Today the government has announced that all over-40s can now book their Covid-19 vaccine and I urge everyone in Croydon who is eligible to book their appointment as soon as possible. Visit the NHS booking page. This is very positive news, at the end of a week where we have seen the booking age for vaccinations extended three times as the programme accelerates locally and nationally. In our own borough, 158,459 residents have now received their first dose, with 58,738 having received both doses. As Croydon’s director of public health I am incredibly encouraged by this and I hope you are too – it is wonderful to know that increasing numbers of our residents are equipped with the best possible protection against the virus. Across the whole of South West London, more than half the adult population have now received their first dose of the vaccine.
If we needed reminding just how vital this vaccination programme is, earlier this week Croydon reached a tragic milestone, as the number of deaths recorded since the start of the pandemic rose above 1,000. It is truly devastating to think of the true cost of this pandemic – the loss of human life within our own community, our family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. We will always remember them. My deepest sympathies are with everyone who has lost a loved one in the past year. We cannot forget all that we have been through, as individuals and as a community, with so many among us having suffered bereavement. As we rebuild, we must do everything we can to care for and support each other. Also, to prevent any further loss of life. Let’s keep moving forward, but do so with great care.
We can all play our part in this – by taking up our vaccinations when eligible, following social distancing guidance and by testing regularly for Covid-19, even when we don’t have symptoms. Croydon’s community testing centres are now offering a drop-in service to make it as easy as possible for you to get a rapid Covid-19 test, with results available in 30 minutes. You can simply call in to any of the four centres in our borough and be tested by the first available member of staff – you don’t need an appointment although you can still book if you prefer. You can also collect two packs of tests to take home for your family. We recommend that everyone tests regularly – twice weekly – even when they don’t have symptoms, to avoid spreading it to others without realising it. You can find all the information about our rapid testing centres, and also how to get tests delivered to your home on our webpage. Help us to keep Croydon safe.
Have a great weekend and enjoy the Bank Holiday – safely,
Croydon’s director of public health