Covid cases in England are THIRTEEN times higher in young than old

Covid cases in England are THIRTEEN times higher in young people compared to over-60s in more proof of ‘vaccine effect’ and infections rose in every town except three last week, official figures show

  • PHE’s weekly surveillance report showed rates highest among people in their twenties at 614 per 100,000
  • Case rate among over-60s, most of whom are double-jabbed, was just 47 and even lower in older groups
  • Biggest jumps in infections were in North Lincolnshire, Stockton-on-Tees, Middlesbrough and South Tyneside

Covid infections across England are 13 times higher in young people compared to the over-60s, according to official figures which highlight the ‘vaccine effect’ on transmission.

Public Health England’s weekly surveillance report showed that in the week ending July 4, rates were highest among people in their twenties who have only recently been offered a jab, at 614 cases per 100,000.

The case rate among over-60s, most of whom have been double-jabbed, was just 47 per 100,000 and even lower in older age groups, at 36.5 per 100,000 in the over-70s and 28 in the over-80s.    

Two doses of AstraZeneca or Pfizer’s jabs have been shown to reduce the risk of catching the Indian Covid variant by up to 64 per cent, and among those who still catch the virus, the symptoms are often milder. The vaccines are even better at preventing serious illness, hospitalisations and deaths, with an efficacy of more than 90 per cent.  

PHE’s weekly update also revealed that every local authority in England saw a rise in Covid infections last week except three, as the third wave of infections continues to surge.

The biggest jumps were in North Lincolnshire, where they nearly tripled to 209 per 100,000, followed by Stockton-on-Tees where they spiked from 155 to 417, a rise of 169 per cent.

Rounding out the top five were Middlesbrough, which saw cases rise 158 per cent to 442, South Tyneside, where infections soared 145 per cent to 927, and Hartlepool where they more than doubled to 555.2. 

The three areas where infections dropped were Blackburn with Darwen, where there is a suggestion the outbreak may have already peaked after it was hit hard by the Indian variant, Wokingham and Salford. 

Public Health England’s weekly surveillance report showed that in the week ending July 4, rates were highest among people in their twenties who have only recently been offered a jab, at 614 cases per 100,000. The case rate among over-60s, most of whom have been double-jabbed, was just 47 per 100,000 and even lower in older age groups, at 36.5 per 100,000 in the over-70s and 28 in the over-80s

PHE’s weekly update also revealed that every local authority in England saw a rise in Covid infections last week except three, as the third wave of infections continues to surge. The three areas where infections dropped were Blackburn with Darwen, where there is a suggestion the outbreak may have already peaked after it was hit hard by the Indian variant, Wokingham and Salford

Covid case rates in all regions of England are at their highest level since at least February, according to the latest surveillance report. North East England is recording the highest rate, with 613.4 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to July 4. This is the highest rate for the region since comparable figures began in summer 2020, when mass testing was first introduced across the country. All other regions are recording their highest rate since late January or early February this year, except for Yorkshire and the Humber where the rate is the highest since mid-November last year at 340. Cases are also up in every age group

Covid case rates in all regions of England are at their highest level since at least February, according to the latest surveillance report.

North East England is recording the highest rate, with 613.4 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to July 4.

This is the highest rate for the region since comparable figures began in summer 2020, when mass testing was first introduced across the country.

All other regions are recording their highest rate since late January or early February this year, except for Yorkshire and the Humber where the rate is the highest since mid-November last year at 340. Cases are also up in every age group.

England is being warned to expect a Euro 2020-driven surge in Covid cases today, as thousands of jubilant fans were pictured tightly packed together leaving Wembley night and supporters across the nation gathered in pubs and at homes to celebrate the Three Lions victory over Denmark.

More than 66,000 people packed the stands in Wembley’s biggest post-pandemic crowd, with all supporters told to stay in their seat throughout the game, keep their coverings on whenever they stood up, and to avoid hugging and high fiving when celebrating crucial moments.

But pictures taken as the stadium began to empty out at around 11pm showed how hundreds of ecstatic fans had disregarded the threat of coronavirus and advice to keep socially distant.

Masks are not compulsory in crowded outdoor areas but experts say wearing them would help cut the spread of Covid.

The scenes of joy following England’s 2-1 victory over Denmark in extra-time came just hours before top scientists warned the football tournament had driven a spike in coronavirus cases that could see the country’s daily infection toll breach 100,000 by July 19.

