Rochford District Council News Release

Published: 02 June 2021

COVID-19 vaccine efficacy

Public Health England (PHE) has published new analysis showing that two doses of the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against the B.1.617.2 variant first identified in India.

Analysis also suggests that vaccine effectiveness after two doses against symptomatic disease from the B.1.617.2 variant is similar to the B.1.1.7 (Kent) variant. PHE expects to see even higher levels of effectiveness against hospitalisation and death.

The study found that, for the period from 5 April to 16 May:

• the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 88% effective against symptomatic disease from the B.1.617.2 variant two weeks after the second dose, compared to 93% effectiveness against the B.1.1.7 variant
• two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were 60% effective against symptomatic disease from the B.1.617.2 variant compared to 66% effectiveness against the B.1.1.7 variant
• both vaccines were 33% effective against symptomatic disease from B.1.617.2, three weeks after the first dose compared to around 50% effectiveness against the B.1.1.7 variant

The analysis can be found here:

60 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in UK

More than 60 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have now been administered in the UK, with over 70% of adults having received a first dose.

Health services across the UK administered a total of 60,587,098 vaccines since 8 December, including 37.9 million people with their first dose and 22.6 million with their second.

On 20 May, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved an extension to the length of time that thawed Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines can be stored at normal fridge temperatures from five days to 31 days.


Latest stakeholder Q&A:

New pilots to support people to self-isolate launched

The Government has announced that it is to launch nine pilots in England to test new ways to ensure people follow self-isolation rules.

In partnership with councils, the government is providing £12 million funding to be used for a range of initiatives. This includes alternative accommodation for people in overcrowded households, social care support for vulnerable adults, ‘buddying’ services for people whose mental health has been affected and language communications support for individuals where English isn’t their first language.

The pilots are designed to encourage people most at risk of catching and transmitting COVID-19 to come forward for testing and to self-isolate successfully if they test positive.
The areas that will receive funding for these pilots are: Newham; Yorkshire and Humber; Lancashire, Blackburn & Darwen, Blackpool; Greater Manchester; Cheshire and Merseyside; Royal Borough of Kingston; Hackney; Peterborough, Fenland and South Holland, and Somerset.

Guidance on how to stop the spread of coronavirus

The Government has updated the advice for everyone to help reduce the risk of catching COVID-19 and passing it on to others. The update includes information on reducing the risk when meeting friends and family.

COVID-19 testing over May half-term

The Department for Education (DfE) is reminding councils and schools to continue to encourage their staff and secondary school or college students to test twice-weekly over half-term and test before returning after the half-term break.

Report a result via the following link:
Additional precautions in areas with COVID-19 variants of concern

The Government has updated the guidance for areas where the COVID-19 variant B.1.617.2 (first identified in India) is spreading to make it clearer that local restrictions are not being imposed.

Instead, advice has been provided on the additional precautions people can take to protect themselves and others in those areas where the new variant is prevalent. This includes, wherever possible, trying to meet outdoors rather than indoors, keeping two metres apart from anyone you don’t live with and minimising travel in and out the area.

These are not new regulations but they are some of the ways everyone can help to bring the variant under control in their local area.

Coronavirus guidance for local government

MHCLG has updated its guidance page for local councils during the COVID-19 outbreak. The page brings together guidance, publications and announcements relevant to councils on one page.

The following sections have been updated:
• National restrictions
• Public Health
• Schools and education
• Social care
• Testing
• Travel
• Vaccines

NHS advice

Everyone is reminded to follow the NHS advice – wash your hands; wear a face covering; keep social distancing and, as we will be spending more time indoors, let fresh air into your home to ventilate it.

Please use our website!

Don’t forget a lot of useful content is available via our website and this will be updated regularly, so is the best place to check first and we have a dedicated section at Our other media channels are also good sources of information -, Facebook: Rochford District Council, Instagram: @RochfordDC and Twitter: @RochfordDC

We would like to reassure everyone that we are working closely with our partners from across Essex in the NHS, emergency services, county council and other local authorities, ensuring that well-practiced plans are put into place.


The council is monitoring Government guidance daily and will be issuing communications to staff, members and the public regularly, so please watch our website, sign up for e-mail alerts or go to our social media channels to keep up to date with the latest information.