Living with COVID
Free COVID-19 testing for people without symptoms has now ended in line with the Government's Living with COVID scheme.
You may still be able to get free rapid lateral flow tests if you work for the NHS or in social care, are going into hospital, or you’re at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19.
If you believe you may be in a group that can still access testing - guidance is available at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/get-tested-for-coronavirus
Information on what to do if you have symptoms of a respiratory infection including COVID-19, or if you do have a positive test result for COVID-19 can be found here People with symptoms of a respiratory infection including COVID-19 - GOV.UK
Sefton residents can find help, advice and guidance, as well as financial and social support at the Sefton Support Hub
The Support is a digital One Stop Shop that covers a range of areas ranging from emergency financial support to COVID-19 advice and to tips and resources for living a healthier lifestyle
Face coverings are no longer required by law in most indoor settings, however it is still recommended that you wear a face covering:
- when you are coming into close contact with someone at higher risk of becoming seriously unwell from COVID-19 or other respiratory infections
- when COVID-19 rates are high and you will be in close contact with other people, such as in crowded or enclosed spaces. This includes on public transport
- when there are a lot of respiratory viruses circulating, such as in winter, and you will be in close contact with other people in crowded and enclosed spaces
You may also be asked to wear a face covering and practice good hygiene when visiting NHS facilities such as a GP practice, hospitals, dentists, walk-in or urgent treatment centres.
Our best protection from COVID-19 is still doses 1 and 2 of the vaccine and a booster jab as well.
You can also book vaccinations now by calling 119.
Vaccinations for children and young people
The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines are safe and effective. 2 doses are being offered to children aged 5 to 15 to give them the best protection against COVID-19. More information can be found at coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine for children aged 5 to 15 - NHS
The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease.
However, even when fully vaccinated, you can still have the virus and pass it on to to others - especially to those who have not been vaccinated. This could be dangerous for people who are vulnerable to COVID-19.
Because the protection from the vaccine slowly reduces, booster doses are being made available through the NHS for people aged 16 and over, and some children aged 12 to 15. People aged 12 and over who had a severely weakened immune system when they had their first 2 doses, will be offered a 3rd dose and a booster (4th dose). People aged 75 and over, people who live in care homes for older people, and people aged 12 and over who have a weakened immune system, will be offered a spring booster.
No vaccine is 100% effective, and it takes both jabs and a booster to build up the most effective protection.
Vaccinations offer the very best protection against serious COVID-19 infection.
Being healthy or young doesn’t reduce your risk of catching COVID-19 or passing it on, which is why it is important to get a vaccination when it is offered to you.
The vaccines that are being used have been shown to be effective and no safety concerns were seen in studies of tens of thousands of people.
By mid-September almost 82% of people aged over 16 in the UK, had received both doses of the vaccine. Over 89% had received their first dose. And vulnerable people are starting to be contacted about their third, booster vaccinations.
Sefton GP, Dr Pete Chamberlain has shared this video on the local COVID-19 vaccination programme.
Staff giving you the vaccine will be wearing personal protective equipment and will follow all cleaning and disinfection requirements.
The UK’s national Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised on 16th April, 2021 that pregnant women should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine.
In its statement, the Committee said that there have been no specific safety concerns identified with any brand of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines in relation to pregnancy. This means the vaccines should be offered to pregnant women at the same time as the rest of the population, based on their age and clinical risk group.
In this video, JCVI member Dr Maggie Wearmouth provides advice about COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy.