Vaccination: Don’t Let Your Guard Down Too Soon!

Health services are observing a rise in Coronavirus infections in people shortly after they have received their first vaccination, suggesting that many people are letting their guard down before the vaccine has taken effect.

Earlier this month a study led by Public Health England of vaccination in the over 70s found a “notable” rise in covid-19 infections in people immediately after they received the AstraZeneca vaccine. Similarly, a study of Israel’s vaccination programme, reported in February, found a similar spike in cases among people who had just been jabbed. It found that daily incidence approximately doubled after vaccination until about day 8.

A survey by the UK’s Office for National Statistics, looking at coronavirus and vaccine attitudes and behaviours in England in February, shows why these spikes may be happening. Among over 80s who had received their first dose of a vaccine in the previous three weeks, 41% reported having met up with someone other than a household member, care worker, or member of their support bubble indoors since vaccination, thereby breaking lockdown regulations.

Looking at both strands of research—from Israel and the UK—it’s reasonable to suggest people are letting their guard down after they have their first dose. The research has shown that immediately after a first jab people are more likely to be flouting social distancing, meeting people outside their household or bubble—and meeting them indoors.