People are being reminded to get their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as soon as it is due.

While the initial dose of the vaccine gives people good protection from the deadly virus around 3 or 4 weeks after they've had their first jab, they need to have both doses for fuller, longer lasting protection.

Everyone will be offered 2 doses of the same vaccine, with most having their second jab between 10 and 12 weeks after the first.

John Denley, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health, said: "Thousands of people in Wolverhampton are now returning for their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, which will give them the strongest possible protection against this deadly virus.

"It's really important that you not only have your first vaccination as soon as you are eligible for it, but that you go back for your second jab when it is your turn.

"The second dose acts as a ‘booster’ to enhance immunity to the virus and offers you greater protection against infection. You should prioritise attending your second dose appointment, because these are timed in accordance with your first dose to ensure you can receive it within 12 weeks.

“Missing your second appointment would mean that you don’t have the maximum protection against the virus and would also leave a vacant appointment that could have been used for someone else – and that could mean the vaccine is wasted.”

As of last week, a total of 128,611 life-saving Covid-19 jabs had been given in Wolverhampton, with 114,713 people having received the first of their 2 doses and 13,898 patients having had both.

John added: "While the vaccine will protect you against Covid-19, there is still a chance that you could catch or spread the virus, and that means it is important to continue to follow Government guidance. Keep your distance from others, wear a face covering, wash your hands or use hand sanitiser regularly and get a PCR test if you have symptoms of Covid-19 or a rapid test if you don't."

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

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. For full details of the current restrictions, please visit COVID Alert