The United Kingdom is facing the worst outbreak of coronavirus since the vaccine was introduced, primarily driven by levels of immunity among the population, according to a report.
The report published by Mirror says that positive cases of Covid infection are now increasing in the UK, with 5,975 people testing positive in England in the seven days ended on December 9.
This rise also represents a 38.6 percent increase in new positive cases compared to the previous seven days, the report added.
According to the Mirror report, Covid is still causing infections that could be worse in their symptoms than previous waves.
"People's antibody levels against Covid are probably as low now as they have been since the vaccine was first introduced. Now, because antibodies are lower, a higher dose [of the virus] is getting through and causing a more severe bout of disease," said Eleanor Riley, an immunologist at the University of Edinburgh, the outlet reported, citing BBC News.
Peter Openshaw, from Imperial College London, opined that fewer offerings of booster shots of vaccines could be one of the main reasons behind the recent surge in infections.
"The thing that made the huge difference before was the very wide and fast rollout of vaccines - even young adults managed to get vaccinated, and that made an absolutely huge difference. It's a surprisingly devious virus, sometimes making people quite ill and occasionally leading to having long Covid," added Openshaw.
Openshaw further pointed out that the new variants of Covid that are spreading now are pretty distant immunologically from the original virus which was used to make the early vaccines.
Meanwhile, countries like Singapore, India, and China are also witnessing a rise in Covid infections in recent days.
Singapore witnessed a caseload of over 50,000 in the week of December 3 to 9, while the new variant JN.1 was detected in Kerala, a southern state in India.
On the other hand, China detected seven mild and asymptomatic cases of contracting the COVID-19 subvariant JN.1 in about a month, with at least 40 other countries reporting the subvariant, as of December 10.