According to official blood test data, two-thirds of Britons aged 16 to 24 now have Covid antibodies.
Government statisticians estimate that about 67 percent of the youngest adults and oldest teenagers in England now have the virus-fighting proteins.
The proportion is even higher in Wales (71 percent) and Northern Ireland (68.9 percent), but lower in Scotland (57.3 percent).
This is despite the fact that almost half of the age group has yet to be vaccinated, while the percentages among young people are lagging behind.
It suggests that immunity has also been picked up by natural infection, with the third wave being driven by the rampant spread of the virus among teens and people in their 20s.
Experts said vaccine uptake among young people is good but there is still “a way to go” for fear the rollout will grind to a halt.
Two-thirds of Britons aged 16 to 24 now have Covid antibodies, official data shows despite nearly half not having had the shot
Antibodies were highest in the East Midlands, where 91.7 percent of all adults tested positive for the proteins
The third wave is driven by the rampant spread of the virus among teenagers and people in their 20s, with people aged 20 to 24 having the highest infection rate in England (1,133 per 100,000 on July 15)
This chart shows the number of people who have yet to be vaccinated against Covid in each age group. It shows that there are more than 1.7 million 18- to 24-year-olds who have yet to get the shot, followed by more than a million 25- to 29-year-olds
The ONS – which analyzes tens of thousands of blood samples every two weeks – does not clarify whether antibodies come from stinging or infection.
Their presence generally means that a person has at least some protection against the disease and will not get sick.
GPs are sending back Covid vaccines because there is not enough demand to fill appointments
Covid vaccines are being returned by GPs unable to keep appointments – despite nearly 6 million Britons still having to take up the offer, MailOnline has learned.
Operations couldn’t get enough of the jab at the start of the vaccination campaign in December, with millions of Britons rushing to book slots.
But now demand has dried up in some areas, forcing health bosses to redistribute supplies to other locations where uptake is higher.
No10’s scientific advisers say the UK may have already reached maximum uptake in its vaccination campaign, halving the number of first doses given out each day to less than 60,000 in a fortnight.
Only 18,186 first doses were administered yesterday, the worst daily performance since the start of the vaccination campaign in December.
Experts say Britain is on a natural end to its vaccination drive as the number of people seeking a shot is running out.
This is despite figures from NHS England suggesting there are still 1.7 million 18- to 24-year-olds to be vaccinated. Young people are more reluctant to get the vaccine because they don’t see the virus as a threat, scientists say.
However, positive testing does not make a person completely immune, and people who have them can still get sick.
Getting a positive test result just means there was a certain amount in their body at the time of the test.
Scientists say levels naturally drop over time, and people may not have detectable antibodies now — even if they had them last year.
Likewise, people who test negative can still be protected from the virus because there are other parts of the immune system set up to fight off invaders, such as T cells.
Today’s ONS antibody report was based on the random blood tests of around 18,000 adults in the UK between June 28 and July 4.
Overall, about 92 percent of adults in England were found to have these.
By comparison, in December the figure was just 8.7 percent, before the hugely successful vaccination campaign in the UK kicked off.
The rates were higher than 90 percent in every age group, except for the 16- to 24-year-olds, who were the last to be invited to their jab.
Antibody levels were highest in the north west of England, where 91.6 percent of all adults tested positive for the proteins.
The northwest was also the first area to be ravaged by the third wave, with the Delta variant taking off in the region last month.
By comparison, rates were lowest in Northeast (89.5 percent), Southwest (89.7 percent) and West Midlands (90.2 percent).
The rise in antibodies in young people has been driven by rising cases in the over 20s, with people aged 20 to 24 having the highest infection rate in England – 1,133 per 100,000 as of July 15.
As a result, infections are now on the rise in all age groups, with the UK registering 46,558 positive tests yesterday – up 27 percent in a week.
Daily infections are not far from the 68,000 recorded during the darkest days of the January pandemic.
And No10’s scientific advisors fear the level could exceed 200,000 in the coming weeks as the outbreak continues to grow.
It comes after MailOnline revealed yesterday that GPs are returning coronavirus vaccines due to low uptake – despite millions still having to come forward for their first dose.
More than 46.3 million Britons – or 87.9 percent of adults – have received at least one dose, and 36 million – or 68.5 percent – have received both doses.
But there are still 1.8 million 18- to 24-year-olds to be stung, according to statistics from NHS England.
This is despite the fact that the vaccination campaign has been open to all adults in England since 17 June.
And there are 4.5 million in other age groups who have yet to be vaccinated, the same numbers suggest. This includes 1.2 million 25- to 29-year-olds and nearly one million 30- to 34-year-olds.
Professor Lawrence Young, an infectious disease expert at Warwick Medical School, told MailOnline there was “always a concern” that shot intake would decline if the rollout reached younger Britons.