- Health department officials reported 43,941 cases today, down 10.6 percent from last week’s total of 49,139
- But the death toll with covid continues to rise, with 207 new deaths recorded today
- Coronavirus hospitalizations rose 2.9 percent to 894 on Saturday, latest date data available for
Britain’s Covid cases have fallen for the fourth day in a row, official data showed today, with one of the government’s top scientific advisers claiming that increased natural immunity in children is behind the decline.
Health department officials posted another 43,941 new infections, down 10.6 percent from last Wednesday’s total of 49,139.
The daily cases have been declining since Sunday after hitting a three-month high last week and government ministers today claimed that the chances of ministers activating their winter ‘Plan B’ are less than 20 per cent.
But the death toll with Covid continues to rise, with 207 new deaths recorded today. It was up 15.6 per cent from the previous week’s 179.
And hospitalizations on Saturday rose 2.9 percent week-on-week for which data is available to date. They peaked at 894, up from 869 recorded a week earlier.
The trends in deaths and hospitalizations lag behind that of infection because the virus takes time to incubate and serious illness takes hold.
Separate data today showed that infections in children were falling even before the half-term start, in a sign that high levels of immunity have begun to thwart the virus. The trend shows that the drop in infections is not only down to a drop in testing – which has fallen from more than a million to just over 800,000 a week – while children are not in school.
Health Department figures show cases for children aged five to 19 in England peaked on Tuesday, before schools broke down for the week-long break and have fallen ever since.
Experts said the drop was real, but cautioned that testing rates could be slightly lower among young people for the break. He added: ‘I don’t know for sure, but I will think’ [the drop] shall prevail.’
SAGE epidemiologist Professor John Edmonds, whose grim modeling in July predicted hospitalizations so far a day would have reached 3,500, said the spike in infections over the past few months was among young people in ‘large numbers’. cases’. Health officials estimated that one in 12 children across England had the virus last week.
Professor Edmonds said the rise in infections would ‘ultimately promote higher levels of immunity in children’ which would see cases plateau and then drop. He added that it ‘may be we are achieving it now’.
The above graph shows the Covid infection rate in England divided by age group per 100,000 people. This suggests that cases may have peaked in children between the ages of 5 and 19 and have now started to decline. but in all other age groups they were still growing
Experts warn UK against ‘blinding’ after US in catching healthy five-year-olds against Covid as reasons are ‘scientifically weak’.
Arguments for vaccinating children under the age of five against Covid are ‘scientifically weak’, British experts claimed today as the US moved closer to jabbing infants.
An advisory panel from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday almost unanimously agreed on the benefits of giving under-12 Pfizer’s jab outweigh the risks.
US health chiefs are expected to flag off the plans within a few days, which will put pressure on the UK to follow suit.
But British scientists have warned against advising primary school-aged children to be ‘blinded’ without weighing the risks ‘extremely’.
Professor David Livermore, a medical microbiologist at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline: ‘Vaccination of children to protect adults through herd immunity is ethically questionable and scientifically weak.’
There is still concern about myocarditis, a form of inflammation of the heart found in children, mostly in boys, in about one in 10,000 cases after vaccination.
Critics say that babies are better off catching Covid and getting protection naturally because the risk of being admitted to the ICU is one in 500,000.
There are signs that natural immunity in British youth is already slowing the epidemic. But some studies have suggested that myocarditis itself is even more common after covid infection, which complicates the matter even more.
Professor Russell Viner, a pediatrician and member of the UK government’s scientific advisory group SAGE, said it was important that the UK was not ‘too hasty’ in the wake of the announcement in the US.
In other covid developments:
- Experts warn Britain against ‘blinding’ after US in capturing five-year-olds as the rationale behind the move is ‘scientifically weak’;
- A subvariant of the Covid delta strain growing in the UK is now at peak World Health Organizationradar of
- A top government adviser said the Covid booster vaccine program should be expanded to middle-aged and young adults, once offered for a third time to vulnerable groups;
- novavax formally sought its regulatory approval coronavirus Vaccines in the UK.
A total of 49,8 million first doses of the Covid vaccine had been distributed in the UK as of yesterday, an increase of 41,083 the previous day, government figures show.
Some 45,605,922 second doses have now been delivered, an increase of 23,031.
A total of 6,706,468 boosters and third doses have also been delivered, a daily increase of 264,468.
Separate formulations are not available for the booster and third dose.
Daily Covid infections in the UK breached the 50,000 barrier last week. This prompted medical unions, some scientists and Labor to call for Plan B – mandatory face masks, work from home guidance and vaccine passports – to be implemented immediately to control the infection.
But optimistic modeling…