A surveillance study found that the UK saw an increase in symptomatic Covid cases by five to eighty thousand per day over last week.

Based on the test results of around 650,000 volunteers, ZOE’s symptom-tracking survey estimated that 80.483 people became ill during week ending November 27.

It marked a rise of 4.9 per cent compared to the estimate on the previous week and means one in 61 Britons suffered a symptomatic infection at any given time, King’s College London scientists who run the study said. 

But infections started to fall in the over-55s, in a clear sign of the effect of booster vaccine doses — with more than 18.6million people now having had a third dose according to Government data. 

No10 unveiled its new scheme to vaccinate all over-18s by the end of January on Tuesday, with the UK today buying 114million more doses in an effort to stop the spread of the new supermutant Omicron variant.

The epidemiologist who led the study, Professor Tim Spector said that this variant “rudely awakened” the UK to pandemic. To monitor the situation, more people were encouraged to track their symptoms and continue to report them.

Ministers have moved today to allow the UK to begin administering vaccines for primary schoolchildren amid concerns about a rising wave of the variant.

They asked their independent vaccine advisers the Joint Commission for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and chief scientists Sir Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty to consider the move.

But the UK’s chief strategy for dealing with the strain remains vaccinating more vulnerable, older age groups, according to business minister George Freeman.

The ZOE symptom-tracking study estimated that 80,483 people fell ill on any given day in the week ending November 27 (blue line), based on test results from around 650,000 volunteers

According to test results from 650,000 volunteers, the ZOE symptom tracking study found that an estimated 80.483 people were sick during any day of November 27 (blueline)

The figures show cases are highest in children aged under 18, who are seeing more than 32,000 symptomatic infections per day — although the numbers have fallen over the week.

The figures show cases are highest in children aged under 18, who are seeing more than 32,000 symptomatic infections per day — although the numbers have fallen over the week.

Covid was most prevalent in the East Midlands, East of England and South East, where one in 57 people were infected per day during the week

Covid was the most common in the East Midlands and East of England, as well as the South East. One in every 57 people infected during weekdays there.

Ministers are “standing ready” to vacinate children aged five- to eleven against Covid 

Fears of an Omicron wave are mounting and the UK could soon start to offer Covid vaccinations to children in primary schools.

Ministers have requested Sir Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty, their chief scientists and independent advisors on vaccines to look into the possibility.

Sky News spoke with George Freeman today, who is a minister to business: “We are looking at both the science and the balance for the rollout.

Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance are our chief scientists and we are guided by their guidance.

He stated that the primary goal was to protect older adults from Omicron, which could be spread throughout the UK. 

Mister Freeman said that although the data suggests that children younger than five are less likely to be harmed, that is not the case. However, science changes over time and scientists are able to guide us and make adjustments. This is why the vaccines were purchased – so that we could deliver the necessary health care for our patients and citizens.

Professor Spector claimed that Omicron “has rudely awakened a number of countries, including the UK,” from the slumber that they’d fallen into with Covid. 

Although we have more data needed to determine the risk this variant poses, I urge the public to not panic. However, it is important that everyone be more vigilant. 

“Getting your third vaccination, covering up with a face mask, staying away from large indoor crowds and remaining home when you have symptoms similar to colds are all ways to reduce the spread. 

“The ZOE Covid Study will be a key tool in fighting this variant. 

“We require everyone to log their symptoms, tests results, and vaccinations into the app in order to rapidly understand the new variant and aid the rest of the world. 

The study estimated the R rate — the average number of people an infected person will pass the virus onto — is around 1.0 for the whole of the UK.

Figures show cases are highest in children aged under 18, who are seeing more than 32,000 symptomatic infections per day — although the numbers have fallen over the week.

People aged 75 years and older have the lowest levels of illness with less than 1000 cases per day. 

Covid was more common in East Midlands, East of England, and South East where 1 in 57 were infected each day.

London and the North West had the lowest rates with one in 68 people falling ill with the virus during the week.

Figures from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) yesterday showed Britain’s Covid crisis appeared to pick up again, with cases and deaths increasing together for the first time in four days.

Britain recorded 48,374 new cases over the last 24 hours, up 10.8 per cent on last week’s total of 43,676.

It was the first week in a row that the number of positive test results increased from Friday. However, eight cases of Omicron supermutant variant were detected in England yesterday. This brings the total for the UK to 22.

Likewise, the number of people dying with the virus increased 14.8 per cent to 171 today, up from 149 recorded last Wednesday.

But hospitalisations continued to fall, with 706 people admitted to hospital with coronavirus on Saturday, the latest date data is available for. 

According to Government data, 393,000 people received their third dose of booster vaccine yesterday. This brings the total population fully infected up to 18.6 million.

Around 30,500 were administered their first shot, with 32,000 receiving the second. 

Pfizer boss Dr Albert Bourla today said Britons could need a Covid vaccine every year to maintain its ‘very high’ levels of protection. 

Interview with Dr Bourla, the UK’s most renowned vaccine supplier. He suggested that more jabs may be necessary for many years.

Pfizer is working to develop a modified jab for the Omicron strain. This may make it more difficult to evade vaccine-induced immunity.

This comes just after the UK bought another 114 million doses of Covid vaccinations, which could have been edited to combat variants.

Ministers have agreed to increase the country’s immune system for the at least two winters ahead.

BBC interview with Dr Bourla: “Based on all I’ve seen, I believe that an annual vaccination… is likely to be required to maintain a very strong and high level of protection.”