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Doc Hines - Covid News & Views - 18th October 2021

Yet again the daily statistics have not been released at the usual time and will be delayed for some time. I am therefore only reporting the weekend figures. I will try to add todays when they do arrive.

The total tests done over the weekend were only reported on Saturday and were under 1 million but the numbers of tests positive have been over 40,000 each day. Sunday the total was 45,140. Sadly it looks as though we will reach 50,000 in the next few weeks. With 39k more positives in the last 7 days, it means the number has grown by 15% and the positive rate is back over 400 at 410.8 per 100k. There were 128 deaths reported on Saturday and a further 57 on Sunday. There were 852 deaths in the last week, a rise of 5%. It is almost a week since we saw any hospital data but on 12th October there were 915 admissions in a single day.

Immunisations figures are only rising very slowly. For first doses 49.39 million, that’s 85.9% and second doses are at 45.32 million or 78.8%. I feel some of the pressures to get immunised have wrongly been eased as people think the pandemic is nearly over. Despite the rising number of cases in teenagers, only 3.5% of 12-15 year olds have been immunised in Barking and Dagenham and 5.2% in Newham and Lewisham. In contrast Richmond to the West of London has managed 25%. Compared to the other London boroughs mentioned Richmond is considerably more affluent. I notice there are still about 4 million individuals who have not had a second jab. I would have expected to see this continue to decrease in number.

I enquired about my 3rd dose today as it’s more than 6 months since the second. I was told I must wait for an invitation to book. I am going to monitor this carefully because I notice the number of cars parked outside our local vaccination centre have considerably reduced in the last 2 weeks. We should not be slowing down, Perhaps, we all need a push to keep going with the vaccination programme. Let’s take every possible chance to encourage full immunisation for everybody eligible. Russia has admitted that they failed to encourage their citizens to have their sputnik vaccine. There is a great deal of vaccine hesitancy in the country. Although the Sputnik vaccine was shown to be 92% effective in early trials, but it never received WHO approval as a suitable vaccine. The fact that Russia has only got about 30% of their citizens double vaccinated may account that the number of daily deaths has exceeded 1000 /day, There were also 34,325 new cases reported today.

Tonight’s figures have just arrived in my in-box. The number of tests done remains consistent at just under 1 million. The number of positive tests has risen significantly to 49,156. A rise of 43K or 16% in the last week. Despite the fact I said it might take 2 weeks to reach 50,000 cases its quite possible it will be this week. This is worse than I anticipated and means we must not relax our immunisation programme. This third wave shows no sign of stopping it is now close to the second peak and could well go above the figures of last winter. I have no new advice, you must still use all available precautions, stay alert and sensible and you will stay safe. I would like to know of your experiences in being called for your third dose especially if delayed. All your comments and suggestions are read and sometimes gives me a lead for a future report

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