More than half the confirmed cases of the new Omicron variant in the UK have occurred following at least two vaccination doses, health officials have said.
A new technical briefing from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says 12 of the 22 known cases up to 30 November had been fully vaccinated.
Another two people infected had been given their first dose at least four weeks earlier.
Six were unvaccinated, with no data available on two of the cases.
The UKHSA has also released a risk assessment of the Omicron variant.
In another update on Friday, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), said Omicron may be more transmissible through the air.
Minutes from its latest meeting say Omicron “might show more airborne transmission”.
There are strong caveats, however. The “preliminary indications” are made with “low confidence”, the summary adds.
In addition, confirmed Omicron cases in the UK are expected to rise sharply.
An update of genetic sequencing data by the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium, which does the bulk of the variant analysis, reveals there have been 56 cases of Omicron in England.
Currently the UKHSA puts the total in England at 29.
A source confirmed that there will be an official update to UKHSA figures “shortly” and the UK total “won’t be less” than 66.
COG-UK currently puts the number of confirmed cases in Scotland at 10, but First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed more infections, bringing the total for the nation to 29.
The UKHSA takes data from a couple of sources when compiling totals.
*Courtesy: Sky News