Covid-19 case rates in Norfolk down by a quarter - as booster jabs extended
- Credit: Danielle Booden
Coronavirus case rates in Norfolk have fallen by more than a quarter, with every district in the county seeing a reduction in rates.
Latest figures show that, in the seven days up to Tuesday, November 9, Covid-19 case rates in the county dropped from 408.3 cases per 100,000 people to 299.7 cases per 100,000. That was a 26.6pc drop.
That means Norfolk's rate is below the England average of 342.3 cases per 100,000 and the East of England average of 350.9 per 100,000.
The biggest fall in Norfolk was in King's Lynn and West Norfolk, where rates dropped by 34.8pc, from 459.5 cases per 100,000 to just under 300.
Broadland has the highest case rates, but those dropped by 31.6pc, from 489.6 cases per 100,000 to 335.
Norwich's fall from 375.6 cases per 100,000 to 306.7 was an 18.4pc decrease, while South Norfolk case rates tumbled by just under 30pc, from 416.6 cases per 100,000 to 293.6.
Great Yarmouth was down from 312.5 cases per 100,000 to just over 289 - a 7.4pc drop, while there was a 25.5pc fall in Breckland. Case rates there went down from 392.2 per 100,000 to 292.4.
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Case rates in North Norfolk dropped 27.5pc, from 377.5 per 100,000 to 273.9, while South Norfolk saw a 29.5pc decrease, from 416.6 per 100,000 to 293.6.
The average number of daily new cases in those seven days was 402.3, compared to 451.1 for the previous seven days - a decrease of 10.8pc.
The total number of people tested for Covid-19 in the seven days leading up to Saturday, November 11 was 39,310, compared to 40,514 in the previous seven days, a fall of 3pc.
As of Thursday, November 11, there were 81 people in Norfolk's hospital who had tested positive for Covid-19, eight of whom were in critical care.
The latest statistics come as health officials announced the Covid-19 vaccine booster programme is to be extended to include healthy 40 to 49-year-olds.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said all adults over the age of 40 should be offered a booster, six months after their second dose.
It has also said that 16 and 17-year-olds should come forward for a second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab - which should be given at least 12 weeks after the first.
The JCVI said that the broadening of the booster campaign and the offer of a second jab to 16 and 17-year-olds will "help extend our protection into 2022".
So far, some 12.6 million people have had a third Covid-19 jab.
The JCVI said people should be offered the Pfizer or Moderna jab as a booster, irrespective of which vaccine they had initially.
A new study highlighted how boosters can significantly increase people's protection against getting a symptomatic case of Covid-19.
Two weeks after getting their booster, adults over 50 had at least 93pc reduced risk of getting a symptomatic case of Covid-19, according to a study from the UK Health Security Agency (UKSHA), while protection against more severe disease and death is expected to be even higher.
Professor Wei Shen Lim, chair of Covid-19 immunisation for the JCVI, said: "Booster vaccine doses in more vulnerable adults, and second vaccine doses in 16 to 17-year-olds are important ways to increase our protection against COVID-19 infection and severe disease. These vaccinations will also help extend our protection into 2022.
"If you are eligible, please make sure to have these vaccines and keep yourselves protected as we head into winter."
Earlier on Monday, government minister Oliver Dowden said the vaccination programme offers the best assurance that further Covid-19 restrictions will not be needed over Christmas.
The Conservative Party chairman told Sky News: "It is in our hands. If you get the booster when the call comes that is the biggest wall of defence that we have against Covid.
"I am confident that if we stick the course, people take the boosters when they are asked to do so, that vaccine wall will hold up and we will be able to have a decent Christmas this year.
"There are no plans to stop Christmas happening. The huge difference this time is the vaccine."