ONLY five per cent of people who have caught the Delta (Indian) variant were fully vaccinated, figures show.
It further confirms jabs are working to protect people from Covid – but those unvaccinated remain at high risk.
🔵 Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updates
Public Health England said today more than 42,000 cases of the Delta strain had been detected through screening.
It published an analysis of 33,206 cases, revealing that only 1,785 were in people who were double-jabbed.
Of those, only 62 (three per cent) were admitted to hospital.
In comparison, 397 (two per cent) of the 19,573 unvaccinated cases were admitted to hospital.
Twelve fully vaccinated people have died of Delta, as public health experts have said the jabs are not 100 per cent effective.
The 12 fatalities were disproportionately high compared with the 23 deaths in those unvaccinated.
However, that may be because those unvaccinated are largely younger and therefore unlikely to die of Covid anyway, compared to those who are fully jabbed representing older people.
Around 16 per cent of all Delta variant cases (5,393) were in people who had gotten one jab, of which seven died.
The data further confirms that even though vaccinated people will catch and get sick with Covid, protection is high.
It comes as more data shows that the number of people in hosptial in England now is ten times lower than worse-case predictions from scientists in February.
The Government dashboard shows there were 876 people in England’s hospital as of June 8 compared to warnings of 11,000 at worst.
The NHS is in a race to give as many people a second dose as possible as the Delta variant spreads.
Two jabs can give between 60 per cent (AstraZeneca) and 88 per cent (Pfizer) protection against the super-infectious strain, while one dose of either gives only 33 per cent.
Health chiefs are still concerned the Delta variant appears to cause more severe disease, doubling the risk of hospitalisation.
Therefore getting people their second jab has never been more urgent.
Wave of cases – and uncertainty
It comes as more data confirms a growing wave of cases in the UK, affecting young and unvaccinated people.
A study tracking the outbreak said today that one in 560 people in England had Covid last week.
This is up from one in 640 reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the week before, and the highest level since the week to April 10.
Meanwhile, scientists advising the Government (Sage) said the R rate is now between 1.2 and 1.4 – the highest since last October when the second wave began.
Kevin McConway, an emeritus professor of applied statistics, The Open University, said the news “isn’t wonderful”.
“But we’ve got to keep a sense of perspective,” he said. “It would be much more comfortable if the infection rates weren’t increasing, but we already knew that they were very likely to be increasing… and this is linked to a rise in cases of the Delta variant.”
He said if the growth rate of 3-6% each day currently continues, that could mean 10,000 cases a day are being diagnosed in three weeks, and 20,000 in six weeks.
“We’d be back to late February levels in six weeks,” he said.
“But we absolutely don’t know that the growth will continue at three per cent a day.
“Continuing increases in vaccination will slow it down, but removing of restrictions on contact will tend to speed it up, and it’s difficult to predict how these things will balance out.”
Prof James Naismith, Director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute, and University of Oxford, said infections in young people is “expected from the UK vaccination strategy”.
But he argued: “A word of caution is that it was also the pattern we saw with the Alpha variant [Kent] which spread in the young first.
“If we remove restrictions and the Delta doubling time drops to four days or less, then the number of cases will get very large very quickly.
“In 20 days, we could hit 100,000 cases [of Delta].
“I believe we should wait for all the data before deciding what to do.
“The red flag is hospital admissions in areas with cases that were high 10 days ago. Let’s see this weekend if there is evidence of exponential growth, vaccine evasion and the most serious illness. If so, I would pause opening.”