The expert, a member of Imperial College London’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that there are “a number of reasons” why the Kingdom United currently has higher infection levels than many other European countries.
But he warned that as they increase, the public must remain cautious.
He said: “No one likes to have their freedoms curtailed by measures, but it is safe to be careful in day-to-day interactions – wearing masks certainly helps that, it reminds people that we are not yet fully out. wood. “
On the reasons for the surge in infections, Professor Ferguson added: “First of all, we have weaker functional immunity in our population than most other countries in Western Europe and that is for two reasons.
“In part, we’ve been very successful in rolling out the vaccination early and we know that immunity gradually wanes over time after receiving that second dose, so our earliness means we’re a bit more vulnerable.
“Second, we relied more on the AstraZeneca vaccine and, while it protects very well against the very serious consequences of Covid, it protects slightly less well than Pfizer against infection and transmission, especially against the Delta variant. .
“And finally, we are just behind a few other countries, not dramatically, but we are no longer at the top of European countries in terms of overall immunization coverage, especially adolescent immunization. Overall coverage rates here are considerably lower, for example, than in Spain, Portugal and Denmark. “
You can see how the UK compares to other countries below.