9 September – message from Solihull’s Director of Public Health, Ruth Tennant


This week there have been 742 new cases of COVID and over the last month we have seen a similar number of new cases each week. So we continue to have COVID circulating locally in quite high numbers.

Scotland, where schools have been back for several weeks and lots of people have returned to workplaces, has seen a big increase in rates – showing just how important it is that we don’t assume COVID is over.

We still continue to see people being hospitalised and seriously ill with the virus.

As the vaccine programme has continued to roll out, large numbers of people have been coming forward for vaccination – 153,695 people aged 16 and over have had their first dose and 142,838 both doses.

This means that in Solihull 84% of people have had their first dose and 78% their second.

To reduce the risk of COVID rates going up over the autumn it is vital that everyone gets both doses.

If you live in Chelmsley Wood, Kingshurst & Fordbridge or Smith’s Wood and haven’t been vaccinated, do get a jab when you can.  Vaccine rates - although high - are lower in these areas, particularly in 19-39-year-olds.

Nearly 3000 16-17-year-olds have already been vaccinated before the start of term: this is a great start and if you or a family member hasn’t yet been vaccinated you can now book jabs at one of more than 800 GP-led local vaccination sites.  Check the NHS England online walk-in site finder for your nearest available centre.

Local mobile clinics are continuing to run in Solihull including at Mell Square and Chelmsley Wood.  These have proved very popular and you can keep up to date with their locations and other local vaccination information here.

You can also book vaccine appointments online through the National Booking Service or by calling 119. 

If you are pregnant – or know someone who is – it’s very important to get vaccinated. There have been cases of severe illness in pregnant women catching COVID-19, including hospitalisation and premature births. Our local midwives will support any woman to make a decision about vaccination so do ask if you have any questions.

As schools go back and more people are out and about, testing - particularly if you’re going to an event or festival or socialising in large groups - is a really important way to protect yourselves and other people.  We have seen lots of people getting tested in the last few weeks which shows this message is getting through.

Warnings are coming from patient groups and hospital staff that lives are at risk from the huge treatment backlog left by the pandemic.

Recent figures show more than 5.45 million people waiting for NHS hospital treatment in England.

Remember if a PCR test confirms you have COVID, we can offer financial support when you self-isolate.  We have increased the threshold on the scheme so that you can access funds if you earn up to £26,000 - full details here.

We can also provide other help and support; you can find out more here.

Ruth Tennant
Director of Public Health, Solihull Council

Below are useful links to find out where you can get a vaccine, how to book, and how to get a test.