Immediate action is necessary to tackle exponential rise in COVID-19 due to Delta variant in UK, says GlobalData

Following the news that cases of COVID-19 due to the Delta variant in the UK have increased, despite record numbers of people being vaccinated;

Emily Martyn, Infectious Disease Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“While the UK Vaccine Taskforce should be applauded for its sterling work in ensuring 83.3%* of the UK have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, the government must not become complacent and do more to reduce the spread of Delta. Vaccine promotion simply isn’t enough. Unpopular as the prospect may be, more needs to be done before the final restrictions can be lifted on 19 July to prevent a deadly third wave. Actions such as reimposing tighter restrictions, ensuring people continue working from home, and home schooling will be vital to this aim. However, it may already be too late.

“Not enough is being done to explain to the public that one vaccine dose does not provide adequate protection against all SARS-CoV-2 infections. In fact, for the UK’s most popular vaccines**, the first jab offers only ~36% and ~30% protection against the Delta variant after four weeks of injection.

“The lack of public messaging, coupled with the relaxing of restrictions, has created the perfect opportunity for Delta to spread among vaccinated individuals, and, more worryingly, to unvaccinated vulnerable individuals.

“Delta is a growing threat, as cases in the UK have risen 46% in the last seven days, with 35,204 new people tested positive for COVID-19 as of 25 June. The R factor for the Delta variant is now 1.44, meaning that, for every ten people infected, they will infect an average of 14 further people.”

* As of 25 June 2021

** Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca, respectively.

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