Positive covid rates in Thanet at lowest level in three months as vaccination programme increases

Covid vaccine (Image iStock/MarsBars)

Positive covid rates in Thanet are now at their lowest level since the end of October.

The government coronavirus dashboard shows a positive case rate of 158.5 per 100,000 people as of February 6 – below the UK average of 183.5.

For Thanet this is a drop in the seven day rolling rate of just over 54% on the previous week and a massive decrease on rates on December 20 which stood at 639 per 100,000.

As of February 9 there were 178 people with covid being cared for in East Kent hospitals. Of these 28 are on ventilation.

A year since the pandemic hit the UK, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel with a huge vaccination programme underway. Yesterday (February 10) Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the aim is for all those in the top nine groups to be vaccinated by the end of April.

Across the UK people vaccinated up to and including 10 February were:

First dose: 13,509,108

Second dose: 524,447

In Kent and Medway there have been 370,289 vaccines given as of February 7:

First dose

over 80 years 88,794

75-79 years 64,836

70-74 years 68,334

under 70 years 124,823

Second dose

over 80 years 16,377

75-79 years 278

70-74 years 203

under 70 years 6,644


Anyone aged 70 and over or on the Shielded Patients List (because they are clinically extremely vulnerable) who has not yet had a first dose vaccine can use the national booking system to book an appointment. You do not need a letter from the NHS. Members of the public not in these groups still need to wait for a letter.

You can book for yourself or on behalf of a relative. The person being vaccinated will need to be registered with a GP. You’ll need the name, date of birth and home postcode of the person being vaccinated. The person’s NHS number is helpful but not essential.
Book online at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/

If you can’t book online, you can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven-days-a-week. British Sign Language, text relay and interpreter services are available.

Preparing the vaccines at St Peter’s Church Hall

The national booking service cannot make appointments for GP services or home visits. GPs and their teams continue to invite people to local vaccination services and are prioritising going out to housebound patients who haven’t already been vaccinated.

If people over 70 or clinically extremely vulnerable, who have not yet had a first dose Covid-19 vaccine, want to use GP services they should now contact their GP practice. Members of the public not in these groups still need to wait to be contacted.

Given the evidence of Covid-19 inequalities increasing deaths amongst people with learning disabilities, the NHS in Kent and Medway has agreed to prioritise vaccinating the 9,500 people on GP learning disability registers.

Residents of care homes for people with learning disabilities are being vaccinated and those living independently or with family will be contacted via their GP service. The Community Learning Disability Nursing Team is providing a service to vaccinate adults with learning disabilities who are not able to attend a GP vaccine site.


There are four ‘variants of concern’ of the virus – where it has mutated, Three of these have been found in the UK, with the variant which originated in Kent the most wide sweeping since it was first identified in September.

The government is using surge testing and genomic sequencing to: monitor and suppress the spread of coronavirus and better understand new variants. Surveillance of the virus identified a small number of cases of the COVID-19 variant first identified in South Africa in localities across England, that cannot be traced back to international travel. Surge testing (door to door) was used in areas where this was identified.

This week Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock said the evidence is that the existing vaccines have some effect against new variants particularly preventing serious illness and mortality.

He added: “We’re working with the existing vaccine suppliers on potential booster jabs, targeted specifically at the new variants, to strengthen this protection further. We’re building on-shore UK capacity, including cutting edge mRNA technologies to give us the ability rapidly to develop and deploy vaccines against any new variants, or similar new diseases, in the future.

“We’ve entered into a new partnership with the vaccine manufacturer CureVac to develop vaccines that can be quickly adapted as new strains are identified just as we do for the flu vaccine every year.”


  1. The vaccination has had little impact on the figures for Covid 19 positives and deaths from the virus. The lockdown measures have after the PM’s ridiculous procrastination over setting a lockdown over Christmas.

    The other contributory factor is the world-wide infecting Margate variant of the virus. Another accolade for lovely Margate.

    The virus will be circulating for probably the next 10 years. The more it spreads, the greater the increase in mutations and the creation of new variants that will not be affected by the vaccines whilst pharmaceutical companies chase making revised vaccines to meet perhaps more deadly variants.

    All the vaccine does is dampen the current variants and to some extent prevent the disease from being a death sentence. The virus will still be transmitted and we are still living with a very dangerous disease.

