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Just three per cent of Brits infected with Indian Covid variant received two jabs


JUST three per cent of Brits infected with the Indian Covid variant were fully vaccinated after having two jabs, official data revealed yesterday.

Experts claim the “incredibly reassuring” results show that the vaccination blitz is stopping the mutation.

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Just three per cent of Brits infected with the Indian Covid variant were fully vaccinated after having two jabs, official data revealed on Thursday

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Just three per cent of Brits infected with the Indian Covid variant were fully vaccinated after having two jabs, official data revealed on ThursdayCredit: Getty
Health Secretary Matt Hancock also said that vaccines were 'severing the link' between cases, Covid hospitalisations and deaths

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock also said that vaccines were ‘severing the link’ between cases, Covid hospitalisations and deathsCredit: AFP

It means the country remains on course to reclaim its long-awaited freedoms next month.

More than 38.6million adults have now had at least one dose, with 24million having both.

The record-breaking rollout has now fully immunised 87 per cent of over-60s in England.

Public Health England data reveals just three per cent of A&E cases with the Indian mutation had both shots. That was just 177 of the 5,599 cases triggered by the highly contagious variant.

Overall, more than two-thirds of those rushed to hospital with the mutation were unvaccinated.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that up to three-quarters of new cases were now down to the Indian strain. He said the majority were in hotspot areas such as Bolton, Bedford and Blackburn.

Mr Hancock also said that vaccines were “severing the link” between cases, and Covid hospitalisations and deaths.

He told the Downing Street briefing: “We are in a race between the virus and the vaccine. The vaccine is effective.

“The aim, of course, is to break the link to hospitalisations and deaths so cases alone no longer require stringent restrictions on people’s lives.”

Scientists calculate that 13,200 lives have so far been saved in England alone by the Covid vaccination blitz.

The official analysis also reveals the rollout has kept 39,700 older Brits out of hospital.

And the true number of lives saved may be much higher — as the study looked only at the direct effect of vaccination.

Matt Hancock said the majority of Indian variant infections were in hotspot areas such as Bolton, Bedford and Blackburn

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Matt Hancock said the majority of Indian variant infections were in hotspot areas such as Bolton, Bedford and BlackburnCredit: Mercury
The Health Secretary also warned that up to three-quarters of new cases were now down to the Indian strain

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The Health Secretary also warned that up to three-quarters of new cases were now down to the Indian strainCredit: Getty

Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said the latest PHE data offered grounds for optimism.

He added: “I find the results incredibly reassuring to be honest. We’re not out of the woods yet, but it shows we’ve got the tools to end this.” Confirmed cases of the Indian variant have doubled in seven days to reach 6,959.

But the rise is less steep than in previous weeks, suggesting transmission is slowing and hospital admissions remain flat.

There were ten Covid deaths reported yesterday, taking the UK total toll to 127,758.

A further 3,542 infections were reported — an increase on the same day last week, which saw 2,874 cases and seven deaths. A total of 38,614,683 people have received their first vaccination, with 24,043,956 getting their second jab. More than 62million doses have now been given in total.

Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, warned that Britain remains “on the cusp” of another Covid wave.

But it was unclear whether rising cases were due to the new variant taking off or better detection.

Dr Harries told the Downing Street briefing: “On the good news, we are not seeing that generally translating into increased cases of hospitalisation and definitely not into deaths. So the key message there is . . . if we can hold it while the vaccination programme gets rolled out, we stand a much better chance of getting through this session.”

Boris Johnson had earlier told reporters the UK still remains on track to end lockdown on June 21.

The PM added: “As I have said many times, I don’t see anything currently in the data to suggest we have to deviate from the roadmap. But we may need to wait.”

Separate PHE data shows Covid rates in England have risen slightly across all ages following the easing of restrictions last month. The highest is among ten to 19-year-olds, with 55.2 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to May 23, up from 43.5 week-on-week.

Some think next month’s escape from restrictions is in the balance.

Prof Neil Ferguson, whose doomsday forecasts led to the first lockdown, said fears remain of the Indian variant sparking a third wave.

Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, warned that Britain remains 'on the cusp' of another Covid wave

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Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, warned that Britain remains ‘on the cusp’ of another Covid waveCredit: PA
Boris Johnson told reporters the UK still remains on track to end lockdown on June 21

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Boris Johnson told reporters the UK still remains on track to end lockdown on June 21Credit: Reuters

He said: “Step four of the roadmap is rather in the balance. The data collected in the next two to three weeks will be critical. The key issue as to whether we can go forward is, will the surge caused by the Indian variant be more than has been already planned into the relaxation measures?”

Meanwhile, PHE has reported that yet another new Covid mutation is under investigation.

There have been 109 cases in the UK of the C.36.3 variant, first detected in Thailand, in people who had travelled from Egypt. Scientists will carry out tests to determine whether it reaches the threshold of being a “variant of concern”.

Prof Neil Ferguson, whose doomsday forecasts led to the first lockdown, said fears remain of the Indian variant sparking a third wave

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Prof Neil Ferguson, whose doomsday forecasts led to the first lockdown, said fears remain of the Indian variant sparking a third waveCredit: PA

 

VAX BUS QUEUE CHAOS

By Holly Christodoulou

THOUSANDS of people pack together in London’s Chinatown after a vaccine bus ad promised Covid jabs with no questions asked.

The post on an advice centre website said no appointment or ID was needed, with “undocumented migrants welcome”. The bus is run by Westminster Council.

Matt Hancock warns ‘this isn’t over yet’ as he warns Britain in race between vaccine and virus-





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