Last Friday I had my COVID-19 vaccination and afterwards I had a very minor ache in my arm that many people report, I also had mild flu like symptoms for a couple of days which were dealt with by taking paracetamols but which didn’t stop me doing the things I needed to do.
All in all, it was a very positive experience because I had the comfort of knowing that any mild discomfort I felt was indicating that my body’s defences were reacting to the vaccine and building up the antigens that are going to protect me, my family and the wider community from this killer disease.
The night before I was due to receive the vaccine the stories about the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine and blood clots began to appear in the media and knowing that I would likely receive this vaccine I was a little concerned.
However, after thoroughly reading the news reports I assured myself that all was well. Subsequent events and authoritative statements from EU governments and health organisations have confirmed that view.
They can be summed up by this statement from Dr Genevieve Small GP lead for the NW London vaccination programme who said: “More than 17m doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Astra Zeneca have now been given across the EU. Fewer than 40 cases of blood clots have been reported as of last week in vaccinated people.
“This is much lower than the hundreds of cases that would be expected to have occurred naturally in the general population. People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when invited to do so.”
I am delighted to have received the Astra Zeneca vaccine knowing that it is safe and that I am now building up my protection against COVID-19 and I am looking forward to receiving my second dose in 11 week’s time.
All 50 year olds and anyone entitled to a free flu jab can now book themselves in for the vaccine through the national booking system at our mass vaccination centre at CP House, Ealing or at one of the 6 pharmacies in the Borough that are giving the vaccine. As I said last week the GP led vaccination centres at Ealing Town Hall and The Dominion Centre, Southall are now focussed on delivering the second dose of the vaccine.
Reports of national shortages of vaccine in April will unfortunately impact on the borough and so it makes sense to get your first dose now if you are eligible.
Case rates have continued to fall in Ealing and for the week ending 14 March they are 65.8/100k population – a 10% fall from the week before. We have the 2nd highest rates in London and are above the London and national averages. Within the Borough cases are highest in Perivale and Greenford with rates still over 100 per 100,000 of population.
Please continue to follow the lockdown rules until the 29 March by staying at home except for essential purposes and if you do go out follow the hands, face, space rules and get a rapid test at one of our community testing centres.
At our cabinet meeting on Tuesday we held a minute’s silence and Ealing Town Hall was also lit up in orange throughout the week in remembrance of Sarah Everard and to raise awareness of the UN campaign for ending violence against women and girls. Tackling violence against women and girls must be a priority for us all and this terrible tragedy reminds us that a lot more needs to be done.
Finally, two quick reminders. Applications for discretionary business grants up to £25k have to be submitted by the extended deadline of 11:59 pm on this Monday 22 March and don’t forget that this Sunday 21 March is Census Day and that it is a legal requirement to complete the form. You should have received information about how to do this online in the post.