December 3, 2021 5.30 pm

Scientists predict Omicron “twice as likely” to reinfect people as weekly cases spike by 50%

New research also shows strong booster reactions

Scientists estimate the new Omicron variant could be twice as likely to re-infect people as coronavirus cases in Greater Lincolnshire jumped 20% in November and 50% week-on-week.

The first real world data from the scientists in South Africa showed a surge in the number of people catching Covid multiple times. The initial research shows Omicron may evade some immunity.

Figures from earlier this week show that there were 19,687 cases in November, while 92 deaths were recorded, of which 42 were in hospital.

According to the Government figures, between September 30 and October 31 there were 16,447 cases, an increase of nearly 20%.

Since Wednesday, the latest COVID stats for Lincolnshire have been:

  • 2,329 new cases of coronavirus with 1,621 in Lincolnshire, 395 in North East Lincolnshire and 313 in North Lincolnshire.
  • 15 further deaths were recorded in the government figures, including 13 Lincolnshire residents, one North East Lincolnshire resident and one North Lincolnshire resident
  • One further hospital death at Lincolnshire Community Health Service

The figures leave the weekly totals at 3,501 cases, 19 deaths and 20 hospital deaths. Between November 21 and 26 there were 2,360 cases, a near 50% rise.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman has confirmed there are currently no plans to make vaccinations mandatory, according to Sky News.

They also denied separate lockdown measures for the unvaccinated in future.

“Our priority is to continue to promote vaccinations and promote boosters now that we are rolling out more and more boosters to more and more people.

“That is our priority, that’s our focus, and that’s what we’re asking people to come forward and take,” they said.

Greater Lincolnshire’s latest cases up to December 3. | Data: gov.uk

NHS vaccination data released on Thursday revealed 1,383,648 doses COVID jabs had now been handed out in Lincolnshire.

Of those, 553,946 were second jabs – around 87.31% of the total 634,453 population of Lincolnshire.

The data added 37,330 new doses to the statistics. It included to 34,945 booster jabs being included bringing the total to 230,170.

The remaining 2,385 doses was nearly 58% fewer than the previous week’s 5,628 – however, the Lincolnshire Showground did close during several days last week.

Some 569,654 people over the age of 18, and 29,237 under 18s had received their first dose. Figures also showed that 17,781 first doses had been given to 12 to 15-year-olds in Lincolnshire – 53.8% of the eligible population.

A total of 551,003 over 18s and 2,943 under 18s have been double-dosed.

In North East Lincolnshire a total of 265,204 doses of the vaccine have been administered, with 106,792 second doses and 41,981 booster jabs. 39.6% of 12 to 15-year-olds have been given at least one dose.

In North Lincolnshire, 302,142 doses have been handed out, with 119,010 being double-jabbed and 53,26 having a booster shot. 48.4% of the eligible 12 to 15-year-old population have been administered at least one shot.

Greater Lincolnshire’s latest vaccinations up to December 3. | Data: gov.uk

A new study published in the Lancet has also shown that COVID booster shots dramatically strengthen immune defences dependent on which vaccine was given.

The UK-based Cov-Boost trial found those boosted with Pfizer after two doses of AstraZeneca had antibody levels nearly 25 times higher after a month.

Pfizer recipients saw antibody levels rose more than eightfold.

The biggest increase though was from the Moderna vaccine, which raised antibody levels 32-fold in the AstraZeneca group and 11-fold in the Pfizer group. When Moderna is used in the UK booster programme, it is given at a half-dose.

However, the scientists said that people started with different antibody levels and so also urged caution when comparing performance.

Elsewhere in the UK, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics said one-in-60 people in England were estimated to have had Covid in the week up to November 27. The figure was up from one in 65 the previous week.

England’s R Number, however, is estimated to be between 0.9 and 1.1 – down slightly from between 1 and 1.1 last week.

“We’re all tired but we’ve just got to keep going,” is the message from Lincolnshire’s health bosses as mask wearing appears to be in decline and COVID-19 fatigue further sets in.

It comes as there has been a noticeable decline in the number of people wearing face coverings, to protect both themselves and others by limiting transmission of the virus.

Many are sceptical of the government’s promise that Christmas will not be affected by the virus after last minute restrictions at the end of 2020.

Elsewhere, COVID-19 booster vaccinations are to be extended to people aged 18-39, and Lincolnshire’s NHS sector is gearing up to roll out to the next cohort.

NHS Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group has announced it will be preparing to offer booster jabs to people between the ages of 18 and 39, but has asked for patience due to the large volume of requests it will get.

As well as the extended cohort for the booster vaccinations, the government has also announced a reduction from six months to three for the interval between second doses and boosters, eligibility for a second dose for 12 to 15-year-olds, and a fourth dose for immunosuppressed people if recommended by their clinical team.


Coronavirus data for Greater Lincolnshire on Friday, December 3

159,961 (up 2,329)

  • 107,175 in Lincolnshire (up 1,621)
  • 25,690 in North Lincolnshire (up 395)
  • 27,096 in North East Lincolnshire (up 395)

2,515 deaths (up 15)

  • 1,840 from Lincolnshire (up 13)
  • 340 from North Lincolnshire (up one)
  • 335 from North East Lincolnshire (up one)

of which 1,505 hospital deaths (up one)

  • 929 at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (up one)
  • 45 at Lincolnshire Community Health Service hospitals (up one)
  • 1 at Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (no change)
  • 530 in Northern Lincolnshire (NLAG) (no change)
DATA SOURCE — FIGURES CORRECT AT THE TIME OF THE LATEST UPDATE. POSTCODE DATA INCLUDES DEATHS NOT IN HEALTHCARE FACILITIES OR IN HOSPITALS OUTSIDE AUTHORITY BOUNDARIES.

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