Coalville parents among those included in county wide plea to get vaccinated and help keep schools open

  Posted: 09.01.22 at 22:30 by Hannah Richardson, Local Democracy Reporter for Leicestershire

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Parents in the Coalville area are among those being asked for their help to protect their children’s education.

A letter to all Leicestershire parents from Mike Sandys, director of public health at Leicestershire County Council, and Jane Moore, director of children and family services, has been sent to homes this week.

It says the county is seeing the ‘highest levels of Covid infections ever’ with numbers continuing to rise.

And parents are being called on to do their bit by taking up their invitations for vaccinations.

The letter said: “We’re asking for your support to help keep schools open, including getting your jab.

“The start of term will undoubtedly cause infection to spread again but schools are doing everything they can to keep their doors open.

The aim is to keep the schools open

“Please continue to follow the latest advice. Wear a face covering where it’s needed. Continue to wash hands and keep rooms ventilated.

“Over the Christmas period, hospital admissions doubled and people were urged to get their Covid vaccine.”

According to the letter, over 60,000 people were vaccinated in the week beginning Monday, December 20.

However, 16 per cent of over 18s, 34 per cent of those aged 16 to 17 and 54 per cent of those aged 12 to 15 still have not had a first dose of the vaccine.

The letter included a plea from the NHS to get vaccinated.

“Sadly, the majority of hospital intensive care beds are being taken by Covid patients,” it said. “Over 75 per cent are unvaccinated, some will not make it home.”

“This is having a big impact on frontline health and care staff, as well as patients waiting for cancer and cardiac surgery who require an intensive care bed to have their operation.

“This is the plea from our NHS colleagues: getting your jab is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself and others.

“There are still almost 190,000 people locally who are overdue a booster dose, which is essential for protection against Omicron, now the dominant variant.”

Mr Sandys told the BBC Local Democracy Reporting Service that the pressure on the NHS at the moment is incredible.

He said: “The rates are just astronomical. I always come back to the figures we had when the Leicester lockdown was put into place and Leicester was on a rate of 135 [per 100,000 people].

“Before this surge, the highest rate we ever had in Leicestershire was 500 and something. Today the Leicestershire rate is 1890.

“So, it’s not even just slightly beating the highest amount of Covid we’ve ever seen before, it’s not far off four times what would have been the previous record.

“Thankfully because of the success of the booster programme, because it is a milder variant, we’re not seeing the absolute tidal wave of deaths that we were experiencing this time last year. Although, of course, there will still be a number of people who do die from Covid.

“What we are seeing is a number of people who are being hospitalised because of Covid, so there are more people in UHL this week with Covid than in the peak of the first wave in March 2020.

“So yes we’re not going to be overwhelmed with deaths, thank god for the vaccine, but it’s an incredible amount of pressure on the NHS.

“This sense of ‘oh it’s just a cold’ is completely laughable when it’s a cold that’s put 2,000 people in hospital nationwide.”

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