Up to 87% of East Midlands residents now have antibodies for Covid-19, government statistics show.

The presence of coronavirus antibodies suggests someone has had the infection in the past or has been vaccinated.

It takes between two and three weeks after infection or vaccination for the body to make enough antibodies to fight the virus.

A large amount of antibodies in the population is key to combating the spread of the disease.

ONS data released on June 22 show that of the 1,222 people tested in the region, 1,109 were found to have antibodies in their system.

The figures a week earlier were estimated to be as low as 82%.

Experts believe that the successful vaccine rollout as well as rising cases of Covid-19 among the younger population have contributed to this growth.

Amanda Sullivan, Nottinghamshire CCG Chief Officer said: “The new data from the government again shows that the vaccination programme has been a fantastic success.

“The uptake has been excellent and the more people in Nottinghamshire that get both doses, the better our chances of saving lives, and seeing day to day life return to normal.”

Despite this positive news, hospitalisations across Nottinghamshire have been growing steadily in recent weeks.

“Now is not the time to be complacent.

“We have seen in the past that a few cases can very quickly lead to a big increase in community transmission.

“That is why it is important that we all get our vaccine and protect ourselves as soon as possible.

“We are very much encouraging people to have their first and second doses of the vaccine to prevent the spread.”

The region is believed to be slightly above the national average.

Recent studies show that the figure for Covid-19 antibodies stands at 86.6%.

82% of UK adults have now received their first dose of vaccine, with 60% having received two doses for maximum protection.

Sarah Crofts, Head of Analytical outputs for the COVID-19 Infection survey said:

“Across the UK at least 80% of adults now have some level of antibody protection against COVID-19.

“With infection levels now increasing again in England, this protection will hopefully protect the majority against severe symptoms.”

The World Health Organisation is not yet certain as to how much of the population needs to have antibodies in order to reach ‘herd immunity.’

Once this number is reached, levels of infection of Covid-19 should begin to drop considerably.

Nottinghamshire will be taking part in the upcoming ‘Vax the Nation’ weekend where residents in the county will be able to walk in to various centres and receive their vaccines.

Alternatively, vaccine booking is available here.