    The illusion that somehow everything will be OK soon is an appalling illusion created by the government who without exception have handled this pandemic appallingly. We must all stay safe and FFS could people start wearing their masks properly and keep them sanitised?

    Some of you may wish to read this story from the esteemed British Medical Journal to put into perspective how seriously we have been let down by Johnson and co. https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4425?fbclid=IwAR2iWxToqHpp4nWJAwDAyM87EE6NbD0AdympQrNMXSkPEgH4Pa8bZ_C8ONc

    • I can see the point of wearing a face-covering in a crowded place but not when you’re just walking down an uncrowded street.

      I don’t see the point of insulting Margate.

      • There are a lot of things you don’t see or do you think people living in pest-infested households, chronic poverty, environmental destruction by the Council, filthy streets etc. all behind an art washed facade isn’t insulting to many of the people who have to live there?
        Insulting people’s expression seems to be your stock answer to many things.
        Just give it a rest or if it is personal to me, message me and explain why you are so snide.
        On the issue of not wearing a mask walking down the street let’s hope that a carrier without a mask on doesn’t sneeze in your face.

      • Marva I worked in the nuclear industry, and the worst possible scenario would be air borne radioactive contamination, in which case we had to wear breathing apparatus if there had been an accidental excursion! I don’t see the distinction, the virus can be spread by someone in the street just as easily, and as in the case of radioactive contamination, a speck could kill you!

        • PS. Its wise to always wear a mask when out in the street, its been reported a third of people who have the virus don’t know they have it ie; they are carriers! This means they could be spreading it outdoors if they are not wearing a face covering, without knowing it! This is why you should also disinfect shopping trolley handles BEFORE using it, as the person before you may have contaminated it with the virus unknowingly!

  2. Just to add that the vaccination programmes success is down to the people working in the NHS and not dodgy mates of the PM and pals.

  3. The vaccination has had little impact *yet*, because it takes 3-4 weeks from vaccination to protection.
    The most effective measure (other than vaccination) is strict lockdown. The evidence clearly shows this to be the case.
    The “Kent” variant has probably spontaneously arisen all around the world. There is no evidence that the variant attributed to Kent has spread throughout the world.
    It is a very conservative comment to say that “All the vaccine does is dampen the current variants and to some extent prevent the disease from being a death sentence. “. This simply isn’t true.
    Nobody knows how long CV will be with us. Spanish Flu lasted a couple of years and then fizzled out. So did MERS and SARS. No one knows how long CV will be with us.
    Wearing face coverings is probably not very useful. Keeping social distance is much better.

  4. The figures shown above are meaningless because they need to be set in context. What are the vaccination figures per district,after all covid infection per District figures are released? How well has Kent+ Medway done? On figures I have seen they are 4th from bottom.
    Wales has completed vaccinating its first 4 tiers and the Govt were loudly saying they were tardy a few weeks ago, so it is clearly a case or tortoise and hare.
    On what basis Kathy,can you say that vaccinations are increasing? Where is this super vaccine hub for Thanet?
    Vaccinations can only increase if there are vaccines available, are they available? Astra -Zeneca have had or still have problems with bottling the vaccine and Pfizer is cutting deliveries now ,so that it can rebuild its production facilities in Belgium etc.There is also the cold chain for the Pfizer vaccine.If Kent + Medway CCG committed to taking Pfizer vaccine how well is their cold chain organised?
    Are there enough vaccination centres and why have they not continued to expand? This will be necessary, because in March all those mentioned above will require a second jab.Unless vaccination does expand, other groups cannot be vaccinated at pace.
    There is a lot in this article that is unsatisfactory and what we have here is spin using partial figures.
    Good journalism requires that facts are checked and put in context, not just paraded in a way that those in authority want them presented.

    • Vaccinations are increasing. There have been regular vaccination surgeries in Minster and St Peters and Ramsgate. More jabs are being done in Ramsgate tomorrow. The hub for Thanet is expected to open at the end of the month. Unfortunately vaccination figures are not broken down to district other than those we have done when reporting on surgeries that have been held. The table with Kent and Medway being low on roll out is meaningless because it does not take into account the vastly larger population the K&M has compared to others higher up the table – so those areas might have vaccinated a higher percentage but in actual numbers they have carried out less vaccinations. AstraZeneca deliveries are happening, Pfizer is less certain due to the work on the facilities (as previously reported).
      I would add that the lower rates are not meaningless, a direct comparison with December rates shows they are down and that is good news. Yes, the lockdown is responsible for that but vaccinations are what we have to tackle this virus and it is positive that people are getting their jabs.

