Delta Variant Cases Mark 32% Weekly Increase In UK.
London: UK health officials said the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues as the dominant strain of coronavirus and marked a sharp rise in the UK with 54,268 more cases recorded on Friday, marking a 32 percent increase compared to the previous week.
Public Health England (PHE) said its weekly analysis shows that the continued rise in infections is not followed by a similar increase in hospitalizations and deaths, reflecting the high protection offered by both doses of a coronavirus vaccine.
In a separate study, PHE also found that all vaccines given are as effective in preventing symptomatic illness in most people with underlying health problems as the rest of the population.
“The data continues to show that the sharp increase in cases we are seeing is not followed by a similar increase in hospitalizations and deaths,” said Dr Jenny Harries, executive director of the UK Health Security Agency.
“This is because two doses of the available vaccines offer a high level of protection against the Delta variant. Receiving both injections is the best way to ensure that you and your loved ones are safe, so once again we urge everyone to come forward as soon as possible, as they are eligible, “he said.
“As we approach the planned end of the restrictions, we must be cautious and careful. Cases are increasing across the country and while vaccines offer excellent protection, they do not offer 100 percent protection,” he added.
Weekly PHE data found that the Delta AY.1 sublineage, called a Delta plus mutation for its dreaded resistance to the vaccine, remains low in 44 cases. Overall, the Delta variant, first identified in India, currently accounts for approximately 99 percent of the cases that are sequenced across the UK, followed by the local Alpha variant of interest. In a variant technical briefing, PHE revealed that “secondary attack rates” – the likelihood of an infection occurring in a given setting – among household contacts of Delta cases have continued to decline. Despite this continued decline, secondary attack rates for household and non-household contacts of Delta cases remain higher than for Alpha.
In its separate vaccine study, PHE found overall vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease in risk groups at approximately 60 percent after one dose of Oxford AstraZeneca [Covishield] o Pfizer / BioNTech, with little variation by age. After two doses, the vaccine’s effectiveness is 81 percent with Oxford / AstraZeneca in people in risk groups 16 to 64 years old. Data are not yet available for both doses of Pfizer / BioNTech.
Diabetes, severe asthma, chronic heart disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, neurological disease, and diseases or therapies that weaken the immune system, such as blood cancer, HIV, or chemotherapy, have all been related to an increased risk of hospitalization or death with COVID-19.
“This real-world data shows for the first time that most people who are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 still receive high levels of protection after two doses of vaccine,” said Dr. Mary Ramsay, PHE chief of immunization. .
“It is vital that anyone with an underlying condition receive both doses, especially those with weakened immune systems, as they get much more benefit from the second dose,” he said.
The UK government will confirm on Monday its plans to end all legal restrictions on legal lockdown in the country from July 19. Doctors and medical leaders have been calling on the government to keep some measures, such as face masks indoors, in place as infections continue to rise.
In a statement, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, which represents 23 medical bodies responsible for training and development in various specialties, said it was critical that people take a responsible approach when restrictions were formally lifted.
He warned that there was “little doubt that things will get worse before they get better.”
The warning comes as the UK recorded 35,707 daily cases of coronavirus on Friday, the highest daily figure this year since January 22.
(This story has not been edited by NewsGater staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)