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  1. Analysis by the Health Foundation has revealed significant regional variation in COVID-19 deaths among people aged younger than 65 in England. The North West has seen among the highest rates of deaths in this age group (22 deaths per 100,000) - surpassed only by London (25.5 deaths per 100,000) - and over three times as many compared to the South West of the country (6.4 per 100,000). The research, part of the Health Foundation’s COVID-19 impact inquiry, shows a strong relationship between deaths among under 65s and local patterns of poverty and deprivation. People aged younger than 65 in England’s poorest areas were almost four times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those in the wealthiest areas, compared to twice as likely for those aged 65 or older. Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley and St Helens were among the local authorities with the highest rates of under 65s deaths from COVID-19 in the country (the second, fifth and twentieth highest, respectively). In the second wave of the pandemic, under 65s mortality in Blackburn with Darwen was three times higher than the England average (52 deaths per 100,000 compared to the England average of 17.7 deaths per 100,000), in Burnley it was 2.7 times higher (47.8 deaths per 100,000) and in St Helens it was twice as high (34.6 deaths per 100,000). These areas have lower life expectancy, lower employment rates, more overcrowded housing, and higher rates of deprivation and child poverty, than the England average. The Health Foundation explains that inequalities in COVID-19 mortality rates among under 65s partly reflect worse underlying health in the most affected areas, which existed prior to the pandemic, as well as higher levels of COVID-19 infections. They say the findings highlight the need for the government’s levelling up strategy to prioritise the nation’s health and narrow the health gap across different areas of the country. Further analysis by the independent charity shows that several areas of the UK where healthy life expectancy is significantly lower than the national average have currently not been identified as priority areas for the government’s Levelling Up Fund. Of the 93 local areas with healthy life expectancy in the lowest 30% for England, only 58 are included in the priority group – in other words, 35 local authority areas with very low healthy life expectancy are not considered a priority for investment via the Levelling Up Fund. In the North West, for example - Salford, Halton and Copeland are not currently considered priorities for levelling up funding despite having below average healthy life expectancy and high levels of deprivation. On average, people in Salford can expect to live 57.9 years in good health, in Halton 59 years, and in Copeland 61.7 years - all below the England average of 63.5 years. Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive at the Health Foundation, said:
  2. Salford Red Devils player are lining up their defense against Covid-19 by joining the thousands of people getting their vaccine in Salford. Members of the famous Salford team visited the Covid-19 vaccination bus at Salford Quays, based outside the Lowry Theatre. Some players got their first dose and for others it was their second dose. In the sporting world, Covid-19 has affected normal activities considerably and led to the postponement and cancellation of a vast number of national and international events. Therefore, Salford Red Devils is doing their bit to get vaccinated in hope to get sports events back to normal and to keep everyone safe. First team starter 23-year-old Jack Wells who got his first dose at the vaccination bus said: His fellow teammate, international player and first team starter 30-year-old Kallum Watkins said: Tim Sandels, General Practitioner at Salford Red Devil’s club doctor and St Johns Medical Centre said: Another important consideration for young adults to think about is the risk of bringing infections home to family members who might be at higher risk for severe disease. Even though a person may have had the infection previously, they should still receive the vaccine to prevent from getting seriously ill and to prevent having long-term Covid symptoms. All Salford residents over 18 years old, aged 16/17 years old and have an underlying health condition, or a carer either paid or unpaid can book their Covid-19 vaccine appointments here, or attend a walk-in clinic. NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) shares daily updates and details on walk-in clinics on their social media and their Covid-19 vaccine walk-in page. The national booking system is also available for anyone to book or manage their appointment. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/
  3. NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Salford City Council, and Salford Community and Voluntary Services (CVS) are working together to organise street teams made up of health and care staff, CVS staff, and local volunteers to provide information about where to get the Covid-19 vaccine and tested. The street engagement is taking place for two weeks, from 28 June to 11 July 2021. Salford has hit the milestone of administering more than 200,000 Covid-19 vaccines, but rates of the virus in the city is amongst the highest in England. Dr Van Selvaraasan, GP and clinical lead for the Salford NHS Vaccination Service, said, Councillor John Merry, lead member for adult services, health and wellbeing said: The street teams are part of a programme of targeted outreach and engagement coordinated by Salford’s Health Improvement Service, focusing on areas of Salford experiencing the highest Covid-19 rates and encouraging as many people as possible to get the vaccine and take part of regular testing. All adults in Salford are now able to book their vaccine through the Salford NHS vaccination service or by calling 0800 953 0116. People aged 16+ who have underlying health conditions or are carers, both paid and unpaid, are also eligible. Alternatively, appointment can be booked through the national booking system or by attending one of the daily walk-in clinics being held across Salford.
