ABOUT two-thirds of Cheshire West and Cheshire East residents aged 45-49 have had their first dose of the Covid vaccine, new figures have revealed.

The weekly release of figures from the NHS showed that as of midnight on Sunday, April 25 – the latest available reporting period – a total of 66.4 per cent of residents in the NHS Cheshire CCG area (covering Cheshire West and Cheshire East) had received their first coronavirus vaccine.

That amounted to a total of 33,840 doses administered for that age category alone.

It comes as those aged 40-44 are now also eligible to apply for their vaccine dose.

And with vaccine supplies expected to increase in May, it is expected those in their 30s will be able to apply soon.

The news comes as further NHS figures reveal there are now three Covid patients being treated at the Countess of Chester Hospital, down from a peak of 290 back in January.

Of the three patients, one is on a mechanical ventilator bed, according to the figures as of 8am on Tuesday, April 27.

The number of Countess Covid patients being treated is at its lowest level since August-September 2020. During the first wave of the pandemic, without vaccines, it took until August 23 for the number of Covid patients at the hospital to fall to three, from a peak of 142 on May 4.

After a few days in September 2020 when the hospital had no Covid patients, more were admitted later that month as the second wave of the pandemic began.

It is hoped that the mass vaccine roll-out will prevent any further waves.

In the seven days to April 24, 46 Covid cases were confirmed in the Cheshire West and Chester. Of those confirmed, 42 were in those aged 0-59 and four were in those aged 60 and above.

More than one third of those cases (17) were in those aged 10-14, as a result of the continued mass testing in schools.

Residents are reminded they can now obtain free Covid testing at a number of sites across the borough, including the ability to collect Covid test kits to use at home.