Sheffield has recorded zero deaths from COVID-19 within 28 days of a positive test for three consecutive days. This is the first time this has happened since the beginning of October 2020.
This is another sign that COVID-19 cases are coming down across the country with the successful vaccination programme still in full swing. As of the 13th March 2021, 20,568,821 people have received their first dose of the vaccine, with 1,115,066 people having had both doses.
Minister for Vaccines Nadhim Zahawi said: “The vaccine is our way out of this pandemic and offers the chance to protect yourself and others – that’s why it’s vital that people get their jab.”
The UK is now offering the first dose of the vaccine to anyone aged 55 and over, and the country is on track to have offered everyone over the age of 18 their first dose of the vaccine by the end of July.
Homeless people have recently been moved up into group six in the vaccination plans as recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). This means they will be offered the jab at the same time as those aged 16-65 with underlying health conditions. Currently more than half of group six have been successfully vaccinated.
Professor Wei Shen Lim, COVID-19 Chair for JCVI, said: “People experiencing homelessness are likely to have health conditions that put them at higher risk of death from COVID-19. This advice will help us to protect more people who are at greater risk, ensuring that fewer people become seriously ill or die from the virus.”
The continued success of the vaccination programme is more crucial than ever as parts of the country are finally opening up after weeks of lockdown.
Pupils in England returned to school for the first time in months on 8th March, and more of the country is set to open back up on the 29th March with two households allowed to meet outdoors and organised outdoor sports allowed to continue.
The government hopes that by 21st June all social distancing measures can be removed, however, this depends on the success of the vaccinations and the public’s continued adherence to the social distancing rules.