A major study has found that infection rates for Covid-19 were three times lower for people who have had both doses of a vaccine.
The REACT-1 study into Covid-19 saw over 47,000 volunteers return PCR tests in England between June 24 and July 5 to examine the levels of Covid-19 in the general population.
The latest data show infections in England have increased fourfold from 0.15% to 0.59% since the last REACT-1 report which covered May 20 to June 7.
Read more: More covid outbreaks in Liverpool care homes
The research found that in the most recent period, one in every 170 people had the virus and there was a doubling time of just six days.
Cases are expected to continue to rise as the country prepares to fully open up on July 19.
The REACT study also looked at infection rates in terms of those who are or are not vaccinated.
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It found that infection rates for double vaccinated people under-65 are three times lower than in unvaccinated under-65s
In people aged 64 or younger, the prevalence of infection among those who had received two doses of the vaccine was 0.35% compared with 1.15% among those who had not received any vaccine.
The Department of Health said that the latest data from Public Health England (PHE) shows that the vaccination programme has saved over 27,000 lives and has prevented over 7 million people from getting COVID-19.
It also shows that both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine can reduce symptomatic infection by almost 80%.
All those aged 18 and over can book their vaccination through the NHS booking service, and second doses are being accelerated by reducing the dosing interval from 12 weeks to 8 weeks.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “As we unlock society and learn to live with COVID-19, we will inevitably see cases rise significantly over coming weeks. But today’s finding show that infection rates are three times lower for those who have had two vaccine doses.
“It is more important than ever to get that life-saving second jab so we can continue to weaken the link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths and build a wall of defence against the virus.
“As we move from regulations to guidance and get back to our everyday lives, see our loved ones and return to work, it is vital people practice good sense and take personal responsibility for their own health and those around them.”
Professor Paul Elliott, director of the REACT programme from Imperial’s School of Public Health, said: “In spite of the successful rollout of the vaccination programme, we are still seeing rapid growth in infections, especially among younger people.
“However, it is encouraging to see lower infection prevalence in people who have had both doses of a vaccine. It is therefore essential that as many people as possible take up both vaccine doses when offered.”
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