Released on Thursday, the latest REACT-1 study showed a 50% rise in Covid infections since the last results were released in May, with unvaccinated young people behind the growing epidemic throughout England.
Conducted from May 20 to June 7, scientists found that 1 in 670 people are infected with the virus in England, the majority of them children aged 5 to 12, and people aged 18-to-24 who have not yet had the vaccine.
The assessment showed that the Delta variant, first discovered in India, has now surpassed the Alpha strain, originally detected in Kent, as the UK’s dominant mutated variant, with it now being behind around 90% of English infections.
With the REACT-1 report showing that older people who are fully vaccinated have “very, very good protection” against the virus, scientists said that rolling out the jab to younger people is crucial to reducing transmission. Kelly Beaver, the managing director of public affairs at Ipsos MORI, described the results as “an important reminder to get vaccinated when you can.”
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The study’s findings backed up the government’s decision to delay the final stage of lockdown reopening, according to the director of the study, Professor Paul Elliot. “The government has clearly announced that they want to vaccinate all adults in the period between now and 19 July. That will make a very big difference and increase the total amount of population immunity,” Elliot said.
Community Transmission (REACT) study, uses home testing during the Covid pandemic to monitor the spread of the virus throughout England. It was established in April 2020 by the UK’s health ministry and is run by Imperial College London university, polling agency Ipsos MORI and the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
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