Health and public health leaders in Dorset are issuing a joint reminder that even if you’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19, you still need to follow the national restrictions.
Even if people have had the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s important that people continue to follow national guidance to protect themselves and others.
That is the message from Dr Karen Kirkham, local Dorset GP and the Clinical lead for the Dorset COVID-19 vaccination programme, and Sam Crowe, Director of Public Health for Dorset and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Councils.
To protect yourself and your family, friends, and local community, people who have been vaccinated, must still:
- practice social distancing
- wear a face mask
- wash your hands carefully and frequently
- follow the national restrictions gov.uk/coronavirus
Dr Karen Kirkham, Clinical lead for the Dorset COVID-19 vaccination programme, said: “The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus that we have, but we must still keep protecting each other.
“It’s good news that we have made a strong start to the vaccination programme in Dorset, but for now, whether you have been vaccinated or not, we cannot afford to be complacent. Everyone still needs to keep to the lockdown rules and guidance.
“The 1st dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should give you good protection from coronavirus. Please remember that protection takes up to three weeks to kick in and so there is a chance you might still get or spread coronavirus even if you have had the vaccine.
“This means it is important to continue to follow social distancing guidance, and always wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it’s hard to stay away from other people.”
Sam Crowe, Director of Public Health for Dorset and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Councils, said: “Whilst the vaccine gives us all some hope for the future, it’s important to remember we are still in the middle of a lockdown. This means that everyone – whether you’ve had the vaccine or not – needs to stay at home and only go out if it’s essential.
“After a few weeks, the vaccine offers protection against serious illness but scientists don’t yet know the impact it has on transmission. You may still be able to pass the virus on to others, and we cannot afford to let our guard down now whilst our hospitals and care homes are still under great pressure.
“Thank you to everyone who has played their part in following the rules and staying at home so far. We need to keep bringing our case rates down, so please don’t take risks by putting yourself in scenarios where you could catch or spread coronavirus.”
The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI)
The COVID-19 vaccination programme in Dorset has made a strong start, thanks to the tireless hard work of everyone working locally to deliver the programme, from vaccinators to volunteers.
The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine. It’s important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.
For the latest information about the Dorset COVID-19 vaccination programme, please see here: https://www.dorsetccg.nhs.uk/vaccinations/