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Vaccine roll-out in Kent slows ahead of Freedom Day with coronavirus cases on the increase

With two days to go until the much-anticipated 'Freedom Day' figures show Kent's vaccine roll-out has dramatically slowed in recent weeks.

Cases of Covid-19 have soared across the county, fuelled by the Delta variant, although hospital admissions have risen at a far slower rate, suggesting the jabs programme's effectiveness.

But ahead of Monday's lockdown lifting analysis by KentOnline shows the week-on-week increase in injections has plummeted since the start of June.

On the week ending June 6 104,585 first and second doses were administered to adults in the county.

The latest available data shows that figure has fallen every week since and in the week to July 11 just 47,620 jabs were administered.

Just over one in 10 adults in Kent are yet to receive the vaccine and NHS England data shows a third of 40 to 49 year olds are yet to receive a second dose.

Data for second doses among younger age groups is unavailable but figures show 39% of 18 to 24 year olds are yet to receive a jab.

That compares to 36% of 25 to 29 year olds, 24% of 30 to 34 year olds, 19% of 35 to 39 year olds, 10% of 40 to 44 year olds and 15% of 45 to 49 year olds.

The NHS has today send a text to people across the county urging them to head to a walk-in centre this weekend if they need a jab. A map of centres can be viewed here.

The number of people being vaccinated in Kent has fallen dramatically in recent weeks.
The number of people being vaccinated in Kent has fallen dramatically in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, 3,637 new cases were recorded in Kent and 583 in Medway in the seven days to July 11, an increase of 47% and 74% respectively but still far below the English average.

The vaccine programme started promisingly and England's figure was for a long time among the best in the world but is now below the global average.

Vaccine uptake has almost halved since the initial surge in enthusiasm, with under 30s appearing particularly hesitant.

The lull in bookings seems particularly pronounced since government announcements on a return to "normality" ahead of Monday's reopening.

Boris Johnson announced on Monday the delayed 'Freedom Day', where all restrictions will be lifted, will go ahead on Monday despite concerning increases in infections.

But he warned the pandemic was "not over" and said people should continue to wear face masks.

Businesses have been hit hard by a spiralling number of staff being told to isolate, putting some venues' reopenings in doubt.

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

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