Britain is no longer in a Covid pandemic thanks to the huge vaccine roll out cutting infection rates by 90%, experts have said.
In a new real-world study of the impact of vaccination on the general population, experts found that the vaccine rollout is having a major impact on cutting both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases.
For the first time in six months, the virus has dropped to being the third biggest killer in England and according to data from the study, the jab is helping to cut infection rates and could even be helping to cut transmission.
By taking just one dose of either the Pfizer of AstraZeneca vaccines, there is a two-thirds drop in coronavirus cases and it is 74 per cent effective against symptomatic infection.
By taking two doses of Pfizer, there is a 70 per cent drop in all cases and 90 per cent drop in symptomatic cases.
The study is based on data from the national Covid Infection Survey, which is run by the University of Oxford and the Office for National Statistics.
Sarah Walker, professor of medical statistics and epidemiology at Oxford and chief investigator on the survey, told The Telegraph that Britain had “moved from a pandemic to an endemic situation”.
She added that she was “cautiously optimistic” that the vaccination programme could keep Covid under control.
“Without vaccines, I don’t think getting close to zero is really feasible in the situation now in the UK where we’re effectively endemic, we’ve moved from a pandemic to an endemic situation.”
“Long-term lockdown isn’t a viable solution so vaccines are clearly going to be the only way that we are going to have a chance to control this,” she said.
But she did warn that the virus has been good at ‘throwing us curveballs’ and said it could go wrong very quickly.
Over 33 million Brits have had a first dose of the vaccine, with more than 10.7 million having had a second.
Thanks to the jab rollout, UK’s lockdown roadmap appears to be going strong, with shops reopening last week and Brits now allowed to go to the pub outdoors and able to go to the gym.
Data released today from the ZOE Symptom Tracker app also confirms that cases are falling, with 1,165 new symptomatic cases on average each day in the UK, compared to 1,601 a week ago.
Study lead, professor Tim Spector said: “Rates are down 28% again this week and hopefully we’ll drop below the milestone of 1,000 cases in the next few days towards our record low last year in August.
“The ONS survey is also now showing downward trends.”