80% of adult UK population has coronavirus antibodies

In the latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, antibody and vaccination data, UK: 9 June 2021 conducted by the Office of National Statistics, 8 in 10 of the adult population of the UK would have tested positive for antibodies against coronavirus – SARS-CoV-2 – on a blood test in the week beginning 17 May 2021, suggesting they had the infection in the past or have been vaccinated.

  • In England, an estimated 8 in 10 adults, or 80.3% of the adult population (95% credible interval: 77.3% to 83.2%).
  • In Wales, an estimated 8 in 10 adults, or 82.7% of the adult population (95% credible interval: 79.6% to 85.6%).
  • In Northern Ireland, an estimated 8 in 10 adults, or 79.9% of the adult population (95% credible interval: 76.3% to 84.4%).
  • In Scotland, an estimated 7 in 10 adults, or 72.6% of the adult population (95% credible interval: 68.9% to 76.3%).
  • Across all four countries of the UK, there is a clear pattern between vaccination and testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies but the detection of antibodies alone is not a precise measure of the immunity protection given by vaccination. full data source.
Antibodies surround Covid-19 virus
Antibodies are proteins in the blood which recognise specific infections and fight them off
Uk vaccine map
Full data source

Wales remains ahead of the other UK nations in the total proportion of the population given a first jab. For countries with populations of more than one million, Wales has also been ahead of every nation in the world on this measure since mid-May.

Covid-19 antibodies in Wales. % modelled estimates by age group.  Up to 23 Mau.
Antibody graph for Wales

So what are we to make of these detailed statistics ? Approximately 80% of UK have adults have antibodies, whereas between 58% – 70% have had their first dose and between 38% – 43% have had their second dose. According to official reporting of total coronavirus cases by Worldometers, the UK has only reported 4.456 million cases equating to 6.6% of the total population. The big unknown is the number of people who have had asymptomatic coronavirus without knowing it and have built up antibodies, but from the available data, this is impossible to calculate. However, the 80% threshold should mean that the UK is approaching herd immunity.

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