  4. A teacher who caught Covid-19 more than six months ago is urging eligible people to come forward for their vaccination as she continues to battle the long-lasting impact of Long Covid. Heather Jones (51) lives in Clifton and is a teacher at a secondary school in Bolton. Heather caught Covid-19 back in November 2020 - just at the start of the second national lockdown - when she began to feel very tired before experiencing shivering and feeling hot at the same time. Initially putting it down to being a consequence of working in a school and picking up common bugs, Heather realised it was more serious when she’d lost her sense of smell and tested positive for Covid-19. Four weeks later, Heather did begin to feel the virus was leaving her system – but she was not returning to her usual self and it soon became clear Heather had developed Long Covid, where the effects of Covid-19 continue for weeks or months after the infection has gone. For a long time, Heather struggled to walk far and even short trips across the road from her house would mean her having to come back and sleep to recover. As well as the physical impact, Long Covid has impacted Heather’s mental health, as well as her financial security with having to take time off work. She said: Heather is now attending a Long Covid clinic provided by Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, which offers a variety of support to people still suffering the effects of Covid-19 such as physio and mental health support. Fortunately for Heather, with the tools and information she’s received through the Long Covid clinic, she has not had a relapse. Heather said: To find out if you are eligible for your Covid vaccine, please go to www.salfordccg.nhs.uk/covid-vaccine
  5. The UK's Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has confirmed the delaying in opening up and relaxation of Covid rules, much to the anger of those in the entertainment and hospitality industry as well as those who were looking forward to weddings and family gatherings. Lockdown has now been extended delaying the roadmap for exit until at least July 19th to prevent up to a predicted 500 deaths per day. The latest move has come about due to findings that the Indian (Delta) variant is up to 80% more transmissible. The PM acknowledged that the virus can not be fully eliminated and that the country must learn to live with it to some degree. The delay will give the NHS a few vital extra weeks to to ensure as many second doses and first doses can be administered. Single doses offer some degree of protection but the all important second dose decreases the possibility of severe illness, hospitalisation and death by a much more robust amount. The PM's statement in full:
  6. Salford has seen a sharp rise in coronavirus infections with its rate as of today standing at 265.4 cases per 100,000 according to latest Public Health England data (a rise of 102%). This now means that Salford has the second highest rate in the region behind Bolton which has seen a 17% drop thanks to increased vaccinations. As of Thursday 10th June, Salford Royal Hospital currently has 28 patients taking up beds due to Covid-19, two of which are being assisted by ventilation. 137,091 residents have been given their first dose of a vaccine, with 93,822 having been administered with the second. There has been a total of 230,913 vaccinations given thus far. The last recorded Covid related death at Salford Royal Hospital was recorded on the 25th of May. There were 131 positive tests recorded today, 687 in the past week, which is a doubling on the previous week. It should be noted that there is usually a delay of up to two weeks before rises in hospitalisations start to increase, as of yet though, hospitalisations remain low. Meanwhile there is talk of up to four-week delay of the June 21st deadline for relaxation of lockdown rules due to the increase in infections as a result of the spread of the Delta (Indian) variant of the virus. The delay would allow for more people to receive their second dose of the vaccine to afford them better protection. Despite increasing infections, hospitalisations and deaths have only increased fractionally, with NHS bosses claiming that their is clear evidence that vaccines have broken the link between rising cases and hospitalisations. Those currently being admitted are generally in younger age groups, or in those who are unvaccinated. Earlier today the vaccine bus took station outside of Morrisons in Eccles, allowing all those eligible (25+) to get their first (Pfizer) jabs, no appointment needed. It is vitally important to have your second vaccine when called up for it, this gives maximum protection. Photo: Salford CCG - Vaccine Bus at Morrisons in Eccles
  7. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has today announced that the COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen meets the expected standards of safety, quality and effectiveness. The independent Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) has reviewed the MHRA’s decision and endorsed it. Earlier this year, the single-dose vaccine was shown to be 67% effective overall in preventing COVID-19 infection and 85% effective in preventing severe disease or hospitalisation. The vaccine can be stored at fridge temperatures, between 2 and 8 degrees, making it ideal for distribution to care homes and other locations across the UK. Through the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce, 20 million doses of the vaccine have been secured for all 4 nations of the UK and first deliveries are expected to arrive from later this year. The vaccination programme continues at pace and remains on track to offer a jab to all adults by the end of July. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: As with all vaccines, the government is in regular contact with the manufacturers, including exploring how best to optimise supply across the current programme and preparing for a potential booster programme from later this year. Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine is part of the Cov-Boost study to assess its safety and effectiveness as the third dose of a potential booster programme. Alongside this, the government is working with the devolved administrations to ensure the vaccine is deployed fairly across the UK. The Vaccine Taskforce originally secured 30 million doses of the Janssen vaccine last year, based on the predicted clinical need at the time. With the UK’s COVID-19 vaccination programme continuing at an unprecedented scale and pace, the government has decided to amend its original order to 20 million. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) will submit updated advice for the Janssen vaccine before doses become available. The company continues to explore a 2-dose regimen of their vaccine. The single-dose regimen has also been authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The government is preparing for a booster programme based on clinical need and will publish further details in due course. The final policy will be informed by advice from the JCVI and take into account the results of clinical trials. Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: Vaccinated people are far less likely to get COVID-19 symptoms. Vaccinated people are even more unlikely to get serious COVID-19, to be admitted to hospital, or to die from it, and there is growing evidence that vaccinated people are less likely to pass the virus to others.
