Coronavirus: Expert warns of 'inevitable third wave' in autumn
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As the UK Government continues to roll out its vaccine programme, many Britons are hoping that the worst of the pandemic is now behind them. Thanks to the success of Boris Johnson’s vaccine procurement scheme, every adult in Britain is expected to have been offered at least one jab by around the middle of June, according to a report by research company Airfinity. However, the head of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) predicted that a third wave of coronavirus infections is “inevitable” come autumn.
Sir Ian Diamond said that although infection rates were at their lowest since September, it was still much higher than last summer, when the first lockdown was eased.
The latest survey by the ONS showed that there are around 6,000 new cases of Covid a day.
That equates to an infection rate of 0.37 per cent, which in turn compares with a rate of 0.04 per cent last summer at the end of the first lockdown.
Sir Ian told The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday: “We need also to recognise that this is a virus that isn’t going to go away.
“And I have no doubt that in the autumn there will be a further wave of infections.”
The UK’s top statistician added that he was “very confident” the vaccine rollout was having an impact in reducing deaths and serious illness.
He pointed out, though, that there was a lot of regional variation in the number of people with antibodies.
He explained: “This has been an incredibly impressive vaccine rollout.
“We’re seeing quite remarkable increases in the level of antibodies in the over-80s, and increasingly in the over-70s.
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“So I’m very, very confident that the vaccine rollout is really starting to provide some real protection.
“At the other side we see very relatively high levels amongst young people which just shows how much young people have been affected by the virus.
“I’d finally just say on this that there is a lot of regional variation, so we find 30 percent of London have antibodies whereas only 16 percent in the South West.
“So we need to recognise that.”
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