Almost everyone over the age of 75 in York has now had a Covid vaccination, new figures show.
Meanwhile, the city is currently free of the South African variant of coronavirus.
The double dose of good news came at a Covid update delivered by director of public health at City of York Council Sharon Stoltz.
She told councillors that an estimated 100% of people aged 75 to 79 have now had their first dose of the Covid vaccine. And 99.7% of people over 80 have received their first dose (11,334 in total).
Additionally, 52.9% of residents aged 70-74 have received their first dose, she said – that’s 5,495 people.
In York’s care homes, 739 people 65 and over have received their first dose.
City GPs have the highest rate of vaccination coverage in the region, Ms Stoltz said.
South African variant
York experienced its high peak of the third wave in early January partly due to the more infectious Kent ‘new variant’, Ms Stoltz said, saying: “This variant is responsible for 81% of the positive cases in York”.
At one point the city had the highest rates in the Yorkshire and Humber region.
But York is now on a steady downward trend and has just started coming down from the peak.
There has not been any cases of the South African variant in York, the meeting heard.
As we reported last week, there were two cases identified in Scarborough that have been linked to travel. The two cases have been contained and there is no further threat of the variant at the moment in York.
Ms Stoltz said: “It’s important to recognise that the vaccines are effective against both of these variants.
“Vaccines are intended to stop severe illness and death. Both of these vaccines are susceptible to the vaccines that we have”.
She also had some heartening news on hospital admissions.
As of 4 February there were 121 people with Covid-19 in general beds at York Hospital, and 13 in the intensive treatment unit.
“Fortunately, hospital activity is now starting to fall,” Ms Stoltz said – but there was still “a fairly steady number of patients in intensive care”.