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Preston’s coronavirus rate rises and Prime Minister insists Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is safe to have

Posted on - 15th March, 2021 - 7:37pm | Author - | Posted in - Fylde News, Health, Politics, Preston News, Ribble Valley News, South Ribble News, Wyre News
A tribute to key workers in Avenham and Miller Park with spring colours Pic: Tony Worrall
A tribute to key workers in Avenham and Miller Park with spring colours Pic: Tony Worrall

Preston’s coronavirus infection rate has risen and the city remains in the top 10 areas of England for infection rates.

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Latest confirmed coronavirus cases show 28 new cases reported in Preston during Monday (15 March).

South Ribble recorded 13 new cases for the same day.

Wyre was up by seven cases, Chorley with 13, Ribble Valley reported eight and Fylde is up by nine.

Preston’s Covid infection rate is now 144.6 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to March 11, up from 137.6 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to March 4.

The city has the seventh highest rate in England and is more than double the average rate in England which is 58.4 cases per 100,000 people.

See the latest coronavirus cases and information near you

Data for the most recent four days (March 12-15) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.

South Ribble’s infection rate also increased, to 118.2 up from 96.6 for the same two date periods as Preston.

Wyre’s rate is below the England average at 41.9, with a slight increase from 40.1.

Fylde is at 60.7, down from 95.3 and Ribble Valley’s rate increased to 85.4, from 73.9.

Chorley’s rate is 78.7, up from 58.4.

Read more: See how Preston and South Ribble’s infection rates have changed in early March

Prime Minister defends use of AstraZeneca vaccine

Germany, France and Italy have paused injections with the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid vaccine.

The decision by the European governments comes as the European Medicines Agency said the benefits of the vaccine outweighed any risk of side effects.

“While its investigation is ongoing, EMA currently remains of the view that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing Covid-19, with its associated risk of hospitalisation and death, outweigh the risks of side effects,” the regulator said.

The Prime Minister was asked directly if he could tell the public that the AstraZeneca vaccine was safe.

He said: “Yes, I can. In the MHRA we have one of the toughest and most experienced regulators in the world.

“They see no reason at all to discontinue the vaccination programme… for either of the vaccines that we’re currently using.”

See the latest coronavirus vaccine figures and information near you

The German government said it was suspending its use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine as a “precaution” and on the advice of its national vaccine regulator.

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Germany has received slightly more than three million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and only used 1.35 million doses so far.

French president Emmanuel Macron said France was also suspending use of the vaccine as a precaution and Italy’s medicines regulator announced a temporary ban.

Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines

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