HEALTH and care chiefs across Warwickshire are encouraging residents to help defend and shield the NHS by avoiding an increase in serious preventable diseases that could tip the balance and overwhelm doctors and nurses.
It follows a national fall in vaccination numbers since the coronavirus pandemic.
Health professionals across the region are eager to continue immunisations during the pandemic to protect residents.
And they want to re-assure people that they have the necessary precautions in place to minimise risk and keep women and families safe from Covid-19.
Preventing the spread of the virus and caring for those infected is a national priority but maintaining the national immunisation programme helps successfully protect pregnant women, children, and older vulnerable adults against serious preventable diseases such as pneumococcal infections and measles.
Warwickshire County Council health spokesman Coun Les Caborn said: “We want all our residents to remain as safe and healthy as possible.
“Vaccination programmes are vital to help protect against the spread of serious preventable illnesses. Following your vaccination schedule, as advised by your doctor, midwife or health visitor, will mean that pregnant women and infants will have the correct level of protection when they need it.
“Precautions are in place across our health care setting to ensure the continued safety of our residents, so please don’t delay or cancel your vaccinations throughout Covid19 – attend any appointments you have been invited to.”
For parents worried their children may be displaying symptoms of coronavirus, it is important they seek medical advice if they have any concerns.
Health chiefs are keen to reassure families services are still open, safe and available to help.
Imogen Staveley, GP and deputy chair of Warwickshire North CCG said: “If you are concerned that your child, of any age, has the symptoms of coronavirus – a new continuous cough or a high temperature – the loss of smell and taste, the advice is the same and you still should not delay in seeking medical advice if worried.
“We want to remind parents that the out of hours services, children’s A&E department at University Hospital Coventry Warwickshire NHS Trust, and A&E departments at Warwick Hospital and George Elliott Hospital are all working and parents must not delay seeking help when worried, as this could put their child’s health at a risk.
“Serious illness, such as a severe asthma attack, pneumonia, appendicitis, meningitis or sepsis need to be picked up and dealt with early – to prevent complications.”
If a pregnant woman, child or family member has Covid-19 symptoms or is self-isolating because someone in the household is displaying symptoms, they should contact their GP practice for advice and can view the vaccine schedule to check they are up to date.
Pregnant women or young families should contact their GP, midwife or health visitor if they have any concerns.
Alternatively they can text a Warwickshire health visitor anytime on CHAT Health 07520 615293 (responses within two hours, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).