Baggies legend Graham Williams has encouraged people to get the lifesaving Covid-19 vaccine. The West Bromwich Albion 1968 FA Cup winning captain, now aged 81, has received his vaccination.
He said: “It was absolutely nothing, there isn’t even a mark. Make sure you get your jab as soon as you are invited. It’s really easy and painless – and it’s our only way out of this terrible virus.” Graham's call comes as the government urges people aged 70 or over or clinically extremely vulnerable to book their vaccination if they haven't already received a jab or got an appointment.
Deputy Council Leader Councillor Maria Crompton said: “It’s wonderful to have a local legend like Graham advocating the vaccine and he’s absolutely right – do make sure you take the opportunity when your turn comes.” The importance of getting vaccinated was echoed by medical professionals in Sandwell. Getting vaccinated reduces your chances of becoming seriously ill or dying from Covid-19.
Dr Simon Mitchell, Rowley Regis GP, said: "As a local GP, I would urge everyone in Sandwell to take up the opportunity of having the vaccine as soon as it is offered. The process is simple and safe. This is the single most important thing you can do now to protect yourself and we are here to help you."
And Lisa Tyler, Clinical Education Sister and vaccinator with Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust, said: "I’m so proud to be involved in vaccinating our most vulnerable people, carers and NHS staff against the virus. It’s so important that everyone who is offered an appointment takes it and helps us end the pandemic and get our lives back to normal as soon as possible."
· NHS reports are that uptake of the vaccine is very high – but we need everyone to have the vaccine when they are offered it. All approved vaccines have gone through clinical trials and rigorous safety checks by experts.
· If you have had the vaccination, you must continue to follow government restrictions and guidance. Keep your distance from others, wear a face covering and wash your hands or use hand sanitiser regularly.
· Be aware of scams relating to Covid-19 vaccinations. Your vaccination is FREE. The NHS will never ask for payment or for your bank details.
· If you have Covid-19 symptoms – a high temperature, a continuous cough, a loss or change in your sense of taste or smell – get tested immediately.
· If you or anyone in your household have Covid-19 symptoms, you must self-isolate. If you test positive for Covid-19, you must self-isolate. If you are told to self-isolate, you must stay at home for at least 10 days. This means you should not go to work or exercise outside of your home.
Sandwell's director of public health, Dr Lisa McNally, said: "We're pleased to report that vaccination uptake is high in Sandwell. Older adults in particular have been enthusiastic in their response. Having vaccine gives us back some control over what this awful virus can do to our health. The sooner we get everyone fully vaccinated with both doses the better.