The UK’s daily coronavirus cases have started to fall again after a brief blip yesterday — but hospital admissions and deaths continue to rise. 

According to the Department of Health’s daily updates, there were 33,865 new cases of infection in the country within the last 24 hours. This is a 17.3% decrease from last Tuesday.

Covid cases were slightly overinflated last week due to a recording issue from Wales. This means that there will be a less drastic week-on week decline. Daily infections in England fell below 30,000 for only the fourth time in four weeks.

Yesterday was the eighth consecutive day of infection declines. This was attributed to a lower half-term test. However, there is increasing optimism that rising immunity levels will keep infections at bay even though schools are returning.

According to the latest hospital data, there were 1,002 UK hospitalizations on October 29th. This was the fifth consecutive day with four-digit admissions.  

The DOH reported that there were 293 deaths across Britain today. This is the most since March 3, which saw 315.

However, today’s tally potentially includes two days of data from England, according to the department, which will have skewed it. Both hospital admissions as well as deaths are lagging indicators.   

The Covid dashboard by the Government shows that over 50 million Britons have had their first Covid vaccine. Around 45.7 million have had two doses and 8.4m have received their booster third dose.

Top experts warned that Britain’s Covid booster jab drive was still slow, despite NHS England boasting it had hit a record last week. 

Official figures show 1.6million people in England were given their third dose last week, a slight improvement for the sluggish drive that was only reaching 1.1million every seven days at the start of October.

Critics said that uptake was still too low with 7.2 million vulnerable people still waiting for their booster. They warned that it could take until mid January to give the 32 million eligible people their vital immunity booster.

Covid vaccines were made compulsory for all care home workers. This had a “LITTLE” effect in boosting uptake 

Industry insiders claim that making Covid mandatory for care home workers did not increase uptake. This is despite fears that the NHS workers will be forced to get the vaccines. 

Ministers have made it mandatory for all care home workers to have their second jab by November 11. If they don’t, they could lose their job. This is in the hopes of increasing uptake and protecting vulnerable residents.  

MailOnline today heard from care executives that the policy was not effective in boosting uptake and was implemented ‘without considering the consequences’. Critics warn that it will increase staff shortages. 

According to the latest figures, only 30,000 elderly care home workers have sought their first vaccination since July’s mandate.

Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group — which represents providers in Yorkshire, said making jabs compulsory only had ‘a little bit of an effect’ on the 1.5million-strong sector.

The NHS’s ‘no job, no jab’ policy is also being considered by health chiefs. This comes ahead of what is expectedly to be a difficult winter. However, there are calls to postpone the change until April to avoid a staff exodus. More than 9 out 10 NHS staff are already jabbed.

Care home employees will have to be double-jabbed to continue working in the sector beginning next week. However, there could be a loophole that allows unvaccinated employees in the sector to continue working until two days before Christmas. Care bosses fear this could spark a ‘mass exodus’ just ahead of Christmas Day — derailing family plans.  

Dr Raghib Al Ali, an epidemiologist at Cambridge University said that the lagging rates were what ‘concerned’ him most heading into winter.

The UK’s Department of Health data shows that the average number of boosters given each day has dropped by a tenth, from around 300,000.00 per day in the week to Oct 24, to 270,000 last Week. 

Ministers stated that a quick and effective booster campaign is essential to avoid the country returning to ‘Plan B” restrictions this winter. This would include face masks, vaccination passports and work-from-home guidance.

Sajid Javid (Health Secretary) said last month at a grim press conference that ‘if not enough people get booster jabs’ then “it would of course make more likely we will have more restrictions.”

Initial delays caused by the NHS bosses blaming a lack of demand, the NHS booster campaign was hampered by delays. However, there were reports that elderly people were turned away despite having received their second jab six years ago. People can now walk in, which is expected increase uptake as well as speed up the drive. 

Dr Ali stated that he was concerned about the debate over Plan B. He said, “I fear that the debate has distracted us away from the message boosters are key intervention to save lives.”

British health chiefs were reprimanded in the meantime for publishing ‘potentially misleading data’ that anti-vaxxers used to make false claims about jabs’ effectiveness.

After taking over from the now-defunct Public Health England, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), now publishes weekly surveillance updates.

The agency’s data over the past few week shows that infection rates are higher among fully-vaccinated adults than in those who have not been. 

Anti-vaxx campaigners and commentators have taken the data to prove that Covid vaccines do not work.

The UKHSA has been asked by the statistics watchdog to clarify some of the data issues. 

The Office of Statistics Regulation (OSR), ruled that the UKHSA must more clearly highlight how behavioural differences could have skewed figures. 

Following controversy over the presentation of data, the UKHSA has made several changes to its weekly report.    

It now retracts its findings, saying that the data is not ‘unadjusted’. This means that it shouldn’t be used for comparisons between jabbed and unjabbed populations as there are likely to have been’systematic differences.

This is because the vaccinated are more likely to be tested since they are more health conscious.

It also suggests People who are jabbed may be more open-minded and therefore more likely than others to get the virus. 

Yesterday, OSR director general Ed Humpherson wrote to Dr Jenny Harries, UKHSA boss, to express his appreciation for the changes.

