COVID-19 cases double in a week due to rapid spread of Indian variant

Katherine Johnston (13 June, 2021)

Hospital admissions remained steady - pointing to success of vaccination programme in preventing severe illness

35313Picture of the coronavirus

COVID-19 cases more than doubled in the first week of June in Southwark, a growth believed to be partly due to the rapid spread of the Indian variant of the virus. 

The Indian variant is believed to be about 60 per cent more transmissible than the Kent variant, which has been the dominant strain of the Coronavirus in the UK since it was first identified last year.

In the same period hospital admissions and bed occupancy in the borough remained stable, pointing to the success of the vaccination programme. 

In the week up to June 4 there were 211 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the borough. 

The seven-day incidence rate was 66 per 100,000 people, an increase of 137 per cent compared with the previous week. 

Across London most boroughs now have rates above 25 per 100,000, with Lambeth recording the highest rate in the same seven-day timeframe; at 81 per 100,000.

In Southwark, over 139,000 people registered with a GP have now received their first dose and nearly 83,000 have had the second jab. 

Research shows that the first jab provides a good level of protection from about three or four weeks after it is administered, but a second dose is also needed for it to be as effective as possible and to provide lasting protection. 

There are also concerns that vaccines are less effective at guarding against symptomatic illness from the Kent variant. 

Early research predicts that the first dose of the jab is around 34 per cent protective against this strain of the disease, rising to 81 per cent after receiving both jabs – on a par with other vaccines.

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