Impact of vaccine on hospital admissions in Hertfordshire ‘slower than anticipated’, says report

By the end of the month there are plans for two further vaccination centres in Hertfordshire

The impact of the Covid-19 vaccination programme on hospital admissions in Hertfordshire has been “slower than anticipated”, according to a new report.

A network of six large vaccination centres are at the heart of the county’s vaccination programme, alongside hospitals, pharmacies and GP surgeries.

And health officials in the county are already inviting residents aged 65 and over and those with underlying health conditions (aged 16 to 64) to take up the jab.

Impact of vaccine on hospital admissions in Hertfordshire ‘slower than anticipated’, says report

By the end of the month (March) there are plans for two further vaccination centres – as increasing numbers of residents will be asked to return for their second dose.

But according to a new report – said to be ‘accurate as of February 26’ – the impact of the vaccine on hospital admissions in the county, has been “slower than anticipated”.

It states: “There still remains pressure on Hertfordshire hospitals most notably the high number of Covid-19 patients in critical care.

“The vaccine is having an impact in reducing the number of hospital admissions, but is slower than anticipated.

“Numbers in critical care and the levels of severity are still a concern.”

According to the report the extension to those ‘shielding’ will add to the pressure on health partners.

And, it says, there will be “new challenges” in managing and supporting those patients with ‘Long Covid’.

The report is due to be presented to a meeting of the county council’s resources and performance cabinet panel on Friday (March 12).

It says that ‘lockdown’ has resulted in a “significant decrease” in the number of Covid-19 cases.

But, ‘as of February 26’, it says numbers are still higher than in September last year and that the rate of decline is slowing.

It says the ‘Kent’ B1.1.7 variant is the predominant type, ‘but thankfully the vaccines continue to prove effective’.

The meeting of the resources and performance cabinet panel – which begins at 10am on Friday, March 12 – can be viewed at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/watchmeetings.