Vaccine minister says fully-vaccinated must remain "careful" when meeting with each other

Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News he couldn’t see any evidence against going through with the next stages of easing lockdown. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has stressed a need for those who are fully-vaccinated to be “careful” when meeting up with one another.

Speaking to Sky News on Thursday, April 29, Zahawi said:

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“At the moment only one in four adults have actually had the two doses.

“We are accelerating doses – April is a big second dose month – but let me show the flip side of why we have to be careful.

“If the vaccines have 85% efficacy and we vaccinate fully 85% of the adult population, that is still only 72% protection – that is quite a sizeable percentage for the virus to go after and infect, which is why we have to be careful.

He added, however, that the “good news” is there’s no evidence leading ministers to believe “we can’t meet the next step in May and, ultimately, June 21.

“It is much better to be careful and follow the data and collect the data properly, analyse and then make a decision rather than – we all want obviously to get our freedoms back as quickly as possible but let us do this properly and let’s do it safely.”

Asked whether restrictions would be lifted in line with the road map, Zahawi said: “The data is looking good and positive but nevertheless we really have to be careful because what we don’t want is mutations, for example, to blindside us and then have another spike.”

His comments come as vaccinations are rolled out to 42 year olds in England, while the government has secured an extra 60 million Pfizer vaccines to keep the rate of inoculation up over the coming months.

The government have also launched a campaign encouraging young people to take the vaccine when it is offered to them, with fears that younger, healthier age groups may not be as eager to get vaccinated as older people.