• pamelacharlwood

HHRA Update 16 December 2021

Dear Members,

Coronavirus Latest Weekly Figures. New infection figures: Hill Head 45, slightly down but still well above England average; Stubbington 36, also slightly down and just above average; Fareham overall 522, slightly down but still well above average. Fareham deaths sadly one again but rate slightly below national average. Latest local vaccination rates for aged 12 plus: first dose very slight increase to 93%, second slight increase to 87%, third/booster - shown on Govt figures as 62% but we believe that might not be correct and is more like 45%; all above national average; the booster figure will rise significantly next week. Local hospital admissions 105, up.

Although local infection rates have not yet risen since the last report, they are still higher than average and can be expected to rise significantly in common with the rest of the country. It is increasingly clear that there is absolutely no room for complacency.

We are again informed, disturbingly, that a very large proportion of those being admitted to hospital and placing great stress upon intensive care wards are those who have chosen not to be vaccinated or have not had the full course.

Most if not all members will already be aware of the following information about the vaccination programme, but it does perhaps bear summarising. We try to be accurate and up to date, but as you know the situation is changing very frequently.

The scientists stress that two doses are insufficient to meet the threat of the new strain and the booster shot is vital to optimise our immunity levels; we are strongly urged - implored - to take up both vaccinations AND the booster/third shot as soon as eligible (all adults over 18 plus those over 16 with severely impaired immune systems, 3 months since the second shot,) and invited. We are reminded that it is not too late to book even a first vaccination. We also understand that as from next week children over 12 may have a second dose.

As you will also know, the accelerated booster programme has started and, in view of the very worrying infection rate, targets have since been doubled with the aim of all who are eligible to have been offered their booster shots by the end of December. In the first day or so following the policy change many walk-in centres were overwhelmed. We understand that most should be given appointments by their own surgeries. However if we want to try to obtain a booster earlier then we are urged to use the NHS website or call 119. Most if not all of our local vaccination hubs will normally accept only those with appointments, not walk-ins. Details of the nearest walk-in centres can be found on the NHS website.

Lateral Flow Test Kits. To repeat our interim alert to you, free lateral flow test kits can be requested on 119 or from a pharmacy (the pharmacy will require you to show them a collect code which you will need to request online at gov.uk/get-collect-code). If you have been using the postal request system you may find that they are temporarily not available and we know that supplies to some pharmacies are being delayed.

Daedalus. We have not mentioned Daedalus since telling you about the formation of a Consultative Committee and that HHRA was invited to provide a representative. Our representative, HHRA committee member Peter Turner, who has considerable experience in the sector, has been able to make some observations to the Consultative Committee about some of the early ideas for future development. Naturally, as ideas begin to mature and plans are put forward for consultation, any aspects that would be of particular concern to Hill Head residents will be reported back and taken up by HHRA with the Council as appropriate.

Scams. New scams include: An email or text purporting to come from the NHS entitled "Travel" and inviting you to "accept invitation"; an email or text purporting to be from Virgin Media saying that your service will be cancelled unless you respond; an email or text purporting to come from your boss asking you to buy gift cards (the kind with photographable bar codes) urgently for a client and send the photograph to your "boss" - on a number that you certainly will not have used to speak to her/him before! What will those crooks think of next!

Website. As well as all the local information available on the website, the last two or three months of Updates are available on the About Us page if you want to check back and cannot find a recent Update. Do browse www.hhra.org.uk

This is the last regular Update before the Christmas period. We wish all our members a happy and safe Christmas and new year.

Kind regards,

Pamela Charlwood and Peter Wason


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