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September 20, 2021

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: UK aims to vaccinate 12-15 year age group as Covid cases rise

By Paul Dennis

20 September

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 228,630,000 with more than 4,693,000 deaths reported.

Daily confirmed Covid-19 cases have been steadily rising in recent weeks, with the UK facing a potential surge in infections this winter.

To mitigate this risk and increase population vaccination rates, vaccination coverage will expand to include children aged 12-15 years.

The protection provided to these children and their contacts is likely to reduce the number of serious hospitalizations as well as minimize disruption to their education.

This measure is introduced at the same time as an overhaul to UK travel restrictions, which aims to boost travel for fully vaccinated passengers.

As vaccinated individuals are not entirely protected from acquiring a Covid-19 infection, there is a potential risk of increased imported transmission over the coming months.

The magnitude of this issue will depend on local restrictions, travel uptake and the success of continued vaccination efforts.

Singapore reported more than 1,000 daily confirmed cases over two consecutive days this weekend, marking the first-time infections have exceeded this milestone since the peak of the pandemic in April 2020.

Infections began to rise due to the rapid spread of the highly infectious Delta variant. Meanwhile, the number of serious cases requiring supplemental oxygen or intensive care has not risen as sharply as cases yet.

Singapore has had one of the fastest vaccination rollouts globally, with more than 80% of its population fully vaccinated.

High vaccination rates are likely to have ensured that the number of severely ill patients and deaths has been minimized.

In response to rising daily new cases, primary school children will start home-based learning on 27 September for 10 days.

The measure aims to minimize the risk of school-based transmission and protect younger students that are not medically eligible for vaccination.

The government had previously announced a gradual easing of restrictions as the country switched from a zero-tolerance approach to a strategy where the country seeks to live with the virus.

However, as cases continue to rise, this approach may waver.

Tara Patel, MSc, Epidemiologist at GlobalData Plc.

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