Covid deaths have fallen by more than 40 per cent over the last week — down to just 22 victims today, according to Department of Health data.
Cases are also continuing to fall despite more testing being carried out and another 2,396 infections were posted today — a fall of 3.8 per cent from last Wednesday’s figure of 2,491.
Almost 110,000 first vaccines were also dished out yesterday, with 33.1million now jabbed. Some 350,000 adults were given their top-up jab — with one in five adults now fully inoculated.
The figures comes after ‘extraordinary’ real-world data suggested just 32 vaccinated people in the UK have been hospitalised with Covid after developing immunity from a jab. Figures due to be handed to No10’s advisers show vaccinated people made up only a fraction of the thousands of admissions for the coronavirus in recent months.
The research by the UK Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium looked at more than 74,000 hospital admissions between September and early March. Some 2,000 were jabbed in total — all but 32 of them caught the virus before their jab had time to kick in.
In the past week the UK has carried out an average of 967,319 Covid tests each day, up from 842,239 per day in the week before.
Only 1 per cent of PCR tests in England are positive now, meaning that out of everyone swabbed only one in every 100 actually has the virus. Test positivity rates were 15 per cent at the peak of the second wave, according to the Department of Health.
And out of 380 local authorities in the UK, only Derry City and Strabane in Northern Ireland has an infection rate of more than 100 positive tests per 100,000 people in the most recent week.
Luton is England’s current hotspot after recording 184 cases in the last seven days — a rate of around 86.4.
Positive statistics from the NHS show that fewer than 2,000 Covid patients are now being treated in hospitals — down from a peak of almost 40,000 at the January peak. New patient admissions have dropped to fewer than 200 per day.
JUST 32 BRITONS HOSPITALISED WITH COVID AFTER VACCINATION
Just 32 people in the UK have been hospitalised with Covid after getting a vaccine, according to ‘extraordinary’ real-world data.
People are only counted as vaccinated from three weeks after getting the jab because that’s how long it takes for immunity to kick in.
Figures due to be handed to Government advisers today show inoculated people made up a tiny fraction of the thousands of admissions for the virus in recent months, The Telegraph revealed.
The research by the UK Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium looked at more than 74,000 hospital admissions between September and early March.
Some 2,000 of them had had a vaccine but only 32 got sick after their body had had time to develop immunity. The others were in the two to three week period in between when people are still at risk of Covid.
Scientists said the finding was proof the jabs are performing ‘extraordinarily well’ at squashing Covid hospitalisations and deaths.
The numbers will raise more questions about why Britain is still living under tough lockdown restrictions, given that 33million people have now been jabbed.
Boris Johnson is under growing pressure to speed up his roadmap out of lockdown, with the next relaxation not due until May 17, when pubs and restaurants will open and foreign travel is earmarked to resume.
But the PM told a Downing St press conference yesterday that while the vaccination programme was ‘making a big difference’, he would not deviate from his ‘cautious but irreversible’ plan.
Quizzed about why No10 has not published data on the jabs’ effect on hospital and death rates, Mr Johnson said ‘we simply don’t know that data’, but added that he ‘suspected the number was very small’.
Research on the life-saving vaccines was published last night, which showed how the UK’s mammoth roll-out have already drastically cut down hospital admissions.
The study looked at 74,405 coronavirus patients treated in hospital between September and March. A total of 2,000 the patients had been jabbed.
But the analysis discounted admissions of people who had caught the virus within three weeks of being vaccinated — because that’s roughly how long it takes for immunity to kick in. Just 32 patients — or 2 per cent — were admitted after that time-frame.
Tony Blair today called for the Government to publish more data showing exactly how few vaccinated people have caught Covid and been hospitalised or died.
The former prime minister said the in-depth figures – currently kept under wraps – would be a boost to vaccine confidence around the world and increase support for the AstraZeneca jab in Europe and Africa.
The Oxford-made shot has been stung by negative headlines after it was linked to very rare blood clots, damaging acceptance in some countries including in Africa.
‘I think the full dataset would show that AstraZeneca is a highly effective vaccine, it will save huge amounts of lives, hospitalisation and people getting “long Covid”,’ he told Sky News.
‘We have, as a country, a huge interest in this because even if we get ourselves vaccinated… the risk is still there that you get a mutation that comes back into the UK that vaccines may be less effective against’.
There are 192 daily coronavirus hospital admissions across the entire UK, according to the most recent figures, down from a peak of 4,500 in January
ASTRAZENECA BLOOD CLOT FIASCO ‘DID NOT PUT PEOPLE OFF JABS’
The UK deciding not to give AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine to under-30s has not put people off getting vaccinated, a survey suggests.
Regulators said concerns about extremely rare blood clots being triggered by the jab meant it would be safer to give young adults a different one where possible.
In Europe clotting fears spooked some people into turning down the jab or asking for different ones. Denmark refused to use the vaccine at all.
But the University of Stirling in Scotland did a survey that found almost nine out of 10 people in their 30s – close in age to those affected but old enough to still be given the AstraZeneca jab – are still happy to get a vaccine.
The survey of 300 people did not ask specifically about the AstraZeneca vaccine but about jabs in general, and found no increase in hesitancy.
Among 30 to 40-year-olds, 85 per cent said they were still planning to get jabbed. This was a slight dip from 87 per cent in the previous survey but the proportion saying they would refuse a jab also fell, from 9.9 to 9.8 per cent.
The number of vaccinated Britons who have been hospitalised or died with Covid is thought to be tiny.
But neither Whitehall nor the NHS publish precise data showing the rate of Covid infection among people who have had a jab, nor hospital admissions or deaths.
The success of the UK’s vaccination programme in conjunction with its strict three-month lockdown which is only just beginning to be loosened after starting at the beginning of January, has brought the country’s Covid death rate plummeting.
It is no longer one of the 20 worst-hit countries for excess deaths during the pandemic, according to analysis of official figures by the Economist.
Britain now has a rolling rate of 183 excess deaths per 100,000 people, putting it at number 21 behind Italy (197).
Excess deaths are calculated by taking fatalities from all causes since the pandemic first struck and comparing them with a historical average from recent years.
It is the first time Britain has dropped outside the top 20 since the Covid crisis took off. The country turned the tide on the virus thanks to a hugely successful vaccination programme and winter lockdown.
Overall, the UK has still been one of the hardest hit nations in the world, suffering more than 127,000 Covid deaths in total. Only a handful of countries have more deaths either overall or per head of population.
Peru, which is in the midst of battling a wave of the Brazilian coronavirus variant, has the highest rate in the world at 412 per 100,000. Rounding out the top five are Bulgaria (338), Mexico (321), Russia (313) and Lithuania (301).
Fourteen other countries – including a number of EU member states, South Africa, and Ecuador – are recording rates of more than 200 excess deaths per 100,00. The US ranks at number 23, according to the analysis, with a rate just shy of Britain’s at 182 per 100,000.
The excess fatality rate is one of the best ways to compare the pandemic’s impact on countries because it looks at more than just the official Covid death tolls.
It includes people who died without the confirmation of a test, and those who passed from other causes as a result of lockdowns and their knock-on effects on hospital care.
Excess deaths in the UK have been falling since the vaccine drive launched and the country went into lockdown over the winter.
For the past five weeks deaths from all causes in Britain have been lower than average, which has helped drive the rate down faster.