NHS doctors explain the Winter Vaccines
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Coronavirus continues to rip through British society, with tens of thousands of infections a day. The latest case totals show more than 39,000 people tested positive for the virus on Thursday, and a further 122 died. Vaccines are keeping back the tide, meaning deaths haven’t reached the level they did last year, but they could be lower.
The latest data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows many regions still have just over half of their population fully vaccinated.
The national average is presently among the highest in the developed world, at 93.6 percent in England, 91.2 percent in Wales, 91.9 percent in Northern Ireland, and 93.3 percent in Scotland.
In total, health officials have provided 94,208,919 vaccines, with 45,107,185 people now covered by a second dose.
These combined rates paint a promising picture for the UK and show why deaths are several hundred times lower than cases.
But regional rates haven’t quite matched this success on closer inspection, and only three boast cohorts with 100 percent of adults vaccinated.
Up-to-date ONS data shows three regions currently have populations where no one is waiting for a first or second jab.
Everyone aged between 75 and 79 in the following areas has both Covid vaccines and the highest level of protection:
- Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
- Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin
People within the bracket have the highest national coverage by group, at 97.20 percent.
Nearby age groups, from age 50 to 80, all have uptake rates in the low to mid-90 percent range.
These include some of the UK’s most vulnerable people, who can now receive a Covid booster shot.
The third doses provide a vital layer of protection amid warnings of a winter Covid surge.
But they will need to meet a set of eligibility criteria before they can receive them.
The following groups can receive the booster jab:
- Over 50s
- Care home residents and workers
- Frontline health and social care staff
- Over 16s with a health condition that risks severe Covid
- Over 16s living with an immunocompromised or vulnerable individual
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These groups can only take the booster if they have received their second vaccine dosage at least six months before.
As the name suggests, the booster shots “boost” the efficacy of the previous two jabs, making infection and hospitalisation less likely.
Younger populations will have to wait a little longer before eligibility extends to them, as most young adults received their second dose roughly a month or two ago.
And some have yet to have both of these doses at all.
The ONS data shows younger Britons are much slower than their elders when it comes to uptake.
Vaccine uptake rates rapidly drop off in age groups younger than 49.
Just more than half (61.60 percent) of 18 to 24 years olds and 66.20 percent of 25 to 29-year-olds have received both jabs so far.
Scientists have noted issues with trusting the Government, media and people pushing for vaccines in their research on hesitancy.
But they have also seen hesitancy rates decline, meaning they should eventually shrink the extensive age divide exposed by the ONS data.
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