Kirklees Council leader Shabir Pandor has thanked NHS staff and volunteers after receiving his first Covid-19 vaccine jab.

Clr Pandor had the jab on Friday and said: “It was quick and painless and I couldn’t thank our fantastic NHS workers enough.

“More than 140,000 people have now had at least their first dose of the vaccine in Kirklees and it does look as though we are already seeing early signs of its impact, with hospitalisations and deaths related to the virus significantly dropping in recent weeks.

“I urge everyone, when it’s your turn to take the vaccine, to book your appointment straight away. They are safe and are the key to us getting our lives back to some kind of normal.

“If you have already had your vaccine, please remember that you still need to follow all of the Covid-19 restrictions in place because the virus is still spreading in communities.

“Thank you to the remarkable NHS staff and volunteers who have made our fantastic start to the vaccine roll-out possible.”

The infection rate in Kirklees last week was 104 per 100,000 people, a drop of 26% on the previous seven days. The council has warned, however, that the infection rate in Kirklees remains one of the highest in the country.

Ruth Spencer-Henshall, the council’s director of public health, urged people to stay vigilant and added: “As a resident, your role is simple. Stay at home as much as possible until restrictions can ease and take the vaccine when it’s your turn.

“If you do this, you’re playing your part in keeping yourself safe as well as your family and your community.”