The research was carried out by Imperial College London from the 26th of January to the 8th of February on the coronavirus antibodies
One person in seven now have antibodies against the coronavirus, with the vaccine starting to add to the immunity of the wider population, according to new research on the virus.
Blood tests on more than 154,000 people throughout England showed that between the 26th of January and the 8th of February, just past the peak of the second wave of the virus, 13.9% of the population had antibodies for the novel coronavirus.
Researchers at the Imperial College London, who have monitored the levels of COVID-19 antibodies in the population over several months, recorded for the first time the true impact of vaccination.
Over 17,000 of those who were randomly asked to take part had previously received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
This comes after businesses have welcomed news that the non-essential retail sector could reopen as soon as the 12th of April. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons, as he outlined his roadmap for England’s way out of lockdown.
Results from The REACT study show that 88% of people over the age of 80 had tested positive for coronavirus antibodies after two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, rising to 96% of those who are aged under 60 and 100% in those who are under the age of 30.
Older people within the population take longer to develop an immune response to the coronavirus, and it tends to be weaker than those who are younger.
The lead researcher, Prof Helen Ward, said: “Most people develop a detectable antibody response after one dose. Our findings suggest that it is very important for people to take up the second dose when it is offered.”
The study shows that confidence in the vaccines is generally high, with 92% of the participants having accepted or were planning to accept the coronavirus vaccine. However, just 72.5% of those people with black ethnicity said that they would have the jab.
Younger people in the population were also less likely to accept the vaccine, with just 83% of 18-29 year olds who were planning on accepting the offer of immunisation.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I urge anyone who has been invited for a vaccine to book an appointment. And while we are seeing rates of the virus gradually decline it is important we all hold our resolve and follow the rules as we deliver on our cautious but irreversible approach to easing lockdown.”
This comes after airlines have said that they have already seen a surge in holiday bookings following the PM’s announcement of the road map out of the nationwide lockdown. On Holiday bookings, the Prime Minister has said that a global travel taskforce would put forward a report on how to return to international travel on the 12th of April.
Elsewhere, the first big peer-reviewed real-world study of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 has confirmed that it is very effective at preventing risks of serious illness or death, even after just one dose of the jab.
Results from a mass vaccination campaign in Israel showed that the vaccine is roughly as effective in the real world as it had been as part of smaller-scale clinical trials.