Covid: Young people urged to use vaccine walk-in clinics across Harrogate this weekend
Harrogate residents will be able to get vaccinated without appointments at a number of pop-up coronavirus clinics this weekend.
The clinics will open in Harrogate Knaresborough and Pateley Bridge on Saturday and Sunday, and are part of a final push to get younger people vaccinated.
First and second doses will be offered to anyone aged over 18, while any care workers and those aged over 50 who have not yet taken up the opportunity to get vaccinated are also being urged to come forward.
The Wesley Centre on Oxford Street, Harrogate will offer first doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Saturday between 10am to 4pm.
In Knaresborough, the Homecare Pharmacy Vaccination Centre at the former Lidl site on York Road will offer first doses of the Moderna jab on Saturday and Sunday between 9am and 5pm.
And in Pateley Bridge, both first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be available at Bishopside and Bewerley Memorial Hall on Park Road on Saturday between 8am and 5.50pm.
Sue Peckitt, chief nurse at NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "These walk-in clinics are aimed at those people who have not taken up the opportunity to book their vaccine via the NHS National Booking Service or NHS 119.
"With many Covid restrictions set to be lifted on 19 July, it's important we create a strong vaccine wall of resistance to help keep coronavirus transmission rates as low as possible, protect those who are most susceptible to suffering serious illness and reduce the impact on hospitals and other healthcare settings."
Driven by the faster-spreading Delta variant, Harrogate's weekly infection rate is approaching record levels with a current average of 416 cases per 100,000 people.
The highest rate on record was 497 at the beginning of January.
The rise in infections has been followed by a slight increase in hospital admissions with five patients in Harrogate on Wednesday, although the hospital has not recorded a Covid-related death in more than three months.
Louise Wallace, director of public health for North Yorkshire, said this was down to vaccines weakening the link between infections and serious illness, as she also urged people to make use of the pop-up clinics this weekend.
She said: “Vaccination is the most effective way to reduce the risk of developing serious or life-threatening symptoms from coronavirus, as well as protecting others in the community.
"The vaccination programme in this country has been a huge success and the numbers of people becoming seriously ill, or dying, as a result of contracting the disease have fallen dramatically.
“That is why it is important for those who have not yet had a jab to do so and the walk-in clinics have been organised to make that as convenient as possible."
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter