Lincolnshire has the third highest vaccine rate in the country, as NHS bosses open up jabs to those aged 42 and over.
More than 68% of the county’s residents have now been given at least their first dose, with a fifth of the county also now receiving their second jab.
Vaccines were on Monday opened up to 44-year-olds, but this morning (Tuesday) the NHS announced that people aged 42 and over could book their appointment through the national booking website.
Dorset and Somerset top the table currently for the number of vaccinations given out.
Assistant director for public health at Lincolnshire County Council Andy Fox said the latest news was “fantastic”.
“I’m really pleased with the roll-out of vaccinations in Lincolnshire.
“The team who’ve been organising it, the NHS, the GPs, and the staff working the vaccination centres and indeed the volunteers have all done an absolutely amazing job.
“People have exceeded expectations and have really shown how much people are willing to pull together to help each other to save lives, so honestly it’s been one of the best success stories of recent years.”
He continued to urge people to get the vaccine as further age groups were opened up, including younger people who might feel they don’t need the protection.
“It makes sense that some people who are younger will feel less at risk from COVID-19… but it’s not just yourself that you’re protecting.
“Every single vaccine increases the overall level of protection in the population of Lincolnshire, and so even if you’re not worried, and younger people can still get ill, then remember that if you’re vaccinated, you’re much less likely to pass the disease on to somebody else you might get ill.”
Responding to further reports of a 100-person gathering in Stamford over the weekend, Mr Fox said he understood young peoples’ temptation to meet friends and “let your hair down” but moved to remind people that the restrictions were still in place.
He said a group that size would be expected to see “some” transmission.
“So, not only is it a breach of guidance, it’s also likely to contribute to some sort of increase the transmission of COVID-19. If people can just hold on until it’s legal that will help.”
Elsewhere, Mr Fox confirmed that in general in the county numbers continued to go down, but added “we’re not in the zone” yet to see the impact of the relaxation in a significant way.
He confirmed there had been some outbreaks at premises that had reopened including an unnamed hair salon/personal care premises in Lincoln, but added that it was “par for the course”.
Otherwise, he said he was “cautiously optimistic” that Lincolnshire would be able to follow the government’s roadmap for re-opening.