A major surveillance study estimated cases are now doubling every six days and found that infections in England quadrupled in June, with the rise clearly coinciding with the competition. Men are also now around 30 per cent more likely to test positive than women, despite rates being similar throughout the pandemic.

Imperial College London researchers, who analysed the data, claimed the pattern may be down to Euro 2020, with men gathering in pubs and homes to watch every step of the Three Lions’ journey. 

Lead author Professor Steven Riley said: ‘I think the degree to which men and women are socialising is likely to be responsible. It could be that watching football is resulting in men having more social activity than usual.

‘If I had to speculate about the impact of the Euros I would first think about the increased probability that people are mixing inside more.’ 

Dr Christina Pagel, a mathematician at University College London and member of Independent SAGE, echoed his concerns. She said: ‘This isn’t just about the fans attending the match but the millions of fans watching across the country in pubs and each other’s homes.

‘So while it’s amazing watching England do so well, there’s no doubt in my mind it will lead to increases in Covid infections.’

It comes after one of the country’s top experts revealed there are already signs the third wave is slowing down, despite seemingly flailing infection rates. 

Professor Tim Spector, who runs Britain’s largest Covid symptom tracking study, said there were 33,000 people falling ill with the virus every day last week — up by a third on the previous seven days. 

But it is the second week in a row that symptomatic cases have risen by a similar amount, prompting him to believe that the third wave may already be slowing down.   

Outbreaks in Scotland and the North West of England —  regions which quickly became hotspots for the Indian ‘Delta’ variant — have plateaued, estimates suggest, and in the East of England cases are already coming down.

More than two thirds of daily cases are now among Britons who have not been jabbed. Cases appeared to be rising quickest among the vaccinated, but experts insisted they were still suffering a mild form of disease like a ‘bad cold’. Official figures show more than eight in ten adults have received at least one dose so far. 

Professor Spector, a King’s College London epidemiologist, warned that the peak of the third wave was still to come. The Government admitted this week that it anticipated more than 100,000 cases per day at the peak in August. 

‘While the rate of increase seems to be slowing down, we’re yet to reach the peak of this latest wave,’ he said. ‘Even though we’re doping away with Covid restrictions in the UK, Covid isn’t done with us.’

Professor Spector warned that every day 500 Britons were developing long Covid, which sees symptoms linger for weeks or months after the initial infection. He urged young people to get vaccinated to prevent the often debilitating condition, even though they are at low risk of severe illness from Covid itself.

Separate figures from Test and Trace published today show infections surged by more than 70 per cent in the last week of June, with 135,685 new Covid cases spotted. 

There are concerns that England’s success at Euro 2020 could push infections up further before the July 19 unlocking. Hundreds of thousands of fans abandoned social distancing and mask wearing last night following the Three Lions’ semi-final victory against Denmark.   

An Imperial College London study also published today predicted cases are now doubling every six days, faster than No10’s own estimates, and could hit 100,000 a day before Freedom Day later this month. The researchers claimed men gathering in pubs and homes to watch the football tournament were driving the surge. 

Professor Spector’s ZOE Covid study — which tracks more than a million Britons a week — found that outbreaks in Britain’s hotspots plateaued last week in the week to July 5.

In Scotland, the number of people getting ill with Covid each day rose by just one per cent to 4,780. In the North West they crept up by three per cent to 4,879.

The East Midlands — which was also one of the first regions to be hit hardest by the Indian ‘Delta’ variant — was the only region which saw cases fall, dropping by 25 per cent to 1,964.

But there were still surges in the North East (92 per cent), West Midlands (91 per cent), South West (46 per cent), South East (40 per cent), Yorkshire and the Humber (37 per cent), and London (32 per cent).

The latest data also showed cases were twice as high among Britons who’ve only had one jab, compared to adults who’ve already had both. 

Symptom study data estimated there were 22,638 infections among un-vaccinated Britons every day last week, up 17 per cent from 19,228 over the previous seven-day spell. 

King’s College London scientists estimated there were 33,000 new symptomatic infections a day last week, the second time they had risen by a third in two weeks. Professor Tim Spector said the results suggested the outbreak may be slowing

Data from the app showed there were signs cases among the unvaccinated (blue line) may be plateauing. Ministers are relying on a ‘protective wall’ from vaccines and immunity from previous infection to beat the virus

There were also signs cases were starting to plateau in Scotland (brown line) and the North West (purple line) after the outbreak spiralled in these areas as the Indian ‘Delta’ variant took hold

Figures showed the majority of Covid cases in the country are among those who have not been vaccinated (red line). But were lower among those who received at least one dose (blue line) and two doses (orange line)

Surging Covid infections could spark ‘Long Covid’, top experts fear 

Surging infections could spark another wave of people suffering from ‘long Covid’, top experts fear.

