AS THE Government triumphs in giving over 15 million people their Covid-19 vaccine so far, has this helped bring down the rate of infections?

That was what Royal Borough councillor Samantha Rayner (Con: Eton & Castle), deputy leader of the council, asked at an outbreak engagement board meeting on February 15.

As lockdown continues to grip the UK, the Royal Borough and Slough have seen their weekly infection rate per 100,000 population fall exceptionally.

According to the Berkshire Public Health Covid dashboard, the Royal Borough has a rate of 107 and Slough 246.8 per 100,000 as of February 10.

Royal Borough Covid-19 chart as of Feb 10

Royal Borough Covid-19 chart as of Feb 10

Slough Covid-19 chart as of Feb 10

Slough Covid-19 chart as of Feb 10

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Speaking at the meeting, councillor Stuart Carroll (Con: Boyn Hill), who is also an epidemiologist and on the UK’s vaccine taskforce, said: “I think at this point, it’s too early for us to quantify, qualify reductions as a vaccine impact.

“It may be, at this point, contributing to some extent because people with immunity, particularly people who had the second dose and even those who had the first dose, will be exhibiting some immune response and some immunity of the extent to which that is curtailing transmission and then to the extent it’s having an impact on case count is too early to say.

“As to when that vaccine impact should pull through, I think that’s dependent on when we get the next series of cohorts vaccinated and to the extent of which the emerging data gives us confidence the vaccines are not just protecting the individuals but also curtailing transmission.

“The emerging evidence is looking positive that the vaccines do have an impact on transmission – but until we’ve got a better handle on that from a scientific point of view, it’s too early to say.

READ MORE: Coronavirus in Berkshire round up - Monday, February 15

“The more people we get vaccinated, the harder it is for the virus to spread and that will have a positive impact in reducing overall case count.”

According to latest figures published by NHS England, Frimley Health and Care ICS, which oversees Frimley Park, Wexham Park, and Heatherwood hospitals, have collectively vaccinated over 126,200 people as of February 11.

In total, the South East has vaccinated nearly 1.8 million people so far.