  8. Positive cases of Covid-19 continue upwards with a slight rise in Salford as a further 60 people test positive for the virus today (Thursday 27th), However it is not all bad news as Public Health England (PHE) estimates that 13,200 deaths have now been prevented in people aged 60 years or older in England up to 13 May 2021 (11,200 deaths in individuals aged 80 years and older, 1,700 in individuals aged 70 to 79 and 300 in individuals aged 60 to 69 years). As of today there is just a single patient reported as being on ventilation at Salford Royal Hospital and a further 22 admitted with the virus, additionally there were just 4 admissions between 16/05 and 23/05 and the last recorded death at the hospital was on May 9th. Overall things in Salford are looking fairly positive but it is vitally important to continue to abide by the social distancing rules in order to ensure that remains so. It clearly shows that vaccination is working and we would recommend anyone who is eligible and has not yet had one to come forward as the numbers speak for themselves. Nationally, the Government estimates also indicate that the vaccination programme has prevented around 39,700 hospitalisations in those aged 65 years and over in England (approximately 4,900 admissions in those aged 65 to 74, 15,600 in those aged 75 to 84 and 19,200 in those aged 85 and over). The method for analysing the approximate number of deaths and hospitalisations prevented by the vaccine programme now takes into account the impact of both first and second doses, due to more data being available. However, it does not include the impact of vaccination on transmission, therefore the true impact of the vaccination programme is likely to be even greater. An updated analysis including nearly 3,000 symptomatic cases of B.1.617.2 provides further confidence that 2 doses of either vaccine are highly effective against the variant first identified in India. Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, Consultant Epidemiologist at PHE, said:
  9. New government-funded clinical trial looking at different COVID-19 ‘booster’ vaccines launches in the UK Initial results trialling seven vaccines expected in September to inform plans for booster programme Clinical trials on agenda for G7 Health Ministers’ Meeting in early June which Health Secretary announces will be hosted in Oxford Announcements come ahead of International Clinical Trials Day (Thursday 20 May 2021) Thousands of volunteers will receive a booster COVID-19 vaccine in a new clinical trial launching today, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced. The Cov-Boost study, led by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and backed by £19.3 million of government funding through the Vaccines Taskforce, will trial seven vaccines and will be the first in the world to provide vital data on the impact of a third dose on patients’ immune responses. It will give scientists from around the globe and the experts behind the UK’s COVID-19 vaccination programme a better idea of the impact of a booster dose of each vaccine in protecting individuals from the virus. The study will take place at 16 NIHR-supported sites across England, and also within Health and Care Research Wales and NHS Research Scotland sites. It will include a total of 2,886 patients and participants are to begin being vaccinated from early June. All participants will be monitored throughout the study for any side effects and will have bloods taken to measure their immune responses at days 28, 84, 308 and 365, with a small number having additional blood tests at other times. All sites will have an electronic diary for all participants that will send alerts to the team in real time if needed and a 24-hour emergency phone to a doctor on the study, who can provide further clinical advice. The initial findings, expected in September, will help inform decisions by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on plans for a booster programme from autumn this year, ensuring the country’s most vulnerable are given the strongest possible protection over the winter period. The Health Secretary has also announced that the 2021 G7 Health Ministers’ Meeting will be held in-person at Oxford University on 3-4 June. As part of the UK’s G7 Presidency, we are bringing together health leaders from the world’s leading democracies to agree life-saving action in the critical areas of clinical trials, global health security, antimicrobial resistance, and digital health to help protect us all from future pandemics. Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said: The trial will look at seven different COVID-19 vaccines as potential boosters, given at least 10 to 12 weeks after a second dose as part of the ongoing vaccination programme. One booster will be provided to each volunteer and could be a different brand to the one they were originally vaccinated with. Vaccines being trialled include Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, Valneva, Janssen and Curevac, as well as a control group. The trial has received ethics approval by the NHS Research Ethics Committee, as well as approval from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. The study will open for applications from volunteers shortly via the study’s website and will be recruiting participants through the NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Research Registry. Participants will be adults aged 30 years or older as these will have been those immunised early on in the vaccination programme - for example, adults aged 75 and over or health and care workers. The trial was commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and funded by the Vaccine Taskforce, with the study being undertaken by the Southampton team at sites across the UK as part of the National Immunisation Schedule Evaluation Consortium (NISEC). The team leading the trial is committed to including participants from a wide variety of backgrounds, and individuals from ethnic minorities are encouraged to apply to take part. Chief Investigator and Director of NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility Professor Saul Faust said: The government is preparing for a booster programme based on clinical need and will publish further details in due course. The final policy will be informed by advice from the JCVI and take into account the results of clinical trials. Minister for COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Nadhim Zahawi said: Earlier this year, the government announced the launch of the ComCov clinical trial, which aims to determine the effects of using different vaccines for the first and second dose - for example, using Oxford/AstraZeneca’s vaccine for the first dose, followed by Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine for the second. Initial results from this trial have shown that mixing the doses slightly increases the frequency of mild-to-moderate symptoms following vaccination, but there were no serious outcomes. Further results from this clinical trial – including on the immune response in people who have two different vaccine doses – are expected over the coming months. Professor Andrew Ustianowski, National Clinical Lead for the UK NIHR COVID-19 Vaccine Research Programme said: Since the launch of the NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Research Registry, thousands of volunteers have been recruited to key vaccine studies, and we are confident we can call upon our nearly half a million strong community to help recruitment to this important trial.
