New studies show that the UK coronavirus epidemic is generally stable, but infection patterns vary by age group and region.
The results of the Empire-led REACT-1 study, a major ongoing coronavirus monitoring program, are based on a household swab test conducted by 100,000 people from September 9 to 27. Data show that 1 in 120 people, or 0.83% of the population, were infected with the virus during this period.
It was found that the total reproduction number (R) is about 1 (1.03). This means that on average one infected person will infect the other with the virus. Therefore, the overall epidemic has neither expanded nor contracted.
“These trends support how important it is for children over the age of 12 to be vaccinated.” Professor Paul Elliott Faculty of Public Health, Empire
However, there was a great deal of variation depending on the age group. Infection was found to increase in people under the age of 17 with an R of 1.18, while it decreased in people aged 18-54 with an R of 0.81.
School-age children were the most infected, with 1 in 43 (2.32%) aged 5-12 and 1 in 39 (2.55%) aged 13-17.
Professor Paul Elliott, director of the Imperials School of Public Health REACT program, said: Households with children also have a high prevalence of infection, suggesting that people with whom they live may be infected with the virus.
“These trends support how important it is for children over the age of 12 to be vaccinated, to control the spread of the infection and to minimize interruptions in education.”
Results of these ongoing findings Real-time assessment of community infections The (REACT-1) program was implemented in partnership with Ipsos MORI and was commissioned by the UK Health and Security Agency. Here is the preprint report Submitted for peer review. The data is continuously reported to the government to inform the decision.
Regional coronavirus trends
In this latest round of REACT studies, 100,527 people wiped at home and analyzed the samples in a PCR test. Of these, 764 were positive, with an overall weighted prevalence of 0.83%. Weighting is where researchers adjust their calculations so that the sample reflects the British population.
This is more expensive than research Previous findings in JulyIf 0.63% (1 in 158) are infected, the survey results cannot be compared directly due to changes in sample handling this time and in future rounds. Previously, dried cotton swabs were collected, chilled and shipped. A new, easier way is to store the swabs in saline during transport and not refrigerate.
National trends show that the prevalence of infection is lowest in the southeast at 0.57% and highest in Yorkshire and Hamburg at 1.25%. Researchers also identified evidence of growth in London and the East Midlands with an R above 1 (1.59 and 1.36, respectively).
Differences in infection rates were also seen between demographic groups and vaccination status.
- Blacks were more burdened with infection than whites (1.41%, 0.78%).
- Prevalence was high in large households, ranging from 0.33% in single-person households to 1.75% in residents with 6 or more people.
- Infection was more than twice as high in those who reported unvaccinated (1.73%) compared to those who received two doses (0.56%).
The researchers also estimated the effectiveness of vaccination in protecting against infection. By combining the data from this test with the previous round, the effectiveness of vaccination with all participants and vaccines combined is 62.8% when considering round, age, gender, deprivation, region and ethnicity. It was estimated.
The prevalence of infection is higher in those who received the second vaccination 3-6 months after taking the swab than in those who received the second vaccination within 3 months of the swab. It was found to be high (0.55% and 0.35%, respectively). For those who received a second dose before participating in the study, the prevalence was uncertain due to the small number of this group.
For each type of vaccine, the study estimated that vaccine efficacy against infection was 44.8% for AstraZeneca and 71.3% for Pfizer / BioNTech. Only for people with symptomatic infections, the overall efficacy against infections was 66.4%. This study did not consider protection against hospitalization and death. Both vaccines have been shown to be very effective in prevention.
Professor Christl Donnelly, a professor of statistical epidemiology at the Imperial University, said: However, booster doses provide the prospect of enhanced protection that reduces outbreak levels. “
Dr. Jenny Harries, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Health and Security Agency, said: It is more important than ever to continue to act responsibly to prevent infection for the winter.
“Although the number of cases is still high, the vaccination program does not lead to the same high number of hospitalizations and deaths. Ask everyone who is eligible for vaccination. Reduce infections and love yourself. It’s the best way to protect people. “
“People who need jabs are advised to get them as soon as possible. It’s important to keep you and your family safe this winter.” Sajid Javid Minister of Health
Sajid Javid, Minister of Health, said:
“These findings are of great importance to young people getting jabs to protect them from COVID-19, and to those who are eligible to get their booster vaccine to extend their existing protection. If you need a jab, we recommend that you get it as soon as possible. It’s important to keep you and your family safe this winter. “
COVID-19 epidemic monitoring
The REACT-1 study tracks current coronavirus infections in the community by testing more than 100,000 randomly selected people each month for approximately two weeks. This study recruits new people each month to ensure that the sample represents a wider population and provides high-resolution snapshots of the situation over a specific time period.
This is different from the ONS COVID-19 infection survey. This study runs continuously and samples the same person over time to understand home infections. This sometimes means that they report different numbers, as studies use different methods.
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