Please find below a brief update I am sending to those who have enquired about Covid19 vaccination in Tamworth:
I am contacting you to provide an update on our local vaccination programme. This supplements my previous updates sent out since New Year. These can be found on my website and on Facebook.
You will know that every week I meet the Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi and the head of the Staffordshire Vaccine Rollout, Neil Carr so here I want to update you on some really excellent vaccine and testing news for Tamworth and our county.
Another mass vaccination site for Tamworth - As of today our brand new mass vaccination hub begins operations. It is based by Alrewas, serving both the residents of Tamworth and Lichfield with the capabilities to mass vaccinate our two communities. This is good news as it complements our existing Coton Centre site that will continue to inoculate residents. As more and more people get their appointments, we will see both sites being used. So now we have two vaccination sites within 10 miles of our town, fulfilling the Prime Minister’s promise that everyone will be able easily to get to sites. We also have Tamworth pharmacies offering the vaccine and they have sent me some really encouraging updates as to how they are getting on – I am continuing to push for more very local sites across the town too.
NHS England is now publishing vaccine data by area every week, and I have included this in my update too. Looking at the whole of the Midlands (including Birmingham), as of Friday 5th February, Staffordshire has vaccinated 94% of the 80+, 91% of the 75-79s and 33% 70-74s. Overall we have the highest number of vaccinations in the whole of the Midlands with over 200,000 doses given, that is even higher than Birmingham. I know many of you are keen to get the data for just Tamworth, I am too, but NHS England are most efficient when they operate at this level of local data. What they do not want to do is provide the wrong data at the most local level by double counting or mis-counting. I am assured from medical experts that the County moves as one - all areas get the same treatment. If one bit of Staffordshire falls behind, it is given more resources to catch up so all areas complete the programme on time. We are now getting through vaccines at a fantastic rate and all credit on the ground must go to our local doctors, nurses, health care practitioners, as well as those who have volunteer their time to act as stewards or St John Ambulance vaccinators.
If we then look at the United Kingdom, compared to our nearest neighbours we can see our vaccinations, as of 4th February, are 4 times higher than Spain, 5 times that of Italy and Germany and almost 6 times higher than France. We have the right vaccination plan in place, the number of shots is hitting almost 1,000 a minute – quite some achievement.
I know some residents have been in touch with me to say they have had appointments in Nuneaton and Great Barr, just outside our area. This is just an NHS England bonus card; they are trying to assist GP surgeries where they can help vaccinate patients a bit more quickly. Do talk to your GP if you feel you cannot travel that bit further, to discuss moving the appointment closer to home because you can still be vaccinated at our two sites.
Another testing site for Tamworth – A new testing site has opened to the public at the Spinning School Lane Car Park. This will join the testing site we have had at the Sir Robert Peel Hospital for those with symptoms, alongside the testing sites at Tamworth College and Sacred Heart Church which are for those without symptoms. It is important that if you have to be out and about during the current restrictions, e.g. for work, then you should make a habit of getting tested. So do follow the advice on the NHS and Staffordshire County Council websites to book your test.
This is positive news for Tamworth and our surrounding villages; more testing capabilities, more vaccine capabilities. Meanwhile, please remember to wait for information from your GP about our local vaccination timetable. If you are in those more vulnerable groups (groups 1 or 2) you will hear about your appointment in the next few days, so please be patient. If you remain concerned, you can contact your GP for further information, but please do remember how busy they are.
Please continue to follow the Government guidance to protect yourself from this virus and encourage others to do the same.