Almost 250 Covid patients being treated at hospitals in South Cumbria and Lancashire

In Lancashire and South Cumbria more than 320,000 people have had their autumn booster in the last month. Credit: PA images

There are almost 250 people in hospital with Covid-19 in South Cumbria and Lancashire this week.

Health leaders for the area said 244 hospital beds were occupied by confirmed Covid-19 patients this week, with 239 patients in acute medical beds.

The remaining five are occupying critical care beds.

They have warned that the best way for the public to protect themselves against Covid-19 is to have the autumn booster vaccine if they are eligible.

People who are aged 50 and over, have suppressed immune systems, are pregnant, have a learning disability or another health issue have already been invited to come forward for their latest dose of the vaccine.

People who are at risk are able to self-declare and do not need to wait for an invite, and can attend a walk-in site or book in online at People can book in at one of hundreds of sites, including general practices, pharmacies and hospital hubs, or at a walk-in site. Anyone who needs help making an appointment should call 119.

So far in South Cumbria and Lancashire, more than 320,000 people have had their autumn booster in just over a month.

Most of them have been given to people aged 65 and over and those most at risk from the disease.

The autumn booster campaign is among a package of NHS measures to prepare for winter as the health service continues to face record demand for its urgent and emergency care services, including ramping up bed capacity, increasing the number of 999 and NHS 111 staff, and working with colleagues in social care to ensure patients can be discharged in a timely manner.

Jane Scattergood, senior responsible officer for Lancashire and South Cumbria vaccination programme, said: “Viruses, like flu and Covid-19, spread much more easily in winter when we socialise indoors, so it’s important that everyone eligible tops up their protection ahead of the festive period.

“This year it is easier than ever for all over 50s across Lancashire and South Cumbria to book their flu and Covid-19 vaccinations through the national booking service.”

Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said: “We all know how dangerous Covid can be, but flu can also be debilitating or worse if you are already living with a long-term health condition, you’re either very young or very old, or have other risk factors.

“Winter and colder weather brings many challenges for the most vulnerable in society and winter viruses like flu are just one of them.

“The flu vaccine won't stop all flu viruses and the level of protection may vary from person to person but if you do get flu after vaccination it is likely to be milder and shorter-lived than it otherwise might have been.

“The Covid booster is also being offered to those most at risk because research shows protection after two jabs begins to fall over time. So, it’s important as many people as possible are protected as temperatures fall this winter.

“Protect yourselves and your family - make sure you get your winter vaccines if you’re eligible.”

Dr Michael Gregory, medical director for NHS England North West, said: “I’d urge everyone eligible to protect themselves as much as possible this winter by ensuring they vaccinate themselves against Covid-19 and the flu. It will help protect them, and their loved ones.”

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