More than a million Britons have already suffered from the debilitating condition, which leaves them struggling against symptoms of the virus for weeks after infection.

But there are fears the rising case numbers could lead these figures to tick up further. 

Professor Tim Spector, who leads Britain’s largest Covid symptom tracking study, said: ‘If new cases continue to increase then many more thousands of people, especially the young, will be affected by long term symptoms that leave sufferers unable to live life normally.

‘While it seems that the link between cases and deaths has been fundamentally weakened thanks to an excellent vaccine roll out, we are still seeing a correlation between new cases and Long Covid.

‘Vaccines reduce the change of people getting Long Covid, by reducing the risk of seriously debilitating symptoms and also by reducing the chances of an infection lasting more than three months.’

Experts say vaccination reduces the risk of long Covid by eight to tenfold, although it does not rule it out completely. 

Professor Spector said that, although cases are rising, the vaccines had transformed the virus into a ‘bad cold’ for many people, who now most commonly suffer a runny nose, headache and sore throat.

But he warned those catching the virus were still being put at risk of ‘Long Covid’  — an often debilitating condition which leaves sufferers with lingering symptoms long after the initial infection.

Professor Spector said: ‘If new cases continue to increase then many more thousands of people, especially the young, will be affected by long term symptoms that leave sufferers unable to live life normally.

‘While it seems that the link between cases and deaths has been fundamentally weakened thanks to an excellent vaccine roll out, we are still seeing a correlation between new cases and Long Covid.

‘Vaccines reduce the change of people getting Long Covid, by reducing the risk of seriously debilitating symptoms and also by reducing the chances of an infection lasting more than three months.’

In a separate study, Imperial College London scientists found infections in England spiked four-fold over June and are now doubling every six days, with Euro 2020 fans driving a ferocious surge in coronavirus.

With cases now averaging around 28,000 a day across the whole of the UK, the data suggests the country may break through the six-figure barrier on Freedom Day, with the ‘big bang’ unlocking just 12 days away. 

Boris Johnson admitted daily cases could run at 50,000 by the time the country reopens on July 19, while new Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the Government was prepared for about 100,000 in August.

Some members of No10’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) said they could breach 250,000 at some point in the autumn in a worst-case scenario.

But the hope within Government is that cases will fall sharply after the peak because the virus will ‘run out of people to infect’.

The researchers say football fans may have fuelled a spike in cases, with infection rates 30 per cent higher in men than women. The virus was also most prevalent in 18 to 24 year olds.

Infections have risen ten-fold in London over the past month, and the authors said the capital’s rapid rise may be linked to Euro 2020 matches held at Wembley.

Several scientists have warned that if England continues to progress in the competition, cases will continue to go up. The national team played last night in front of a packed 60,000-strong crowd in London. Wembley will play host to the final on Sunday, too. 

Lead author Professor Steven Riley said: ‘I think the degree to which men and women are socialising, is likely to be responsible. It could be that watching football is resulting in men having more social activity than usual. 

‘If I had to speculate about the impact of the Euros I would first think about the increased probability that people are mixing inside more.’

No10 is pressing on with Freedom Day on July 19 despite the fact cases are doubling every nine days and are expected to soar past 100,000 by August. Ministers insist vaccines will keep the disease at bay and are hopeful cases will start to fade naturally next month. 

There is roughly one death per every 1,000 cases in Britain at the moment, down from one in 100 in previous waves, but officials expect this gap to get even wider as more people get vaccinated.

Hospital admissions, on the other hand, are rising again with latest figures showing there were 386 on July 3, an increase of about 45 per cent on the previous week.

That’s double the number in early June but officials say the vast majority of admissions are among unvaccinated people or those who’ve only had one jab.

More than 100 top scientists and doctors last night accused Boris Johnson of conducting a ‘dangerous and unethical experiment’ by pressing on with July 19’s unlocking in the face of a rising epidemic.

In a letter in The Lancet, the experts have demanded the Government reconsider its plan to abandon all restrictions in England this month, describing it as ‘premature’.  

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