ritons should not hug their children even once they’ve been vaccinated, an expert has stressed, amid warnings that millions are likely to begin ignoring coronavirus lockdown rules once they have had the jab.
Asked whether people who had received the jab could hug their children, Janet Lord, director of Birmingham University’s Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, said: “I would certainly advise not to do that at the moment because as you probably know with the vaccines they take several weeks before they are maximally effective.”
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme on Tuesday: “It’s really important that people stay on their guard even if they’ve had that first vaccination.
“If people do relax what they’re doing then it reduces the benefits of the vaccination.”
Prof Lord also discussed the potential pitfalls of so-called “immunity passports” for those who have received the jab or who show natural Covid resistance.
She said: “People might think (it is a) passport to freedom and even those who haven’t been vaccinated will see those changing their behaviours and think, ‘Well why should I bother if no one else is either?’
“That’s the real worry we’ve got at the moment.”
She said she would be “happier” with the idea of “vaccine passports” if more was known about the effects of the jab on virus transmission, but warned there may be other “practical issues”.
“What about the practicalities, do you have some sort of large badge on your jacket that says ‘I’m vaccinated?’” she asked.
“It’s people observing you, so if you’re going around, you’re no longer wearing a mask, you’re hugging anyone you feel like hugging then it’s the message that it gives psychologically and motivationally that could be the risk.”
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Her comments came after the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) called for people’s behaviours to be “closely monitored” to check whether compliance with the rules begins to drop.