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Transport offer for Essex residents unable to get to COVID19 booster appointments
- People living in Essex, who have no means of transport, can now get help to attend pre-booked appointments.
- People who are struggling to attend their booster jab appointment because of transport issues can now get help from Essex County Council.
- The Essex Wellbeing Service is now able to organise transport for Essex residents who are finding it difficult to organise a way to attend their vaccine appointment. Transport will be provided by taxi service.
- This service is free of charge and can also be used if you need transport to get to your first or second dose appointments.
Essex residents who would like help getting to their appointments can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 303 9988. The phone line is open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 17:00 and from 10:00 to 14:00 on Saturdays. Callers’ need will be verified, and they will be asked to provide their booking reference or a screenshot of their appointment confirmation.
Our Covid-19 page aims to provide you with all the latest news and support regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.
The vaccination rollout was stepped up by the Prime Minister on Sunday evening to combat the increasing rise of the Omicron variant. From today (15th December 2021) all individuals over the age of 18 will be able to book an appointment for their third dose of the vaccine (given that it has been at least three months since their second dose). The target is that they are set to receive it by the end of the year. Booster recipients will most likely be given the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines as these have been shown to be very effective as boosters, no matter what vaccine you had for your first two doses. People who can’t have the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine may be offered AstraZeneca for their booster. There is no need for your booster to be the same vaccine you had for your first two doses.
Booster vaccinations are our best defence against Covid19, particularly with the emergence of the Omicron variant. As such, it is important that as many people as possible receive their third dose. Based on current trends, Omicron is projected to become the dominant variant in the UK by mid-December. Furthermore, new data suggests that vaccine protection against mild symptomatic disease from Omicron may be substantially reduced as protection from the original two doses starts to wane. Effectiveness against severe disease is still unknown but it is expected to be much higher.
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Coronavirus Mobile Testing Unit at Rayleigh Leisure Centre to move location
The Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) that operates from the car park of the Rayleigh Leisure Centre every Monday will be moving to a new location from the 20th December.
From that date the MTU will operate from the car park of the Rawreth Pavilion, 2 Rawreth Lane, Rawreth SS11 8SW. The site administers the PCR test for those who have symptoms, or their close relatives. Testing is by appointment only, made through the Gov.UK website. The new site will be open from 09:00 to 15:00 every Monday.
Cllr Webb, the Portfolio Holder for Emergency Planning said “Testing to help control the spread of Covid-19 and its variants continues to be of vital importance. The move to the Rawreth Pavilion car park provides more space and ease of access for those taking tests, as well as easing the congestion that was occurring at busy times at the Rayleigh Leisure Centre.”
The Mobile Testing Unit that operates from the Clements Hall Leisure Centre six days a week will continue unchanged.
Testing the Households of School Pupils…
About 1 in 3 people who have contracted Covid-19 won’t display any symptoms, while still being able pass it to other people they come into contact with. Consequently, regular testing of those people without symptoms is important to help stop the virus spreading and to protect our loved ones. As lockdown restrictions gradually ease we all need to play our part to help better protect one another. In an effort to increase the levels of testing for people connected to the education system, the government have therefore made twice-weekly testing kits available for people without symptoms.
Free Rapid Lateral Flow Tests Are Available For:
- Secondary school pupils and college students
- Staff of primary and secondary schools, nurseries and colleges
- Households, childcare and support bubbles of nursery children, primary and secondary-age pupils and college students
- Households, childcare and support bubbles of staff of nurseries, primary and secondary schools, and colleges
To find out more about this initiative, what the eligibility requirements are and how you take the test, please visit the rapid lateral flow test guidance page. It provides details about testing for households and bubbles of pupils, students and staff from the Department of Health & Social Care.
Essex residents who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable and living under Tier 4 restrictions, are once again being advised by the Government to shield in order to protect themselves from catching Covid-19.
Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable will receive a letter from the Government, outlining the new guidance, including to stay at home at all times, unless for exercise or medical appointments, and not to attend work, even if they are unable to work from home.
The National Shielding Service has been reactivated and at a local level, the Essex Wellbeing Service (EWS) can provide vulnerable Essex residents with a single point of access to the practical, emotional and specialist support they need. Practical support on offer ranges from help accessing priority supermarket shopping slots, volunteers collecting medicines and befriending support via a phone buddy.
Residents can access the Essex Wellbeing Service (EWS) or by calling 0300 303 9988. The EWS is available to all Essex residents, regardless of which Tier they live in and will be available for emergency support only between 25-28 December.
Cllr John Spence, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “The latest Government announcement has presented difficulties for lots of people and we do not underestimate the impact the new restrictions will have on thousands of Essex residents, particularly those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
“I want to reassure anyone who is worried that you will have the support you need while you are shielding.
“Anyone who doesn’t have an existing support network, please reach out – there is help available locally and there is no need for anyone to feel that they are suffering alone at this time.”
Help is also available through the Essential Living Fund. Adults and families who are struggling to pay their bills and for essential household items during the Covid-19 pandemic, and live in Essex, can apply to The Essex Essential Living Fund by through Southend Borough Council at
This shielding guidance is officially in place for the next two weeks, but could potentially remain in place for up to four weeks.