Covid vaccinations to begin in Milton Keynes this week after one worst weekends on record for new infections
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There were 226 positive tests over the two days - 135 on Saturday and 91 yesterday (Sunday). Sadly three more deaths of Covid patients at MK hospital have been recorded over the weekend.
This makes a total of 4,218 cases and 152 hospital deaths in the city since the start of the pandemic.
Nationally, the number of new cases has stabilised over the past week and the death rate has steadily decreased over the past few days.
But Milton Keynes, after months of dodging the high infection rates of neighbouring towns such as Luton and Northampton, started showing significant increases in its infection rate around the start of second lockdown a month ago.
Last week saw new cases in the city stabilise for a few days, but this weekend's surge.has dashed hopes that the worst was over.
Milton Keynes Mayor Andrew Geary said: "Cases are not really dropping in MK. In fact they are rising ...But at the same time the numbers nationally are now seeing quite significant reductions."
He added: "Whilst the reducing number nationally is obviously good news, it’s disappointing that MK doesn’t seem to be following that trend, or is somewhat behind the curve. For months we have either bucked the national trend or been ahead of the curve. We can only continue to follow the guidance and hope that things now stabilise."
This weekend the first batches of Pfizer vaccine arrived at 50 pilot hospitals in the UK. One of which is MK hospital, where staff have worked extra hours to prepare a vaccine programme.
The first jabs will be offered to people over the age of 80 who already have an outpatient appointment at the hospital. Elderly patients who are being discharged from the hospital will also be offered the vaccination,
Care homes will be invited to book their staff in and any spare vaccines will be offered to local healthcare workers at highest risk from Covid,
Everybody receiving the jab will be given an appointment for a second dose in three weeks’ time.
Nationally, GP surgeries are being put on standby to offer the vaccinations from from December 14. But rather than run clinics in each different surgery, groups of local doctors will operate more than 1,000 vaccination centres across England, the government has said.
.It is believed mass vaccination sessions at venues such as MK Stadium will not take place until next year.
In total, the UK has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine — enough to vaccinate 20 million people from a population of 67 million.
The liquid has highly complicated storage requirements, needing to be kept at minus 70 degrees Celsius.