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Vaccine breakthrough presents hope but it’s important to stick to restrictions and get tested says Sefton’s health chief.

Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health, Margaret Jones, has welcomed this week’s positive announcement about a coronavirus vaccine. But she has reminded people that if it is going to be effective, the vast majority of people need to take it.

Freedoms and friendships

Mrs Jones said: “For the vaccine to work and help pave the way back to a level of greater normality in the future, as many of us as possible need to get the vaccination as soon as it is available to us.

“By getting vaccinated, and I certainly will be, we are not only protecting ourselves but everyone else around us and the freedoms and friendships which we are all missing so much now.

“Although, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said the NHS could be ready from December to roll out the new vaccine until we have reached a blanket level of coverage, it is important that for the sake of our families, our friends, our colleagues and our communities that we all stick to whatever guidelines are in place.”

Details of the current restriction can be found at www.sefton.gov.uk/nationallockdown.

Transmission

Mrs Jones echoed Sefton Council leader Cllr Ian Maher’s in welcoming the news that up to 10% of people across the Borough are going to be able to take the new Lateral flow tests that have a turnaround time of under an hour, which will help reduce the transmission rate.

However, she went on to say booking a Coronavirus test as soon people show symptoms is still vital.

Symptoms

She continued: “As soon as anyone feels any of the symptoms of coronavirus coming on, whether that’s a high temperature, a new cough or they lose their sense of smell or taste, it’s time to get a test.

“The sooner people do this, the quicker they can find out if they are COVID positive and the more quickly they can start taking measures isolate and protect the people around them who they care about and who may be vulnerable to this dangerous virus.”

Test centres

To make an appointment for a test people can call 119 or visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

Sefton has four walk-through test centres for people who are showing coronavirus symptoms, at Bootle Town Hall, Crosby Library, Netherton Activity Centre and Southport Town Hall. And now, extra Mobile Coronavirus Testing Units are being deployed across the Borough.

Mobile Units are on site at Southport Esplanade Coach Park and in Litherland Sports Park and Aintree Race Course until Friday 20th November, apart from on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th, and also at Maghull Town hall on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th November.

Details of Sefton’s walk-through and mobile test centres.