Harrogate Hospital coronavirus death toll rises to 104 ahead of vaccine roll-out

A further four lives have been lost to Covid-19 at Harrogate Hospital.

Monday, 7th December 2020, 10:29 am
Updated Monday, 7th December 2020, 10:32 am

NHS England figures published over the weekend show two deaths happened at the hospital on Friday and one each on Thursday and Saturday to bring its toll up to 104.

It comes as the district's weekly infection rate has risen slightly from 85 cases per 100,000 people to 95 - although health officials have said the figures are volatile and urged people to look at the overall trend of decline.

The latest infection rate is below the England average (147) but still remains much higher than it was at the end of August (11).

Four more coronavirus deaths were added to Harrogate Hospital's toll over the weekend.

This week the UK is set to launch the largest scale immunisation programme in the nation's history.

Dr June Raine, chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which approved the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, said there should be "real confidence" in the rigour of their approval.

Vaccinations will be administered at hospital hubs from Tuesday - with people aged 80 and over, care home workers and NHS workers who are at higher risk the first to receive the jab.

On Sunday, NHS England's medical director Prof Stephen Powis, said the vaccine was "the beginning of the end" of the epidemic in the UK - but warned its distribution would be a "marathon not a sprint".

The deaths recorded over the weekend were where a patient either tested positive for Covid-19 or where no positive test result was received for Covid-19, but Covid-19 was mentioned on their death certificate.

NHS England releases updated figures each day showing the dates of every coronavirus-related death at hospitals in England, often including previously uncounted deaths that took place several days or even weeks ago.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter