Rugby stars join health officials in vaccination plea as Swansea COVID infections hit almost record levels
The number of COVID cases in Swansea are almost at record levels not seen since December last year during lockdown - and they're continuing to rise according to latest Public Health Wales figures.
The city currently has 700 cases per 100,000 people and health officials are encouraging people to ensure they get both vaccinations as soon as possible to help reduce the spread of the virus.
The Ospreys rugby team have joined the campaign to increase the number of people getting vaccinated and we can all take further steps by wearing face masks, keeping our distance and avoiding large gatherings.
Welsh international, Owen Watkin, 24, said: "We're all backing the 'Roll Up Your Sleeves' campaign and we urge those who haven't yet had their first vaccine to get it done as soon as possible. We all want to get back to the things we love in safety and with confidence - this includes our favourite sporting events.
"The ongoing pandemic is affecting every part of our lives, including our ability to stay fit, to make plans for the future and to spend time freely with our mates.
"The vaccine is the best way out of it so let's roll up our sleeves now and get this done!"
Dr Keith Reid, Swansea Bay University Health Board Director of Public Health said: "The Roll Up Your Sleeves campaign is an important reminder to anyone who has not yet had a vaccine, and especially men in the 18 to 40 age bracket, that it is essential for them to do so.
"I don't care why you haven't had the vaccine yet and neither do my colleagues, but we do care that you get it now.
"You just need to attend a drop-in session or the Immbulance, Swansea Bay's mobile vaccination unit.
"The vaccine has been through the same safety checks as all other vaccines, is approved by the MHRA and has now been administered safely to tens of millions of people in the UK and even more around the world. Even if you're young and healthy, you can still get seriously ill with the virus.
"By getting yourself vaccinated, you provide protection for yourself and others around you.
"You can't get Covid-19 from the vaccine but it works best if you have two doses - preventing hospitalisation and death in more than 90 percent of people.
"Also, the vaccination is recommended as protection against long COVID side effects which can include erectile dysfunction in men.
"We know everyone is keen to return to some sort of normality as soon as is safely possible and widespread double-dose vaccination is the fastest way of allowing us all to do this."
Details of the latest vaccination drop-in sessions can be found on the Swansea Bay NHS website.