Firmer evidence that vaccines are working is starting to trickle in.

ONS data shows that 41 per cent of over 80s had antibodies to the virus in the 28 days up to 1 February, more than any other age group in England. Two weeks ago, it was just 26 per cent. Over 80s in care homes and hospitals weren’t included, meaning the true figure is probably even higher.

The numbers mean that a large chunk of the most vulnerable are now protected against Covid to some extent. Around one in five people in England has some level of immunity from coronavirus, up from one in seven two weeks ago. Ministers have already seen data that vaccination is cutting illness by about two thirds.