Seven out of ten adults in Britain are now protected from coronavirusby getting their vaccines or through prior infection. The number is far greater than the Government had predicted for this time of year.
Britain one step closer to herd immunity
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently released figures showing that 68% of adults now have coronavirus antibodies. In just one month, the level of people with antibodies has risen by one third, while COVID infections have declined, suggesting that the country’s vaccine rollout might be responsible.
The rates of antibodies were highest among older generations as they were vaccinated first and are most likely to have completed both vaccine doses. ONS statistics show that 87% of those over 70 in England have COVID antibodies.
Speaking at a Downing Street conference on Wednesday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock the number of antibodies was a ‘measure of the protection that we have collectively built up right across the country.’
In the older age groups, those who got vaccinated first are much more likely to have Covid-19 antibodies. Now seven in 10 adults have protective COVID-19 antibodies – this is the vaccination programme in action.
The modelling released by the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) predicted that less than 45% of the population would be protected from the virus by June 21st, showing just how fast the vaccine programme has rolled out across the country and the enthusiasm of its uptake.
ONS officials tracked over 20,000 people to measure the antibodies in their blood and suggest the level of COVID protection may even be underestimated as antibodies are not the only part of the immune system to attack the virus. Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam claims that it is not yet known just how far antibodies go to protect residents from coronavirus but hopefully, they will at least reduce the severity of infection.
Government prepares for booster programme.
On Wednesday, ministers also announced that they have already secured 60 million more doses of the Pfizer vaccine in preparation for the booster rolloutin the autumn.
The country has enough doses for the whole population, but how the booster rollout will take place is still being discussed by the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation (JCVI).
Officials claim the Government is preparing for the rollout ‘based on clinical need’ and will protect the most vulnerable from the virus and further strains come winter.