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UK to reach herd immunity on Monday as next stage of lockdown easing given green light

Daily Express logo Daily Express 08/04/2021 Melanie Kaidan

According to new modelling obtained by University College London (UCL), the percentage of inoculated people in Britain will hit the herd immunity threshold on April 12. A different study carried out by Imperial College this week indicated that only 34 percent of the population had achieved immunity by the end of March.

Professor Karl Friston, of UCL, told the Telegraph how the high rate of vaccination gave the percentage a boost.

He said: "The herd immunity estimates surprised me.

"However, they are unremarkable when one considers that over 50 percent of adults have been vaccinated, around 42 percent of people have now been exposed to the virus and about 10 percent have pre-existing immunity.

"When factoring in the estimated efficacy of vaccination in terms of sterilising immunity, this - according to the model - means about 70 percent of the population are immune.

a group of people sitting at a table: Covid latest: vaccination © Getty Covid latest: vaccination

"Based upon contact rates at the beginning of the pandemic and estimated transmission risk, this is nearly at the herd immunity threshold."

Since the week ending March 14, 7.1 million people have received a first dose of vaccine and nearly 100,000 have become infected with coronavirus.

It is believed many others may have caught the virus but had an asymptomatic infection.

One in 10 people are also believed to have acquired innate immunity through previous contact with other coronaviruses.

The study comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed Britain would be moving onto the next stage of lockdown.

READ MORE: AstraZeneca blood clot: Dr Amir Khan warns of blood clot symptoms to spot after jab

Boris Johnson wearing a suit and tie: Covid latest: Prime Minister Boris Johnson © Getty Covid latest: Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Addressing a Downing Street press conference on Monday, Mr Johnson said: "The net result of your efforts and of course the vaccine rollout is that I can today confirm that from Monday April 12, we will move to step two of our road map.

"Reopening shops, gyms, zoos, holiday campsites, personal care services like hairdressers and of course beer gardens and outdoor hospitality of all kinds.

"And on Monday 12, I will be going to the pub myself and cautiously but irreversibly raising a pint of beer to my lips."

However, he pointed out the difficulties facing European nations showed the threat still posed by the pandemic.

Mr Johnson said: "We can't be complacent. We can see the waves of sickness affecting other countries and we have seen how this story goes."

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