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Update from council leader - 20 January

Time Square

Cllr Paul Bettison, OBE, Leader of Bracknell Forest Council, said:

With another week in national lockdown well underway, I would like to remind residents of the news regarding the vaccine, which I am sure is an important discussion for many of us.

There are currently three approved COVID-19 vaccines in the UK which all require two doses to provide longer-lasting protection, and have both been shown to be effective in clinical trials and have a good safety record.

It is recommended that the NHS first offers these vaccines to those at highest risk of catching the disease and of suffering serious complications or dying from COVID-19. This includes older adults in care homes and frontline health and social care workers. You can find the full list of eligible groups on GOV.UK.

When more vaccines become available, they will then be offered to other people as per the priority list as soon as possible. Vaccines will be offered in a range of settings, with some vaccination teams visiting people to offer the vaccine, for example in care homes, while other people may have to go to the nearest centre. You can find more information on the NHS website.

I would like to urge residents to please wait your turn. Our GPs and healthcare professionals are extremely busy at the moment, but they will contact you when it is your turn to be offered the vaccine. It is also important to stress that even if you do receive the vaccine, that does not make you exempt from following the national lockdown guidance, and you should still maintain hands, face, space.

Another exciting progression in Bracknell Forest is the introduction of asymptomatic testing for residents who are most at risk of catching and spreading COVID-19 without knowing it. This testing is set to take place twice a week from the end of January.

If you are invited to take part in the community testing, please do come forward and get your twice weekly tests. By regularly testing those who are at greatest risk of having and spreading the virus without knowing it, we are reducing the risk of transmission and helping to safeguard our loved ones and borough from the virus.

Stay safe, and have a good week.