Under-18s could be Delta variant driver, warns virologist

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Britain has reported another 9,284 coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour period, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 4,630,040, according to official figures released on Sunday…reports Asian Lite News.

Amid the UK’s drive to vaccinate all individuals above the age of 18, a leading British virologist has warned that it could lead to the concentration of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in schoolchildren, according to The Observer.

Britain has reported another 9,284 coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour period, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 4,630,040, according to official figures released on Sunday.

The country also recorded another six coronavirus-related death. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 127,976. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.

While the government officials have emphasised the need for maximum vaccination coverage among adults to avoid another deadly Covid wave, virologist Julian Tang, of Leicester University, has reportedly sounded a note of caution, according to a Hindustan Times report.

Recent data on Covid-19 indicates that people under-30s, who have not been extensively vaccinated, were the ones largely infected by the virus and Tang suggested that the vaccination programme would drive the virus into under-18s, reported The Observer.

“As a result, the virus will concentrate in school-age populations, which will eventually become a reservoir and driver of any ensuing Delta variant epidemic, as well as being a hotspot in which new mutations may arise,” the British weekly quoted Tang as saying.

British scientists on Sunday warned of “pretty miserable winter” ahead for the country due to likely emergence of new respiratory viruses, with further lockdowns a possibility.

Calum Semple, member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), a British government advisory body, said that children and elderly people will be especially vulnerable to endemic viruses at the end of the year.
Scientists have warned that a third wave of coronavirus infections is “definitely under way” in England due to the fast spread of the Delta variant first identified in India, even though hospital admissions will hopefully not be on the same scale as in January.

The recent data published by Public Health England showed the AstraZeneca vaccine is 92 per cent effective against hospitalization from the Delta variant after two doses, and the Pfizer vaccine, 96 per cent effective.

Nearly 43 million people have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine while more than 31.3 million people have been fully vaccinated, according to the latest official figures.

Experts have warned that coronavirus may continue to evolve for years to come, and eventually it is likely current vaccines will fail to protect against transmission, infection, or even against disease caused by newer variants.

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