The latest incidence figures published to the ZOE COVID Study, which has been logging positive cases, ignites hope that the UK is over the worst of the pandemic this year. Last week saw a daily decline of 4.7 percent on the week earlier, from 92,953 to 88,592. In the double vaccinated population cases continue to rise slightly, however.
Speaking in his latest video, professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Study app, highlighted the top symptom of coronavirus currently seen in the fully vaccinated.
According to prof Spector, a runny nose is the top symptom currently seen in fully vaccinated, with 73 percent of people testing positive for symptomatic Covid displaying this symptom.
Other common symptoms include sneezing, sore throat and persistent cough.
It is estimated there are currently 27,980 new daily symptomatic cases in the fully vaccinated in the UK, up from 26927 cases last week.
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Commenting on the general decline of cases, prof Spector said: “It’s great that we’re finally seeing cases start to come down, and hopefully we’re over the last great peak of COVID in 2021.
“This is driven in large part by declining cases in children who have been on half term holidays and by high rates of previous infection, but we’re hopeful that the trend will continue.
“It’s still worrying that cases in the older, more vulnerable age group are increasing, but as the booster programme continues to roll out we’re likely to see this come down as well.
“As the temperatures drop and winter comes we’re still seeing far too much COVID in the community leading to high Long COVID and hospitalisation rates compared to other countries in Western Europe. With high rates of other viral respiratory illnesses too (although no flu yet), there is no room for complacency.”
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He continued: “The high rates of cases are levelling off in most UK regions, with Scotland remaining low and Wales the high extremes. Ireland has higher vaccination rates than the UK, but lifted its restrictions and has seen cases rise.
“While restrictions, masks and vaccine uptake in children are factors, it’s clear that there’s no single solution to bringing rates down permanently. We’ve seen that a combination of population safety precautions and vaccines works best, and so the third booster vaccine, coupled with mask wearing and distancing in high risk areas, is our way out.”
Although it is still possible to contract COVID-19 post-vaccination, its worst effects are generally mitigated.
A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) demonstrates the effectiveness of the vaccines.
Researchers from CDC’s VISION network gathered data from 187 hospitals across nine states. These were New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Utah, California, Oregon, Washington, Indiana, and Colorado.
The study recruited people who were 18 years and older and who had been tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection previously, at least two weeks before their admission to the hospital and again around the time of admission. All participants had either been fully vaccinated three to six months earlier or had a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection three to six months prior.
The team found that a previous coronavirus infection and COVID-19 vaccination can provide immunity and protection against future illness.
They arrived at this verdict by comparing the level of immunity afforded by a previous infection with the protection provided by a COVID-19 vaccine.
The results also suggest that COVID-19 mRNA vaccines – Pfizer and Moderna – are around five times more effective at preventing hospitalisation than a previous infection.
Booster vaccine doses are currently available on the NHS for people most at risk from COVID-19 who have had a second dose of a vaccine at least six months ago.
If you’re eligible, you’ll be offered a booster dose at least six months after you had your second dose.
Most people will be offered a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or Moderna vaccine.