Across the country, the largest vaccination programme in UK history is being rolled out. The local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working very hard to deliver jabs, starting with priority groups who are at most risk from Covid-19.
The top three priority groups are:
residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
People will be invited to receive a vaccination by their GP. Please wait for your GP to contact you. They are extremely busy and need all the help and understanding we can give them at this time and that means being patient. The Government has said that the supply of the vaccine will increase over coming weeks which we hope will increase the local rate of delivery even more. You can find answers to many common questions about the vaccine here.
Getting tested is still important. We have recently launched an additional community test site at Aldriche Way Community Room, 118-132 Aldriche Way, E4 9LZ. This test site will be offer Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) to residents who are not experiencing symptoms and will open every day from 10am - 7pm.
The local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is leading on vaccinations in Waltham Forest. Many over-80s in the borough have already been contacted and invited to receive their first jab, and NHS staff and frontline care workers have also started to receive their first doses.
We know that the vaccine is the route out of lockdown restrictions and that many of you will be very keen to receive yours. We urge you to be patient and to wait until you receive a vaccine invite from your GP. Please do not call to order a jab - you will not be able to do this. The vaccines are being offered to priority groups who are at more risk of becoming seriously ill.
As with any medicine, vaccines are highly regulated products. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process, and continued monitoring once they have been authorised and are being used in the wider population.
Changes to large item and garden waste collections
Our waste contractors Urbaser have been working extremely hard throughout the pandemic to keep our neighbourhoods clean. Unfortunately due to Covid staff sickness at Urbaser reaching critical levels, some services have been temporarily suspended.
To ensure that household rubbish and recycling collections continue, garden waste collections will be temporarily suspended from Sunday 17 January and new large item collection bookings were temporarily suspended as of Thursday 14 January.
All residents who already have collections booked in please be assured that these will take place as planned.
The crews are working very hard so please do all you can to make their lives easy. Park considerately, and please leave bins for collection at the edge of your property.
We apologise for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.
Parents and children who do not have access to a garden or outdoor space will be able to use the most popular playgrounds in Waltham Forest with confidence after the Council placed Play Safe Champions to help people follow social distancing laws.
Redeployed Council staff, who have all been DBS checked, will be on hand at 21 of the busiest playgrounds to offer advice on following social distancing guidelines and to keep playgrounds from becoming too busy. The champions will have free, reusable face masks to distribute to those who would like one as well as simple, clear FAQ sheets on staying safe.
The Play Safe Champions will wear masks while they work and follow social distancing guidelines at all times.
Earlier this week, many local faith groups came together and made a joint decision to close their venues for in-person worship until the Covid-19 infection rate drops to a safer level in Waltham Forest.
This was a courageous decision to go beyond the current Government guidelines to keep the community safe. We support our faith leaders and are extremely thankful for their firm action, which will help to save lives.
When people have started to receive the vaccine and restrictions are loosened, we will be able to meet again and celebrate together. Until then, please remember to follow social distancing guidelines to protect our elderly and vulnerable family members and neighbours.
We have seen the incredible response from our community in Waltham Forest and know that despite all the restrictions we have found new ways to connect and rise to the challenges we face. Our diversity is our strength, and together we will beat this pandemic.
Information and advice regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing quickly and its important you keep up to date with those changes. The Council will be using email newsletters to keep residents and businesses up to date.
If residents have questions please visit our website, and use live chat to talk to one of our team, it's quicker than phoning.