A fresh plea has been made for people to get vaccinated over Christmas with tens of thousands of slots to get jabbed available in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland over the coming days.
Organisations including the local NHS, police, fire, ambulance services and councils have stressed the real risk of disruption to health and care services posed by rising infection rates.
They are concerned about the potential impact of increased hospital admissions as well as critical workers, such as nurses and carers, being unable to work because they are infected.
Leading officials have asked people to enjoy their Christmas safely, and get vaccinated before the new year, as clinics continue to run every day with extra spaces on December 27 and 28.
“People coming into hospital while staff go off sick is a double whammy that we’re facing in January.
“This is fast becoming about how we continue to provide critical services to people.
“We are very concerned about the situation locally, so we’re stepping up our level of coordination across agencies to manage this. This means looking at things like redeploying staff if we need to.
“Every vaccination does its bit to help reduce pressure on our NHS.”Person:Mike Sandys, director of public health for Leicestershire and Rutland
Chief executive officer of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups Andy Williams said: “Huge efforts are being made to offer people the protection against Covid-19 that they need as we face the highly-infectious omicron variant.
“Locally we have jabbed 144,000 people since December 13.
“We could have administered another 46,000 but the slots, enough to cover most of the entire un-vaccinated population of the city, went unused.
“We are stepping things up.
“We will be vaccinating on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and beyond towards the new year with the capacity for 40,000 more jabs.
“I’d urge people to take advantage of this and book an appointment or attend a walk-in clinic.”
In the city, the latest Covid-19 rates are 647 per 100,000 people, for Leicestershire that figure is 820, and in Rutland it’s 694. Although figures are below the national average of 915, they are the highest seen locally and are expected to rise.
Residents can check for bookable and walk-in jabs on the local NHS website.