Written Evidence Submitted by Public Health England
Science and Technology Committee UK Science, Research and Technology Capability and Influence in Global Disease Outbreaks Inquiry - Delta Variant session
Thank you for inviting me to the recent Science and Technology Committee’s evidence session on the Delta variant on 16 June 2021. I agreed to provide additional information on two points, which I have outlined below.
Delta variant cases and COVID-19 vaccination uptake
The latest available data show that a total of 92,056 Delta variant cases were reported between 01 February 2021 and 25 June 2021. Of these, 53,822 cases had received no doses of vaccine, 6,242 cases occurred in people who had received one dose and the date of specimen was less than 21 days after vaccination and 13,715 cases were in people who had received one dose and the date of specimen was 21 or more days after vaccination. 7,235 cases of the Delta variant were in individuals who had received 2 doses of vaccine. A total of 11,015 Delta cases could not be matched to vaccination status.
Of the 91,732 Delta cases for which age was known, 54,792 cases occurred among those less than 30 years old. A total of 319 cases were excluded from this breakdown due to missing age or sex data.
Public Health England publishes the latest data on the SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and
variants under investigation in the England Technical Briefings. Data on the number of Delta cases are available by age-group and sex in in Figure 16 of the Variants of concern: technical briefing underlying data reports. These documents are available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/investigation-of-novel-sars-cov-2-variant-variant-of-concern- 20201201
Vaccine rollout and supply issues in Salford/Greater Manchester
I have followed up with NHS England and Improvement (NHSEI) colleagues regarding the questions raised about the rollout and supply of COVID-19 vaccination in the North West. NHSEI colleagues from the North West have advised as follows:
As of 22 June 2021, 72% of the adult population in Greater Manchester have had at least one dose of the vaccine (1.77 million people); 1.26 million people have now had both doses1.
There is no reduction in capacity in North West. Reaching some of the more hesitant population especially in areas of high deprivation requires continuous effort and community support – that is evident nationally, and in the North West and in Greater Manchester, including Salford. In the North West, there are higher than average deprivation, e.g. 11 of the top 20 most deprived local authorities nationally are in North West and it is a recognised challenge in Greater Manchester that community leaders, Directors of Public Health and NHS are working to resolve.
The NHS and Public Health systems are working hard and innovatively to respond to this challenge, as they have throughout the programme. This is being addressed by the further introduction of flexible initiatives in targeted areas, such as more walk-in and pop-up vaccination clinics; and extensive engagement programmes to target specific population groups, building on the successful trusted faces, voices and spaces initiatives.
Greater Manchester is one of the areas now designated as receiving enhanced support as a result of the high community rates of transmission of the Delta variant. This means that additional resources are now available to accelerate vaccinations, bringing forward second dose appointments and extending/expanding vaccination clinics, as well as support for more walk-in and pop-up sites.
I hope that this update is helpful to the Committee.
Prof. Susan Hopkins
MB BCh BAO (Hons) MSc FRCP FFPH(Dist) FRCPath(Hon) GMC 6087440
(28 June 2021)