Vaccines 'saving lives and preventing hospitalisation' in Kirklees as infection rate rises

The number of Covid-19 patients in hospital in Kirklees remains low despite a recent surge in cases and public health experts have credited the vaccine roll out.

An NHS worker prepares a dose of a vaccine in Bolton

The district has the seventh highest infection rate in the country, of 116.2 cases per 100,000 people, after 511 new cases were recorded over seven days, and last month the Government stepped in to provide surge testing and additional vaccine doses.

Public Health England (PHE) states 118 cases of the Delta variant, which is now the dominant variant in the UK, have been detected in the district and there have been 12,431 nationwide.

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But local hospitals have not seen a large increase in Covid-19 patients or deaths in recent weeks, as the latest figures show there were 14 people being treated for the virus Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust on June 1.

Professor Peter Kelly, PHE Regional Director for the North East and Yorkshire, said data shows vaccines are “saving lives and preventing hospitalisation” in Kirklees and other areas of the country, as two doses provide “a high degree of protection”.

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council, urged people to remain cautious and said the district’s infection rate is “continuing to rise”.

She said: “Thankfully we’re not currently seeing this impact on our numbers of deaths and hospital admission caused by Covid-19, but if we continue to see our infections increase this may very quickly change.

“We have an opportunity right now to prevent our situation from worsening and that’s why we’ve put our surge testing and increased vaccine plan in place.

“I’m urging everyone to play their part so we can reduce our infection rate and get Kirklees safely through the roadmap out of lockdown.”

She added: ““Every vaccination matters. The more people that take it, the safer we all are and the sooner we can get back to normality. You’ll be contacted when it’s your turn and anyone aged 30 and over in Kirklees can book their vaccination now.”

She is also urging people who have been vaccinated to continue to follow the Government guidance.

The council has conducted door-to-door testing and enhanced contact tracing, and offered the vaccine to all adults in the worst-affected areas of Kirklees.

It has also set up pop-up vaccination clinics in areas with the lowest uptake, and so far 244,000 people in Kirklees have had their first dose and 167,000 have had two.