Covid infection rates have surged across England since children returned to the classroom.
Official figures from the UK Government show infection rates increased by 13% between 31 August and 7 September, with positive infection rates per 100,000 people starting at 304.1 and then rising to 342.7.
As the UK’s chief medical officers recommend vaccinating children aged 12 to 15, NationalWorld’s analysis reveal where Covid cases have surged since children returned to school.
What are infection rates like in your local area?
According to the data, more than 4,000 neighbourhoods, or 60%, across England saw a rise in infection rates between the seven days ending 31 August and the seven days ending 7 September, covering the time children across the country returned to school.
Just over a third (36%) of neighbourhoods saw a drop in infection rates for the same time period.
You can explore the current rate of infection in your neighbourhood in the chart above, or click here to see a larger version.
The data is based on when tests were taken. Some pupils returned to school on Wednesday 1 September while the remainder went back on Monday 6 September. That means the most recent data will only reflect the first two days of testing after pupils in the second cohort returned.
Knutsford North in Cheshire East has seen the greatest increase in infection rates. The neighbourhood has seen seven-day infection rates rise 775%, from 62.7 on 31 August to 548.6 on 7 September.
Castle Donington in North West Leicestershire and Kirby Muxloe and Thurlaston in Blaby had the highest infection rates in the country as of 7 September, both recording more than 1,000 positive cases per 100,000.
Regionally, the North East and North West of England have seen the greatest increase in infection rates. The infection rates in the North East have surged by 23.9% while in the North West it has increased by 20%.
Only the South West has seen a fall in infection rates, with a 1.1% drop.
The country could be following the same pattern as Scotland, where infections skyrocketed after children returned to the classroom in August. At one point the country topped the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) European leaderboard.
When will children be vaccinated?
Earlier this month WHO told NationalWorld that Scotland’s increasing infection rate was a result of a younger, unvaccinated population – and that it could face an increase in deaths as a result.
While Covid symptoms in children are largely asymptomatic or mild, vaccination opened for those aged 16 and 17 in August.
The USA and countries in the EU including France, Spain and Italy are currently offering the jabs to over 12s but the UK has been more hesitant.
The country’s vaccine advisory body, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), recently said that it would not support healthy children aged 12-15 being vaccinated due to their low risk of falling ill from the virus.
However, the UK’s four chief medical officers announced today (13 September) that children aged 12 to 15 should be offered one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Vaccinations have so far only been offered to children aged 12 to 15 who are at higher risk from coronavirus or who live with someone who has a suppressed immune system.
Across England, nearly 800,000 under-18s have now received their first vaccine and around 158,000 have received a second dose, as of 5th September.
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