Eight out of 10 people in the UK now have antibodies against coronavirus (Image: Adam Gerrard / Sunday Mirror)
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Eight out of 10 adults in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have antibodies against Covid-19, encouraging new data shows.
The presence of Covid-19 antibodies suggests someone has had the virus in the past or has received their jab – meaning they have some level of protection against the virus.
In Scotland, the figure is seven out of 10, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced this morning.
The ONS said there is a "clear pattern" between vaccination and developing lifesaving antibodies.
In England, researchers found 80.3 per cent of people in private households were likely to have tested positive for Covid-19 antibodies in the week beginning May 17.
This is up from an estimated seven in 10, or 69.9 per cent, a month earlier.
It comes as Boris Johnson weighs up whether to plough ahead with his roadmap, lifting Covid restrictions on June 21, despite fears about the Delta variant first detected in India.
Since May 17, the number of people who have been vaccinated has swelled, meaning the current percentage of people with antibodies is likely to be even higher.
More than three quarters of adults across the UK have now received at least one jab, with those aged 25 to 29 now eligible to book their first vaccination.
On May 17, 55.2 per cent of the population – 36.8 million people – had received at least one jab.
This has since risen to 40.5 million people, 77 per cent of the adult population, who have now had at least one dose.
One in 10 people in the most deprived parts of England reported vaccine hesitancy between April 28 and May 23, according to ONS.
This compares to 3 per cent of those in the least deprived areas.
Overall, some 94 per cent of adults in Britain reported positive vaccine sentiment, while 6 per cent reported hesitancy – compared to 93 per cent and 7 per cent respectively between March 31 and April 25.
More than 40.5 million people have received at least one vaccine jab, latest data shows
(Image: Getty Images)
An ONS report released this morning said: "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."
In Wales an estimated 82.7 per cent of adults would have tested positive for antibodies in the week to May 17, while in Northern Ireland the figure was 79.9 per cent.
It was slightly lower in Scotland, where statisticians believe around 72.6 per cent of the adult population would have had antibodies by that date.
Since then the number of people vaccinated has gone up sharply.
Figures from the Department of Health reveal that 112,941 first jabs were administered on Monday, along with 306,068 second jabs across the UK.
Yesterday The Mirror reported that a further five million doses are expected to be given out by "Freedom Day" on June 21.
The number of people with Covid antibodies is rising fast, the ONS study found
The government has previously said that data needs to show vaccines are cutting the number of hospital admissions and deaths for lockdown to continue easing.
This morning Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said that coronavirus cases are "clearly rising" and that Boris Johnson is reviewing a range of data to make a decision on the further lifting of restrictions on June 21.
He told Sky News: "The Prime Minister is reviewing the data, and more data is coming in, which is very important.
"We created this five-week period between the stages of the road map and that has actually proved invaluable on this occasion, because it's a finely balanced decision.
"We need to see that data of cases, which are clearly rising, but the link to hospitalisations and ultimately to death.
"So the Prime Minister is reviewing that ahead of the decision point, which is going to be June 14 – at that point of course he will let everybody know what the ultimate decision is."