‘Extremely high’ number of hospital beds full as Omicron surges

An “extremely high” number of hospital beds are full as Omicron surges through Sefton and across Merseyside.

The importance of a booster jab was reiterated by health officials as hospitals feel the impact of the fast-spreading strain of Covid-19.

Sefton Council’s director of public health has reminded people of the importance of a third jab and has warned that the strain of coronavirus still makes people seriously ill.

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Mrs Jones said: “The news that fewer people are being made seriously ill by Omicron and that the government is considering reducing the time infected people are required to self-isolate is being interpreted by some as the now-prominent variant being mild.

“However, unless you are fully vaccinated, which means two jabs and a booster, you are not fully protected and could end up having a stay in hospital, which surely none of us wants.”

The urge to get full vaccinated has come as the Government continues to report that protection of people 65 and over have around 90% immunity to the virus around three months after their third vaccination.

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It has also been revealed that having two jabs means protection drops to around 70% after three months and just 50% after around six months.

Mrs Jones continued: “While we still need to be wearing face coverings and maintaining social distance while out and about, vaccination is the single best way we can help prevent the huge disruption that is being caused to medical, transport and other services, while at the same time protecting ourselves and those around us.”

Sefton Council also confirmed that the number of beds occupied is at “extremely high levels”.

The council said: “Hospitals in Cheshire and Merseyside currently have extremely high levels of bed occupancy and are seeing a huge rise in demand for their services.

The majority of people being admitted to hospital with COVID-19 have either not had their booster, or have not had the full course of the vaccine.”

Fiona Taylor, chief officer at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “As Sefton is seeing some of the highest rates of COVID-19 infections in the country, it is vital that we get boosted to get protected.

“Even if you have recently had COVID-19, you still need to get your booster jab. The vaccine is designed to give you stronger immunity than having the illness.”

If you are eligible for your booster jab, you can call 119 or visit the NHS website to book an appointment or find a walk-in vaccination site that is offering booster jabs at www.nhs.uk/covid-booster.

Booster jabs are also available from local vaccination sites in Sefton, which are taking bookings by telephone for anyone eligible. People can contact the local vaccination sites to get booked in:

  • Seaforth Village Surgery, 20 Seaforth Rd, L21 3TA: call 07979 938 229
  • Netherton Health Centre, Magdalen Square, L30 5SP: call 0151 247 6413
  • Southport Centre for Health and Wellbeing, 44-46 Hoghton Street, PR9 0PQ: call 01704 395830

People can also find out more about local vaccination sites in Sefton by visiting: www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk or www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk.

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