Cumbrians reassured about AstraZeneca vaccine as new COVID-19 cases drop

Cumbria Council have said today that the recent announcements relating to the AstraZeneca vaccine are not anticipated to significantly affect the vaccine roll-out programme in the region.

Figures up to week ending 1 April show almost two thirds of eligible Cumbrians having had their first vaccine dose.

Easing lockdown restrictions from 12 April will see non-essential retail reopen along with outdoor opening of hospitality venues. Social contact rules remain unchanged, people can still only meet in groups of up to 6 people, or two households, outdoors.

New COVID-19 cases dropped to 81 new infections recorded in week ending 2 April, down from 134 the previous week - similar to numbers last seen in September.

While there was some variation between districts, the infection rate in Cumbria , which is 16 in 100 thousand remains below the national average which is 38 in 100 thousand.

The number of patients in hospital and new admissions to hospital also decreased.

Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said:“The number of new cases remains low and that is excellent. Restrictions will ease a little more from Monday and I’d just ask people to remember to follow the social contact rules to help drive infections down even further."

The news about the AstraZeneca vaccine may be concerning, but I want to reassure people...that this is actually our medicines regulation system doing its job. Even for younger people the balance of risk is still strongly in favour of vaccination and because we have different vaccines have the flexibility to tweak the programme...If I am offered the AstraZeneca vaccine, I will certainly accept it.

Colin Cox, Director of Public Health, Cumbria