Essex Covid fight: Schools, support, and Dunmow walk-in jab clinic

NHS poster advertising walk-in Covid vaccinations in Great Dunmow, Essex on December 29, 2021

The poster advertising walk-in Covid vaccinations in Great Dunmow on December 29, 2021 - Credit: NHS

Essex has unveiled a raft of measures as the fight against Covid-19 and the Omicron variant continues.

Teachers are “well prepared” to move to online learning if the rapid spread of the new variant forces schools to close, Essex County Council has said.

The county council is monitoring numbers.

Parents have been given a letter to remind them to test regularly throughout the holidays. All secondary school pupils will be tested for Covid on site prior to starting back at school in January. This may affect the date when pupils start the new term.

The county council said in the letter: “We appreciate that the changes in guidance can cause anxiety for some but it is important that the education of our children is prioritised this academic year.

“The likelihood of serious illness in children is extremely low and after many months of serious disruption, the DfE and the Local Authority continue to be committed to ensuring that all children and young people in Essex have every opportunity to thrive.”

Essex website

A new website has been launched this week to encourage young people to get vaccinated. It answers questions about Covid, and has videos, TikToks and Instagram Reels. It's at

Medical person with a Covid vaccine and syringe. Great Dunmow is holding a walk-in Covid-19 vaccine clinic on December 29

Great Dunmow is holding a walk-in Covid-19 vaccine clinic on December 29 - Credit: PA

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Dunmow walk-in clinic

Great Dunmow Leisure Centre at Parsonage Downs has a walk-in Covid vaccination clinic with first, second and booster doses available on Wednesday, December 29 from 10am to 4pm. It's open to everyone over age 12 years.

There are flu vaccinations available for school children from Reception years through to Year 11.

Transport support

Essex Wellbeing Service is offering a free transport service for residents who need help to get to their jab appointments.

Contact Essex Wellbeing Service on 0300 303 9988 or email 

The service has a list of taxi companies who can transport residents to and from appointments. They can arrange transport for residents free of charge if there is need. Callers will be asked to provide their booking reference or a screenshot of their appointment confirmation.

Volunteers sought

Volunteers are being sought to steward or provide administrative support at vaccine centres and walk-in clinics to help with the Covid-19 vaccination and booster programme across Essex.

Complete an online form for Essex Wellbeing Service at:

Covid data

In Essex, there were 9,277 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the seven days to December 9. This data was released on December 14. 

There were 201 people in Essex hospitals with Covid at 8am on December 13, up 27% on the previous week but down from the peak of 1,441 in January 2021. Hospital admissions, diagnosis and occupancy is expected to have a four to eight week lag time behind community cases.

In England, the latest figures show that 236,000 state-school pupils were absent due to Covid on December 9, representing 2.9% of pupils. This is a rise from November 25 when the number was 2.6%.

Some 3,000 pupils were out of school as a result of school closures.