COVID under control as milder disease emerges in post-vaccine infections

May 6, 2021

This article has not been updated recently

According to ZOE COVID Study figures, there are currently 971 new symptomatic cases of COVID in the UK on average, based on swab test data from up to five days ago [*]. This compares to 1,046 daily cases a week ago, a decrease of 7% from last week. 

In terms of prevalence, on average 1 in 4,276 people in the UK currently have symptomatic COVID. 

The risk varies by five fold depending on the region. The UK R value is 1.0 and regional R values are; England, 1.0, Wales, 0.8, Scotland, 1.0 (full table of regional results below).

Please note that while current figures look to be among the lowest recorded on the ZOE COVID app, the figures are now so low that confidence limits are wide and ZOE is looking at changing the way it measures the data received from contributors to report the most accurate estimates possible.

According to the data, a small proportion of those who have been vaccinated still get infected. ZOE collected reports this week from 31 contributors who had an infection after two doses of the vaccine, and 87 who had an infection after one dose. The following approximate risk factors for infection based on one or two doses of the vaccination, and no doses, have been recorded using the latest ZOE data:

  • Current risk of COVID infection in unvaccinated: 1 in 46,855
  • Current risk of COVID infection after 1 vaccine dose: 1 in 97,616
  • Current risk of COVID infection after 2 vaccine doses : 1 in 167,341

The ZOE COVID Study incidence figures (new symptomatic cases) are based on around one million weekly reporters and the proportion of newly symptomatic users who have received positive swab tests. The latest survey figures were based on data from 4,449 recent swab tests done between 17 April to 01 May 2021. The data excludes the lateral flow tests.

Tim Spector OBE, lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Study app and Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, comments on the latest data:

“ZOE’s data continues to suggest that the UK is entering an endemic phase as COVID has stabilised at very low levels, similar to rates seen last summer. Such low rates are forcing all studies to examine their data collection methods, but reassuringly the ZOE figures follow the trends seen in official confirmed cases. With most adults now vaccinated in the UK, we’re seeing a milder form of COVID emerge with less than one third of people experiencing classic symptoms in the first week of the disease. Even if people are vaccinated, they should be aware there are more than 20 symptoms of COVID, many of them mild and that they can get a test after logging these symptoms in the ZOE app.”

The app is delivered in collaboration with King’s Health Partners, an Academic Health Sciences Centre based in South East London.

Incidence (daily new symptomatic cases)[*], R values and prevalence regional breakdown table

The ZOE COVID Symptom Study UK Infection Survey results over time 

A graph comparing all surveillance surveys in England (ONS, REACT-1 & CSS) 

Map of UK prevalence figures

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