Coronavirus vaccines are having a “really encouraging” impact on transmission, early data seen by the government suggests, but vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi warned the full data may not be ready for several weeks.
Boris Johnson is “hopeful” lockdown can be eased in the coming weeks, adding that vaccines are providing “grounds for confidence” that transmission is being reduced.
But he told Monday’s Downing Street press conference he was awaiting the “hard facts” before setting out the timetable for easing the lockdown.
While there is data on coronavirus case numbers, hospital admissions and deaths, the impact of the vaccine rollout on transmission is yet to be fully determined and may play a key role in how lockdown will be loosened.
Preliminary data comparing elderly people who have received the vaccine with those who have not is starting to show it is cutting hospital admissions and deaths, according to the Times.
The paper said ministers have already been given data showing that vaccines are cutting illness by about two-thirds, while a separate study suggests jabs are reducing transmission.