07 Dec 2021

A year ago this week, the biggest vaccine campaign in the history of the NHS began as 90-year-old grandmother, Margaret Keenan, became the first person worldwide to receive the Pfizer Covid-19 jab following clinical approval.

A year ago this week, the biggest vaccine campaign in the history of the NHS began as 90-year-old grandmother, Margaret Keenan, became the first person worldwide to receive the Pfizer Covid-19 jab following clinical approval.

Not long after this on 16 December, Saints legend, Bill Adair, became the first St Helens resident to receive a Covid-19 vaccination outside of a clinical trial. 

Since that historic moment, more than 1.3 million vaccinations have been administered across the county at GP practices, pharmacies, hospital hubs, mass vaccination centres, community centres, church halls and schools. 

To date, just under 124,000 people have had both first and second jabs in St Helens, with more than 52,000 people being fully vaccinated and having had their booster jab.  That is around 75% of the eligible population age 12+ that have now been fully vaccinated and 32% fully vaccinated plus booster.

Despite this outstanding progress, there are still thousands of eligible people, including pregnant women, who remain unvaccinated and many others eligible for a second or booster jab, which is why health and care chiefs are continuing to urge anyone who is eligible to come forward now. 

Dr Mike Ejuoneatse, Medical Director at NHS St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The Covid-19 vaccination programme is a great example of what can be achieved by working in partnership across the whole community. I’d like to thank everyone who has come forward for their vaccinations and to all the volunteers, health and care providers and wider stakeholders who contributed to the vaccination programme across St Helens over the past 12 months.  

“It’s never too late to come forward for your Covid-19 vaccination and with Christmas just around the corner, it’s really important that we are all as protected as we can be – and this includes booking your booster jab as soon as you are eligible. 

“Vaccinations continue to be delivered at the mass vaccination site at Saints Totally Wicked rugby stadium, as well as at a number of pharmacy-run sites in St Helens. If you’re eligible, please arrange arrange your vaccination appointments online via the National Booking Service, by calling 119 or by responding to an invitation from the NHS.” 

Ruth du Plessis, Director of Public Health at St Helens Borough Council, said: “The vaccination programme has been a great success in the borough during the last twelve months and has proved a key weapon in our efforts to combat the virus during that time. The support of residents in coming forward for the jabs has also played a vital part in helping to keeping people safe.

“However, it is clear with the emergence of the Omicron variant that this virus is still impacting us, I urge residents to come forward and get their booster jabs when eligible and to get first or second vaccinations if you have not done so. It is the best way to both protect yourself and others in the community.”

Research published by the UK Health Security Agency shows that booster jabs can cut the risk of infection by more than 93% and anyone aged 40+ or in an at-risk group is now eligible to receive a booster dose and everyone aged 18+ will be invited in due course.

Hundreds of thousands of booster vaccinations have already been administered at the mass site, GP and pharmacy-led vaccination services across St Helens.

Dr Ejuoneatse added: “Vaccination is clinically-proven to reduce your risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19 and your risk of catching or spreading coronavirus.  So, when it’s your turn to be invited to book your vaccine or booster, please do so. You may be invited to a different vaccination centre this time around and, in some cases, a flu jab may be offered at the same time.” 

 

To book an appointment at Saints or another vaccination site, search online for ‘book or manage your Covid-19 vaccination’