AN URGENT call for volunteers at vaccination centres in Warwick and Leamington has been issued after warnings of a ‘tsunami’ of Omicron Covid-19 cases.
Health bosses in the constituency say they must double volunteer numbers if ambitious booster jab targets are to be met.
Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western is urging the public to step up and support the roll out but also to be aware of the strain on health providers.
The government has launched an unprecedented drive to deliver a booster jab to every person in the UK over the age of 18 by December 31.
Mr Western joined an emergency meeting this week with Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty who issued stark warnings to MPs about the spread of the Omicron variant.
Prof Whitty said the new strain was already infecting 200,000 people per day in the UK – and scientists are warning case rates could soon start doubling daily.
Mr Western then held urgent talks with constituency Primary Care Network leads in both Leamington and Warwick – and agreed to help mobilise volunteers.
He said: “When scientists and the government’s advisers talk about a tsunami, they are not joking.
“The situation in a matter of days could be extremely grave and the NHS could be placed under unparalleled strain.
“For this reason, I am calling on residents to urgently come forward and assist at vaccination centres across Warwick and Leamington.
“Our GPs and their small army of volunteers are doing an amazing job, but it will be extremely difficult to meet booster targets without a flood of support from the public.
“In Warwick and Leamington, teams need twice the number of volunteers they currently have to help with stewarding and to assist in directing arriving cars to car parks at vaccine stations.”
One of the medical leads he met with was Clinical Director of the North Leamington Primary Care Network Ollie Lawton.
He said: “The challenge being placed upon your local GP Practices to deliver 24,000 boosters to Leamington patients in two weeks is huge, but one we feel strongly motivated and able to achieve.
“We aim to ramp up our delivery rates by around 1,200 per cent compared to normal.
“There are likely to be temporary redeployments of staff to the vaccine programme and we ask for our patients’ support and understanding during this time.
“Unfortunately, the country faces a shortage of GPs and nurses and Leamington is not immune to this.
“Investing resource now in to delivering the vaccines provides us with the best opportunity to control the surge in Omicron cases we are facing.
“Our staff have committed to working all hours over the Christmas period to get our population vaccinated, just as they did last year, and for this I would like to say a huge thank you.”
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