Published — 12 February, 2021

Covid-19 vaccination progress – 12 February 2021


As we approach mid-February – where the government and the NHS had aimed to vaccinated the top four at risk groups from COVID-19 – I wanted to give you a further update on local and national progress.

First though can I thank the many hundreds of people who have come back with questions from my previous two updates.  I have tried to respond to these, and will respond to any more, as quickly as I can but I hope you appreciate that the volume of correspondence at the moment is extremely high.

Vaccinations progress.

In York and North Yorkshire as of Monday of this week there had been more than 175,000 vaccinations delivered to the most clinically vulnerable groups.

All residents and staff at eligible care homes have been offered the vaccine.
The top four priority groups amount to around 15 million people targeted for vaccination by 15 February are:

1. Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
2. Everyone aged 80 and over, frontline health and social care workers
3. People aged 75 and over
4. Those aged 70 and over and the clinically extremely vulnerable

With a few days to go until the mid Feb deadline, our local NHS leaders report they are on track. To even get near such a demanding target is a major achievement.

The government is looking to vaccinate the remaining five groups in phase one by May.  These groups are:

5. People aged 65 and over
6. People aged 16 to 65 years in an at-risk group
7. People aged 60 and over
8. People aged 55 and over
9. People aged 50 and over.

Once phase one is concluded, 99 per cent of those likely to be hospitalised or die from COVID will have been vaccinated.

Nationally, nearly 14 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Only the United States and China have vaccinated more people than the United Kingdom.

Local hospital admissions.

Bed occupancy with COVID-19 at Harrogate Hospital remains high and is only declining slowly.  This is because there are more people catching COVID-19 than before because of the increased transmissibility of the variant discovered in Kent in November.  It is also because, after nearly a year of fighting the virus, we have discovered more effective treatments for serious cases that might otherwise have been fatalities.

Despite the high levels of hospitalisation locally police in North Yorkshire have had to issue 113 fines last weekend of which six were in the Harrogate district.

Case numbers are continuing to go down in our area. As of last Monday, the Harrogate District number is 151 cases per 100,000 people. This is down 23 from the same time one week ago. The North Yorkshire average is 135. The England average is 211. The trend is clearly and strongly downwards, but the numbers show many people in our area are still catching it.

Your vaccination appointment.

The previous advice stands: please wait for the NHS to call you forward unless you are aged over 70 and have not received your first dose in which case you should contact your GP.

You will typically be contacted by letter but if you have registered another form of communication with your GP’s surgery then you may be contacted in that way.

While the remaining five phase one priority groups receive their first jab the top four groups who have received their first dose will be called forward for their booster dose.  The increased capacity provided by the national centres such as the one at Askham Bar will really help boost capacity during this phase to ensure that second doses and first doses can be completed simultaneously.

Getting to your appointment – a reminder of the opportunities.

There is plenty of parking at the Showground on Wetherby Road.  If you do not drive then the Harrogate Easier Living Project (HELP) may be able to assist and more information is available at http://www.helpharrogate.org.uk/.  Strict eligibility criteria apply.

The Harrogate Bus Company are running a new service from the bus station to the showground and back.  This service operates from 8am to 8pm and is free to use.  The bus sets off from the station at 10 to the hour and 20 past the hour.  It leaves the showground at 5 past the hour and 25 to the hour.  Full details are available on their website at www.transdevbus.co.uk/harrogate.

Vaccine scams.

There are a number of scams operating in our area and nationally and, to protect yourself from these, there are some simple pointers from ActionFraud.

  • coronavirus vaccines are only available via the National Health Service.
  • You will be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a GP surgery or pharmacy local to you to receive your vaccine.
  • the vaccine is free of charge. At no point will you be asked to pay.
    The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details.
  • The NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking password.
  • The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine.
  • The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips. 

If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk. Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726 which is free of charge.

If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

Political letters and leaflets.

My team and I have suspended delivering political newsletters during this lockdown as I do not believe volunteer political leaflet delivery is ‘an essential journey’.  My annual report has been delivered through the Royal Mail.  Some postcodes in Knaresborough, Boroughbridge and the surrounding villages cannot be covered by the Royal Mail postcode-based delivery scheme and so will be delivered by volunteers when the rules permit.  However you can view an electronic copy of my annual report here.

Thank you.

I will close as I did in my previous email by just re-iterating my thanks to all the staff and volunteers who are making the local vaccination programme happen so smoothly.  Whether it is through centre at the Showground, the mass site at Askham Bar or at the hospital, vaccines are being deployed at a record pace. The teams really are doing a great job. The feedback I am receiving from people who have had their jab strongly agrees.


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