'Vaccine is working': 3 COVID charts that show UK is heading in right direction

·Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
·2 min read
Dr Mary Ramsay praising the UK's COVID vaccine rollout at Wednesday's Downing Street press conference. (PA)
Dr Mary Ramsay highlighting the UK's COVID vaccine rollout at Wednesday's Downing Street press conference. (PA)

It's only nine days since Boris Johnson delayed the end of England's coronavirus lockdown, but the outlook seems positive once again.

When the prime minister made the announcement on Monday last week, he warned dropping all restrictions could have led to thousands of deaths, and that extra time was needed to give more people their second vaccine doses.

However, even as infections have continue to increase, it has not translated into huge numbers of hospital admissions or deaths as it did in previous waves – an encouraging sign for the 19 July target date to lift all restrictions.

Here are three charts, shared at Wednesday's Downing Street press conference, which show the UK is heading in the right direction.

1. Hospitalisations are rising... but very slowly


Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at Public Health England (PHE), said the number of hospitalisations is rising "but at a very much slower rate than we are seeing with the cases".

In the seven days up to Wednesday, there were 79,481 new COVID-19 cases, up 44% from the previous seven days.

The fact hospitalisations remain relatively low, as demonstrated in the above chart, is "evidence that the vaccine is working and it's breaking the link between cases of infection and hospitalisations," Dr Ramsay said.

2. Death numbers are 'so small'


"Although every death is a terrible tragedy," Dr Ramsay said, "the numbers are so small on this graph that you can’t even see any increase.

"So again: suggesting that the vaccination programme is helping to prevent severe illnesses."

Ministers are so encouraged by the low death numbers that they are reportedly now willing to drop face mask and social distancing requirements when England's lockdown ends.

Watch: Coronavirus in numbers

3. 60% of UK adults have had both doses


Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi celebrated the milestone of three-fifths (60%) of UK adults having received both vaccine doses.

He said more than 14,000 lives have now been saved by vaccines, while 44,500 hospital admissions had also been averted in England, including 2,500 in the past two weeks.

Zahawi added he is confident the government will meet its target of double vaccinating two-thirds (66%) of adults by 19 July.

Watch: Vaccine in numbers

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