Weekly New Forest Covid update: Six deaths as residents given reassurance over vaccine blood clot reports
SIX coronavirus deaths were reported in the New Forest in the latest weekly update as county health bosses reassure residents over the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
After countries including Ireland, France, Italy and Germany decided to temporarily suspend the use of AstraZeneca over concerns it had led to blood clots, Simon Bryant, the director of public health at Hampshire County Council, has said it is "safe".
AstraZeneca said 17 million people have received a dose of the vaccine and 37 cases of blood clots have been reported, writes Maria Zaccaro of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
Dr Bryant described the figure as “very small” and confirmed that this suggests people are as likely to get a clot if they do not have the vaccine as if they do.
He said: “It is right we monitor those and understand those. The vaccine is a safe vaccine and we are really supporting that roll out and it is protecting people’s lives so I’d really encourage everyone if they are offered the vaccination to take that up and that will help protect them from the impact of Covid.
“It is some very, very, very small side-effects which will be monitored and looked at but it is a safe vaccine.”
He added the UK has “strong safety mechanisms” both for approving the vaccination and looking at any side-effects.
Meanwhile, yesterday's (Tuesday's) seven-day report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that of the six deaths reported, one was in a care home and five in hospital. Last week the reported death toll was 10.
In the BCP Council area, which includes Christchurch, there were 14 fatalities recorded over the same seven days, compared with 23 the previous week and 31 the week before that.
Of the latest death toll across the conurbation, 10 were in hospital, two in care homes and one each at home and in a hospice.
The provisional figures from the ONS related to instances where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate up to 5th March but were registered up to 13th March. Previously reported numbers can change after being updated by the ONS.
According to separate government figures, the number of new weekly cases of Covid-19 in the New Forest on Tuesday was 42 – bringing the total so far to 6,013. The previous week was 56.
It gave an infection rate of 23.3 per 100,000 people – less than half the UK rate of 59.1. The highest rate was Kingston-upon-Hull with 170.9.
In the BCP conurbation the number of new weekly cases on Tuesday was 137 – down from last week’s level of 153. The rate per 100,000 people was 34.7.
The infection figures are for the numbers of people with at least one lab-confirmed positive Covid-19 test result in the preceding seven days.