"You are not powerless" - A message from Chelmsford Lib Dem Councillors - Stephen Robinson & Rose Moore
CLLR ROBINSON: Last Christmas, we told ourselves that things would be different in 2021. We've come a long way in the past twelve months, but the sheer numbers of people catching covid from the Omicron variant means our health system is under threat once again.
CLLR MOORE: At the darkest time of the year, and with the fatigue of 21 months of fear and restrictions, it all feels depressingly familiar. But it's temporary. And it isn't the same this time around, thanks to the incredible work of our health service.
CLLR ROBINSON: 90% of the population have had at least one vaccination, over half have had three. And that gives us so much more protection than we had last December, when the vaccination programme had only just started. Now, we all wish we weren't still having this conversation and that this exhausting pandemic would simply end. But you are not powerless against it. There is something you can do.
CLLR MOORE: If you haven't had your booster yet, please get it now. It's the best way of protecting yourself and helping Chelmsford to keep hospital admissions down in the weeks to come. Whatever covid vaccine you need, it's there waiting for you. If you're over 18 and it's been more than three months since your second jab, you can book your booster appointment today. If you haven't had a vaccine yet, get your first and second jabs too.
CLLR ROBINSON: You can find out everything you need to know at essexcovidvaccine.nhs.uk. That includes information about how to book an appointment, or about walk-in centres and pop-up vaccination centres like the one here in the city centre at County Hall.
If you book and you can't attend, or decide to go to a walk-in centre instead, just cancel your booking so that someone else can use the slot. That will mean more people can get vaccinated faster, which means the worry for all of us ends much sooner.
CLLR MOORE: None of this would be possible without the staff who work for our health services. To make the city's incredible vaccination drive happen, local staff here in Chelmsford are being redeployed to meet this enormous challenges.
CLLR ROBINSON: Please be kind if you have to wait a little longer for a routine appointment this winter. There's been a 50% increase in requests for appointments at some GP surgeries and their receptionists, nurses and the doctors themselves are all working really hard to keep us all safe. So now, more than ever, we need to look out for them.
CLLR MOORE: Please look after yourselves and if you have any questions about covid, check a reliable source. A good place to start is the 'Everything Covid Essex' website at essex.everythingcovid.info.
Whatever the New Year brings for local residents and businesses, the council and other public services will be here to help you however we can. Chelmsford will get through this to brighter days ahead.