It’s five weeks since the Government announced the gradual move from mandatory regulations to its Living With Covid plan. That doesn't mean Covid-19 has gone away, but thanks to the success of the NHS vaccination programme, the likelihood of vaccinated people becoming seriously ill from the virus is much less than in the first days of the pandemic. 

As people go back to work and travel on public transport again, rates of Covid-19 have increased in Sutton. But that was to be expected, especially as the current variants of the virus are more easy to catch and spread to other people. Fortunately, in most cases the infection is very mild, especially when people have been  vaccinated. This means it’s more important than ever to keep up to date with your vaccinations.

Dr Imran Choudhury, The London Borough of Sutton’s Director of Public Health,  explains why it’s so important  we all keep up the COVID safe behaviours we learned during the pandemic. 

“Responsibility has been given to every one of us to help control the spread of the virus to make sure that the most vulnerable people don’t fall seriously ill,” he said.

Your Local Guardian: Dr Imran Choudhury, The London Borough of Sutton’s Director of Public HealthDr Imran Choudhury, The London Borough of Sutton’s Director of Public Health

“The virus  is still circulating and is very easy to catch. If you’re feeling under the weather with any of the symptoms of Coronavirus  the best thing you can do is to stay home and take a test to check if it’s Covid-19. It’s always best to play safe when you’re feeling unwell so germs don’t spread to other people.

“During the pandemic, fewer people were unwell with common illnesses, like sickness bugs, because people were washing their hands more often. Regular handwashing is a really good habit to keep up, not just to stay safe from coronavirus, but to keep other nasty germs at bay as well. Making sure rooms are well ventilated, to reduce the amount of virus in the air, and wearing a face covering in busy places is still good practice too.

“But by far the best way we can keep coronavirus in check is to get vaccinated so that even if we do catch the virus, its effect on our health will be much less.”

Here in Sutton, nearly 60% of adults who are eligible for the booster are now fully vaccinated with three doses. But there are still a lot of people who have only had one or two doses of the vaccine so far.

The Covid-19 vaccination centre in the St Nicholas Shopping Centre and community pharmacies are still open to see people who have only had one or two doses of the vaccine. 

The St Nicholas vaccination team understands that not everyone feels comfortable with getting an injection and that some people still have questions about the Covid-19 vaccines. So they’re offering people the opportunity to have no-obligation chat with a clinician to answer any questions about the virus and the vaccines. Call 0203 8800338 to book an appointment or click here for more information.

It’s never too late to start or top up your Covid-19 vaccinations - so grab your jab now!