Matt Hancock says Oxford vaccine ‘reduces transmission of virus’
Appearing on BBC One’s Breakfast show, Hancock emphasised that the Oxford vaccine “works well” by “stopping hospitalisations and reducing transmissions around two-thirds”. The good news is welcomed, as concern grows around the South African variant. There are 105 confirmed cases of the South African Covid variant, where certain postcodes have been targeted for symptomless testing. This includes:
- Hanwell, west London (W7)
- Tottenham, north London (N17)
- Mitcham, south London (CR4)
- Walsall in the West Midlands (WS2)
- Broxbourne, Hertfordshire (EN10)
- Maidstone, Kent, (ME15)
- Woking, Surrey (GU21)
- Southport, Merseyside (PR9).
Hancock urged those in the affected postcodes to “stay home” – “if you have food in the house, please use that,” he added.
As Britain is still under a national lockdown, the Health Secretary said “everyone should be staying at home”.
However, those in the affected areas need to follow “more stringent interpretations of the rules”.
At present, people are allowed to meet up with one other person from another household outside for a walk.
Yet, for those postcodes highlighted above, they need to “limit social contact” outside of their homes.
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Erring on the side of caution, Hancock wanted to get the new variant “under control”.
“We have the opportunity to really stamp on it now,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hancock mentioned that earlier trials ensured the current vaccines in circulation are safe and effective.
And the new information that the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab is drastically reducing the transmission rate is “really good”.
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To put it frankly, the fact the vaccine reduces transmission in the community will “help us to get out of this pandemic”.
“This should give everyone confidence that the vaccine will keep you safe and stop you from passing it on from others,” explained Hancock.
The French authority stated the Oxford vaccine should only be given to those under the age of 65; Germany and Austria have followed suit.
In response to that, Hancock said: “We have a high degree of confidence that this vaccine works for all ages.”
In regards to border controls, Hancock said the government has “brought in very stringent measures already”.
For those coming into England from abroad, “it’s a legal requirement to declare where you’ve been,” said Hancock.
“We have a team to check people are isolating… we’re prepared to do more and take further action,” said the Health Secretary.
When probed what further action means, he spoke about the “strength of enforcement”, with “more people on task” to enforce the rules.
Further details will be “set out shortly”, said Hancock, with no definite date as to when that would be.
“What matters is that, at the moment, we have stringent isolation in place and it’s critical people follow that,” he added.
What are your thoughts about border control, coronavirus variants and the way the government has handled things?
To date, more than 9,646,715 have received their first Covid jab while around 112,660 have lost their lives.
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