Vaccine bosses said COVID-19 will be similar to the common cold by next Spring, as booster jabs are launched across Lincolnshire — but daily numbers on Thursday are the highest since last November.
Government figures showed 493 new cases in Lincolnshire, 73 in North East Lincolnshire and 181 in North Lincolnshire. The 747 case total is the highest since November 12, when 873 cases were confirmed.
Six further deaths of Lincolnshire residents were also confirmed in the government figures.
NHS data showed six deaths in Greater Lincolnshire’s hospitals on Thursday with five at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust and one at Northern Lincolnshire And Goole NHS Trust.
Nationally, cases increased by 36,710 to 7,565,867 while deaths rose by 182 to 135,803.
Locally, the first booster jabs were given out in Grantham on Wednesday, while further doses will launch from the PRSA in Boston and Lincolnshire Showground on Friday.
Under 6,000 vaccinations were carried out last week as booster jabs begin in the county – but Lincoln’s MP and the government’s scientific experts have collided in their views over jabbing young people.
Vaccination data released on Thursday revealed that 1,113,804 doses of the jab had now been handed out in Lincolnshire.
There were 5,739 doses given out in the past week, 1,486 fewer doses than the previous week’s 7,225.
The designer of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has told a Royal Society of Medicine webinar that that COVID-19 will become less virulent over time and there was “no reason” to think it would become more.
“We normally see that viruses become less virulent as they circulate more easily and there is no reason to think we will have a more virulent version of Sars-CoV-2,” said Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert.
“We tend to see slow genetic drift of the virus and there will be gradual immunity developing in the population as there is to all the other seasonal coronaviruses.”
She was backed by Professor Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at Oxford University, who said: “If you look at the trajectory we’re on, we’re a lot better off than we were six months ago.”
“The pressure on the NHS is largely abated. If you look at the deaths from COVID, they tend to be very elderly people, and it’s not entirely clear it was COVID that caused all those deaths,” he told Times Radio.
“So I think we’re over the worst of it now and I think what will happen is, there will be quite a lot of background exposure to Delta.”
Elsewhere, the Moderna boss Stéphane Bancel told a Swiss newspaper that there was enough production of vaccines and booster shots to ensure the pandemic will be over in a year.
Coronavirus data for Greater Lincolnshire on Thursday, September 23
110,372 cases (up 747)
- 72,406 in Lincolnshire (up 493)
- 17,551 in North Lincolnshire (up 181)
- 20,415 in North East Lincolnshire (up 73)
2,331 deaths (up six)
- 1,707 from Lincolnshire (up five)
- 316 from North Lincolnshire (no change)
- 308 from North East Lincolnshire (up one)
of which 1,401 hospital deaths (up six)
- 858 at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (up five)
- 44 at Lincolnshire Community Health Service hospitals (no change)
- 1 at Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (no change)
- 498 in Northern Lincolnshire (NLAG) (up one)