  10. A positive covid test was reported within the school community at Friars School on Cannon Street in Salford on Wednesday and the Primary has been closed until Monday whilst a thorough deep clean takes place. Parents have been urged to have their children tested at the local pop up testing site at Broughton Hub, although it is unknown if it is a pupil or a staff member who has tested positive. The school was closed to all but Early Years, Reception and Yellow Room pupils with years 1-6 being told to stay at home. Teachers should have contacted parents with regards to home learning by now. Head Teacher Michael Earnshaw, said in a letter: The school is urging parents to have their children tested for Covid with the lab analysed PCR tests so that any further cases can be identified. As pupils head back to school it is inevitable that cases will manifest from time to time. All schools in Salford have strict protocols in place to deal with such situations and to limit the impact on pupils as much as possible. Meanwhile, vaccinations across the City continue and are expected to gather pace in the coming weeks as more jabs are made available. The fantastic work by the NHS and Spirit of Salford Network volunteers has meant that Salford is ahead of the curve on vaccinations. Most areas of Salford have seen a drop in cases but Higher Broughton and some surrounding areas still remains a cause for concern.
  11. NHS England has lowered the age required for people to get a coronavirus vaccine for the second time this week, having previously been dropped to 44. Those who are due to turn 42 by the 1st of July are also eligible to make an appointment under this latest phase of the rollout. Health Secretary Matt Hancock, 42, revealed the update on Twitter, expressing his excitement in being able to come forward for a vaccine himself. The new move will allow up to 1.3m more people to book their potentially life saving vaccine. Greater Manchester hospitals have recorded zero deaths in the past week, although infection rates have risen slightly in Salford and three other areas within the region. Despite schools, pubs and shops reopening, Salford has recorded only a marginal increase in cases but the public are being advised not to drop their guard and to continue to social distance and wear face masks where required. Free rapid home test kits are available from the majority of chemists and at hubs around the city and the public is being asked to take regular tests to prevent further spread of the virus. To date, the UK has vaccinated more than 33.7m people with their first dose and almost 12.9m with the second. Mr Hancock said that the rollout had gone very very well, adding that now we are able to go that little bit further. Social distancing guidelines still remain in place.
  12. Salford’s Yemeni community is encouraging eligible friends, family and neighbours to come forward for the COVID-19 vaccine as pop-up vaccination clinics begin to roll out across the city. The Yemeni Community Association in Greater Manchester, based in Eccles, hosted a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic for members of the community who are eligible for the first dose. More than 75 were vaccinated, including Wagdi Hadrian who was vaccinated one year to the day from being in intensive care on a ventilator fighting COVID-19. Wagdi said: The vaccination clinic at the Yemeni Community Association is one of several pop-up clinics being organised by the community, for the community. The pop-up clinics are delivered by the Salford NHS Vaccination Service over the next few weeks working in partnership with various community groups to reach the most vulnerable people living in Salford, including the homeless, people seeking asylum, refugees and other minority communities. Amir Ahmed, community development officer for the Yemeni Community Association, said: As well as the vaccinations, people are provided with COVID-19 testing kits and the opportunity for a health check, including assessing how at risk they are from serious illness if they were to catch COVID-19. Homeless clients are also being offered an opportunity to register with a GP. Dr Van Selvaraasan, clinical lead for the Salford NHS Vaccination Service, said, People currently eligible for the vaccine through the Salford NHS vaccination service include the over-50s, people aged 16+ who have underlying health conditions, and carers, both paid and unpaid. People aged 45-49 can also book their vaccine through the national booking site. For more information, please go to www.salfordccg.nhs.uk/covid-vaccine
  13. It's time for Salford to head out and get haircuts, hit the gym and enjoy a swift pint in the pubs today as further lockdown restrictions have been eased. The second step along the roadmap to lockdown is effective from today (Monday 12 April) and sees further easing of restrictions. It seems like an eternity, especially for Greater Manchester, where pubs and non-essential shops have been closed since Monday 12 October 2020. The changes include: · All non-essential shops, attractions, gyms and retail to open. · Domestic overnight stays (household) and self-contained accommodation can open · Wakes, weddings and receptions can now include up to 15 people · Working from home where possible is still encouraged · Pubs can open outdoors (table service only) Masks will still be a requirement in shops and social distancing is still necessary. The number of people you can meet up with outside hasn't changed and the regulations still state that you can continue to meet outdoors in groups of up to six or from a maximum of two other households, but you still cannot mix with other households indoors. Each step along the roadmap is subject to a number of factors being met in order for the easing's to take place, including keeping the infection rates below a level that could put pressure on the NHS. This has been achieved by everyone doing their bit to stop the spread of the virus and making this next step possible. Superintendent Chris Hill said:
