UK is 'over last great Covid peak of 2021' but booster jabs vital as cases rise in older age groups

THE UK is likely to be over the last Covid peak of 2021, a virus expert has said today.

Professor Tim Spector thinks the country could be past the worst of the virus for this year at least – but urged eligible Brits to get their booster to drive down infections.


According to data logged by Brits on the ZOE Covid Symptom Study App, infections are still high but dropping.

From five days ago there were 88,592 new cases of Covid in the UK from PCR and LFT tests.

This is a decrease of 4.7 per cent from the week before – which was nearing 100,000 new daily cases.

Prof Spector said: "It’s great that we’re finally seeing cases start to come down, and hopefully we’re over the last great peak of Covid in 2021.

"This is driven in large part by declining cases in children who have been on half term holidays and by high rates of previous infection, but we’re hopeful that the trend will continue. 

"It’s still worrying that cases in the older, more vulnerable age group are increasing, but as the booster programme continues to roll out we’re likely to see this come down as well."

But it comes as an expert warned Brits should avoid going to Christmas parties the week before the big day to protect their grandparents.

Dr Hilary said today the days running up to the festive period are key to stopping the spread of the killer virus to vulnerable loved ones.

Instead of going hard in the seven days ahead of Christmas, he suggested having any parties earlier.

He told Good Morning Britain: "Cases are very high at the moment, over 40,000 cases, more hospitalisations and deaths – which is very concerning because that is the older age group despite them being jabbed.

"So what some people are saying is have your Christmas parties early guys in December.

"Have Christmas parties early in December rather than mixing with people a week before when you're going to see granny on Christmas Day."

FESTIVE FEARS

Yesterday the deputy chief medical officer warned Christmas will be "problematic".

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said it is a concern that UK cases are still so high, and with winter approaching it could get worse.

He didn't address any possible lockdowns, but hinted that there could be hurdles to come still – gravely saying "it is not over".

Prof Spector added: "As the temperatures drop and winter comes we’re still seeing far too much Covid in the community leading to high Long Covid and hospitalisation rates compared to other countries in Western Europe.

"With high rates of other viral respiratory illnesses too (although no flu yet), there is no room for complacency. 

"While restrictions, masks and vaccine uptake in children are factors, it’s clear that there’s no single solution to bringing rates down permanently.

"We’ve seen that a combination of population safety precautions and vaccines works best, and so the third booster vaccine, coupled with mask wearing and distancing in high risk areas, is our way out.”


 

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