Just two double-vaccinated under-50s have died from Delta variant

·Freelance news writer, Yahoo UK
·2 min read
Just two fully-vaccinated people under 50 have died from the Delta variant of coronavirus. (Getty Images)
Just two fully-vaccinated people under 50 have died from the Delta variant of coronavirus. (Getty Images)

Just two fully-vaccinated people under 50 have died from the Delta variant of coronavirus, new figures show.

That’s out of a total 5,600 double-jabbed under-50s who had caught the disease in England up to 21 June.

Among double-jabbed people over 50 with the Delta variant, there were 116 deaths out of 5,234 cases.

Overall, there had been 259 deaths out of 170,063 Delta cases up to 5 July, according to the Public Health England (PHE) technical briefing released on Friday.

Meaghan Kall, an epidemiologist from PHE, wrote on Twitter that this case fatality rate of 0.2% – meaning two deaths out of every 1,000 Delta cases – is down from 0.3% two weeks ago and is "very encouraging".

Watch: Friday's politics briefing

The new figures – which also show there were 313 overnight hospital admissions out of 10,834 double-jabbed people as of 21 June – are further proof vaccines have weakened the link between infection and severe illness, even as infections have soared due to the 60% more infectious Delta variant.

It comes after health secretary Sajid Javid said he was “comfortable” with the timetable for ending England’s lockdown – currently set for 19 July and due to be confirmed by Boris Johnson on Monday – despite the surge in cases.

“We feel very comfortable with the plans we have set out, despite the rise we are going to see in infections,” Javid told the Local Government Association.

“I think they are going to be a lot higher by 19 July than they are today, I think into August they are going to be even higher than that.

“But it’s the vaccine that’s working and that’s what gives us the confidence."

Johnson has previously said cases across the UK are likely to hit 50,000 a day by 19 July, with Javid going further and saying there could be 100,000 a day after restrictions are lifted.

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Scientists warned on Thursday that thousands of people are set to die if the lockdown ends as planned on 19 July. Johnson was warned: "Those who claim victory too easily will fail."

However, the summer unlocking has been backed by Prof Chris Whitty, the UK's most prominent COVID scientist, who said he has “quite a strong view” lifting lockdown in the summer has advantages over autumn due to seasonal pressures on the NHS.

Prof Neil Ferguson, the scientist whose modelling convinced the PM to impose the first lockdown in March last year, also said this week that lifting lockdown, while a "gamble", is "justifiable".

Watch: What you need to know about COVID-19 variants