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Professor Neil Ferguson, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) from Imperial College London, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme there is “a number of reasons” why the UK currently has higher infection levels than many other European countries.
“First of all, we have lower functional immunity in our population than most other Western European countries and that’s for two reasons.
“Partly, we were very successful in getting vaccination rolled out early and we know that gradually immunity wanes over time after you’ve had that second dose, so how early we were means we are a bit more vulnerable.
“Second, we relied more on the AstraZeneca vaccine and, while that protects very well against very severe outcomes of Covid, it protects slightly less well than Pfizer against infection and transmission, particularly in the face of the Delta variant.
“And finally, we just sit behind a few other countries, not dramatically, but we’re no longer in the top rank of European countries in terms of overall vaccination coverage, particularly vaccinating teenagers. Overall coverage rates here are considerably lower, for instance, than in Spain, Portugal and Denmark.”