PEOPLE aged 70 or older in Oxfordshire who have not yet had their Covid-19 vaccine are now being urged to contact their GP.

More than 90 per cent of people aged 80 and over in the county have received their first vaccination dose and more than 60 per cent of those aged 70 to 79 have had their first jab.

This equates to 127,00 people living or working locally.

Since 8 December, two hospital hubs, 21 GP-led sites, and the large-scale hub at the Kassam Stadium have been rolled out to vaccinate the top four priority groups.

GP practices have been able to vaccinate all older residents in Oxfordshire's care homes and are reaching out to housebound patients.

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NHS services in Oxfordshire are now confident they will meet the Government's target of offering a first vaccination dose to everyone in the current priority groups by Monday.

The Government recently updated its guidelines and has now urged people who are aged 70 and over who have not yet received a shot to book an appointment.

Each vaccination site is managing its own patient lists and is working through them as quickly as possible, as supplies are delivered.

Dr Kiren Collison, clinical chair at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which supports the GP-led vaccination services in the county, said: "The hard work and huge effort from everyone involved – from clinicians to community volunteers – has ensured that we are on track to get everyone in our most at-risk groups vaccinated with a first dose very soon.

"This is a great achievement which is helping to reduce the spread of the virus and gradually reduce the numbers of people seriously ill in our hospitals.

"But the wider public has an important part to play to help us, so we are asking please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives – that means staying at home as much as possible."

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The number of cases in Oxfordshire last week was 134.5 per 100,000 compared to a figure of 191 per 100,000 on January 29.

This means that more needs to be done to drive down new cases in the county as the decline in figures still only takes the numbers down to levels in December.

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director of Public Health, commented: "We have done a good job in getting case numbers down in Oxfordshire but the figures here and elsewhere rose to such heights in late December and early January that we still have ground to make up.

"We face uncertainty around the spread of different variants and what that means for our recovery from the pandemic.

"We also know the new UK variant is now the dominant form in the UK, and if we were to relax now the case rate will not only go up but it will go up very fast to a very high level."