LONDON (BLOOMBERG) - Eight in 10 adults in England now have antibodies protecting them against Covid-19 as the government forges ahead with its vaccination programme, according to data published on Wednesday (June 9).
The estimate from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) comes at a critical time with ministers due to announce on Monday whether the final phase of the reopening of the economy will go ahead on June 21.
That plan has been thrown into doubt by the highly transmissible strain of the virus first identified in India, which is now spreading fast in Britain.
The presence of antibodies means a person has either had the infection in the past or has been vaccinated.
More than half the adult population in the United Kingdom has now received the second dose of a vaccine, according to government data, with shots available for 25 to 29-year-olds in England as of this week.
The percentage of adults testing positive for protection in the week starting May 17 was highest in Wales at 82.7 per cent.
It stood at 80.3 per cent in England, 79.9 per cent in Northern Ireland and 72.6 per cent in Scotland.
"Across all four countries of the UK, there is a clear pattern between vaccination and testing positive for Covid-19 antibodies but the detection of antibodies alone is not a precise measure of the immunity protection given by vaccination," the ONS said.