The Covid-19 infection rate in Kirklees is continuing to rise but another vaccination milestone has been reached.

More than 400,000 jabs have now been delivered to Kirklees people. Local teams have now vaccinated 247,603 people and given 167,826 people their second jab, taking the total to 415,429 doses.

Kirklees’ infection rate is one of the highest in the country and is rising. With 118 people per 100,000 in Kirklees testing positive for Covid-19 over the last seven days, the borough’s infection rate has increased by 9% since last week. The national average is 32 people per 100,000.

Alongside the roll-out of the vaccine, deaths and hospitalisations have been steadily falling and are remaining at a much lower level.

There was one death in local hospitals related to Covid-19, which is the same as the previous week. There were 10 people admitted to those hospitals in that time, down from 12 the previous week.

However, cases of the Covid-19 variant first detected in India, have been identified in Kirklees and infection rates are rising.

Surge testing is underway and is to be expanded into new areas next week, according to Kirklees Council.

A number of temporary pop-up vaccination clinics have also been opening – starting from this week – initially targeting areas that have lowest take up of the vaccine, higher rates of infection and a population at greater risk of serious illness.

Rachel Spencer-Henshall. Picture by: MIKE CLARK, Small Photos

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, strategic director for public health at Kirklees Council, said: “Our Covid-19 infection rate is high and it’s continuing to rise.

“Thankfully we’re not currently seeing this impact our numbers of deaths and hospital admission caused by Covid-19 but if we continue to see our infections increase, this may very quickly change.

“We have an opportunity right now to prevent our situation from worsening and that’s why we’ve put our surge testing and increased vaccine plan in place. I’m urging everyone to play their part so we can reduce our infection rate and get Kirklees safely through the roadmap out of lockdown.

“Get a PCR test as part of our increased testing and surge testing offer and help us detect and isolate positive cases so we can prevent further infection.

“Every vaccination matters. The more people that take it, the safer we all are and the sooner we can get back to normality. You’ll be contacted when it’s your turn.”

The John Smith’s Stadium vaccination centre

On the vaccination milestone Steve Brennan, senior responsible officer for the Kirklees vaccination programme, said: “Yet another incredible milestone has been reached as over 400,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have now been given to people in Kirklees.

“Reaching this milestone is down to months of hard work from everyone in the NHS, local authority and voluntary and community organisations who have played a role in this and are helping to protect thousands of local people.

“During Volunteers’ Week I’d also like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has given up their time to help make this happen – we really couldn’t have done it without you.”