Covid vaccine update: ‘You can’t have the jab if you’ve tested positive’ – Matt Hancock

Matt Hancock on people having to 'wait' for COVID-19 jab

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Hancock spoke of three main points with the vaccin: “Firstly you can’t have the jab within 28 days of having tested positive.

“And so, for all those who have tested positive obviously that means they will have to wait until they can have the jab.

“We know that that has had an impact.

“The second is the logistics. We have been on hospital sites to make it as easy as possible but obviously we have got to make it much easier.

“Third is the confidence factor and as I said we have seen a very high uptake but we just have to persuade people that it’s the right thing to do.”

Mr Hancock added: “It’s about getting things right in the future and to learn from everything that has happened before.

“It is different this time as we now have this vaccine programme which has done so well.

“Israel and United Emirates are the only two countries that have done better than us in this vaccine race.”

Professor Eleanor Riley, Professor of Immunology and Infectious Disease at the University of Edinburgh has explained why it’s so important you still get vaccinated, regardless of whether you’ve previously had COVID-19.

She explained: “People who have recovered from COVID-19 have varying levels of antibodies, with varying levels of neutralising activity, and thus may be protected for varying lengths of time into the future.

“Some people may be protected better than others after natural infection.

“Those people who have had COVID-19 are at risk of encountering the virus again they have encountered it once and will likely do so again.

“So, it is important that they are as well protected as possible.”

Professor Riley added: “The vaccines induce very high levels of neutralising antibodies which are thus likely to protect for longer,” she explained.

“So, the vaccine will likely protect for longer than infection in many people, especially people who had mild symptoms who tend to have lower concentrations of antibodies.”

“It is impossible, logistically, to test everyone for antibodies, and measure the precise concentration and function of these antibodies, in order to decide whether they would benefit from vaccination or not.”


When will I be called up for the vaccine?

The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.

The government has set an ambitious target of vaccinating everyone in this cohort by mid-February.

In England, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and pharmacies, at local vaccination centres run by GPs and at larger vaccination centres. More centres are opening all the time.

  • It’s currently being given to:
  • People aged 70 and over
  • People who are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • People who live or work in care homes
  • Health and social care workers.

The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Downing Street has set a target of vaccinating all over-50s by May.

Professor Riley added: “The vaccines induce very high levels of neutralising antibodies which are thus likely to protect for longer,” she explained.

“So, the vaccine will likely protect for longer than infection in many people, especially people who had mild symptoms who tend to have lower concentrations of antibodies.”

“It is impossible, logistically, to test everyone for antibodies, and measure the precise concentration and function of these antibodies, in order to decide whether they would benefit from vaccination or not.”

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