People who received their Covid-19 vaccine have been warned that they must continue to obey the rules of social distancing.
At a press conference on Downing Street, asked if those who had the sting can now congregate, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said more data would be needed to submit before guidelines were changed.
UK chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said the decision to postpone the second dose of the vaccine meant that most people would have only received their first dose at the moment.
He stressed that it can take several weeks for immunity to build up after vaccination.
Ten million people across the UK have now received their first Covid vaccine.
Prof. Whitty said, “If you have just been vaccinated, there is a period of time after you have no protection. It is two or three weeks – a little longer in the elderly.
“Please adhere to social distancing whether or not you have been vaccinated.”
Speaking of the possibility of easing social distancing measures for those who have received a sting, he said, “Vaccines will protect in three different ways. The first is to protect you, the vaccinated person and they will be protected to a very good degree based on the date we have so far. “
Second, it means that people know that the people they interact with have also been vaccinated and that this also reduces the risk, although we still don’t know for sure how much these vaccines reduce the risk of transmission. “
“So they reduce the risk of serious illnesses and symptomatic deaths, and they probably reduce the risk of transmission, and data was released today to support that, but we are not absolutely sure by how much.
“The third way to reduce the risk is to reduce the amount of the virus that is circulating in the population and that we are in no way getting close to.”
He added, “The virus rate in the community is still incredibly high, so third we also need to use the vaccine and the social distance that everyone is doing to directly lower the virus rate.”
Mr Johnson said, “We really need to see more data on transmission before we think about relaxing social distancing guidelines for everyone.
“This is something we will think about later, what potential these vaccines are opening up.”
He added, “What everyone wants to see is a world where we can all relax restrictions for everyone.”