As of Saturday, February 13, there have been 14,556,327 people who have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. The rolling vaccination programme will see numbers increase by the time Monday comes around. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and the Minister for COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment, put forward an official statement.
“Only a few months ago, there were doubts that an effective COVID-19 vaccine would ever be developed,” it read.
“Now five companies have published positive phase three results, three vaccines have been authorised for use and [millions of] people across the UK have received the first dose of a vaccine.”
The statement emphasised that “vaccination is the way out of this pandemic” and now isn’t the time to become “complacent”.
The Covid Symptom Study reminded people: “You’re not instantly immune after your first COVID-19 jab.”
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“You can still easily catch COVID-19 and you can still pass the virus on to others around you,” he said.
“Many people will feel relieved after getting vaccinated and relax their guard,” said Spector.
“But’s really important to keep following the government guidelines on social distancing, hand hygiene and wearing a mask after your first vaccine dose.”
The latest data from the study suggests that the Covid vaccine offers up to “50 percent protection after a fortnight”.
While evidence suggests the Covid vaccines are effective at preventing severe disease from Covid, hospitalisations and death, researchers aren’t so sure how great they are at preventing transmission.
In addition, scientists aren’t sure how effective the vaccines will be against new strains of coronavirus.
“Until we’ve brought the levels of COVID-19 right down in the UK, it’s still necessary to protect yourself and others around you,” added Spector.
He added that “sticking to public health guidelines” will “help stop the spread of COVID-19 and bring the pandemic to an end”.
Spector also speculated that restrictions will remain in place “for many months to come”.