Under-18s will start to receive the Covid jab this week as Ministers mount a concerted ‘back to school’ vaccination campaign.
Writing in The Mail on Sunday, Mr Javid says the aim is to make sure that the teenagers are getting crucial protection against the virus before they head back to sixth forms or colleges.
Tomorrow marks ‘final freedom day’, when the double-jabbed and under-18s will no longer need to self-isolate if they are ‘pinged’ as a close contact of someone who has tested positive.
Kevin Mckeon, 14, receives his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine from vaccinator Geraldine Flynn at the Citywest vaccination centre in Dublin
Mr Javid, stressing that the ‘phenomenal’ vaccine rollout has saved more then 84,000 lives and prevented 23 million infections in England, writes: ‘I am delighted we’re able to take even more steps forward, by reinforcing our collective defences and easing additional restrictions that have governed our daily lives. I didn’t come into Government to put curbs on who people can see and where they can go, and I look forward to the day when people don’t need to see me on TV so often, talking about the pandemic.
‘That is why I’m so glad we’ve been able to ease restrictions over the past few weeks and do so in a way that reflects the huge benefits that the vaccines bring.’
As part of the rollout to teenagers, NHS England has launched a walk-in site-finder online. Children aged 12 to 15 who are clinically vulnerable to Covid or who live with adults who are at increased risk of serious illness from the virus are also being contacted by the NHS and invited for their vaccine.
The proportion of people infected with Covid has been rising the fastest in those aged 16 to 24 – 3.2 per cent tested positive up to August 6, compared with 2.5 per cent the week before. Cases also went up in children aged between two and 11, from 1.8 to 2.1 per cent.
More than 70 per cent of people aged 18 to 29 have already received their first shot. So-called ‘grab a jab’ pop-up vaccine sites have been set up at venues such as football stadiums and festivals and at the London nightclub Heaven
The number of deaths fell from 103 a week ago to 93 yesterday.
The number of infections rose by three per cent in a week from 28,612 to 29,520, while the number of patients admitted to hospital went from 755 to 880.
Another 39,047 first doses of vaccine and 166,952 second jabs were administered. A total of 47,254,399 people have now had a first dose and 40,372,981 adults are fully jabbed – 76.3 per cent of the adult population.
More than 70 per cent of people aged 18 to 29 have already received their first shot.
So-called ‘grab a jab’ pop-up vaccine sites have been set up at venues such as football stadiums and festivals and at the London nightclub Heaven.
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: ‘Young people have shown great enthusiasm to get their vaccines and this has allowed us to safely enjoy the things we have missed, such as going to the pub or seeing family and friends.’
The latest data from Public Health England shows that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96 per cent effective and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92 per cent effective against hospitalisation after two doses.
Scientists advising the Government expect Covid deaths and hospital admissions to fall for the rest of August. The UK Health Security Agency estimates the reproduction rate, which reflects how quickly the virus is spreading, is between 0.8 and 1.0 – down from an estimated 1.1 last week.
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