“Get boosted now” urges new Devon health and care leader Dr Sarah Wollaston

Dr Sarah Wollaston, newly appointed leader of Devon’s health and care system, has urged people who haven’t yet had a Covid-19 vaccine to reconsider, as parts of the county experience the highest case numbers in the UK.

Dr Wollaston, a GP and former MP for Totnes, took up the role of chair of the Integrated Care System for Devon on 1 December 2021 and has been volunteering as a vaccinator alongside GP teams in Exmouth this week.

She said: “If you are hesitant about the vaccine please look again. This is a really dangerous disease. It’s not just about preventing the risk of you ending up with severe disease, on a ventilator or dying as a result of Covid, it’s also about reducing the risk of really unpleasant conditions such as Long Covid.”

Plymouth continues to have the UK’s highest case numbers with 856.8 cases per hundred thousand people, Devon 583.3 and Torbay 579.2.

“It may be that people who have had Covid or two doses of the vaccine think they have immunity and will put this off, but really you’re not protected from the Omicron variant,” added Dr Wollaston. “It’s really important to get the booster. It’s the best way to keep yourself safe but also crucially to protect the people around you and your wider community.

“Please do come forward and get boosted, we’re doing everything we can to ramp up the booster campaign. Having the booster is the thing you can do to stop the spread of Omicron.”

The Zoe Covid study has found that having Covid gives much less immunity than having the vaccination and that one in five people do not develop any natural immunity at all after having the virus.

People who struggle to stand in a queue at a vaccine centre can advise a marshal, who will assist them.

Appointments at one of our sites remains the best way to get your vaccine and can be booked via the National Booking System.  Details of walk-in clinics are being regularly shared on NHS Devon CCG’s social media pages. You can find your nearest walk-in clinic on NHS England’s site finder here.