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Covid winter plan: Here’s what the graphs from Boris Johnson’s press conference mean

The i 2 days ago Thomas Saunders
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In the past few weeks, there has been a gradual drifting up in the number of Covid-19 cases. In the last few days, this number has begun to fall but we are about to enter a much more difficult period of the year.

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The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has mirrored this, the number has gradually drifted up but is still well below what it was during the last peak at the beginning of the year, although there is a general upward trend.

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The good news remains that the number of people dying of Covid-19 is significantly lower proportional to the number of cases than it was at the beginning of this year. The numbers are still not trivial and are gradually drifting up once again but very slowly.

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Recent data suggests that an unvaccinated 30-year-old has a slightly higher chance of ending up in the hospital from Covid-19 than a fully vaccinated 70-year-old. In every age group, even those between the age of 18 and 29, there was a substantially smaller proportion of hospitalised cases among the double vaccinated than amongst the rest of the age group.

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The effectiveness of the vaccine is even more clear among deaths from covid-19. Among those under the age of 70, deaths from Covid-19 after two vaccines is almost non-existent. Among those aged between 60 and 69, the rate was just 3.4 per 100,000 people. Below the age of 60, the rate was 1 per 100,000 or lower.

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This time last year, we were only beginning to see the rise in cases that we had this time last year during the autumn-winter period. This year, we are entering that period at a much higher level in terms of cases, hospitalisations and deaths.

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The vaccine rollout has allowed us to enter winter with this high level without overloading the NHS, but cases and admissions would only have to double a few times before we would find ourselves in a similar place to last year’s winter, and the lockdown that came with it.

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