The latest on . . .

Covid vaccines can stop spread ‘almost completely’, latest data suggests

Hopes of avoiding fourth UK lockdown grow as PHE boss welcomes ‘very good signs’ that jabs may halt outbreaks

Early data on the UK’s Covid vaccine rollout suggests that people who have been immunised “are not getting infected at all”, according to Public Health England’s head of immunisation.

Dr Mary Ramsay told Radio 4’s Today programme that “there’s really very good signs that this is going to at least reduce infection rates across the population, and hopefully... prevent people passing it on almost completely if they’ve been vaccinated fully”.

 The findings have boosted hopes that the UK can avoid a fourth lockdown - with the optimism further fuelled by Office for National Statistics data showing that more than half of over-80s in England outside care homes have antibodies against Covid-19.

And Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the Commons yesterday that the recent fall in Covid-related deaths is “accelerating” as a result of the jabs rollout. 

Hancock “told MPs that hospital admissions were halving every 15 days for the over-85s, compared with 18 days for other ages, and deaths were halving every ten days among the oldest, compared with every 12 days among younger people”, The Times reports.

As the paper points out, “the more effective the vaccines are at blocking transmission, the easier it will be to keep cases low once restrictions are lifted”.

However, PHE boss Ramsay has caveated that “we may need to tweak the vaccine to make sure that it provides good protection” against new strains of the coronavirus.

The vaccine data findings come after an analysis by The Telegraph found that “more than seven million people in the UK are living in areas where cases of Covid-19 have almost disappeared”.

“Hundreds of neighbourhoods across the country” reported fewer than three new Covid cases last week, according to the paper, including spots in Cornwall, Devon and Wiltshire.

Some areas of London have begun recording a dramatic drop in cases too, including Notting Hill West, Pimlico in Westminster, Balham in Wandsworth and Hampstead Town in Camden. 

Greater Manchester neighbourhoods including Trafford and Oldham, and in Liverpool City Region areas including Wirral and St Helens, have also recorded almost zero new infections.

Recommended

Covid-19: everything you need to know about coronavirus
coronavirus.jpg
In Depth

Covid-19: everything you need to know about coronavirus

‘The assumptions of postwar politics are crumbling’
The Royal Family, 1951
Instant Opinion

‘The assumptions of postwar politics are crumbling’

Who’s who in the Greensill scandal
David Cameron
Getting to grips with . . .

Who’s who in the Greensill scandal

What do we know about mixing vaccines?
Woman receives Covid-19 vaccination
Today’s big question

What do we know about mixing vaccines?

Popular articles

15 most expensive English towns outside of London
Virginia Water, Surrey
In Depth

15 most expensive English towns outside of London

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 12 April 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 12 April 2021

TV crime dramas to watch in 2021
Bryan Cranston stars in Your Honor (Showtime)
In Review

TV crime dramas to watch in 2021