80% of adults in England now have Covid antibodies: Fascinating charts show how vaccine drive is quickly pushing nation closer to herd immunity
- Regular report by the Office for National Statistics shows immunity against Covid is surging across UK
- Vaccine rollout shows a ‘clear pattern’ of giving people antibodies to protect them from severe Covid
- Levels are highest among older age groups who have had two doses but rising fast in younger adults, too
- NHS vaccine rollout is now on the ‘home straight’, chiefs said as it opened up to people in their 20s this week
Eight out of 10 adults in England now have signs of immunity to Covid from either a vaccine or having had the virus in the past.
A regular blood-testing report from the Office for National Statistics found that 80.3 per cent of adults in England tested positive for coronavirus antibodies in the third week of May, up from 76 per cent at the end of April.
Antibodies are virus-fighting proteins that give people immunity to the virus and should stop them from getting sick if they catch it, although they don’t always give total protection.
The country’s huge vaccination programme, which yesterday started offering jabs to people in their 20s for the first time, is the driving force behind the surging numbers of people who show signs of immunity.
Across the whole of the UK a total of 40.6million people have had at least one dose of a jab – more than three quarters of all adults – and 28.2m have had both jabs giving them the maximum possible protection.
NHS bosses Sir Simon Stevens said on Monday that the vaccine rollout is entering ‘the home straight’ as health chiefs and Matt Hancock urged everyone to get a jab as soon as possible to help the country end lockdown rules.
The ONS report said: ‘There is a clear pattern between vaccination and testing positive for Covid-19 antibodies.’
Antibody positive levels are highest among older age groups who have had two doses but rising fast in younger adults, too. In those who were first to get vaccinated the rate of immunity has flattened off at over 99 per cent, showing almost everyone has at least some protection against the virus
APRIL LEFT, MAY RIGHT: Graphs show the proportions of people in different age groups who show signs of immunity to coronavirus in blood tests. The levels are almost maxed out in elderly and middle-aged groups who were first to get vaccinated and have clearly risen in younger groups during May