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Cheshire and Merseyside residents urged to get flu and Covid19 Vaccines as cases rise

HEALTH Chiefs are calling on people across Cheshire and Merseyside to book in their flu and Covid19 booster jabs as cases across the area continue to rise. Recent figures show early indications of an increase in flu and Covid19 infections, as we enter what is expected to be a:- 'challenging winter.'

And health professionals are concerned at the drop in the number of people coming forward for their vaccinations, particularly those who have long term health conditions and are therefore more vulnerable to serious illness.

Experts also say that, while the Covid19 Vaccine has reduced the impact previously seen by the virus on communities and critical care services, the protection provided decreases over time.

Plus, flu viruses can also change every year, so it is vital that people come forward as soon as possible when it's their turn, for extra protection ahead of winter.

Now, NHS Cheshire and Merseyside has launched a campaign to encourage people to take action and book in their Vaccines if they have been invited, in a bid to top up their immunity.

Among those opting for the booster is 55 year old Jan Copeland, who suffers from multiple sclerosis.

Jan, from Liverpool, says having the vaccination came:- "without question" for her as she wanted to protect herself and other vulnerable people she came into contact with. She said:- "Like everyone, I was a little concerned when the Covid19 Vaccines were 1st offered, purely because we didn't know much about it and it was a very uncertain time for everyone. However, I've now had 4 Vaccines due to suffering from MS and therefore being classed as vulnerable; for me, it's a no-brainer and a simple way to shield myself and others from becoming seriously ill. I meet with a group of people each month who also have MS, so the last thing I want to do is to put them at risk. I get the seasonal flu jab every year so the Covid booster is just another thing that is part of maintaining my health in the winter."

Across the UK, around 33 million people are eligible for the flu Vaccine and 26 million people are eligible for the Covid19 booster.

Prof Rowan Pritchard-Jones, Medical Director for NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, said:- "We have seen a real reduction in demand for both the seasonal flu and Covid19 booster jabs during the last few weeks. This could be due to people being unwell and therefore unable to attend or, more worryingly, it could be down to a lack of understanding or interest of how important the Vaccines are. People with long-term health conditions are at a high risk of becoming seriously ill with flu or Covid19, as are those are over 50 and pregnant women, so we need to encourage these people to come forward. It's also not too late to get an earlier dose of the Covid19 Vaccine if you need one. Vaccines are still our best protection against severe disease and Hospitalisation this winter, so it's vital that, if you are invited to get 1, book in your appointment and go without delay."

For more information about eligibility for the flu and Covid19 booster, visit:- CheshireAndMerseyside.NHS.UK.

Popular fishmonger to open traditional fish and chip shop with a twist in Hesketh Bank
Photographs by Andrew Brown

A top quality new fish and chip shop is opening soon in Hesketh Bank, in Merseyside, with a well known local fisherman at the helm.  Peet's Traditional Fish and Chips will open at:- 19 Station Road, opposite Booths supermarket, in a couple of weeks' time. The exact opening date will be revealed soon. It is owned by local businessman Kevin Peet, who has been fishing off theMerseyside coast for over 40 years. He owns the Peets Plaice fishmonger's in Churchtown Village in Southport. People will be able to enjoy fish and chips with a twist, with a few welcome surprises including the renowned:- Peets Plaice Home Made Fish Pie; and Sunday roast dinners!  They will also be able to enjoy healthy options on the menu, including:- freshly smoked haddock and other fish which Kevin Peet smokes himself.

The venue will initially serve as a takeaway, with work being done to provide space for tables inside as well as creating an attractive new outdoor seating area in time for Spring and Summer.

Sarah Eatough will be the new Manager at the business.   Kevin Peet said:- "We are only a couple of weeks away from opening! We are really looking forward to it. The previous chippy on the site has been closed for around 5 months now, we thought it was a great opportunity when we saw it become available. The Hesketh Bank and Tarleton area deserves a great chippy! I went to have a look at the business and straight away I realised its huge potential. It is a beautiful building. We are currently carrying out a complete refurbishment of the venue. I'm delighted that Sarah will be our manager. She is born and bred in Hesketh Bank and knows the area well, and is superb at what she does. We are looking forward to offering a traditional fish and chip shop with a twist. All the fish we sell will be freshly caught and top quality, coming here from Scotland. All the potatoes are locally sourced from a farm in Banks. Because we have our own smoker, we will be able to offer healthy options including freshly smoked haddock with poached eggs, which is very unusual for a chippy, but something that we think will be very popular. We will be doing Bargain Boxes for families, where a family of 4 can get a box of fish and chips for £25, instead of people paying £32 for 4 separate portions. We are going to be offering a couple of specials every day. People will also be able to enjoy our special fish pies, which are freshly made with top quality ingredients."

There will be another twist - roast dinners! Kevin Peet said:- "Peet's Traditional Fish and Chips will be open Tuesday to Saturday serving fish and chips, and then every Sunday we will be creating home cooked roast dinners. People will be able to choose from a range of options. They will be able to phone up and order and then pick up their roast dinners to take home. It will be like a click and collect service. The chippy to start with will be a takeaway, but our plans for Spring next year are to have tables and chairs inside, and a lovely outside area."

There has been huge interest in the area to the plans.  Kevin Peet said:- "We have had lots of people coming in and asking us what we are planning and when we are opening! We can't wait to open our doors soon and bring top quality fish and chips and Sunday roast dinners to Hesketh Bank. People will travel to get good quality fish and chips, so we are also looking forward to welcoming customers from places such as Burscough, Banks and Southport too. We are really excited to get going!"

Peet's Traditional Fish and Chips will open at:- 19 Station Road, Hesketh Bank.

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