More than a third of those admitted to hospital with Covid-19 in the UK have received two vaccine doses, new data shows.
Public Health England said 55.1 per cent of the 1,467 people admitted to hospital with the Delta variant were unvaccinated, while 34.9 per cent were fully vaccinated. About 99 per cent of infections in the UK are caused by the Delta strain.
“While vaccines provide high levels of protection, they are not 100 per cent effective and will not stop everyone catching Covid-19,” PHE said.
“As more of the population gets vaccinated, we will see a higher relative percentage of vaccinated people in hospital.”
More than 58 per cent of the UK population has been fully vaccinated, with seven in 10 having received at least one dose.
According to the latest government figures, in the past week 183,406 people tested positive for Covid-19 and 571 died within 28 days of a positive test.
“The latest hospitalisation figures show once again how important it is that we all come forward to receive both doses of the vaccine as soon as we are able to do so. Vaccination is the best tool we have in keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe from the serious disease risk Covid-19 can pose,” said Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency.
“However, we must also remember that the vaccines do not eliminate all risk: it is still possible to become unwell with Covid-19 and infect others. It is still vital that we exercise caution, particularly while cases are high.
“Remember that meeting outdoors is safer than indoors, isolate if you are told to by NHS Test and Trace, and if you show symptoms stay home and get a PCR test as soon as possible. It is so important that we all continue to play our part.”
PHE said it was looking into a variant under investigation, currently known only as VUI-21JUL-01 or B. 1.621, of which 37 cases have been confirmed in England as of August 4.
“There is preliminary laboratory evidence to suggest that vaccination and previous infection may be less effective at preventing infection with VUI-21JUL-01.”
“However, this data is very limited and more research is required. There is no evidence to suggest that VUI-21JUL-01 is more transmissible than the dominant Delta variant,” PHE said.