Updated 9th April 2022

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COVID cases in children continue to climb

Written byZOE Editorial Staff

    According to ZOE COVID Study incidence figures, in total there are currently 66,033 new daily symptomatic cases of COVID in the UK on average, based on PCR and LFT test data from up to five days ago [*]. An increase of 13.6% from 58,126 new daily cases last week. 

    In the double vaccinated population, it’s estimated there are currently 16,901 new daily symptomatic cases in the UK. Cases have been slowly increasing for a few weeks, with 14,352 cases last week (Graph 1). 

    The UK R value is estimated to be around 1.1 and regional R values are; England, 1.1, Wales, 1.0, Scotland, 0.9 (Table 1). 

    In terms of prevalence, on average 1 in 80 people in the UK currently have symptomatic COVID (Table 1). 

    The number of daily new cases continues to increase rapidly in the under 19s and cases are rising in the 30 - 49 age group, but at a slower rate. Cases remain low and stable in contributors over the age of 50 (Graph 2). According to the ZOE prevalence data it’s estimated 1 in 30 children aged between 10-19 currently have COVID. 

    All regions but Scotland, are currently experiencing a rise in cases, particularly the Midlands. Cases are falling in Scotland (Graph 3). 

    ZOE’s predicted Long COVID incidence rate currently estimates, at current case rates, 923 people a day will go on to experience symptoms for longer than 12 weeks (Graph 4). 

    The ZOE COVID Study incidence figures (new symptomatic cases) are based on reports from around 750,000 thousand weekly contributors and the proportion of newly symptomatic users who have received positive swab tests. The latest survey figures were based on data from 44,958 recent swab tests done between 18 September and 02 October 2021. 

    New ZOE vaccine research also out today: 

    Previous COVID infection gives double vaccinated individuals higher rate of protection

    The latest analysis from the ZOE COVID Study, which investigates real-world vaccine effectiveness, has found previous COVID-19 infection followed by being double vaccinated, increases an individual’s protection against COVID-19 to as much as 94%. 

    ZOE’s research found two doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca (AstraZeneca) provided 71% protection against infection up to six months(1) after vaccination, while protection was increased to 90% among those who previously tested positive for COVID-19. Two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA (Pfizer) gave 80% protection up to six months(1) after vaccination, which increased even further to 94% with a previous COVID-19 infection - for full press release, please email eleanor@joinzoe.com

    Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Study app, comments on the latest data:

    “While COVID may be less severe in children, allowing COVID to run rampant among them is a real gamble. With more than 1 in 30 older school-children now infected and as we predicted numbers rising, many will not escape long-term symptoms. These are the highest rates since January 2021. Without vaccination or restrictions in this group, we can only hope that some kind of herd immunity will kick in and cases will drop. 

    The good news this week is our latest research shows having a natural COVID-19 infection before double vaccination means greater protection. This is really positive news for overall immunity levels in the UK and means that large numbers of people will have effective and long lasting protection from COVID-19. The evidence supports the need for vaccination, even for those who have already had COVID-19. We need to be less complacent and without restrictions much more focus needs to be put on getting everyone vaccinated before winter to keep up with other countries' efforts.”

    Graph 1. The ZOE COVID Study UK incidence figures results over time; total number of new cases and new cases in fully vaccinated

    Graph 2. Incidence by age group

    Graph 3. Prevalence by region

    Graph 4. Predicted Long COVID incidence over time

    Please refer to the publication by Thompson at al. (2021) for details on how long covid rates in the population are modelled

    Table 1. Incidence (daily new symptomatic cases)[*], R values and prevalence regional breakdown table 

    Map of UK prevalence figures