  14. Faced with the greatest global pandemic in living memory, Freemasons came together in 2020 and donated a total of £1m as well as their time to help those in need. The donations were used to help communities in various critical areas, including foodbanks, support for unpaid carers, personal protective equipment (PPE), supplies for hospitals and hospices, support for women’s refuges, and funds for NHS workers, ambulances and equipment. Freemasons also worked 18 million hours as volunteers in a range of different areas, where there was a need, including driving vulnerable people to hospital, preparing meals, taking care of people at risk, organising care packages, producing scrubs, PPE and hand sanitiser. At the start of the crisis in April 2020, some Freemasons adapted their businesses’ production lines to produce nearly 5,000 visors for use in healthcare settings. Since then, Freemasons have produced or procured tens of thousands of pieces of additional PPE. Meanwhile, to help protect women and children from domestic abuse, Freemasons donated more than £165,000 in 2020. The donation helped more than 2,000 women during the lockdown, who received more than 1,000 parcels containing essential items for women fleeing domestic abuse. Freemasons also focused their efforts on hospitals and care homes, donating nearly 1,000 tablets to provide vital contact between coronavirus patients and their loved ones. The tablets were provided to more than 50 hospitals, care homes and hospices. In London, hospitals including The Royal London, Queen Mary's and St Thomas' received approximately 115 tablets; while in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, some 200 tablets were donated. Elsewhere, to support thousands of families struggling during the crisis, Freemasons donated 300,000 meals and 38 tonnes of food to homeless people, women’s refuges and vulnerable people, supporting more than 120,000 people in total. Moreover, £560,000 was donated to provide meals and help numerous foodbanks. Dr David Staples, chief executive of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), said: The UGLE is also encouraging its members to roll up their sleeves and volunteer to help vaccinate the population. Dr Staples, said: He continued: In addition to the £1m donated in 2020, the Freemasons have committed a further fund of £2.1m to support the ongoing Covid-19 crisis response. Of that £2.1m, £850,000 has been allocated to support homeless people through several charities with which UGLE partners. More than 40,000 homeless individuals are being provided with food and essentials, transport, help with accessing services such as counselling and healthcare, as well as employment and training opportunities.
  15. The JVCI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) has opted to stick to its age related approach to the vaccine roll out with people under the age of 40 soon to be offered a jab in a bid to cut illness and deaths from the covid-19 virus. This means that Police Officers and Teachers will have to wait in line with the rest of the country in order to become eligible for their vaccinations. There have been more than 18.7million people in the UK who have already had at least one dose of a Covid vaccine and PM said he aims to have reached everyone in the top nine priority groups by April 15 at the latest. Just a single vaccination is enough to prevent the majority of recipients from becoming serious ill and requiring hospitalisation. The programme aims to inoculate every adult in the country by the end of July with all lockdown restrictions lifted by the end of June. It has also been disclosed that prisoners will not jump the queue to receive the jab ahead of other groups. Meanwhile in Salford the vaccination drive blazes on with New cohorts announced.: As of today, the Salford NHS Vaccination Service is pleased to announce that they have begun inviting cohort eight, which includes all residents from the age 55 - 59 age bracket to come forward for their jabs. A bigger push it to be made to get people from the Black, Asian and Multi Ethnic populations to come forward and take their jabs as take-up in these groups have been far less. Dr Mary Ramsay, Public Health England's head of immunisation, said: Phase Two Vaccinations will come in the following order: All those aged 40-49 All those aged 30-39 All those aged 18-29
  16. Salford Council have reported what it says to be an isolated case of the new strain of the 'Kent' coronavirus which has been circulating in parts of Manchester for some time. The incident happened earlier in the year after a person reportedly became unwell and later tested positive for the virus, upon testing it was determined that the person had been infected with the new 'Kent' strain. The person had already self isolated and local test and tracing were able to identify those people that they had come into contacted with. Director of public health Dr Muna Abdel Aziz said the the incident had happened 'earlier in the year' and was reported within the national system. She said: Councillor Gina Reynolds who holds the position of Lead Member for Adult Services and Wellbeing, confirmed the case and said that all the steps were taken to ensure that it was dealt with swiftly and monitoring continues, She said: Dr Aziz, said that work will be stepped up to encourage testing infection rates within the city are not falling fast enough which is causing some concerns as some areas have higher rates than others. The new B.1.1.7 Kent strain is said to be more easily spread but scientists are confident that the current Astrazeneca and Pfizer vaccines being used in the UK are able to provide an adequate defence against it. Andrew Pollard, Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity, and Chief Investigator on the Oxford vaccine trial, said: Testing centres are now located across Salford, more details can be found on the following link: www.salford.gov.uk/people-communities-and-local-information/coronavirus/how-to-get-tested/
