In his latest column, High Peak MP Robert Largan gives an update on coronavirus testing and the vaccination programme locally.
Over 30 million people have now received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine. This is a remarkable milestone, helping us to gradually and safely ease out of lockdown.
Across the country, 95 per cent of people aged 60 and over have been vaccinated with their first dose, and 9 in 10 of people who are clinically extremely vulnerable have also received their first jab. The latest figures also show that 61 per cent of High Peak’s adult population have now had at least one dose of Covid vaccine.
But we have to keep the pressure on to beat the virus. Lots of people have been contacting me because they wanted to go to a local vaccine site but the only options on the national booking system have been in Macclesfield, Manchester or Derby, which are tricky for people to get to, especially for those who rely on public transport.
I have been pushing for more vaccination provision locally so I am delighted that a second Buxton vaccine site at Boots Pharmacy opened last weekend. Boots pharmacists will administer the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, as one of 25 Boots sites across the country now taking part in the vaccination programme.
I am also pleased to report that Derbyshire County Council has secured a Mobile Testing Unit from NHS Test & Trace to help distribute Covid home testing kits so that people can collect a fortnightly supply of tests for a household. This Mobile Testing Unit will be based at Glossopdale School every weekend, until further notice, between 9am and 3pm.
You can now pick up coronavirus home test kits to use on any adults living in your household or your childcare support bubble from the school car park. These are for people who do not have coronavirus symptoms and you can have two packs of seven tests.
In the High Peak, we already have two community testing sites at Pavilion Gardens in Buxton and New Mills Adult Education Centre on Spring Bank. This Mobile Testing Unit in Glossopdale will help ensure the whole High Peak can easily access quick Covid tests.
Thanks to the dedication of our local NHS and everyone who is working hard to deliver testing and the vaccination programme, we have seen a further easing of restrictions this week. Groups of six people or two households can now meet outdoors, including in private gardens. Outdoor sports, like tennis, basketball and swimming, can resume. But everyone is encouraged to stay local when travelling.
I hope everyone will enjoy the Easter weekend, catch up with loved ones and take the time to have a well-deserved break. Together, we will get through this.
MP Robert Largan volunteering as a car park marshal at the vaccination hub at Glossop Cricket Club back in January.