People who were fully vaccinated against Covid-19 accounted for only one per cent of Covid-related deaths in England in the first seven months of this year, new figures show.
Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals that most were infected with coronavirus before they had received both jabs, or had tested positive for the virus within 14 days of their second dose.
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Risk of death lower for fully vaccinated
ONS figures indicate that the risk of death due to Covid-19 is consistently lower among people who have received two vaccine doses, by comparison to those who have had one, or none at all.
Of the 51,281 deaths that were recorded in England between 2 January and 2 July, just 640 (1.2 per cent) were people who had been fully vaccinated.
This total includes people who had been infected before they were vaccinated.
Some 458 deaths (0.8 per cent) were people who died at least 21 days after their second dose, while 256 deaths (0.5 per cent) were people who were fully vaccinated and had their first positive PCR test at least 14 days after their second dose.
While vaccines do not provide 100 per cent protection against Covid-19, meaning some deaths are expected, the risk is significantly lower after two doses.
The ONS described those who died after being fully vaccinated and testing positive at least 14 days after the second dose as “breakthrough” deaths.
A breakdown of the data shows that just over three-quarters of these deaths (76.6 per cent) occurred in people who were clinically extremely vulnerable.
This was a slightly higher proportion than for other Covid-related deaths at 74.5 per cent, and non Covid-related deaths at 69.7 per cent.
Some 61.1 per cent of breakthrough deaths occurred in males, which is higher than for other deaths involving Covid-19 at 52.2 per cent, and non-Covid-19 deaths at 48.5 per cent.
Vaccines to be main Covid defence
The figures come as the Prime Minister prepares to set out his plan for managing Covid-19 over autumn and winter.
Boris Johnson is expected to address the nation on Tuesday (14 September) to outline how vaccinations will serve as the country’s main defence against coronavirus during the colder months.
Mr Johnson will tell the country that “this is the new normal - we need to learn to live with Covid”, according to a senior government source quoted by The Daily Telegraph.
A number of measures to control the virus are set to be loosened, with vaccines instead serving as the main defence.
The source said: “The vaccines are a wall of defence. The autumn and the winter do offer some uncertainty, but the Prime Minister is dead set against another lockdown."
Almost 81 per cent of people aged 16 and over are now fully vaccinated in the UK, according to data up to 12 September, while almost 90 per cent of people in this age bracket have received at least one vaccine dose.
Mr Johnson is also expected to approve the rollout of booster jabs, although it is not yet clear who will be eligible to receive a third dose.
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