effectively managing down the spread through the actions outlined above – without either locking ourselves down, or letting government think that local lockdowns are the solution. So – please stick to the rules, get tested and if eligible, get vaccinated. We can only be successful if we do this together.”