IT IS NOW over a month since the over-70s got their first vaccine jab. And lockdown continues.

Yet while Covid hospitalisation across England is down 85 per cent on January, and the Covid death toll down 90 per cent, we are only back to the levels of mid-October before the second wave or of early-June when we still faced another month of the first lockdown.

Many are impatient for the end to lockdown so the important question is ‘how effective is the vaccine’?

There are many studies showing impressive levels of immunity, of reduced hospitalisation and mortality 28 days after a first vaccine jab, but nationally the numbers look different.

While infection numbers tumble, the age groups which first got the vaccine, the over-70s who previously suffered 82 per cent of the deaths are, despite their jabs, still suffering 75 per cent of the deaths.

Relative levels of hospitalisation show even less reduction with the over-85s remaining 20 per cent of Covid admissions.

So where is the robust vaccine-effect from the first jab?

It may still appear but more slowly than anticipated. It may require the second jab that is presumably three months away.

But until it does appear, lifting the lockdown will need much more caution than many currently expect.

Hopefully we will not succumb to the impatience that led to the second deadly wave last October.


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