Boris Johnson has warned that the reduction in coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths “has not been achieved” by the rollout of COVID vaccines.
The prime minister, speaking the day after the latest easing of lockdown restrictions, instead said it was the nationwide shutdown that had been “extremely important” in bringing COVID rates down.
Nearly 40 million doses of the vaccine have now been administered across the UK, with people aged 45 to 49 now able to book their vaccine appointments.
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But, speaking at 10 Downing Street, Mr Johnson suggested that the millions of vaccines given in recent months were not essential to reducing COVID levels.
He said: “The numbers are down – infections, hospitalizations and deaths.
“But it’s very, very important that everyone understands that the reduction in these numbers – hospitalizations, deaths and infections – was not achieved through the immunization program.
“People don’t appreciate, I think, that it is the lockdown that has been extremely important in making this improvement in the pandemic and in the numbers that we are seeing.
“And so, yes sure the vaccination program helped, but the bulk of the disease reduction work has been done by the lockdown.
“So as we unlock, the result will inevitably be that we will see more infections, unfortunately we will see more hospitalizations and deaths, and people just need to figure that out.”
However, the prime minister added that “at the moment” he saw “no reason” to change his roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions.
The next stop on the roadmap, May 17, will see restaurants and pubs resume indoor service and see most of the outdoor gathering rules lifted.
Mr Johnson also plans to remove all legal limits on social contacts on June 21.
“It’s very, very important that if we’re going to do it the way all of us …
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This notice was published: 2021-04-13 10:23:00