There has been a welcome fall in cases across England, and in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Ludlow. Rates however remain high. As always, we should view the trend with caution. Over the last few months, we have seen rates fall only to shoot up again very quickly. The latest data for Ludlow shows 31 cases in the week to 31 October, down from 97 two weeks earlier.
It is disturbing to see that the number of hospital beds occupied by patients with Covid has shot up in Shropshire, with 60 patients now in the county’s three main hospitals. There were just 22 unoccupied adult general and acute beds in the county on 2 November.
The vaccination rollout continues apace in Ludlow. If you qualify for a third jab, you’ll be called as soon as practical. Flu vaccine supplies seem to be slower coming through but, again, patients will be called as soon as practical.
On 2 November, there were 60 patients in hospital Covid at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princes Royal Hospital and one patient at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Gobowen. That’s a big increase (272%) on a month earlier when there were 22 patients. Seven patients were in mechanical ventilation beds on 2 November, up from two patients a month earlier.
The number of hospital patients in England with Covid increased from 4,652 to 7,510 (62% increase), with 859 in mechanical ventilation beds on 2 November.
We don’t have local data on whether those in hospital with Covid have been vaccinated or not. A report in the BMJ states: “Between December 2020 and July 2021 a total of 33 496 (84%) had not been vaccinated. It found that 5198 (13%) of these patients had received their first vaccine and 1274 (3%) their second.” There is still a local and national anti-vaxxer sentiment. Some anti-vaxxers assume that deaths within 28 days of a jab were the result of the jab. That is false science. There are many reasons why people might die over a month, especially if they were in the vulnerable category with significant health conditions. Others raise the issue of Yellow Card reports after vaccination. Yellow Cards report adverse reactions, everything from sore arms to significant allergic reactions and reactions not necessarily related to vaccination. Fullfact and Reuters rightly dismiss these arguments.
In Shropshire 86.9% of people aged 12 or over have had their first dose, 80.7% the second dose. In Ludlow, the statistics are 89.3% and 83.4%.
NHS England has been sending out messages encouraging those eligible to book a third jab. I have received a handful of emails from people concerned about having to travel long distances for vaccination. All those eligible at Station Drive and Portcullis surgeries will be able to get a third jab in Ludlow. There is no shortage of vaccine. The GPs and nurses, supported by volunteers, are working flat out. Patients are being called in priority order, so please be patient.
On flu vaccination, patients are being called in as soon as supplies are available.