New figures from the Government’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) show Covid-19 was the eighth leading cause of death in England this October (accounting for 3.3% of all deaths) and the seventh leading cause of death in Wales (3.5% of all deaths).
Covid’s impact was far outstripped by dementia/Alzheimer’s disease, the leading cause of death, responsible for 11.6% of deaths in England and 10.9% in Wales.
The number of deaths caused by Covid showed a significant fall from the previous two years. Figures for the same month last year show Covid was still the third leading cause of death in both England (accounting for 5.6% of all deaths) and Wales (accounting for 9.5% of all deaths). For the same month in 2020, Covid was also the third most common cause of death in both England and Wales (6.9% of all deaths in England and 7.9% of all deaths in Wales).
The leading testing expert, Dr Quinton Fivelman PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at London Medical Laboratory, says: ‘These figures show a significant decline in Covid-related deaths, largely thanks to the effectiveness of the UK’s vaccination programme. This year, the autumn booster targeted both the original strain and Omicron, currently the prevailing variant of the virus. The UK was the first country in the world to approve a vaccine that included Omicron.
‘Fascinatingly, new research from the USA supports a suspicion that London Medical Laboratory has held for some time: that the greater the reaction people have to their jab, the more effective it may have been. In a study of people receiving a top-up Covid jab, patients had a greater antibody response if they reported a stronger reaction, such as headaches and/or mild fever, versus those who had only localised pain or itchiness around their jab site, or no symptoms at all.
‘Research by scientists at Columbia University Medical Center showed that, irrespective of their sex, age or weight, people who had post-vaccination symptoms categorised as systemic – fever, chills, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, headache, and/or moderate to severe fatigue – had a greater antibody response than those with only localised symptoms. This was the case for both the Pfizer and Moderna jabs.
‘These findings should reassure those who develop more noticeable symptoms after their inoculation. It’s likely to be a signal of the vaccine’s effectiveness and a good immune reaction.
‘However, anyone who didn’t have a strong reaction following vaccination shouldn’t be too concerned; 98% of those patients who reported no adverse symptoms following their jab still had some antibody reaction. It was just not to the same extent as those who experienced systemic symptoms.
‘If anyone is concerned about their immune response to their jabs and how well they continue to produce and retain antibodies, the new generation blood tests available from London Medical Laboratory are highly accurate, quick and simple to carry out. They can be taken either at home through the post, or at one of the many drop-in clinics that offer this test across London and nationwide in over 85 selected pharmacies and health stores.