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Community Connectors 18 March 2021
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Social media campaign targets false vaccine information

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has launched a new social media campaign to tackle false vaccine information online through a series of shareable videos and support from social media companies.

The main aim of the campaign is to counter the spread of misleading and false information through private messaging channels on social media. Trusted community figures will call for people to check content before they share.

DCMS has developed a toolkit with content designed to be shared via Whatsapp and Facebook community groups, as well as Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, to tackle false information spread through private channels. It follows concerns from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) of low vaccine uptake amongst some communities.

Download the check before you share toolkit

Lateral flow tests pass the test

On 10 March, the Government published new analysis showing lateral flow tests (LFDs) have a specificity – a measure of how good the test is at detecting true negative cases – of at least 99.9% when used in the community.
NHS Test and Trace has conducted the analysis of rapid testing using data from community testing, rapid testing in educational settings and asymptomatic test sites. The findings show that for every 1,000 lateral flow tests carried out, there is less than one false positive result.
View details of the research

Vaccination news

A total of 41,441 people across the Sevenoaks District were vaccinated between 8 December 2020 and 28 February 2021, meaning a further 3,139 received their first vaccination in the last week.
 
Across Kent and Medway, 737,202 doses of the vaccine were given up to 14 March 2021.

COVID-19 infection data

The case rate in the Sevenoaks District to 11 March was 18.2, down from 26.5 per 100,000 on 5 March.
This is below the case rate of 25, which is the level that the DPH has determined it will be safe to lift lockdown. Other (but not all) Kent districts are also below 25 per 100,000.
The current case rate in Sevenoaks District remains significantly lower than that of the England rate, at 58.4, which is continuing to fall each week. While this is extremely good news for Sevenoaks District, it remains critical for everyone that we observe the guidance so that the timetable for lifting restrictions can be kept to.
There are currently 42 active cases in the District, a drop from 50 recorded previously. These are associated with clusters in residential dwellings.

 

View the latest national COVID-19 data.

Medicines regulator reassures residents about jab

With some nations suspending the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine over concerns about blood clots, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a statement to reassure those who are yet to have the jab.
Dr Phil Bryan, MHRA Vaccines Safety Lead says:
“The benefits of the vaccine in preventing COVID-19, with its associated risk of hospitalisation and death, far outweigh the risks of side effects. People should go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.
“It is still the case that it has not been confirmed the reported blood clots were caused by the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon.
“Our role is to continually monitor safety during widespread use of a vaccine. We have in place a proactive strategy to do this. We also work closely with our public health and international partners in reviewing the effectiveness and impact of the vaccines to ensure the benefits continue to outweigh any possible side effects.”
Find out more about the statement.

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