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Worry over rise in Covid levels in Greater Manchester ethnic minorities with lower booster uptake

Public health bosses have expressed concern over a trend spotted in the last week.

Ethnic minorities with lower uptake of the booster are not seeing the same fall in Covid cases as the wider population in Manchester, public health bosses say.

The recent rise in the city’s infection rate has mostly affected white British people who have accounted for more than 60 % of cases since October.

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But in the last week, ethnic minorities have started accounting for more cases.

What have the stats shown?

In particular, Manchester’s Pakistani population now makes up more than 10 % of the total number of cases in the city – almost doubling the proportion.

The proportion of Covid cases in the city’s Chinese, Indian and Bangladeshi communities has also increased as the figures fall for white British people.

David Regan, director of public health Credit: MCC

Manchester’s director of public health David Regan told the health and wellbeing board yesterday (26 January) that the city has past the latest peak.

However, he raised concerns about how high the ‘endemic’ infection rate will be when the number of cases level off – and who Covid will continue to affect.

He said: “What’s worrying for me is, up until the last few weeks, the majority of cases was mainly our white British population in the city, whereas in previous waves, it had been our black and minority ethnic populations more affected.

“But in the last week, we’ve seen that shift back. So in our Pakistani community, there’s been a higher proportion [of cases].

“It’s more of a prediction than anything concrete yet that we are likely to see higher case rates in those communities that have already been most affected by previous waves.”

What about vaccination rates?

Mr Regan also raised concerns about low vaccine uptake in some communities.

Around 70 % of Manchester’s Chinese, Indian and Bangladeshi population who are eligible had already received their booster vaccine by 23 January.

But only 53 % of the eligible Pakistani population been boostered so far.

The African community has also had a low uptake of the booster at 51.4 %.

And the third vaccine dose uptake by those registered as ‘any other Black, African or Caribbean background’, Arab and Roma is below the 50 % mark.

Overall, nearly 70 % of people who are eligible for the booster have had it.

The ethnic minority with the highest uptake is the Irish community at 82.3 % while 77.2 % of the eligible white population has had the booster overall.

Everyone aged 16 and above can get a booster shot 91 days after their second dose of the vaccine unless they tested positive within the previous four weeks.

This data only includes people who are eligible for the Covid booster vaccine. Manchester city council has been targeting areas where vaccine uptake is low.

  • Find a local walk-in vaccine centre here.