York’s Covid-19 vaccination programme is “definitely helping” to reduce hospital admissions and the severity of illness.
But health bosses warn younger people and those who have already been vaccinated are still at risk of infection.
And residents are still falling ill – particularly people aged 20 to 40 – and outbreaks have still been seen in care homes where people are vaccinated.
“We are not there yet,” warned Dr Nigel Wells, chair of the CCG. “We need to stay safe and follow the rules and if we do that, we will all get through it together.”
Michelle Carrington, director of nursing at the CCG, said: “We are not vaccinated until we are all vaccinated.”
96% of 0ver-65s vaccinated
A total of 96% of people in York aged 65 and over have now had the first vaccine, it has been revealed.
The latest estimates show that in York 37,191 people in that age group have had the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
In Ryedale the figure is 95.9%, in Selby it is 97.6% and in Harrogate it’s 95.1%.
‘Not out of the woods’
Michelle added: “We can see the affect on hospital admissions and the severity of illness with vaccination. It’s getting us nearer to where we need to be.
“The hospital is starting to swap their Covid wards back to non-Covid wards.
“But we are not out of the woods yet.”
Residents have begun to receive their second doses of the vaccine in York and the CCG is also working to vaccinate members of the traveller community, homeless people and groups from different ethnic backgrounds.
York’s Covid rate has fallen again after a slight rise. On Thursday the rate was down to 53.2 per 100,000.
Sharon Stoltz, York’s director of public health, said: “We can have confidence that our infection rates are falling.
“The age groups that are driving infections are in the 20s, 30s and 40s. They are not groups in the current vaccination cohort.
“Vaccination is definitely helping. With the older age groups it’s helping in terms of hospital admissions, we can start to see those falling.
“But we must continue to get the message out about infection control. Even for people who have been vaccinated, those measures are really important.
“We need to balance message of hope with the fact that we are still living with a pandemic.”
“There is lots to celebrate but we need to continue to push those important behavioural health messages.”