Boris Johnson said there are signs that the lockdown measures are working, but it is too early to “take your foot off the animal’s neck” by easing restrictions.
The Prime Minister told reporters, “We are seeing the first signs of a flattening and perhaps even a decline in infection rates and hospital stays.
“But don’t forget that compared to most of the points over the past 12 months, they’re still at a very high level, a really very high level.”
“So the risk is that if you take your foot off the animal’s neck, so to speak, and let things get out of hand again, unfortunately, you can see the disease spread quickly again before we have enough vaccines, folk arms.
“That’s the risk.”
Mr Johnson said “virtually all” residents of elderly care homes received or had an appointment for their first coronavirus vaccine.
He told reporters, “This is very important to reduce the spread of the virus, serious illness and death.”
Mr Johnson said he was “confident we have the supplies” to ensure people get their second thrust within the government’s 12-week schedule.
Mr Johnson played down fears that vaccines against the variant coronavirus might be ineffective.
The Prime Minister told reporters, “We are confident that all of the vaccines we use offer high levels of immunity and protection against all variants.”
He said the vaccines could be adapted to new variants if necessary.
“The fact is that we’ll be living with Covid for a while longer to get one way or another. I don’t think it’s going to be as bad as it has been in the last 12 months – or something like that – of course, but it’s very, it’s very important that our vaccines evolve and adapt and they will, ”he said .
Mr Johnson has said that while the economy is in strong recovery from the pandemic, he is concerned about the impact on children’s education.
“It will take a while for our country to fully recover from Covid. I think the economy can rebound very, very much – Britain has immense natural resilience, ”he said during a visit to Batley in West Yorkshire.
“What really worries me at the moment is the education and the deficit in the education of our children that we have because of these bans.
“For me, this is one of the top priorities for us – making sure we improve and repair the loss of classroom time and educational opportunities.”