JONATHAN Van-Tam has urged Brits who have received the Covid-19 vaccine not to break lockdown rules as they could still spread the virus.
The deputy chief medical officer warned it is vital that every person plays their part to stop transmission of the disease.Jonathan Van-Tam is urging people who have received their Covid jab to continue following the current restrictionsCredit: Universal News & Sport (Scotland) Brits who have been vaccinated could still spread the virus, Professor Van-Tam saidCredit: The Sun
It comes as the coronavirus vaccine rollout in the UK hit a new daily record with 1.2million jabs doled out in the last three days.
NHS figures show that 425,596 Brits received the jab yesterday, in a boost to the government’s target of vaccinating 13.5million vulnerable people by mid-February.
But despite the speed of the rollout, Brits - including those who have already been vaccinated - are being urged to continue following the rules to ensure the NHS is not overwhelmed and the country can defeat the virus as soon as possible.
In an article for The Telegraph, Professor Van-Tam said scientists “do not yet know the impact of the vaccine on transmission of the virus”.
He added: “So even after you have had both doses of the vaccine you may still give Covid to someone else and the chains of transmission will then continue.
“If you change your behaviour you could still be spreading the virus, keeping the number of cases high and putting others at risk who also need their vaccine but are further down the queue.”
Professor Van-Tam also said that protection "takes up to three weeks to kick in" and urged people to stay at home while the vaccine is being distributed.
He said: “Regardless of whether someone has had their vaccination or not, it is vital that everyone follows the national restrictions and public health advice, as protection takes up to three weeks to kick in and we don’t yet know the impact of vaccines on transmission.
“The vaccine is rightly something to celebrate – let’s stay patient, stay at home and support the NHS as it continues to roll out the vaccine.”
He also warned hospitals are still treating "very high" numbers of Covid-19 patients, with a quarter of people receiving treatment under the age of 55.
Despite the success of the rapid rollout, doctors have raised concerns over the government's decision to delay the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine by twelve weeks.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, British Medical Association council chairman, warned that “no other nation” had adopted the UK’s policy - and urged the government to halve the space between doses to a maximum of six weeks.
The makers of the vaccine, Pfizer and BioNTech, have warned that they have no evidence their vaccine would continue to be protective if the second dose is given more than three weeks after the first.
Leaving a 12-week gap is allowing Britain's vaccine programme to proceed quickly.
A group of medics from the BMA last night wrote to Professor Chris Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer, claiming the UK had become "increasingly isolated from many other countries" who were not employing the strategy.A group of medics wrote to Professor Chris Whitty saying the UK was 'isolated' from other countriesCredit: AFP Britain's coronavirus vaccine programme is proceeding quicklyCredit: London News Pictures
Their warning comes as new research from Israel, which has vaccinated more people per capita than any other country, claimed that one dose of the Pfizer jab was only 33 per cent effective, sparking concern over the government’s policy.
The Department of Health and Social Care said the decision on the 12-week gap was made after "a thorough review of the data" and was in line with the recommendations of the UK's four chief medical officers.
Britain is using the Pfizer vaccine and another from AstraZeneca. AstraZeneca has supported the gap between its jabs, saying data showed an eight to 12-week gap was a "sweet spot" for efficacy.
Meanwhile, the Government is considering whether travel restrictions may need to be further tightened amid warnings that new variants of the virus discovered in Brazil and South Africa might be resistant to the vaccines.
Ministers are expected to meet on Monday to discuss a proposal to require people arriving in the UK to quarantine in a designated hotel to ensure they are following the rules on self-isolating.
The latest data show Covid-19 deaths have risen by 1,348 as fatalities topped 1,000 for the fifth day running.
Infections have increased by 33,552, bringing the total in the UK to 3,617,459.A patient arrives at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, LodndonCredit: Rex Features
Jonathan Van-Tam answers Sun reader's questions and warns public to stick to rules