  17. 51 of the most vulnerable people suffering from homelessness in Salford were given a Covid Vaccine today as part of Salford continuing efforts to lead the way with its outstanding vaccination drive across the City. Calls to vaccinate the homeless and rough sleepers were made last month by a leading homeless charity after it identified that up to 20% of those on the streets were considered to be at high risk because of the virus. It is the nature of their predicament that they are highly exposed on a daily basis, many of them already suffering from underlying physical as well as mental health issues. As many of us adhere to the stay at home warnings, for them it is much more complex because of the lack of an actual home. If you're experiencing and would like to discuss vaccination, please get in touch on Twitter at (1) SPCT Inclusion Service (@ServiceSpct) / Twitter. If you've been offered it HAVE IT!
  18. The Prime Minister has outlined plans to loosen lockdown for what he hopes will be the final time., starting with socially distanced reopening of all schools and colleges from March 8th. Pupils will be able to return to school, much to the relief of parents who have been struggling to balance home schooling with work, although secondary schools will still be required to wear a mask in classrooms for the foreseeable future unless the 2 metre social distancing rules can be applied. They will still be required to wear them in all communal areas. With infections rates continuing to fall over the past month thanks partly to both the third national lockdown and the effects of vaccinations starting to have an impact, the PM is hopeful that schools can safely return to face to face teaching. Face coverings will still be a requirement in all higher educational environments such as colleges and universities. Scotland has adopted a different approach with a staged return to the classroom over a number of weeks. There are still no plans at present to vaccinate teaching staff but it is thought that could change as more vaccines are administered to at risk groups. This comes despite leading teaching unions calling for the government to take a more cautions approach with a phased return to class in line with the rest of the UK. Some Welsh pupils in the three to seven age group have already returned to class this morning, with the country taking a similar staged approach as Scotland. It is with great irony that Mr Johnson made this announcement on the same day that infection rates have slightly risen by 9% on last Monday for the first time in six weeks but at the same time the death rate has dropped to it's lowest figures since mid December with a figure of 178 more succumbing to the virus.
  19. The UK Coronavirus battle is being won with every jab, at least according to the first published 'Real World' data from Scotland. As Salford's vaccine hubs and army of medical staff and community volunteers continue to vaccinate the most vulnerable within the city, good news came in the form of a study which was carried out by researchers in Scotland, who unveiled that both vaccines being used in the UK can cut hospitalisation rates by up to 95%. This is fantastic news for those who are hopeful of regaining their freedoms and some kind of normality in the coming months. Experts from the universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde, as well as Public Health Scotland, claimed the data provided 'compelling evidence' of the vaccines effect in diminishing the threat of severe illness from the virus. Professor Aziz Sheikh, the lead researcher in the study, said: The findings echo data from Israel which shows a similar outcome, with Results clearly indicating that the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs slashed the risk of hospital admission from Covid-19 by up to 85 and 94 per cent, respectively, within a month after the first dose. The findings which were released this morning will only bolster vaccination efforts, with the PM, Mr Boris Johnson vowing to inoculate every adult in the country with at least the first dose by the end of July. Medical experts are quick to remind people of the need to maintain social distancing for the foreseeable future, we still have a long way to go and many months ahead before we hit those targets in what has been the largest vaccination drive in British history. Professor Chris Whitty, who is the Chief Medical Officer for England, said the study, As of time of writing there have been 474 tragic deaths at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, with the latest death reported yesterday, Some good news came over the weekend though, as it was revealed that the vaccines DO cut transmission of the virus by up to two thirds, which will help slow the spread. With almost a third of the adults in the UK (17.5m) having already received their first shots, the first steps to freedom are being made.
