(Graphic: Mark Hall / JPIMedia)(Graphic: Mark Hall / JPIMedia)
(Graphic: Mark Hall / JPIMedia)

Covid cases UK: where infections are rising fastest as people urged to get flu and booster jabs

The government is hoping to avoid another lockdown this winter by relying on Covid booster and flu jabs to keep infections under control

Health Secretary Sajid Javid is urging people to come forward for their flu and Covid-19 booster vaccines ahead of winter.

The call to get vaccinated comes in a bid to keep infections under control over the colder months and prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed.

More than 35 million people in England are eligible for a free flu vaccine, while around 28 million will be invited to receive a third dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

The booster jabs are being rolled out to those who were in the priority groups for the main vaccination programme, following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), and must be given no earlier than six months after the second dose.

The government is hoping to avoid bringing in stricter rules this winter by relying on the booster programme, but has warned a ‘plan B’ may be brought in if efforts to control the spread of the virus are not effective.

However, with lockdowns and social distancing helping to keep flu at bay last year, England’s deputy chief medical officer has warned that there may not be as much natural immunity as normal.

As such, the spread of flu this winter is likely to be greater than usual, with Professor Johnathan Van-Tam stressing that the public need to prepare for a season where both flu and Covid-19 will be co-circulating.

The warning comes as coronavirus infection levels are gradually beginning to drop in some parts of the UK, with rates falling from 357.1 cases per 100,000 people in the week to 25 September to 340.9 in the week to 2 October, marking a drop of 4.5%.

Despite the decline, 43% of areas still recorded an increase in cases week-on-week, with rates up in 162 out of 380 local authorities.

But which parts of the country are seeing the biggest increase in rates right now? Listed are the areas of the UK with the fastest rising coronavirus rates, based on cases per 100,000 people from the week to 2 October. Images are for illustrative purposes.

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