Christmas plans are being cancelled as people in North Lincolnshire’s least vaccinated neighbourhood take the new COVID variant seriously.
Scunthorpe’s Central and Crosby ward is split between those who have not had any COVID protection yet and people eager for a booster.
Everyone is being urged to book a third dose to beat the spreading Omicron strain.
However, only 55 percent of residents living in the ward have had a single dose and less than half (48 percent) have been given both.
Christmas shoppers who visited the town centre told the Local Democracy Reporting service that they were taking measures to stay safe as cases rise.
Rebecca Gee said: “Omicron is certainly concerning – I have cancelled some of my Christmas plans. I was planning to go out with my friends on Mad Friday like I do every year.
“It’s just not worth it this year though.
“I’ve got an elderly grandmother who I want to protect, so I am being extra careful.”
One woman said that she was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to get the third dose.
“The website had crashed when I tried to book my booster, but luckily I got a text inviting me to come in as soon as possible. It’s reassuring to know it’s so quick to get one,” she said.
“Everyone I know in my friends and family group has had the vaccine so far.”
Another shopper said that she couldn’t wrap her head around people not taking the new strain seriously.
“I had my booster the other week, exactly six months after my last jab,” she said.
“The new strain is very worrying. We don’t know exactly how dangerous it is because it’s new, but it’s better to take it seriously.
“I don’t understand people who aren’t worried about Omicron at all. They must have their reasons, but it seems daft to me.
“Most people in town are wearing masks again which is good to see.
“I am trying to avoid crowded places until we know more about the variant.”
One elderly man said he booked his booster jab the day he became eligible.
A new centre is to open at the Ironstone Centre to deliver vaccines quicker on Tuesday, December 21.
Tessa Lindfield, North Lincolnshire’s director of public health, said: “The evidence shows that a booster jab increases protection from Omicron symptoms from around 40 per cent for people who are double jabbed to 75 per cent. It protects against serious illness and hospitalisation.
“Around half the eligible people in North Lincolnshire have now had the booster so there is still some way to go to get people protected over the next few weeks.
Overall, 83 per cent of North Lincolnshire residents over the age of 12 have had at least one dose and 77 per cent have had both.