Covid: 12 of England's 22 Omicron cases are double vaccinated people

Half of England’s cases of the new Covid Omicron variant are people who have been double vaccinated - although most had been jabbed within the previous 28 days.

New analysis from the UK Health Security Agency (HSA) of Omicron cases in England by November 30 shows that 12 of the 22 cases occurred in people who were double jabbed more than 14 days ago.

It also shows that:

  • Two cases were more than 28 days after a first dose of vaccine

  • Six were unvaccinated

  • Two had no available information

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Anushka Asthana has the latest Covid news

None of the cases are known to have been hospitalised or died, but the HSA said that “most of the cases have a specimen date that is very recent and that there is a lag between onset of infection and hospitalisation and death.”

It is still too early to draw any conclusions over the variant’s threat level or ability to escape vaccine protection.

Listen to our coronavirus podcast:

HAS’s Chief Executive, Jenny Harries, emphasised the importance of coming forward to take a vaccine when called upon.

“Thanks to very high levels of vaccine coverage we already have a robust wall of defence against Covid-19 as new variants emerge,” she said.

“We are working as fast as possible to gather more evidence about any impact the new variant may have on severity of disease or vaccine effectiveness.

“Until we have this evidence, we must exercise the highest level of caution in drawing conclusions about any significant risks to people’s health.

"The most important thing everyone can do now is to get any vaccine dose that you are eligible for – it is by far the most effective action you can take to protect yourself, your families and your communities.”

She added that remains vital to keep indoor areas well ventilated, wear a face covering in enclosed spaces, and take a rapid lateral flow test before events where you may be at high risk of catching or passing on the virus.

Wales reported its first case of the Omicron variant on Friday, while the number of confirmed instances in Scotland rose to 29, in England at least 22 cases of the variant have been identified.