Coronavirus rates in Southend remain steady despite other parts of south Essex seeing a week-on-week drop in cases.

The borough now has the highest infection rate in south Essex and is the only place recording more than 400 cases per week.

The latest data shows there were 418 new infections recorded in Southend in the seven days up to August 19 – only 10 less than the week before.

All neighbourhoods in the borough have localised infection rates between 100 and 350 cases per 100,000 people.

Here is how many cases were recorded in each area in the past week:

  • Great Wakering and Foulness – 16
  • Shoebury – 22
  • West Shoebury – 18
  • Thorpe Bay – 16
  • Southchurch – 23
  • St Lukes – 33
  • Kursaal – 25
  • Southend Central – 37
  • Victoria – 44
  • Chalkwell – 17
  • Westborough – 19
  • Prittlewell – 24
  • Eastwood – 19
  • Blenheim Park – 19
  • Leigh – 32
  • West Leigh – 19
  • Belfairs – 24
  • Eastwood Park – 27

It comes as an expert advising the Government has said Covid-19 vaccines are still offering good protection against serious illness.

Professor Adam Finn, member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said that while studies are showing waning immunity against mild illness some months after vaccination, the jabs are still warding off serious disease and hospital admissions.

The JCVI is expected to make an announcement in days on whether the UK will press ahead with an autumn booster campaign for 30 million people over the age of 50 and the clinically vulnerable.

The NHS in England has been preparing for such a push to commence on September 6, alongside its annual flu campaign.

But experts advising ministers on vaccination strategy are yet to confirm whether a third jab is needed.

On Wednesday a study concluded that the protection provided by two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines starts to wane within six months.

Scientists behind the Zoe Covid Study app said that the Pfizer jab was 88% effective at preventing Covid-19 infection a month after the second dose but after five to six months the protection decreased to 74%.

With the AstraZeneca vaccine, there was a protection against infection of 77% one month after the second dose but after four to five months, protection decreased to 67%.

Asked about the study, Prof Finn told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think the Zoe study, and a couple of other studies we recently had, do show the beginnings of a drop off of protection against asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic disease.

“But other studies are showing maintenance of good protection against serious illness and hospitalisation.

“So that’s encouraging actually that people who’ve had two doses are still very much well protected against serious illness, which is our main objective.

“But we do need to watch out very carefully to see if this waning begins to translate into occurrence of more severe cases because then boosters will be needed.”