  20. Research carried out by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) looked closely at the symptoms which were most commonly reported by people who had contracted the new 'Kent' variant (B.1.1.7, formerly VUI-202012/01) of the Covid-19 virus in comparison with those of the old variant and found significant differences in its affects. The variant, which is a version of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes Covid-19, has a series of mutations that change the shape of the spike protein on its outside. The main one is known as N501Y. This appears to make it better able to stick to the cells inside the body and makes it much more likely to cause infection and gives it the ability to spread much faster within the population. A new analysis of the data between November and December has highlighted significant changes in symptoms reported. For instance, the loss of taste and smell which has been widely associated with the infection, may be seen slightly less in those affected with the new strain. Sixteen percent of those affected with the new variant reported a loss of the sense of taste with Fifteen percent reporting a loss of the sense of smell, compared with Eighteen percent of both for those with the old variant. The ONS reported that the symptom of loss of taste and smell was significantly less common in those positive for the new strain. However there was no evidence shown of any differences reported in gastrointestinal symptoms, nor those involving shortness of breath or headaches. A group of around 3,500 people with the new variant were asked to participate in the study, in which 35 percent reported they had a cough, 32 percent had suffered with fatigue and 25 per cent had experienced associated muscle aches and pains. 21.8 percent reported having had suffered from a sore throat. This data was compared with that of a group of 2,500 people suffering from the older variant which saw 28 percent reporting symptoms of a cough and 29 percent which had fatigue. 21 percent of participant reported muscles aches and pains and 19 percent experienced a sore throat. These changes to symptoms are worth being aware of as many who suffer from Covid-19 will have milder symptoms which could be dismissed as colds and milder flu. Those people have the potential to then go on to infect others who will suffer far worse from the effects of the virus. If you are suffering from any of the symptoms then please contact the NHS and arrange a test to be sure.
  21. As vaccinations against coronavirus continue around the city in what is undoubtedly the largest vaccination drive in history, it is revealed that all care home residents in Salford who were willing to get the vaccine have now been given the COVID-19 vaccine, ahead of schedule. The milestone was reached on 22nd January 2021, two days ahead of the national target to vaccinate all residents of Salford’s 34 care homes by 24th January 2021. Dr. Nick Browne, GP at Gill Medical Centre in Walkden and a clinical lead for Salford’s vaccination programme said: Salford Primary Care Together, an organisation which supports GP practices across the city to work more closely together, is running the vaccination service on behalf of the city in partnership with Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). This arrangement is ensuring that GPs in Salford do not have to step down their routine work to staff the vaccination services, as has been the case in other parts of the country. Dr Dawood Anwar, Salford Primary Care Together’s Clinical Lead Urgent Care said: Louise Smith, Practice Manager at Care Homes Medical Practice said: Priority groups for vaccination in this initial phase is determined by the Government following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and starts with care home residents and their carers, people aged 80 years old and over, and frontline health and social care workers. Salford CCG has now also started to vaccinate people over the age of 80 who are living in their own houses and unable to reach a vaccination hub.
  22. Three rapid COVID-19 test centres have opened this week, as part of Salford City Council’s strategy to identify more positive cases and stop the spread the virus. Frontline and key workers in Salford – those who cannot work from home and who have no symptoms of COVID-19 - are encouraged to be tested twice a week using rapid lateral flow tests. These tests are a new kind of technology with results available usually within an hour so can be used to test a higher number of people without COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who tests positive using a rapid lateral flow test will then be advised to self-isolate and book a follow-up lab-based test, which will confirm the result. Eccles Old Town Hall, Beesley Green Community Centre and Wardley Community Centre are the city’s first rapid testing sites to open, with additional sites planned across Salford opening over the next few weeks. Appointments must be booked via www.salford.gov.uk/rapidcoronavirustest. To help launch the roll-out of rapid targeted testing, Salford is one of a number of localities to get support from military personnel, helping get the testing sites up and running and training local staff how to do the tests. City Mayor Paul Dennett said: Dr Muna Abdel Aziz, Director of Public Health for Salford, said: Only people who have to leave home to go to work and without COVID-19 symptoms should book a rapid test. Anyone with symptoms that may be the coronavirus must self-isolate and book the lab-based test via www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test, or by calling 119 as usual.
