Have a safe and happy Christmas

By Dr Wirin Bhatiani

What a year it’s been!

We’ve had two national lockdowns, local restrictions, tier restrictions… sometimes it seems like the restrictions will never end!

Coronavirus has affected every part of our lives, but there is finally good news.

This week Bolton started its Covid-19 community vaccination programme. The first people to receive the vaccine are the over-80s registered at practices in the Turton area, and plans are under way to extend this to more people over 80, followed by other groups.

I encourage everyone who is eligible to have the vaccine – it’s safe and it works. You will be invited by your GP to receive a vaccination, so please don’t just show up!

Covid rates are also falling in Bolton, and this is thanks to the hard work of everyone in the community in following the rules to protect the vulnerable and the NHS.

Finally, we can also look forward to seeing our loved-ones over the festive period. Christmas bubbles, between December 23 and 27, will allow households to meet a limited number of family members indoors.

More information about forming a Christmas bubble in on the gov.uk website

However, Coronavirus doesn’t know it is Christmas. Please follow the guidelines and continue social distancing as much as possible.

The festive period is also a hard time for many, perhaps even more so this year. Please keep in touch with vulnerable family, friends and neighbours and remember that help is available if you are worried about yourself or someone else: call the Samaritans any time on 116 123 all day, text Shout to 85258 to speak to a trained volunteer from Give us a Shout.

Find out more about mental health and wellbeing support in Bolton.

Have a safe and happy Christmas and a happy Hanukkah.


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