The U.K. has one of the highest Covid vaccination rates in the world. Yet it’s seeing a surge in coronavirus cases largely attributed to the new Delta variant that first originated in India.
It is widely expected among that where the U.K. treads, others could follow. The U.K. is rushing to vaccinate as many people as possible before the full economic opening begins.
Experts around the world say that close attention is being paid to the latest U.K. covid data as it could become the standard for other countries to observe. And there is anticipation that where the U.K. goes, others, like the U.S., will follow.
All eyes on UK Covid developments
With the UK’s high vaccination rate and a rising number of daily Delta recorded infections, the UK has presented itself as a possible test case for whether mass vaccination against Covid-19 can bring an end to the repeated cycles of lockdowns and other draconian social distancing measure. Did anyone imagine that just over a year ago billions of people would be confined to their homes, not mix and wear face coverings and isolate. I didn’t.
Vaccines have weakened virus link
It has been suggested that the U.K.’s high rate of vaccination has significantly weakened the link between recorded Covid-19 infections and complications from the disease.
The UK will attempt to reduce all measures to a bare minimum to permit a further and faster economic recovery. Support measures put in place by the UK government will be slowly and carefully withdrawn.
It appears that this Delta wave of infections was unlike previous ones with the number of recorded infections rising at a slower pace than during the previous wave, and that there had been no clear dramatic rise in deaths or hospitalisations despite the rise in cases.
Younger age groups are less likely to be severely affected by the virus than older age groups. But still, the longer the young remain unvaccinated the more the virus will spread and potentially more variants will emerge. This is the thinking anyway.
The virus knows of no boundaries and is forever mutating or adapting itself to survive. The science will win – but it will take years to regain control over the virus. We will have to learn to live with it for the foreseeable future, as we have with other diseases.
The vaccines have proved resilient to new variants, remaining largely effective in preventing serious illness for fully vaccinated people. An analysis from Public Health England found two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines were highly effective against hospitalisations from the delta variant. Second, third and fourth vaccine generations will be developed and these will be even better at providing far greater protection.
In order to fully vaccinate more people, the U.K. government delayed the removal of remaining Covid restrictions in England until 19th July. It has insisted that the lifting of restrictions on that date is still on track despite the spread of the delta variant.
Despite the UK’s latest politcal shenanigans involving the health secretary, the country remains on target to fully open the economy. However, foreign travel may remain the one area that retains stronger covid-19 measures.
Global economic recovery is generally strong, especially in the U.S. but for this to continue, we need to stay ahead of the virus and the vaccine is now the main weapon against the disease.
This is a race to both vaccinate the nation as fast as possible and open up the economy as quickly as possible.
If we measure the success of a nation’s recovery by the state of the stock market then we are doing well. European stocks are up and the U.S. stocks are setting new record highs as we speak.
However, the ‘real’ economic recovery the ‘real’ people experience may be very different from the financial status portrayed by stock market success.