A hefty rise in the number of Delta variant-driven new COVID-19 cases across Southwark, and the country as a whole, is no cause for panic.
All the evidence we have shows us that the vaccine drive is working. But for the best protection you need to have received both doses. Until then, people in younger age groups or those who decided to turn down the offer of inoculation are vulnerable – both to the virus which can make people severely ill and cause long-term complications, but also to passing the infection on to more vulnerable people.
Although many of us are champing at the bit to get back to something resembling normality, continuing to be cautious: social distancing, taking tests if you have symptoms, and isolating if in contact with a confirmed case, will all help slow the spread and prevent risk.
The figures certainly sound alarming – week on week new cases are rising by between 60 and 70 per cent across England.
However, hospital admissions have only risen by under eleven per cent. So despite a surge in cases we are not seeing anywhere the number of seriously ill people we did during the first and second waves of the virus.
Vaccines will never offer a 100 per cent guarantee that you will not get unwell with COVID-19. But the protection from two jabs, against all variants, so far is shown to be very high.
For example, both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are more than 92 per cent effective against hospitalisation and serious disease after two doses.
Health officials in Southwark say they have been ‘pulling out all the stops’ to push forward the vaccine roll out to all adults, and get more people over 40 bringing their jabs forward. This is the final push.
Although we may have to live with COVID-19 for a long time yet, an end to lockdowns and mass restrictions is finally in sight.