OVER-25s in St Helens are being urged to book their Covid-19 vaccination at Saints' stadium.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced this week that people aged 25 to 29 will be invited to book their jab as he signalled the start of the final stage of the vaccination programme.

Under-30s are the final cohort on the vaccine priority list and NHS bosses are urging those in the eligible age groups to book appointments. Over the remainder of this week the NHS will send texts to people reminding them to book an appointment.

St Helens rugby league stadium is the regional mass vaccination centre for Cheshire/Merseyside and is being operated by the NHS locally.

This is how to book an appointment

Over 25s can book into Saints by calling 119 or going to the appointment website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/

The Mass Vaccination Centre is open 7 days a week, 8am-8pm, and there are appointments available this week, according to St Helens and Knowsley NHS Teaching Hospitals Trust.

Case rates in St Helens

Latest figures show the Covid-19 rate has doubled in St Helens, with 70 new cases recorded in the past week. Public health chiefs are concerned the growth is being driven by the spread of the Delta variant, which was originally know as the Indian variant.

There are increasing signs of cases spreading among teenagers and young people in St Helens, which has led to reminders for school children to have regular lateral flow tests.

The vaccine roll out in St Helens has been hailed a success

The vaccine roll out in St Helens has been hailed a success

Admissions at hospitals locally are low, with latest figures showing there were three new Covid patients admitted to hospital in St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in the week to May 30.

Hospital bosses are monitoring the situation closely as previous waves have seen a lag between a rise in infections and hospital admissions.

The hope is the number of people vaccinated will help to control the number of hospital admissions.

What does the vaccine data show?

More than half of people in St Helens have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, figures reveal.

NHS data shows 84,245 people had received both jabs by May 30 – 57 per cent of those aged 16 and over, based on the latest population estimates from the Office for National Statistics.

Cases are rising again across St Helens

Cases are rising again across St Helens

Of those to have received both jabs, 78,929 were aged 30 and over – 66 per cent of the age group.

It means 5,316 people aged between 16 to 29 have received both doses.

Across St Helens, 78% of those aged 16 and over have had one jab.

Areas with the highest coverage:

1) Rainford, with 88.1% of people aged 16 and over given their first dose

2) Eccleston, 86.7%

3) Billinge, 86.4%

Areas with the lowest coverage:

1) Derbyshire Hill, 68.2%

2) Town Centre East and Fingerpost, 68.4%

3) Town Centre West, 69.4%

What national NHS leaders said as the roll-out to jab over 25s started

NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens hailed a watershed moment as the world-beating NHS vaccination programme enters the home straight of our race to offer everyone their first dose.

“The NHS vaccination programme is a real team effort and it is a testament to NHS teams across the country that we are able to open up to people in their 20s just six months on from delivering that world-first jab to Maggie Keenan.

“The tireless efforts of NHS staff to protect the people they care for and their communities has quite simply saved lives, and when you get the text, you’re next.

“Getting the lifesaving Covid-19 jab is the most important thing you can do, with NHS staff vaccinating at over 1,600 sites, including vaccine buses, places of worship, sport stadiums and other convenient locations. So when you get that text, book your appointment and join the millions who are already protected.”

NHS England national medical director Stephen Powis said: “There’s still more to do, we might be on the home straight but it’s really important that everybody who is eligible has the opportunity to come forward.

“So that’s why this week’s milestone is so important, opening up to that final priority group, inviting in, to start off with, the 25 to 29-year-olds for their jab.

“So if you’re in that age group and you get your invite then do come along, come and get your first jab, it is the way you will protect yourself because this is a disease that can affect young people too, it’s a way to protect your family, and of course, it is the way to make sure society gets back to normal as quickly as possible.”

Alongside opening up appointments to younger age groups, the health service is pressing ahead with offering second doses to people at pace.

The so-called race between variants and vaccines has led to a sped-up timetable for offering second jabs.

Instead of waiting 12 weeks for their second dose, people are now being invited back for their second dose after eight weeks.

It comes amid concerns over the spread of the variant first identified in India, also known as the Delta variant.

Only a handful of people have been admitted to hospital after having both doses of the vaccine, NHS leaders have said previously.