  23. Plans to relax the Covid-19 rules for 5 days over the Christmas period have been scrapped for much of the South of the country and limited to Christmas Day in the rest of England as London, Kent, Essex and Bedfordshire are all plunged into a new Tier 4 from midnight. Those within Tier 4 can not mix with anyone outside of their household with stay at home orders issued except for those travelling to work or education. The restrictions will be reviewed on the 30th December. This follows from announcement made earlier in the week that suggests that a new strain of the Coronavirus which is more easily transmissible is spreading rapidly through the country. Prof Chris Whitty said that there had been a "dramatic increase" in the proportion of cases that come from the new variant in certain areas, blaming the new variant for the increase in hospitalisations in parts of the country - a 36% increase in eastern England, 34% in London, and 28% in south-eastern England. In the North West, North East, and Yorkshire, Witty says, there has been no increase in the hospitalisation rate - and that matches lower rates of the new variant. However, there is a very real chance that the Northwest will be plunged into Tier 4 should that change. In Yorkshire and the Humber, he says, the new variant amounts to just 5% of cases. The new variant seems to be more dominant in London but is increasingly starting to spread into other parts of the UK. Johnson said during the press conference that Christmas can not go ahead as planned, promising that things will be radically different by Easter. As the pandemic drags on, more people are starting to tire of what they are increasingly seeing as incompetent handling of the crisis by the government. As another in a long line of beacons of hope, the prime minister announced 350,000 people had been vaccinated so far in the first two weeks of the programme and that in the coming weeks that number should increase six-fold, but even with an increase it will still take many months to inoculate those who are most at risk and there are valid concerns about the country having enough of the vaccine to go around. Speaking to those who will be affected by the new rules, Mr Johnson said that the government will do everything it can to look after jobs, businesses and livelihoods. Meanwhile, the whole of Wales has announced it is going into lockdown from midnight. All of Wales will be placed into the highest level of lockdown - Level 4 - with all but essential shops closed, and people being told to "stay home" to save lives.
  24. The health secretary dashed any hopes of a tier reduction for Salford this morning after opting to keep Greater Manchester firmly within Tier 3 restrictions. Earlier this week, NHS chiefs urged the government not to drop parts of the country already in Tier 3 to Tier 2, even as infection rates dropped in some areas. Greater Manchester Metro Mayor, Andy Burnham said on Wednesday that there was a clear case for restrictions to be lowered across the region, however, the health secretary and government have disagreed as rates have started to rise once more in some areas. Whilst addressing parliament this morning, Mr Hancock confirmed that Greater Manchester would remain in Tier 3, with the only places set to move down to Tier 2 being Bristol and North Somerset and additionally Herefordshire which will move to Tier 1 after successfully bringing its rate of infection to just 45 in 100,000 and still falling. Meanwhile case rates in other parts of the South have increased by 46% this week, prompting the government to move London and other areas into Tier 3. 'We must be vigilant and keep this virus under control,' Mr Hancock told MPs. 'We've come so far, we mustn't blow it now.' He added: 'This is a moment when we act with caution.' This now means that the country has 38 million people or 68% of the population living under Tier 3 restrictions from Saturday 19th December. The news will come as a blow to many businesses in the region who were counting on relaxed restrictions to allow them to open during the lucrative Christmas period. The hospitality industry taking the largest hit, with many restaurants and pubs looking at never recovering and being closed for good.
  25. SALFORD Royal hospital, part of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (NCA), has today started to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine to Greater Manchester patients, local care home staff, and NHS frontline staff today, in a first positive step towards normality for the region’s communities. The hospital is one of the first 50 designated hospital vaccine hubs across the country to lead the biggest and most complex immunisation programme in the NHS’s history. Dedicated nurse link workers will be administering the vaccine to Salford Royal patients aged 80 and over, as well as those at high risk and the vulnerable, along with local care home staff and some frontline workers from across the NCA. The life-saving vaccine is typically delivered by a simple injection in the shoulder. All those vaccinated will need a booster jab 21 days later. Salford Royal patients aged 80 and above who are already attending hospital as an outpatient, and those who are being discharged home after a hospital stay, will be among the first to receive the life-saving jab. The hospital will also begin inviting people over the age of 80 into hospital for a jab, and work with care home providers to book their staff in to vaccination clinics. The NCA employs 20,000 staff, bringing together the Salford Royal and Pennine Acute NHS Trusts and runs hospitals and community healthcare services in Salford, Oldham, Bury and Rochdale. NCA Chief Executive Raj Jain said: Dedicated volunteer Ted Jones has become the first person at Salford Royal to receive the Covid-19 vaccination. Ted, who has been volunteering at the hospital for almost 11 years, has been shielding at his home in Swinton, Salford, since the start of the pandemic. Ted, 86, said: Dr Chris Booth, Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia at Salford Royal, said that when it is his turn to be offered the COVID-19 vaccine he will not hesitate to take up this opportunity. He said: There is a complex and difficult logistical challenge to deliver the vaccine from the manufacturers Pfizer to patients as the vaccine needs to be stored at -70C before being thawed out and can only be moved four times within that cold chain before being used. Across Greater Manchester, GPs and other primary care staff are also being put on standby to start delivering the jab. A small number of GP-led primary care networks will begin doing so during the following week (week beginning 14 December) with more practices in more areas joining in on a phased basis during December and in the coming months. To aid the success of the vaccination programme the NHS is asking everyone to continue to follow the necessary restrictions in their area, maintain social distancing, wash hands frequently and wear face masks, so we can further suppress the virus and allow our NHS to provide services without being overwhelmed. By protecting the NHS we can save more lives and treat more people. Across the country vaccination centres treating large numbers of patients in sporting venues and conference centres will subsequently stand up when further supplies of vaccine come on stream.
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