NEARLY two-fifths of all adults in Cumbria have now received a Covid-19 vaccine.

Cumbria County Council data shows that 37 per cent of the region's adult population has now received their first dose of the vaccine, slightly above the average for England. Over 95 per cent of those aged over 70 have received their first dose.

As new Covid-19 cases in Cumbria in week ending 26 February fell 34 per cent (556 to 368), data on the progress of the vaccination programme in the county has now been published for the first time.

Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said: “I’m pleased we have been able to publish data about vaccination rates this week for the first time. It’s important that the public can see this information and it underlines that the vaccine roll-out is going incredibly well across the county. There has been a huge effort lead by the NHS and it really is no mean feat to have vaccinated over 150,000 people in the time we’ve had.

“In combination with the continued drop in new cases I’m encouraged about the progress we are making.

“But I’m very conscious that schools will welcome all pupils back next week and that is a major change. We’ll be watching the data very carefully to see what impact, if any, this has on infection rates. It remains really important that people stick to the COVID-19 restrictions and follow all the hygiene and physical distancing advice, it really does make a difference.”

While new cases dropped significantly overall, infection rates in Allerdale and Copeland remained above the England average with Allerdale recording the greatest number of new cases for the second week in a row.

Hospitalisations continued to drop in week ending 2 March with the number of new patients admitted with COVID-19 Positive status decreasing in both North Cumbria Integrated Care (NCIC) and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMB) by -52 per cent and -16 per cent respectively.