Manchester’s public health chief is urging people to get their COVID boosters and flu jabs this autumn so they can avoid the potential ‘twindemic’ of catching both at the same time.
Over the past two years, the UK has seen some of the lowest flu case figures on record, which medical professionals say is probably due to the self-isolating and social distancing measures that were introduced amid the COVID-19 pandemic – but now, there’s evidence cases are returning and numbers are creeping up.
This is why, alongside the predicted rise in COVID numbers, Manchester City Council is inviting eligible residents to come forward and get their jabs as we approach winter.
The Council is wants those eligible to get vaccinated so that they not only avoid getting ill themselves as the temperatures start to plummet, but also so that they don’t pass either of the viruses on to anyone else, or find themselves in need of hospital treatment.
“As the weather turns colder, respiratory infections like COVID-19 and flu start circulating more,” the Council explains on its website.
“Many people who are more susceptible to flu are also at greater risk of COVID, and vice versa. And you’re much more likely to get severely ill or die if you catch them at the same time. Even if you experience relatively mild symptoms, flu or COVID can still make you feel really poorly, and will most likely mean you’ll miss education or work.
“Getting vaccinated is the best way to get peace of mind, stop the spread, and keep yourself and those around you healthy this winter.”
Manchester’s Director of Public Health David Regan has also said “high levels of COVID” are expected across the city-region yet again this winter.
“We all have to do everything possible to stop people becoming seriously ill and it’s even more important that we protect those most at risk,” Mr Regan said in his call to get residents to take up vaccination offers.
“Many people will think they don’t need another vaccine because they have already had COVID or the vaccine didn’t stop them from getting the virus, but immunity wears off, and even if the vaccine doesn’t stop you from getting the virus, it should stop you from getting it as badly and reduce the risk of Long COVID.”
He also added that if new variants arrive in time to cause widespread infection, then boosters for older adults and those with health conditions will also be critical in reducing pressure on hospital services throughout Greater Manchester too.
A full list of who is eligible for the Autumn COVID booster and free flu jabs can be found on the Manchester City Council website here.
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Police warn criminals ‘don’t bother’ attending Parklife after already making arrest
Greater Manchester Police have said that criminals shouldn’t ‘bother’ coming to Parklife festival this weekend, after already making an arrest at the festival site.
Officers have been carrying out searches of people arriving on site this week – and have already arrested a 24-year-old man.
A quantity of pills and a knife were both recovered from the man, who has been arrested on suspicion of possession of Class A drugs and possession of a bladed article.
After the arrest, Superintendent Phil Spurgeon issued a statement to criminals, saying ‘don’t bother coming to Parklife’.
He said: “We have a really robust police and partnership community safety operation for the festival, and the arrest and seizure yesterday demonstrates the vigilance of security staff, our thorough search procedures and our commitment to keeping people safe.
“Make no mistake, illegal items such as weapons and drugs can have fatal consequences. Our top priority this weekend is keeping people safe, and anyone caught trying to take such items into the festival will be robustly dealt with.
“I hope the genuine festival-goers are excited for the fantastic weekend ahead and I am confident the majority will enjoy the event responsibly and safely.”
Greater Manchester Police and Parklife security staff will be working closely together to intercept anyone travelling to the festival with criminal intentions.
The arrest on 8 June was thanks to the festival’s drug detection dogs.
In a formal statement addressing the situation, the city‘s flagship further education institution says some of its systems have been accessed by an “unauthorised party” and that data has “likely been copied” as a result of this.
The University’s in-house experts are said to be “working around the clock” to resolve the issue.
External support teams are also said to be working in collaboration with the University to understand what data has been accessed.
Patrick Hackett – Registrar, Secretary, and Chief Operating Officer at the University of Manchester – explained in a statement issued this morning: “Regrettably, I have to share with you the news that the University is the victim of a cyber incident, [as] it has been confirmed that some of our systems have been accessed by an unauthorised party and data have likely been copied.
“Our in-house experts and established expert external support are working around the clock to resolve this incident, and we are working to understand what data has been accessed”.
Mr Hackett said he understands the nature of the issue will “cause concern to members of our community”, and says the University is “very sorry for this”.
The University says it is also working with relevant authorities – including the Information Commissioner’s Office, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the National Crime Agency, and other regulatory bodies – to resolve the issue, and will provide information to those affected as soon as they are able to.
Students and staff are also be told to be vigilant to any suspicious phishing emails within the coming days – with the University’s IT Services team having published some relevant advice to refer to.