According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on how the pandemic has affected social groups, White people, Christians and professionals were at greater risk of catching coronavirus in the third wave.
There have been ongoing concerns about the virus hitting ethnic minorities and most deprived the hardest throughout the pandemic, but the latest ONS figures showed that tendency has changed.
During the second wave, between September 2020 and May 2021, Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups were twice as likely to catch Covid than white British people.
But by the third wave, between May and December 2021, they were 36 per cent and 42 per cent less likely to get infected than white UK adults, who had the highest risk of all groups.
ONS’s latest figures have shown that Christians had the highest infection rates during the third wave with almost 354 cases per 100,000 person-weeks compared to those from Buddhist and Muslim groups, who registered the lowest rates.
For Paul Hunter, a professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia, this is because there groups were not “hit so hard in previous waves”.
“Vaccine is protective against infection whereas prior infection is better, though booster is on a par with protection from an old infection. So after adjusting for vaccine status, if you are in a higher risk group that got more infections in the past, you are less likely to catch the infection now. That is at least one explanation,” Professor Hunter told The Telegraph.
During the second wave, Muslims and Sikhs had the highest infection rates.