In West Sussex, we are performing really well in our vaccine roll-out, even with the younger generation - with over 80% of those over 40 now vaccinated and around 70% of those aged 18-29. If you are yet to get your vaccine I fully encourage you to either book an appointment or simply turn up at your local vaccine centre.
Last week, I went to the Midhurst Pharmacy where they recently celebrated 6-months as a vaccination centre, based out of the Midhurst Memorial Hall. Over this period they’ve provided a whopping 42,000 jabs to the community, given that Midhurst has a population of around 5,000, I’m sure you’ll agree this is a fantastic achievement. I met with Raj, the owner, and his team of local volunteers who have now turned their focus towards younger residents by holding a series of drop-in clinics. Although young people are less likely to have severe symptoms from Covid, the transmission rate amongst the young is higher meaning the virus can still spread to those who are more vulnerable.
On my recent call with the NHS teams who are running the roll-out, I was also very pleased to be told that every GP practice in our county has signed up to take part in the Covid-19 booster vaccine roll-out this winter. This is crucial as it will ensure those most vulnerable to the virus will continue to have the highest level of protection.
On Tuesday, you may have also noticed me on your TV screen first thing in the morning as I did the media round to talk about our new £7 million fund to back flexible apprenticeships. It will create apprenticeship opportunities in project-based sectors such as the creative and digital industries and unleash exciting new opportunities, close skills gaps, and help us to remain a global leader in film, tv, theatre and music. Locally, the Chichester Festival Theatre can benefit from this pipeline of talent to support the production of their shows, and more broadly it will support our rapidly growing film industry – which has just received £700 million from US investors who will build a new centre for film, TV and digital production in Hertfordshire.
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