People aged 36 and over are now able to book their life-saving Covid-19 vaccine – and with cases of the new variant of concern now confirmed in Wolverhampton, residents are being urged to get their jab as soon as possible.

Anyone aged 36-plus, or who will turn 36 before 1 July, is encouraged to arrange their vaccine appointment through the national booking website.   

The vaccine is also currently available to the clinically extremely vulnerable, people with a learning disability, frontline health and social care workers and people in receipt of Carer's Allowance or are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person.

People who are eligible for, but have not yet had, their first jab are asked to get it as a matter of urgency. People are also reminded of the importance of getting their second dose when it is due, in order to receive maximum protection against the deadly virus.

John Denley, Wolverhampton’s Director of Public Health, said: “The vaccine is the best protection we have against Covid-19 and, given that the new variant of concern first identified in India has now reached Wolverhampton, it is imperitive that everyone gets their jab as soon as they are able to, particularly the over 50s who are at greater risk from serious illness.

“We’ve seen the impact this new, more transmissable variant is having in other parts of the country, leading to soaring infection rates, and we cannot afford that to happen here in our city.

“The Government has stated that the majority of hospitalisations in Bolton, which has been particularly hard hit by the new variant, are among people who haven’t had their Covid-19 vaccine, even though they are eligible for it. So my message is clear – please get your jab as soon as possible.

The Government has not ruled out the possibility of local lockdowns and John continued: “Another lockdown is the last thing any of us ever wants, so by getting your vaccine now you will not only help to protect yourselves and others, but also help Wolverhampton avoid further restrictions such as a local lockdown.”

For more information about the vaccine, including the answers to frequently asked questions, please visit Covid-19 Vaccine or NHS. People will need to register with a GP surgery in England in order to receive the vaccine. For more details, please visit NHS.   

John added: “Please remember that even once you have had both doses of the vaccine, you must still continue to adhere to the measures the Government has put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19, and follow the Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air guidance. Please also get a regular Covid-19 rapid test to reassure yourselves and others that you don’t have the virus.”

For details of rapid testing, please visit Lateral Flow Home Test Kits. Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19, which include a fever, a new continuous cough or a change to the sense of taste or smell, must immediately self-isolate and book a PCR test by visiting GOV.UK or calling 119.

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. Further details of the restrictions currently in place, and the answers to frequently asked questions, are available at Covid Alert