OKEHAMPTON Medical Centre is currently offering walk-in clinics against Covid-19 as the vaccination programme continues across Devon against the Omicron variant.

Practice manager Kiran Bakhshi said the walk-in clinic would be open today (Thursday) from 9am to 8pm; tomorrow (Friday) from 9am to 5pm and on Saturday from 9am to 1pm.

Then from next week the practice willl be operating walk-in clinics from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday and on Saturdays 9am-1pm for the rest of the month.

’Demand has decreased recently so we have had to cancel some clinics and consolidate appointments,' said Kiran. 'If demand increases again we will increase provision.

’We are offering vaccinations currently to everyone aged 12+ and all doses — first, second and third (for those eligible) and boosters.

’We would encourage anyone who is due who hasn’t yet come in to please do so and let us know if they have any special requirements.’

The practice added that patients had told them they appreciated having the walk-in clinic on their doorstep.

The programme comes as the NHS in Devon (the Devon Clinical Commissioning Group) continues to urge people to get a booster, or first and second vaccinations against Covid-19.

The latest NHS figures reveal 71.7 per cent of West Devon residents to have had their booster jab.

NHS Devon’s chief nurse Darryn Alcorn said: ’Please don’t underestimate this virus. Having the vaccine, even for young people, makes you much less likely to need hospital care.’

The Devon NHS reports that cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay are increasing rapidly, leading to a rising number of people in hospital with Covid and causing over 1,000 hospital staff to be off work.

The World Health Organisation recently warned that, while the Omicron variant does appear to be less severe compared to Delta, it should not be categorised as ’mild’ and still causes some people to die or become seriously ill and require hospital care.