Knowsley Council has confirmed that it is once again stepping up its emergency response in view of the issues posed by the rising cases of the Omicron variant across the country. Specifically, the Council is working closely with health agencies to focus on ensuring that as many Knowsley residents as possible are able to get their booster jabs in the coming weeks.
Although the jabs themselves will be administered and delivered by the health agencies, the Council has confirmed that it will make premises and other resources available so that as many people as possible can get the additional protection they need.
Councillor Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council, said:-
“It is very clear that the new variant of COVID-19 – Omicron – is a major concern and that we all need to do everything possible to protect as many people as possible. We don’t yet know if Omicron is more dangerous in terms of the risk it poses to individuals. But we absolutely do know that it is spreading incredibly quickly, and this could result in catastrophic pressure being place on our health services and hospitals over Christmas and into the New Year. That is where the real risk lies.
“Getting the booster vaccination to as many people as possible is the best way to try to stop this from happening and Knowsley Council are committed to do all we can to support that effort.”
On Sunday (12 December 2021), the Prime Minister announced that he was further speeding up the roll-out of the COVID-19 booster programme so that booster jabs would be offered to everyone over 18 by the end of 2021. This decision was made to combat the rising cases of the Omicron variant following the UK COVID Alert Level being raised from 3 to 4 – indicating an increasing and substantial pressure on the NHS.
Locally in Knowsley, a number of booster clinics (appointment and drop- in) have already been made available with drop-in sessions arranged from tomorrow (15 December 2021) until Sunday (19 December 2021). Further details about when and where these are taking place can be found here.
Work is also under way to provide additional provision. The times, locations, and information about these clinics will be shared widely through the local media and also via www.knowsleynews.co.uk and the Council’s social media channels as and when updates are available.
Early data has indicated that vaccine efficacy is substantially reduced against the Omicron variant. However, a third dose raises protection to over 70%.
Councillor Morgan added: “Throughout the pandemic, the Council has escalated its emergency response and reprioritised its work whenever necessary to support the fight against COVID. From setting up our Volunteer Hub during the first lockdown to mobilising COVID testing across the Borough in a matter of days, we have worked well to respond to the health emergency, and we remain committed to doing whatever is needed to protect our residents and communities as we continue the battle against COVID-19.”
Who is eligible for a COVID-19 booster?
Booster doses are available for all Knowsley residents aged 18+ who have had a second dose of the vaccine at least three months ago.
How do I get my COVID-19 booster?
The NHS will let you know when it is your turn to book your appointment. Visit the NHS website to find out more about the vaccine, eligibility and how to book an appointment.
All eligible Knowsley residents can get their booster jabs at one of the pop-in clinics which are taking place within Knowsley and further across the Liverpool City Region. You can find out which clinics are offering jabs to all residents aged 18+ here.