Covid infection rates have surged across London since children returned to the classroom.
The city has seen infection rates jump by 10% since the return of school, increasing from 232.5 positive cases per 100,000 people on 31 August to 256.9 on 7 September.
Now as the UK’s chief medical officers recommend vaccinating children aged 12 to 15, LondonWorld’s analysis reveals where Covid cases have surged since children returned .
What are infection rates like in London neighbourhoods?
Official figures from the UK Government show infection rates across England 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, covering the time children across the country returned to school.
According to the data, 573 London neighbourhoods, or 58%, saw a rise in infection rates between the seven days ending 31 August and the seven days ending 7 September.
Just over a third (36%) saw a drop in infection rates for the same time period.
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.
Lavender Park in Merton has seen the greatest increase in infection rates in London. The neighbourhood has seen seven-day infection rates rise 400%, from 49.9 on 31 August to 249.3 on 7 September. This is followed by Bullsmoor & Freezywater in Enfield which recorded a rate of 78.2 on 31 August and 312.9 on 7 September, a 300% increase.
Rowan Road in Merton had the highest infection rates in the city as of 7 September, recording 565 positive cases per 100,000.
Elsewhere in England, the North East and North Westhave seen the greatest increase in infection rates. The rate per 100,000 in the North East 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 Covid leaderboard.
When will young Londoners 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 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.
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.