14 January 2021
In this update:
- Think twice before leaving home
- Vaccine scam warning
- COVID-19 Fund launched to help communities
- Support for children and young people not in school
- Have yourself a #BrewMonday
Advice to “think twice” before leaving home
Devon’s Director of Public Health, Steve Brown, has called on us all to be extra vigilant in following the Government’s COVID-19 lockdown rules, and to “think twice” before we leave our homes.
This follows a stark warning from the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, that the next few weeks will be “the worst” of the pandemic for the NHS, and that the UK will go through the “most dangerous time” in the weeks before the vaccination rollout has an impact.
Steve Brown said:
“I completely understand how difficult this dreadful situation is for so many people in Devon, but please, I am urging you to help stop the spread of coronavirus by staying at home and to think twice before leaving your homes.
“Every time you leave your home you risk coming into contact with an infected person or touching a surface, door handle or petrol pump which may be contaminated. Any one of these interactions could be a crucial link in the chain of transmission which could lead to someone becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID-19.
“Traffic flow figures indicate that more people are moving around the county during this lockdown and while there are times when we all need to make essential journeys for childcare, work, medical appointments and food, we also need to consider if other journeys are essential.
“And while it’s really important to take daily exercise in the fresh air for physical and mental wellbeing, please stay as close to home as possible – ideally start and finish your exercise at your front door – and if you meet another person from another household to join you on your exercise, make sure you stay two metres apart at all times."
New Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine being given to first patients in Devon
The new Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine was given to the first people in Devon last week, with thousands more doses expected to be administered in the coming days and weeks.
Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, the first to be approved, the Oxford vaccine does not need to be stored at ultra-low temperatures and is much easier to move, making it more straight forward for the NHS in Devon to vaccinate people in care homes.
The vaccine has been trialled at selected hospitals nationwide for surveillance purposes before being sent out to hundreds of community-based local vaccination services across the country.
In Devon, the first batches of the Oxford vaccination were received by some of the county’s GP-led local vaccination centres on 7 January and were given to priority groups, including care home residents, from 8 January. Other local centres will receive the vaccine in coming days.
Deliveries of the Pfizer vaccination continue, with thousands of doses also being given each day across the county.
For information on public and community transport options to access the vaccination sites across Devon please visit Travel Devon's website.
Public warned about vaccine scam
Trading Standards is warning the public to be on their guard following reports that fraudsters are sending out fake texts offering a COVID-19 vaccine in an attempt to steal bank details.
The text offers a link to what police call an “extremely convincing” fake NHS website.
Once on the website people are asked to input their bank details to register for a vaccine.
The scam message reads; ‘we have identified that you are eligible to apply for your vaccine’ and then prompts you to click on a link for further information or to ‘apply’ for the vaccine.
If you receive a text or email that asks you to click on a link or for you to provide information, such as your name, credit card or bank details, delete it immediately.
Remember, the NHS will never ask for your payment details.