Eight in 10 adults in England now have antibodies protecting them against Covid-19 as the government forges ahead with its vaccination program, according to data published Wednesday.
estimate from the Office for National Statistics comes at a critical time with ministers due to announce Monday whether the final phase of the re-opening of the economy will go ahead on June 21. That plan has been
thrown into doubt by the highly transmissible strain of the virus first identified in India, which is now spreading fast in the U.K.
U.K. Reports Most New Coronavirus Cases Since February
The U.K. reported 7,540 cases new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, the most since the end of February, while the number of people in the hospital with Covid exceeded 1,000 for the first time since May 12.
The presence of antibodies means a person has either had the infection in the past or has been vaccinated. More than half the adult population of the U.K. has now received a second dose of a vaccine, according to
government data, with shots available for 25 to 29-year-olds in England as of this week.
The percentage of adults testing positive for protection in the week starting May 17 was highest in Wales at 82.7%. It stood at 80.3% in England, 79.9% in Northern Ireland and 72.6% in Scotland.
“Across all four countries of the U.K., there is a clear pattern between vaccination and testing positive for Covid-19 antibodies but the detection of antibodies alone is not a precise measure of the immunity protection given by vaccination,” the ONS said.
(Updates with latest case numbers in third paragraph)
Eight in 10 Adults in England Estimated to Have Covid Antibodies – Bloomberg