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Leader's Christmas Message 2021

As 2021 draws to a close it’s only natural that we reflect on the year past and look forward to the year ahead. Our second year living alongside Coronavirus has been a challenging one.

For many Wirral families, this year brought with it some very dark days. We’ve lost more than 1,000 of our family and friends to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. So, once again, I’d like to pay my respects to those we have lost to the virus this year.

While trying for us all, this year has also been filled with hope. We saw the wider roll out of the Coronavirus vaccine programme, bringing greater immunity to the virus and relieving some strain from our NHS and health and social care workers.

In Wirral, we’re very much leading the vaccine effort locally. We have had a fantastic level of vaccine take-up thanks to residents, community groups, businesses and the NHS all playing their part to Keep Wirral Well.

According to recent figures, as of 20 December, more than 77% of eligible people in Wirral had received two COVID-19 vaccines. And, even in the last few days, you’ve come out in your thousands to get ‘boosted’ meaning we’re already past the halfway point with 53% of eligible residents having received a third dose.

I’d like to thank you all for getting vaccinated when you were invited.

I’m sure we’re all looking forward to a well-earned break over the festive period, whatever that looks like for each of us. Whether it’s falling asleep over a selection box, going out for a bracing walk on Boxing Day, or just cosying up with a festive film, I encourage our residents and communities to do what they can to stay safe this Christmas. With infection rates rising again, we must remain careful, to protect ourselves and each other.

If you’ve not yet been for your vaccines, it’s not too late, you can still book to receive your first, second or booster vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccines remain the best way to protect you and your loved ones against the virus and the new Omicron variant.

While online booking is available, there are also a variety of local pop-up clinics available for walk-ins – with no appointment necessary.

And, alongside your vaccines, I encourage you all to keep testing. Remember, some people can carry the virus while asymptomatic, but pass it on to others who become much more poorly. Regular testing can help us avoid infecting our loves ones, especially as many of us plan to get together over the festive period.

The next twelve months will undoubtedly bring challenges for us all. I want Wirral’s families, communities, businesses and more to know that they can count on us as a council to continue to serve and support them in the best way we can.

I want to pass on my very best wishes of the season to everyone – have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Cllr Janette Williamson, Leader of Wirral Council