UK’s Covid cases could be shrinking due to children developing ‘high levels of immunity’ during the back-toschool wave, SAGE adviser claims. This is despite growing calls to increase vaccine uptake for over-12s.

  • Professor John Edmunds stated, “Infections are driven by cases in children.”
  • This has created immunity among young people, which can lead to cases dropping
  • His comments were made despite growing calls to increase vaccine uptake in schools 

High infection rates among children has led to 'high levels of immunity in children', which may cause cases to plateau and drop, SAGE scientist Professor John Edmunds said

Professor John Edmunds, SAGE scientist, said that high infection rates in children have led to ‘high levels immunity in children’ which could cause cases to plateau or drop.

According to a Government adviser, the UK is seeing fewer cases of covid due to natural immunity among children, which is triggered in large numbers by high rates of infection.

Professor John Edmunds, SAGE scientist, stated that infections in the past few months have been driven in large part by cases in children.

He said that this has led to “high levels of immunity among children”, which could cause cases to plateau or drop. 

His comments were made despite growing calls for vaccine uptake among pupils. Local sites offer jabs to children in an effort to increase vaccine uptake in England.

The US moved yesterday one step closer towards jabbing five-year olds. Advisors told health agencies that the benefits of jabbing children aged between five to 11 years old outweigh the potential risks. 

The number of covid cases in the UK hit a three-month high, with more than 50,000. Tests were taken for three days straight. The ONS has just released the latest figures, showing that nearly a tenth (or ten percent) of secondary school students were infected this month.

Doctors, some scientists and Labour called for Plan B — mandatory face masks, wokr from home guidance and vaccine passports — to be implemented in a bid to control infections. Three days straight of falling cases have passed without intervention.

Professor Edmunds of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said that consensus among scientific models was that cases would either be levelling off or falling over the next weeks.

He said: ‘That’s because the epidemic in the last few months has been really driven by huge numbers of cases in children. I am referring to a huge number of cases in children. 

‘And that will eventually lead to high levels of immunity in children and it may be that we’re achieving that now. 

‘Or achieving I think is the wrong word, but it might be that we’re getting to high levels of immunity in children through these really high rates of infection we’ve had and it may start to level off.’

Professor Edmunds warned that the models also predict an increase in infections due to waning immunity, and a return of normality.

According to the latest estimates by the Office for National Statistics, infection rates among students have increased since school returned. 7.8% of 11-16-year-olds tested positive for the disease in the week to October 16 according to the Office for National Statistics.

While cases remain high, Department of Health data has shown that rates among the 10-14-year olds have been falling from 1,925 per 100 to 1,869. The same trend is being observed in all age groups.

Some local authorities and headteachers implemented restrictions in schools in a bid to control the latest wave of infections — such as cancelling assemblies and requiring students and staff to wear face masks in communal areas. 

Since September 20, vaccines have been available to English 12-15-year-olds. However, until last week the jabs were only available at schools and were criticised for being too slow. 

To speed up the drive, other vaccination sites began offering injections to pupils on Friday and more than 80,000 have now booked to get jabbed at the sites. 

Dr Nikki Kanani (GP, deputy lead for the NHS vaccination programme) said the vaccines were essential to keep students in schools this winter. 

Official data shows that 95% of 16-to-24-year-olds have Covid antibodies.

Graph shows: The proportion of people in different age groups who tested positive for Covid antibodies (green line), have had a first vaccine dose (light blue line) and second vaccine dose (dark blue line) from the weeks beginning December 7 to September 27

Graph shows: The percentage of people who tested positive for Covid antibodies in different age groups, have had a first (light blue) and second (dark) vaccine doses from the weeks starting December 7 through September 27.

According to official data, Covid antibodies are present in more than 95% percent of 16-to-24-year-olds in England.

Office for National Statistics figures released today show 92.2 per cent of the adult population tested positive for the virus-fighting proteins in the week ending October 3.

Despite less than half of those aged 16 to 24 having had both Covid vaccines, 95.6 per cent of people in the age group are estimated to have the antibodies — suggesting natural infection has helped build their immunity. 

This proportion was even higher for Northern Ireland (95.8%) and about the same in Wales and Scotland (95.4%). 

According to the ONS, “Our survey shows that the percentage of adults who tested positive for coronavirus antibodies in the week starting September 27th was high.” 

It has increased in younger adults, and is showing signs that it is on the verge of slowing down in older adults. 

“We estimate that antibody positivity for people aged 16-24 years has increased steadily across all four UK nations, with estimates ranging from 95.4 to 95.8 percentage across the UK for week beginning September 27, with estimates ranging from 95.4 to 95.8 percent. 

Antibody levels are showing a dip in the over-60s, despite the fact that at most 98% of this age group has had both jabs.

They were lowest among 70- to74-year olds (86%) and 75-to 79-yearolds (86.7%).

But people aged 80 and above had the highest antibody levels (89.3 per cent) — even though they were the first to receive their second vaccine dose. 

On September 16, Britain began to roll out third booster doses, two weeks prior to the ONS’s most recent tests. This suggests that antibody levels might have begun increasing due to the programme.

The ONS — which analyses tens of thousands of blood samples every fortnight — doesn’t break down whether antibodies came from jabs or infection.

They generally signify that the person has some protection against the disease, and won’t get sick. 

Although testing positive does not guarantee immunity, it can make people more susceptible to illness. 

A positive test result only means that the person had a certain amount of them at the time of the test.

Scientists say levels dip naturally over time and people may not have any detectable antibodies now — even if they did so last year. 

Also, even if they are negative, they may still be protected against the virus as there are other parts to the immune system that are equipped to fight off invaders such as T cells.