  5. In that case regional figures are also meaningless, as the GOSE region doesn’t exist in real terms, but they trot those figures out time after time.As for for the Thanet hub, that got reported 3 times and yet now it is to be made ready at the ‘end of the month’. As for Kent’s performance, Northern Ireland is a little bit larger in population than Kent and yet it has started on the 50+ groups.Same applies to Wales.
    The truth is that vaccinations must increase to not less than 1m every day and Kent + Medway don’t have enough hubs in some districts.In march some of those who had the first jab will be requiring their second, so in simple terms you must cover those at the current 1/2m rate and to make progress at the same rate you will need another 1/2m jabs, that’s your million.
    You tell me, is the current vaccination scheme adequate?
    They have done well in Thanet,but that’s not the case everywhere. There are reports that GP’s are complaining that they cannot move to the next stage, because of waiting for elsewhere to catch up.
    You do the maths. Thanet has 3 GP hubs + Folkestone super hub. Whitstable is also nearby. Folkestone and District 5 + its super hub. Dover has 1 +Folkestone super hub. Soon according to your report Thanet will have 3 GP hubs and a super hub.Where would you increase the vaccination centres?
    Don’t you think the CCG needs to get its skates on?
    How do you know that Astra -Zeneca deliveries are on target? The Govt has indicated a problem with Wrexham and getting output from the vaccine batch testing system.
    We are doing well, Thanet is doing well, but that is not true everywhere.

    • Take heart in the fact that in the UK generally and Thanet in particular infection, hospitalization and death rates are at last plummeting, and vaccination rates are going up.
      There just might be a light at the end of the tunnel!

        • I don’t understand your comment.
          For over a year we have suffered the worst pandemic for a hundred years. UK deaths due to C19 are heading for double the WW2 civilian deaths.
          But in the last couple of months we’ve seen the introduction of a range of efficacious vaccines plus this lockdown is demonstrably lowering infection and death rates. If the rate continues to fall like this, by the end of this month the numbers will be down to single digit.
          So why the pessimism?

          • Because of continuing mutations and concomitant variants, and until globally all people or most people are vaccinated we will continue to live with Covid-19 like many other coronaviruses.
            Neither do we know the long term effects, if any, of the vaccines.
            We are currently participating in a necessary experiment.
            Too many people have died necessarily through complacency. My realist future forecast in informed by world-wide views of epidemiologists and indeed our own. Keep reading or keep the faith.

  6. God willing, and let’s hope people do not get complacent and thing that it’s all over it will be months before we are back to some form of normality

  7. Why the hell does it matter? With the laxity of border controls in the UK any virus mutation could, so far, have got here from almost any part of the world.

    • According to today’s ‘I’m newspaper, 21,000 people per day are coming into the UK. They’ve supposed to have a valid negative CV test certificate, but because there is no international standard for such things Border Force staff have no idea of these certificates are fake or not. They claim that they are identifying up to a 1000 a day that are obviously fake; they suspect many more are, too.
      Shut the borders to *everyone* irrespective of who they are or where they come from. Have enforced and supervised quarantine for all but a handful of exceptions.
      What’s the point in us enduring months of lockdown, getting the contagion under some sort of control, only to have it all set back weeks and weeks because someone’s brought in a virulent mutation from somewhere else?

      • Clare, I guess Marva was wondering what difference it makes whether the B117 variant was identified in Kent, or more specifically in Margate.
        I still don’t understand the point of your first post. You make all sorts if doom laden (and largely inaccurate) comments. What were you actually trying to say?

  8. Why the rush to vaccinate those that have had Covid ?
    They have immunity for 6 months, probably a lot longer. After Covid you will have antibodies and first jab will act as a booster so why need for second dose?

      • Surely if you have had Covid you could drop down the priority list? Workers in care sector are being urged to get vaccinated even when they have had Covid.

        • From the BBC:
          “I’ve already had Covid-19, do I still need to get vaccinated?

          Yes, it’s really important to get the vaccine, even if you’ve already had Covid-19. You may have some level of immunity if you’ve had the disease, but this varies and may not last long. The MHRA has considered the issue and decided that getting vaccinated is just as important for those who have already had Covid-19 as it is for those who haven’t.”
          Hope this helps.

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