Health leaders encourage vaccine take-up amid rising Covid hospitalisations

Published Thursday 11 November 2021 at 9:41

While Covid case rates in Blackburn with Darwen remain lower than the national average, the numbers of people needing hospital treatment for their symptoms is increasing – particularly among people who are not fully vaccinated.

Blackburn with Darwen’s Director of Public Health is keen to encourage people who still haven’t yet taken up their Covid vaccination to protect themselves as we head into winter.

Prof Dominic Harrison commented:

While Blackburn with Darwen’s Covid case rates are currently below the England and North West averages, over the last two or three weeks, the number of patients with Covid being admitted to East Lancashire Hospitals Trust has more than doubled.

Of the 73 people currently poorly enough with Covid to need hospital treatment, 10 are in critical care beds.

The vast majority of these Covid in-patients are not fully vaccinated, which highlights the protection that the Covid jab provides.

Coronavirus has not gone away. It is vital that we all protect ourselves and our loved ones as much as we can by taking up the offer of the Covid vaccine. Each Covid vaccine gives us an extra layer of protection against this killer virus.

As at Tuesday 9 November, 17 people aged between 37 and 89 years from Blackburn with Darwen are among the Covid-positive in-patients at Blackburn Royal Hospital. 11 of the 17 have not had any Covid vaccinations.

Martin Hodgson, Interim Chief Executive of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

What concerns me is that some people are behaving as though Covid has gone away. I understand that, as restrictions have been relaxed, people are enjoying freedoms that they had to sacrifice for so long, but we cannot let our guard down where the virus is concerned.

As well as getting vaccinated against Covid, one of the most important things we can do to keep Covid under control in our communities is to continue to wash our hands. We know this works in stopping the spread of the virus, especially when we wash them for at least 20 seconds.

East Lancashire Hospitals Trust and Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Public Health team are also reminding anyone who is eligible to come forward for their Covid booster dose, following an increase in older people being admitted to hospital with complications from Covid infection.

Dominic Harrison continued:

We are currently seeing higher rates of Covid among the over 60s. This is the age group that had their jabs earlier in the vaccination programme. We already know that immunity from the first two vaccines wanes over time particularly for older or clinically vulnerable people, which is why a booster dose is being offered to all over 50s and people in other vulnerable groups.

If you are eligible, getting your Covid booster vaccination is the single most important thing you can do to give yourself added protect against Covid over winter.

Appointments for Covid booster jabs aren’t needed but can be made in advance at or by calling 119.

Anyone who had their second jab five months ago – in early June or earlier – can now book their booster dose appointment for when it’s due.

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