More than 80,000 Brits got sick every day with Covid last week, while infections rose by 5%

Symptomatic Covid cases in the UK rose nearly five per cent to more than 80,000 a day last week, according to a surveillance study.

The ZOE symptom-finding study estimated that 80,483 people became sick on any given day in the week ending Nov. 27, based on test results from about 650,000 volunteers.

It was a 4.9 percent increase from last week’s estimate and means that one in 61 Britons has contracted a symptomatic infection at some point, according to the scientists at King’s College London who led the study.

But infections have started to decline in the over-55s, a clear sign of the effect of booster vaccine doses — with more than 18.6 million people now having had a third dose, according to government data.

No10 unveiled its new schedule to vaccinate all over 18s by the end of January on Tuesday, with the UK buying an additional 114 million doses today in a bid to stop the spread of the new supermutant Omicron variant.

Professor Tim Spector, the epidemiologist behind the study, warned that the variant has ‘grossly woken up’ the UK to the pandemic and encouraged more volunteers to continue monitoring their symptoms to help control the strain.

Meanwhile, ministers moved today to prepare the UK to administer vaccines to primary school children, fearing an impending wave caused by the variant.

They asked their independent vaccine advisers the Joint Commission for Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) and chief scientists Sir Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty to consider the move.

But the UK’s main strategy for dealing with the strain remains vaccinating more vulnerable, older age groups, said Secretary of State George Freeman.

The ZOE symptom-finding study estimated that 80,483 people became sick on any given day in the week ending Nov. 27, based on test results from about 650,000 volunteers

The ZOE symptom-finding study estimated that 80,483 people became sick on any given day in the week ending Nov. 27, based on test results from about 650,000 volunteers

The figures show that the number of cases is highest in children under the age of 18, who get more than 32,000 symptomatic infections a day, although the number has fallen over the week.

The figures show that the number of cases is highest in children under the age of 18, who get more than 32,000 symptomatic infections a day, although the number has fallen over the week.

The figures show that the number of cases is highest in children under the age of 18, who get more than 32,000 symptomatic infections a day, although the number has fallen over the week.

Covid was most common in the East Midlands, East of England and South East, where one in 57 people were infected each day during the week

Covid was most common in the East Midlands, East of England and South East, where one in 57 people were infected each day during the week

Covid was most common in the East Midlands, East of England and South East, where one in 57 people were infected each day during the week

Ministers are ‘ready’ to vaccinate five to 11-year-olds against Covid

The UK stands ready to administer Covid vaccines to primary school children amid fears of the looming Omicron wave.

Ministers have asked their independent vaccine advisers and chief scientists Sir Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty to consider the move.

George Freeman, a secretary of state, told Sky News today: “We’re looking at the science on that and the balance of the rollout.

“(Sir) Patrick Vallance, our chief scientist, and (Professor) Chris Whitty advise on that and it is their advice that guides us.”

He said the priority was to vaccinate older adults who are most vulnerable to Omicron if the mutated virus becomes widespread in the UK.

Mr Freeman added: ‘The data at the moment suggests that young children are much less vulnerable, but if and when that data changes, we’ll be guided by the science and be ready, which is partly why we have purchased the vaccines – to make sure we can deliver what our citizens and patients need.”

Professor Spector said: ‘Omicron has rudely awakened many countries, including the UK, from the sleep they had fallen into due to Covid.

“While we need more data to understand the risks of this variant, I advise the public not to panic, but remember it’s important for everyone to be more careful.

“Getting your third vaccine, wearing face coverings, avoiding crowds indoors, and staying home if you’re feeling unwell with cold symptoms are some of the best ways to slow the spread.

‘The ZOE Covid Study will be one of the most important tools in the fight against this new variant.

“We need everyone who logs their symptoms, test results and vaccines in the app to quickly understand this new variant and help the world keep it at bay.”

The study estimated that the R-rate – the average number of people an infected person will pass the virus to – is about 1.0 for the whole of the UK.

Figures show that the number of cases is highest in children under the age of 18, who get more than 32,000 symptomatic infections a day, although the number has fallen over the week.

In contrast, people 75 and older have the lowest disease level, with an estimated less than 1,000 cases per day in the age group.

Covid was most common in the East Midlands, East of England and South East, where one in 57 people per day became infected during the week.

London and the North West had the lowest rates, with one in 68 people becoming ill with the virus during the week.

Figures from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) showed yesterday that the Covid crisis in Britain appeared to be on the rise again, with cases and deaths combined for the first time in four days.

Britain registered 48,374 new cases in the past 24 hours, up 10.8 percent from the total of 43,676 last week.

It was the first time positive tests had risen week on week since last Friday, despite eight new cases of the supermutant Omicron variant being discovered in England yesterday, bringing the UK total to 22.

Likewise, the number of people dying from the virus is up 14.8 percent to 171 today, from 149 recorded last Wednesday.

But hospital admissions continued to fall, with 706 people hospitalized with coronavirus on Saturday, the latest date data is available for.

Government data shows that 393,000 adults received their third booster vaccine yesterday, bringing the total number of people fully vaccinated against the virus to 18.6 million.

About 30,500 received their first dose, while 32,000 received a second injection.

Pfizer boss Dr. Albert Bourla said today Britons may need a Covid vaccine every year to maintain their ‘very high’ level of protection.

dr. Bourla, head of the UK’s largest vaccine supplier, suggested in an interview that additional injections might be needed for years to come.

He said Pfizer was already working on a modified injection to combat the Omicron variant, which may be better at evading vaccine-induced immunity than other variants.

It comes after the UK bought a further 114 million doses of Covid vaccines that can be processed to fight variants.

The deal suggests ministers are preparing to increase the country’s immunity for at least the next two winters.

dr. Bourla told the BBC: ‘Based on everything I’ve seen so far, I’d say annual vaccinations… will probably be needed to maintain a very robust and very high level of protection.’

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