Members received the Covid-19 Update on Infection Rates, Local Outbreak Plans, Vaccination Plan, and Test and Trace.
The current rate of infection was 59.7 cases per 100,000 people in Harrow. For the past 2 weeks the rate had been a broadly plateaued picture, albeit at high level. Harrow’s rate was currently the fourth highest in London (behind Hillingdon, Hounslow and Ealing); and nationally, the third highest of local authorities in England.
In the past 12 months, 674 Harrow residents had died from Covid-19.
The vast majority of the new cases in Harrow remained due to the new UK variant.
The Community Testing Programme had been extended to the end of June 2021, at the least. The key message remained to get tested twice a week.
The Council had developed an updated Local Outbreak Management Plan. In addition to topics in the previous plan, which largely focused on testing in various settings, the new plan covered inequalities issues in testing and vaccination, enduring transmission, monitoring and surveillance, supporting self isolation, community engagement and communications, enhanced contact tracing and Surge testing for variants of concern.
The plan also looked forward to the impact of coming out of lockdown and recovery but recognised risks associated with that. The plan would be posted on the council website in the coming weeks after it has been through the regional scrutiny.
Whilst Harrow’s overall uptake of vaccination to date had been high, the large percentage masked inequalities in the population with high uptake amongst White and Asian or Asian British populations (85-90%); uptake amongst Black or Black British population was 57%; and Mixed ethnicity was 72%.
Joint action across the Local Authority, local Practices and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) was being taken to understand the concerns about vaccination amongst the population, through engagement with community leaders, faith groups and promotion of vaccination through trusted local clinicians.
Members expressed their appreciation to the Council and partners for the high delivery of the vaccination programme, as well as testing.
Members asked whether “mix and match” of vaccinations could be done.
It was advised that the same dose would be maintained.
RESOLVED: That the update be noted.