The vaccine rollout in the UK has boosted confidence in the government but speed and efficiency of the campaign will not result in the full unlocking of restrictions on June 21. The Delta variant of coronavirus – a strain first discovered in India that is spreading across the UK – is responsible for the delay. The delay is a salient reminder that vaccines are not a silver bullet against the virus.
The decision to keep restrictions in place comes as new data shows that new symptomatic cases are springing up in those vaccinated with at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
An analysis of data submitted to the COVID Symptom Study app shows there are currently 2,930 new daily symptomatic cases in “partly or fully vaccinated people”, an increase of 53 percent, from 1,917 new cases last week, the research team reports.
There is cause for optimism, however.
The data shows that the positivity rate is much higher in those with just a first dose, compared to those who are double vaccinated.
This trend partly vindicates the decision taken by the government to delay restrictions to maximise the number of people receiving their second dose.
The ZOE COVID Study of new symptomatic cases are based on around one million weekly reporters and the proportion of newly symptomatic users who have received positive swab tests.
The latest survey figures were based on data from 5,714 recent swab tests done between 30 May to 12 June 2021.
The data excludes the lateral flow tests (tests for people who do not have symptoms of coronavirus).
The current prevalence of symptomatic cases in the UK
In terms of prevalence, on average one in 340 people in the UK are currently estimated to have symptomatic Covid, the new data shows.
According to the prevalence data by age, the number of new daily cases in the 0-19 age group has started to fall but cases continue to increase in the 20-29 age group.
Tim Spector OBE, lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Study app and Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, commented on the latest data:“The numbers this week seem to be slowing down, which is good news. Worrying areas with a high number of cases like Scotland, and the North West are starting to level off.
He continued: Wales in particular has seen tangible benefits from a faster than average vaccination rate, where they previously had some of the highest rates in the country, we are now seeing clear protection against rises.
You can book appointments at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy now, or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service.
People at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 (clinically extremely vulnerable), can also get the COVID-19 vaccine.
If you’re at high risk, you will have had a letter from the NHS saying you’re clinically extremely vulnerable.