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Saturday, 20 July 2024 – 07:16
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Coronavirus latest: Over 70s urged to book vaccine appointment, while surge testing to take place around Manchester

Over 70s in England that have not yet received an appointment to be vaccinated against COVID-19 have been urged by Health Secretary Matt Hancock to contact the NHS.

Over 70s can book a vaccination appointment by visiting the NHS website, or alternatively by phoning 119 or speaking to their local GP practice.

The Government is aiming to offer a first COVID vaccine dose to the top four priority groups identified by the JCVI (approximately 15 million people, including all over 70s) by the 15 February. Speaking during a Downing Street Press Conference on Monday evening, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the NHS is on track to meet the target.

Mr Hancock also revealed particularly high vaccine take-up rates among over 75s. The vaccine take-up rates announced by Mr Hancock are as follows;

  • Over 80s – first dose given to 91%
  • 75 to 79-year-olds – first dose given to 95%
  • Eligible care home residents – 93% take-up

According to the latest data, more than 12.2 million people in the UK have been given a first dose of a vaccine against COVID-19. 

The number of daily reported Coronavirus cases has also been falling over recent weeks. On Monday, a further 14,104 positive COVID-19 cases were reported – the lowest daily number since 8 December 2020.

There are though some concerns over the spread of international Coronavirus variants. Additional surge testing is being deployed to specific areas around Manchester, including in M14 4, M14 7, M15 5, M15 6, M16 7 and M16 8 where a Coronavirus variant of concern has recently been identified. People in these areas are being strongly encouraged to take a COVID-19 test, regardless of whether they have virus symptoms.

There have been 147 confirmed cases of the South African variant of COVID-19 in the UK to date.

In South Africa, the rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has been suspended by the South African government after a study showed that the vaccine offered ‘minimal protection’ against mild and moderate cases of the country’s variant of the virus.

It is though believed by scientists that the vaccine will still protect against serious illness. 

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