Lincolnshire residents who have had their first COVID vaccine dose are around 70% protected from the coronavirus, local health bosses have said.
Around 63% of adults in the county have now had their first jab, with the latest data showing 303,445 doses in those over the age of 50. Nationally, more than 30.4 million people have had their initial dose.
However, cases have still been detected in places such as care homes that have already been vaccinated – with one in West Lindsey in Lincolnshire finding eight positives, but no serious symptoms or cases requiring hospital treatment so far.
Andy Fox, Lincolnshire County Council’s assistant director for public health, said the infections were expected.
“No vaccine has perfect efficacy,” he said. So you’d expect to see some positive tests.”
He added the PCR (48-hour) tests used for care home residents and staff were “very sensitive”.
However, he said it was good news the majority of cases in people vaccinated were asymptomatic or only mild.
National research, he said, showed efficacy between 60-70% after the first dose and 80-90% after the second — though some groups were showing close to 100%.
“These are people who perhaps would have been worried, pre-vaccination about getting seriously ill.
“It’s looking increasingly likely that the vaccines are giving good protection against the need to go to hospital for even the very elderly population and care homes.”
“As long as nobody’s getting seriously ill, it’s not particularly of concern because it proves that the vaccine actually is working and the rest of the people will have been prevented from getting infected at all which, of course, is the gold standard outcome that we want.”