Covid vaccine injections fall for the third day in a row in the East of England

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Charlie Frost

The number of people being given the first dose of the coronavirus injection in the East of England has declined for the third consecutive day.

More than 29,000 people were given their first jab on Tuesday which was the lowest daily number since Monday 18 January and less than half of the injections given on Saturday.

It comes as a health protection expert from the University of East Anglia has warned that conditions in deprived communities mean the rate of infection isn't falling as fast as it could be.

Across the Anglia region the number of people testing positive is declining, although the infection rate remains around 400 cases per 100,000 people.

Professor Paul Hunter said there were some areas where it wasn't dropping as quickly as it should.Professor Hunter said: "There are all sorts of reasons for this - multi-occupancy housing, people in jobs that mean they can't work from home and loads of issues like that."The death toll in the UK has now surpassed 100,000 with more than 12,000 people dying in the Anglia region

The number of people given the first vaccine dose in the East on England from Monday 18 January to Tuesday 26 January Credit: Data from NHS England

One of the ways to fight the spread of Covid-19 is more widespread testing to find people who are asymptomatic and could be spreading the virus without knowing.

A rapid test centre in Colchester has opened for that very reason.

Among those there today for a test are people who have already lost loved ones.

Ben Brown's father, Robert, died with Covid-19 just four days after getting his vaccination.

Ben said: "I was at my father's bedside when he died on Monday. He was on a Covid ward, so, although all the precautions were taken, I thought it best, obviously, for me to take the test. 100,000 sounds like just a figure but every one of those is someone's father or brother or husband and it just makes me angry that as a society we haven't followed the rules really." The site in Colchester is one of 13 in Essex offering lateral flow tests.

People can book online or on the phone, come in, take the swab and have a result emailed to them within an hour.

Colchester is one of 13 coronavirus lateral flow testing centres in Essex Credit: ITV News Anglia

So far 55,000 tests have been done in the county since the centres opened last month.The hope is that if people know their Covid status, they'll take precautions and bring down the infection rate.

Since March last year just over 12,000 have died with of Covid-19 in the Anglia region. Almost half of those deaths have been in the last three months.

Just a month ago a major incident  was declared in Essex, as critical care beds filled.

Back then, the districts in the county made up six of the top ten places with the highest infection rates. in England.

The infection rate per 100,000 people in the Anglia region peaked around the start of this latest lockdown at the beginning of the year and has nearly halved in the past three weeks.

However it is still three to four times higher than it was at the start of the second lockdown in November.

In Norfolk, contact tracing has been taken to the next level as the council checks in on people who have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive. Mike Da Silvio is head of the Covid Support Advisory Team in Broadland and South Norfolk.

He said: "We tell them the advice is there for a positive reason to ensure they stay safe and the community members and family members stay safe, so we do that in an advisory capacity.

"It's really down to the police if they want to take things further for being in breach of the regulations but we haven't had any of that occur."

It's hoped that result testing to people who have to go out to work will help break the chain of infection Credit: ITV News Anglia

The NHS reported on Wednesday that a further 172 patients had died with coronavirus in hospitals in the Anglia region.

Since the start of the year 2,725 patients have died in the Anglia region and a further 278 residents have died in care homes.

Positive tests for coronavirus are continuing to fall week by week. There were down by more than 9,000 in the week to the 23 January compared to the previous week.

The regional infection rate across the region was 389.9 cases per 100,000 down from 513.7 the week before. It is still slightly higher than the England average of 371.8

The highest infection rates in the Anglia region in the week to 23 January

  • Luton - 604cases per 100,000

  • Corby - 587 cases per 100,000

  • Tendring - 564 cases per 100,000

  • Northampton - 563 cases per 100,000

  • Harlow - 532 cases per 100,000

The lowest infection rates in the Anglia region in the week to 23 January

  • Rutland  - 185 cases per 100,000

  • East Cambridgeshire - 209 cases per 100,000

  • North Norfolk - 224 cases per 100,000

  • Babergh - 234 cases per 100,000

  • South Cambridgeshire - 240 cases per 100,000

The coronavirus case rate per 100,000 people in each county in the Anglia region Credit: Data from Public Health England