Local Coronavirus Update ahead of Decision on June 21 Lockdown Easing
June 11, 2021
With the latest update of vaccination figures yesterday, all eyes are on the Prime Minister ahead of his announcement early next week regarding the proposed June 21 unlocking date and future restrictions. We have been told that the decision will be based on data so it is encouraging to see vaccination figures continue to increase, both locally and nationally.
In the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership, which stretches across North Yorkshire to North Lincolnshire, 1,879,598 doses had been administered as of Monday. In York, 71.1% of the adult population has now received a first dose and 48.7% of the adult population are fully vaccinated having received two doses (as of June 8). Nationally, 28,857,102 people have now received two doses of a Covid vaccine while 80% of adults have covid antibodies, both important stats that will help limit future outbreaks.
If you are over 25, you get a Carer’s Allowance, get support following an assessment by your local authority, your GP record shows you are a carer, you have a learning disability or you are classed as clinically vulnerable, then you can book a vaccine appointment online: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/
It was reassuring to see record breaking numbers of vaccine appointments being booked this week as the 25-30 age bracket became eligible, after there was some hesitation that younger, less at-risk demographics would have lower take-up. Clearly with over one-million appointment slots being booked in a day this is not the case and I believe the younger generation, who have sacrificed over a year of their lives for those more vulnerable, believe more than any age group in the power of vaccines to be route out of restrictions.
With data from the vaccine rollout giving us reason to be optimistic for June 21, it is also important to consider other metrics of assessing the pandemic. I welcome the shift away from analysing case rate as infections are increasingly only occurring in younger, healthier persons who are awaiting their vaccine. Furthermore, it is helpful that the Department of Health have committed to breaking down data on hospitalisations differentiating between those who are admitted due to coronavirus and those in hospital for other treatment but have tested positive for coronavirus. This builds on the additional information on vaccine status that was first published last week, which highlights that hospitalisations are now predominantly patients who have not been inoculated.
With all this in mind and having looked at all the publicly available data, I simply cannot see any justification for the Prime Minister extending restrictions beyond June 21. We are further ahead in our vaccine rollout than we originally envisioned when he first announced his road map for easing lockdown and covid related deaths remain very low. Health advisors may use the threat of new variants to justify moving the goalposts for reopening but this would be extremely unfair to the public, especially as the nature of viruses is to mutate to survive so there will never be a time where that threat is negated.
My inbox is filled with messages from businesses on the edge, who have struggled through the pandemic who, while grateful for the support the Government has offered them, now need to operate at full capacity to be profitable and have a chance of survival. Any extension of lockdown would be catastrophic for the hospitality and travel sectors, who continue to suffer under more burdensome restrictions compared to last summer despite the vaccine offering us greater protection. Such contradictions expose the continued confusion surrounding the everchanging positions of the Government and the urgent need for transparent decision making.
It was therefore encouraging to hear similar arguments being made in Parliament yesterday from MPs representing the broad spectrum of views found within the Conservative Party, from Theresa May to Sir Graham Brady. If the Prime Minister does delay the June 21 reopening date I pledge to work with all like-minded MPs to use every mechanism at our disposal to resist the changes and reassert the sovereignty of Parliament to scrutinise the Government as, despite what lockdown supporters claim, it is simply not just a few extra weeks. People’s livelihoods, mental health and our long-term freedoms are at permanent risk and I hope the Prime Minister considers all of this ahead of his announcement.