With more people receiving their Covid-19 vaccinations every day, there’s reason to be optimistic about reduced rates of COVID-19 in our communities. However, NHS North Yorkshire and NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are asking people to continue to follow government guidance closely at each stage of the roadmap, even after their vaccinations.

With national restrictions continuing to ease, it is still vitally important we continue to slow the spread of the virus.

North Yorkshire and York residents are being asked to stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from anyone you do not live with (or anyone not in your support bubble) and only meet outside. Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser. Wear a face covering when required and let fresh air into your home by opening windows, doors and air vents as much as possible.

The latest information on the national restrictions is available, here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) GP Clinical Lead for Primary Care and Population Health, Dr Bruce Willoughby, said; “While we are making excellent progress with our vaccination programme, we know that we must remain vigilant to keep the virus at bay in our communities as we continue to protect as many people as possible.

“We know that a vaccine reduces your chance of catching COVID by around two thirds. And in addition to all that, you’re up to half as likely to pass it on to somebody else that you live with.

“I know we are looking forward to greater easing in government restrictions but this is no time for complacency, we still need to keep the virus under control, while we take the steps, safely, back to normal life. So please remember the basics of hands, face, space, and fresh air. And most importantly if you are invited for a vaccination, please take it.”

York GP and Clinical Lead for the NHS Vaccination Centre at Askham Bar, Dr Mike Holmes, said: “It is great that we are now able to offer the vaccine to even more people. Anyone who’s 40 and over can now come forward and get the jab.

“New data shows that people who tested positive after having received one dose of the vaccine found that they were up to 50 per cent less likely to pass on the disease to someone else in their household.

“It is also very important that patients who have had their first jab receive their second when they are contacted. The second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine helps to provide longer-term protection.”

To book a vaccine and check eligibility visit the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/

If you have symptoms of Covid-19 including a high temperature, a new continuous cough or you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste or it’s changed, you can book a test here: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

You can get regular rapid tests if you do not have symptoms of coronavirus, you can book those here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/regular-rapid-coronavirus-tests-if-you-do-not-have-symptoms/