Eligible Sefton residents urged to get COVID vaccine as soon as possible

Health professionals are working with Sefton Council to encourage residents to book their vaccinations as soon as they are eligible to help protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19. 

After some recent COVID-19 outbreaks in the area, local GPs are advising that vaccination is the most important step we can take to protect ourselves and our communities. Their message to residents who are eligible is to ‘get vaccinated to protect their community’.

As well as previously eligible groups, those who are aged 34 and over before 1 July are now able to book their vaccinations by calling 119 or visiting the national booking service website.

Dr Rob Caudwell, local GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The best action we can take in the fight against COVID-19, and any of the variants of the disease, is to get those people who are eligible vaccinated quickly and safely.”

“If you haven’t yet booked your vaccination, even if you are in any of the earlier cohorts, it’s not too late to get in touch and get booked in. Call 119 or visit the national booking service online.”

Dr Pete Chamberlain, local GP and chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “As well as encouraging people to get vaccinated when they are eligible, we can also fight the spread of the virus by getting tested regularly.”

“Everyone regardless of vaccination status should continue to practice social distancing measures as lockdown restrictions ease to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Sefton.”

Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “Vaccination is the best protection we have against COVID-19 and new variants. I would urge everyone who is offered a jab to get vaccinated and then to make sure they go along for their second follow-up appointment to ensure they gain maximum immunity from the virus.”

Anyone eligible can book their vaccination by calling 119 or visiting the national booking service website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19. There are a number of vaccination centres across Merseyside that anyone eligible can make appointments with, including nine pharmacies in Sefton based in Ainsdale, Bootle, Formby, Litherland, Seaforth, Southport and Waterloo.

Residents are also being reminded to keep practicing ‘Hand. Face. Space. Fresh air’ as well as getting tested regularly to help limit the spread of the virus. 

New mobile drive-through test centres have also been set up locally around the Formby area, where cases of the Indian variant of the virus have been recorded. 

Anyone aged over 16 who lives, works or studies in Formby, or who has recently visited Formby in the last two weeks is encouraged to attend one of these test centres with no appointment needed. They are located at Deansgate Park in Formby, Ainsdale Hope Centre for Learning on Sandringham Road, and there will be a walk-through test centre at Sefton Professional Development Centre (PDC) on Park Lane.

There are also pop up sites at Formby and Freshfields rail stations until Friday 21 May open between 9am and 4pm and offering PCR tests to people without COVID-19 symptoms.

Sefton also has two SMART test sites for people without symptoms, at Bootle Leisure Centre and at Splash World in Southport. Rapid home test kits can be collected from all of Sefton’s pharmacies, from Bootle Town Hall and Splash World in Southport, with no appointments needed.

Kits can also be collected from walk-through local test centres opposite Bootle Town Hall and at Crosby Library Car Park, Netherton Activity Centre and Southport Town Hall with no appointments needed.

Keep up to date with COVID-19 testing in Sefton, on the Sefton Council website at www.sefton.gov.uk/covid-19-in-sefton/covid-19-testing/coronavirus-testing 

Rapid test kits can be ordered online at www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests. If you have COVID-19 related symptoms you will need a PCR test rather than a lateral flow test and you can organise this at: www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.

Follow the CCG twitter accounts for regular updates @NHSSSCCG @NHSSFCCG