New figures show Bolton Covid cases have risen to their highest level since the January lockdown.
In the latest effort to stop the spread of the Indian variant, which is prominent in the borough, Bolton is offering Covid-19 vaccinations to all over 16s.
Anyone living, working, or studying in the borough who meet the current criteria will be able to get the Pfizer vaccine for first doses only.
Despite the rise in cases, no new deaths have been reported at The Royal Bolton Hospital over the past several days.
The first death in Bolton in almost a month was recorded on May 16, with the last patient to have died from coronavirus before that occurring on April 26.
The borough’s infection rate is now more than 15 times higher than the national average, the latest data shows.
Dr Helen Wall, clinical leader of Bolton’s vaccination programme, revealed that they’ve seen more people come forward over the past week who perhaps have been reluctant to get the jab when first invited to.
Dr Wall told BBC Breakfast: “I think in parts that’s because we brought this into the community as a trusted place, but also things that are going on in Bolton are quite worrying for people and I think that’s given some push to people coming forward now for the vaccine”.
Public Health England figures show there were 920 new cases of coronavirus recorded in the week ending May 15th, which is 456 more than last week.
The transmission rate in the borough now stands at 319.9 cases per 100,000 people.
The national average transmission rate for England is 22.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam urged Boltoner’s to be cautious despite lockdown restrictions easing.
Speaking at a Downing Street briefing on Wednesday, England’s deputy chief medical officer advised people in areas such as Bolton with high coronavirus rates against taking advantage of new freedoms.
Professor Van-Tam said: “I would advise the residents in those areas to think very carefully about the freedoms they have, weigh up the risks and be very cautious.”
First hand account of Covid vaccination
Emily Birtley , Salford University student and Bolton resident
As a Bolton resident myself, aged 20, I received my first vaccine yesterday at the temporary Bolton Wanderers Stadium Covid-19 Vaccine centre.
I’ll happily admit I was reluctant at first and was extremely nervous on arrival. But as I arrived, there was no queue, and the staff were extremely welcoming and kind. After completing my risk assessment, having my temperature checked, I was then guided into a vaccination room.
The staff were very reassuring, double checking my risk assessment, and then prepared my vaccine. For me the injection felt like a scratch, although it didn’t take long for my arm to start to ache.
After the vaccination I sat in a waiting room for 15 minutes, while being monitored for any adverse reactions and then happily went home.
I’ve woken up today feeling groggy, fatigued and having a slight temperature. However, for someone who has had Covid-19 in the past, I am so delighted to have had the vaccine. I’d rather feel slightly ill for the next couple of days than experience the full effects of Covid again.
With rates in Bolton rising dramatically, its extremely reassuring that so many of us in the town are being vaccinated, hopefully creating some sort of herd immunity.
More than 6,200 Bolton people were vaccinated last weekend, with thousands more said to have been vaccinated this week.
For more information about booking your vaccination click this link – Book or manage your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination – NHS (www.nhs.uk)