Lockdown end in sight! 80% drop in infections since peak – that’s BEFORE vaccine impact

Boris Johnson discusses the 'roadmap' for reopening of schools

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There were 13,013 new cases confirmed by a positive test yesterday, approximately an 80 percent drop since the peak of the second wave at the start of the year. On January 8 there were 68,052 new coronavirus infections recorded.

Responding to the positive drop in infection rates, the Prime Minister said at a Downing Street press conference: “At the moment, although we are seeing a reduction in deaths and control of the virus, it seems pretty hard to me to see actual impact of the vaccination programme on those numbers yet.

“But I’m told we wouldn’t necessarily be seeing it yet.”

Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance added: “It takes two or three weeks for the first dose of vaccine to really start kicking in, in terms of immunity.

“It takes a little longer towards three weeks or possibly even a little longer in the oldest groups.

“Also, of course it takes time for people to catch infections and for that to show up, so it is not surprising we are not getting all of the data through yet.”

He said the UK would “be able to start analysing our data over the next couple of weeks to start seeing the effect” of the vaccine programme.

The scientist warned: “I think it’s important not to keep looking too early because these are complicated figures to look at.”

More than 13 million people across the UK have received a jab so far, one in every four adults.

By the end of the week the 15 million most vulnerable will have received a jab and with scientists expecting an 88 percent drop in coronavirus deaths once they have built up immunity by the end of the month.

Mr Johnson said tonight: “By offering the prospect of protection from Covid to everyone 70 and over, to all frontline NHS and care staff, to older care home residents and staff and to all those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, we can do the most, the fastest, to reduce the incidence of death and serious illness.”

More to follow…

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