The UK's statistics watchdog says the UK Health Security Agency needs to do better at explaining its data after anti-vaxxers claimed a report by the body showing there were more Covid cases among vaccinated people than the unvaccinated was proof that Covid vaccines don't work. The data, replicated above, does show there were more cases among the vaccinated over 30s than their un-jabbed counterparts,  but behavioural reasons, like the vaccinated socialising more freely could partly explain the difference

The UK’s statistics watchdog said that the UK Health Security Agency must be better at explaining its data. Anti-vaxxers claimed that a report showing more Covid cases among people who had been vaccinated than their counterparts in the unvaccinated population was proof that Covid vaccinations don’t work. The data, replicated above, does show there were more cases among the vaccinated over 30s than their un-jabbed counterparts,  but behavioural reasons, like the vaccinated socialising more freely could partly explain the difference 

He said that anti-vaxxers could still use the data to question vaccine effectiveness. 

Mr Humpherson stated that ‘It is still the case that surveillance reports include rates per 100,000 which can help to argue vaccines are not effective’. 

“I am aware that this is not the intent of the surveillance report, however, the potential for misuse still exists.

“Publishing these data should address the possibility that it misleads people into believing that it contains information about vaccine effectiveness.”

He said that the UKHSA report must explain the behavioral differences between vaccinated people and those who are not vaccinated. This could account for the differences.  

Official data shows that fifth of Britons considered ‘extremely vulnerable to Covid’ are STILL shielding, despite the fact that guidance was dropped in April. 

Despite official guidance dropping in April, a fifth were still protected last month.

Around 3.7million people in England were deemed most at-risk of dying from Covid. They were encouraged not to leave their homes during the darkest days.

Official figures suggest that hundreds of thousands of people still go out of their way in order to protect themselves, despite this advice being lifted in the wake of the second wave of destruction.

Today’s polling data showed that 22 percent of respondents remained indoors and avoided social interaction last month.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS), a report, also revealed that 68% of respondents were taking extra precautions like avoiding crowds.    

After conducting a Covid population assessment, the Government recommended that 1.5 million additional people be shielded. Shielding guidance was issued last spring during the initial lockdown. It was applied to 2.2million English residents who had a preexisting condition such a kidney disease or cancer.

Mr Humpherson said: “I don’t think your surveillance report goes far enough to explain this crucial point.” 

The latest data, published on October 28, showed that there were more cases than ever of Covid in all vaccinated people over 30 than their un-jabbed counterparts.

For example, 1936 cases were found among 100,000 fully vaccinated adults between the ages of 40 and 49, compared with 835 for the unvaccinated. 

It is important to note that, while anti-vaxxers claim that Covid vaccines are ineffective, the same data set clearly shows that jabs reduce the likelihood of being hospitalized or dying from the virus.  

Hospitalization and death rates due to Covid were three to five times higher in those who had not been vaccinated than in those who received at least two doses. 

The UKHSA received a stinging OSR letter. It also addressed the UKHSA’s decision to use Covid data as a denominator.

The UKHSA’s report uses data from the National Immunisation Management Service. (NIMS), a weekly update dataset based upon people who have registered for NHS services.

However, NIMS may underestimate the population eligible for vaccines partly because people don’t change their NHS registration details when moving. It could be underestimating vaccine use.

Mr Humpherson has suggested UKHSA also use ONS population estimates, like the Government’s Covid dashboard does. 

He said, “Given these multiple uncertainties it is good that your are working with colleagues at the ONS to determine the best denominator for these calculations,” 

“In the interim, you should consider setting these uncertainties out more clearly, including publishing the rates for 100,000 using both denominators and making clear in a table, perhaps by formatting, that the column showing cases in unvaccinated individuals is of particular concern. 

Dr Mary Ramsay, UKHSA’s head of immunisation, said in a response to the letter that they were grateful for the assistance of the statistics watchdog in making their report less susceptible to anti-vaxxers. 

 ‘There has been some misunderstanding and, at times, deliberate manipulation of the data presented in the UKHSA Vaccine Surveillance Report by those who want to undermine the vaccine programme, and we are grateful to the UK Statistics Authority for working with us to help make the report less open to manipulation.’

“We regularly review our data outputs in order to ensure that they are as clear and accurate as possible. We will also make any necessary updates to this report in future if required.

“It is evident in our report, that Covid vaccines provide a high standard of protection against severe outcomes. The data also shows that hospitalisations rates and death rates are significantly lower for fully vaccinated persons across all age groups. 

However, she said that the report would still use NIMS to ensure data could continue to be compared in realtime. 

She stated that she would continue to use the NIMS numerator – the NHS national registry – to ensure data is comparable from week to week.

The Government’s handling Covid statistics has come under scrutiny over the course of this pandemic, with ministers being scolded about how they use data.

Last November Number 10 was criticised by the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) for not being transparent enough with the data used to justify England’s second lockdown. 

In June 2020 Sir David Norgrove, UKSA chairman wrote to Matt Hancock the Health Secretary at that time, stating that the information he was using regarding Covid testing was far from complete’ and ‘misleading’.

Recent revelations have revealed that the Government Ministers will be attending a “data masterclass” in order to address the issue’statistical ignorance’.

Crash courses have been offered in the civil service, but they will now be available to senior ministers as part of the Christmas preparations. 

It is not yet known who in Cabinet will be attending these masterclasses, or if Boris Johnson will be there.