Vaccines: Dr Sarah Jarvis shares concerns at public behaviour
Downing Street confirmed on Friday that the vaccine programme planned to reach all those aged 50 and over, as well as adults aged 16-65 in an at-risk group, by May. But concern is rising as to how safe it will be to drop social distancing measures. Asked whether it is concerning people are being less cautious, Dr Jarvis told BBC Breakfast: “I am very worried about it and I know my colleagues are too.
“I’ve had a lot of patients saying, ‘this is marvelous, I can go and hug my whatever, I can go to a gig.’
“It’s not going to be like that.
“There is great news about the AstraZeneca vaccine, preliminary report that’s just come out suggests it may cut your chance of getting Covid or having it without symptoms and therefore passing it on by almost two thirds.
“That’s really exciting, we’ve waited a long time for that but what we’re talking about is giving a first vaccine or offering it to 88 percent of the people who would die that’s not 88 percent of the people who could end up in the hospital.
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“We’ve still got 50 percent more people in the hospital than we did at the peak of the first wave and we’re still in the middle of winter pressures and general practice for hospitals.
“We’ve got to do this slowly.”
Boris Johnson has warned that it is “still early days” to start talking about opening up society as reports suggested pubs might not fully open until May.
The Prime Minister has committed to setting out a “road map” later this month for easing restrictions as he faces pressure from Conservative MPs to relax the current lockdown once the most vulnerable have been vaccinated.
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Mark Harper, chairman of the Covid Recovery Group – made up of lockdown-sceptic Tory MPs, said it would be “almost impossible to justify having any restrictions in place at all” by the time the top nine groups had been inoculated.
The former chief whip also asked the Prime Minister to consider getting pupils back into classrooms this month rather than delay until his target date of March 8.
The devolved administrations in Wales and Scotland have both announced that some primary schools year groups will return by February 22.
In a video posted on Twitter on Friday, Mr Johnson reiterated his promise to announce a “steady programme for beginning to unlock” in just over two weeks’ time, but warned it was “still early days” and urged the public to continue following lockdown rules.
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He said: “I want to stress that it is still early days and we have rates of infection in this country (that are) still very, very high and (have) more people – almost twice as many people – in our hospitals with Covid now than there were back at the peak in April.”
The Sun reported that ministers are preparing to allow pubs to serve takeaway pints in April before fully reopening in May.
Restrictions such as the 10pm curfew will be scrapped to ease confusion, the paper suggested.
Meanwhile, the Telegraph said the prospect of dry pubs was being discussed as an option to allow bars to open their doors in April.
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