One in eight people in the North East has had coronavirus – Chronicle Live

One in eight people in the North East have had coronavirus, new figures show.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that 12.5% of people of people in the North East tested positive for antibodies to Covid-19 in December 2020. This suggests they have been infected with the virus at some point.

Yorkshire and the Humber has the highest rate of infection. There, 16.8% of people tested positive, around one in six people.

The infection rate is lowest in the South West at 4.9%, around one in 20 people.

The North East figure is in line with the national average. Across England as a whole, around one in eight people have had the virus.

The analysis is based on blood test results taken from a randomly selected subsample of people aged 16 years and over in each region.

Separate data published by the Office for National Statistics last weeks showed that roughly one in 510 people living in the North East between March and December last year died of Covid-19.

The death rate where Covid was the underlying cause of death was 196.5 per 100,000 in the North East from March to December last year.

So far, more than four million people nationwide have received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, and more than half of those aged 80 and over have been vaccinated.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We’re on track to deliver our plan to vaccinate the most vulnerable groups by the middle of February, the groups that account for 88% of Covid deaths.”

Letters have been sent to those aged 70 and over, and the clinically extremely vulnerable, inviting them to get their vaccinations as the NHS begins roll out to the next two priority groups.

But in a sign of the challenges facing the vaccination programme, the PA news agency reports up to a fifth of staff in some care home groups have refused a coronavirus vaccine when offered.

More than 433,045 people have so far been vaccinated in the North East and Yorkshire, figures showed last week, but the number is already likely to be higher.

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