Omicron: The 10 areas of England emerging as a hotspot for the coronavirus variant
Omicron is expected to overtake Delta within days as the UK’s dominant Covid-19 strain, according to officials. Here are the worst-hit areas of England for cases of the highly infectious variant.
The Omicron strain of coronavirus is expected to become the dominant variant in the UK by mid-December, the UK Health Security Agency has warned.
In a briefing on Friday, the agency said if current trends continue unchanged, the UK will exceed one million Omicron infections by the end of the month.
Analysis of 581 people with confirmed Omicron cases showed the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines provided “much lower” levels of protection against Omicron when compared with the Delta variant.
But the HSA said that preliminary data showed vaccine effectiveness “considerably increased” in the early period after a booster dose, providing around 70 to 75% protection against symptomatic infection.
Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at the UKHSA, said: “These early estimates should be treated with caution but they indicate that a few months after the second jab, there is a greater risk of catching the Omicron variant compared to Delta strain.
“The data suggest this risk is significantly reduced following a booster vaccine, so I urge everyone to take up their booster when eligible.”
Figures released by the HSA also show the areas which have seen the most Omicron cases.
They include cases confirmed by genome sequencing, as well as suspected cases which show a key marker of Omicron called S-gene dropout.
The figures include Covid-19 tests taken up to December 6.