Vaccine rollout ploughs on – although hospital numbers rise

Doctore Parikh with the Pfizer vaccine Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

There is a call for volunteer stewards at two Stowmarket vaccine sites. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The Covid-19 vaccination rollout in Suffolk and north Essex is continuing to plough on, although the number of hospitalised patients has risen slightly.

Overall, 633,739 people in Suffolk and north east Essex are now fully-vaccinated against the virus as of August 15 – with the numbers for each age bracket continuing to rise.

East Suffolk is leading the charge, with 80.5% of all over-16s having received both jabs, with Mid Suffolk and Babergh following suit at 79.2% and 78.9% respectively.

The areas with the lowest uptake so far are Ipswich and Colchester, where 65.9% and 66.8% of adults respectively are now fully-vaccinated. Both numbers are much higher than other urban centres, including nearby Norwich at 60.3%.

Walk-in Covid vaccines are available across Suffolk and north Essex

Walk-in Covid vaccines are available across Suffolk and north Essex - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Talks over young people choosing not to take the vaccine has been prevalent across the country in recent weeks, although the region is faring well compared to much of the nation with 74% of those aged 18 to 29 having received one dose.

The number who have received both doses stands at 38.5%, significantly higher than some parts of the country in the Midlands and the north east.

Nationally, 2.5million young people in England have not had a first dose of a vaccine as of August 18.

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The number of people battling coronavirus in the region's hospital has risen by 17%, from 47 to 55 as of August 17. Of those, 50 patients were in either Ipswich or Colchester hospitals – a rise of 10 – while the West Suffolk Hospital figure dropped from seven to five.

The number of people requiring mechanical ventilation has dropped however, with the figure dropping from eight across all three hospitals to five. No-one was on a ventilator at West Suffolk Hospital as of August 17.

In terms of so-called "booster" jabs a decision is expected to be made "imminently" on who would qualify.

Professor Adam Finn, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, said: “I think there’s enough evidence, and I think we’ll be imminently deciding, that there will be some people who will need a third dose, particularly people who we know are very unlikely to be well protected by those first two doses.

“But I think we do need more evidence before we can make a firm decision on a much broader booster programme.”

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