The vaccination numbers are hugely positive in the UK, but that doesn’t mean that
restrictions can be relaxed any time soon, according to health experts.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, who recently confirmed that his mother had been vaccinated,
urged the public, including those who have had their injection, to continue following the rules.
There is a concern that people who have had the jab will be more likely to bend the rules as
they assume that they cannot pass the virus onto others. The truth is that there is a risk of
people who have received the vaccine spreading the virus.
England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer stressed that the impact on transmission was not yet
known, and added that vaccines provide hope, but don’t pave the way for freedom at the
moment. The data is promising, but case numbers remain extremely high and Prof Van-Tam
said that they have to continue coming down very quickly to consider a route map out of
lockdown. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which were
released on Friday 22 nd January, revealed that 1 in 55 people in England have the virus.
The health secretary confirmed that 75% of over 80s in England had received their first
vaccine by Sunday 24 th January, with the UK now vaccinating over 285 people per minute. It
is also estimated that three-quarters of care home residents have now been vaccinated.
Professor Van-Tam urged caution for the next few weeks as data related to transmission is
limited and there is no vaccine that has ever been 100% effective. There is a risk of
somebody who has been vaccinated picking up the virus and spreading it to others, and this
is why it remains crucial to follow the rules and stay at home as much as possible.
The government set an ambitious target to vaccinate 15 million people by the middle of
February. This includes the top priority groups, over 80s, health and social care workers,
care home residents and over 70s, as designated by the JCVI (Joint Committee on
Vaccination and Immunisation).
At the moment, the target is attainable and vaccination rates
are increasing day by day with new centres opening across the country. On Monday 25 th
January, Sunderland’s Nightingale Hospital reopened as a vaccination facility. A former Ikea
store in Stratford, London, Dudley’s Black Country Living Museum and Plymouth Argyle’s
stadium, Home Park, will also start vaccinating this week.