Britain Is ‘No Longer In A Pandemic’, Study Shows
Experts have said Britain has moved out of a pandemic situation as the coronavirus vaccine rollout has cut infection rates by 90%.
Based on data gathered by the national COVID Infection Survey, which is run by the University of Oxford and the Office for National Statistics (ONS), experts found the ongoing vaccine administration program is successfully cutting down both symptomatic and asymptomatic coronavirus cases.
The virus has dropped to being the third biggest killer in England for the first time in six months as the vaccine helps slow infection rates.
Following a real-world study of the impact of vaccinations on the general population, researchers found that administering just one dose of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine to individuals has led to a two-thirds drop in coronavirus cases. The first dose is also said to be 74% effective against symptomatic infection.
In cases where individuals have received two doses of Pfizer, there has been a 90% drop in symptomatic cases and a 70% drop in cases overall.
Discussing the results, leader of the study 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.’
Thanks to the success of the scheme, Sarah Walker, professor of medical statistics and epidemiology at Oxford and chief investigator on the survey, expressed her belief that Britain had ‘moved from a pandemic to an endemic situation,’ the Mirror reports.
Speaking to The Telegraph, she added that she was ‘cautiously optimistic’ that the vaccination programme could keep coronavirus under control.
Walker commented: ‘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.’
A pandemic, according to the World Health Organization, is ‘the worldwide spread of a new disease.’ Meanwhile, Centers for Disease Control describes an endemic as ‘the constant presence and/or usual prevalence of a disease or infectious agent in a population within a geographic area.’
Though the vaccine rollout has shown positive impacts so far, Walker noted that the virus has been good at ‘throwing us curveballs’, which could hinder efforts to prevent the spread.
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World Health Organization
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention