Community leaders are calling on people to get their Covid-19 vaccine as soon as they are invited to do so.

Those most at risk are being offered the vaccination first, and it will be rolled out to other groups in order of age and risk over the coming weeks and months. For details of the priority list, visit GOV.UK. The NHS will contact people when it is their turn to book their vaccine, people should not contact their GP or pharmacy.

Sohail Khan, a councillor for Tettenhall Regis ward, was offered the vaccine as a health and social care worker as he is volunteering at the Covid-19 rapid test centre at the Jamia Masjid Bilal.

He said: "The vaccine has given us hope of returning to normality and I was delighted to get my first dose at New Cross earlier this week. The process was quick and efficient and the whole visit only took around 30 minutes. 

"My son, who volunteers full time at the test centre, was also offered the jab, but his first reaction was not to have it – after all, he's only 23, fit and healthy, so what's he got to worry about?

"As soon as I heard this I was straight on the phone to him to tell him to get vaccinated. We know that Covid-19 is much more deadly to older people and those with underlying health conditions, but the average age of people falling seriously ill with Covid is dropping all the time and, tragically, there have been many cases of much younger people succumbing to this terrible virus.

"So my message to my son, and indeed to everyone in Wolverhampton is, when it's your time to have your jab – please, make sure you get it."

Bilston North Councillor Olivia Birch said: "Although the infection rate is thankfully now coming down once more, over 1,300 people tested positive for Covid-19 in Wolverhampton last week, which is an incredibly worrying number. 

"There are a lot of untruths and misinformation around the vaccine which is misleading, and I'd call on people to ignore the anti-vaxxers and listen to the facts. 

“Please take the vaccine, particularly so if you are from the BAME community which has been disproportionately affected by Covid-19, so that you can protect yourselves, your family and friends and of course our NHS."

Fr. Craig Fullard, Parish Priest of the St. John Henry Newman Cluster, said: "It's been great to hear about members of our community who have begun to receive the vaccine. 

"Pope Francis has made it very clear that to receive the vaccine is morally acceptable and that it is in fact an ethical action, because without it you are gambling with your health, your life, and the lives of others. That's why I was really pleased to receive a phone call to have my vaccine and to be able to go and have my first dose.

"The vaccine truly is our way out of the storm of Covid-19. But, as the storm continues, those of us who have had the vaccine and those that haven't yet need to do our best; we need to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. And, when you are called for the vaccine, go for it – because it is the way forward."

More details about the vaccine, including the answers to frequently asked questions, are available at Vaccine.

Latest figures show there were 506.8 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the 7 days to 26 January. That means 1,333 people in the city tested positive for the virus in that 7 day period – though the true number of new cases will likely be considerably higher.

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