Hopes for lifting lockdown early in Sheffield unlikely, says health chief

The city’s public health director says hopes for lifting lockdown earlier than planned in Sheffield are unlikely.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 3:52 pm

Hopes for lifting lockdown on July 5 rose as Covid jab bookings topped 1 million in two days.

But Greg Fell Director of Public Health Sheffield, said he thought it unlikely Freedom Day would be brought forward to July 5 or even be July 25, but that would give the city more time to get jabs in arms.

He added: "It is the Prime Minister’s call not mine and it would be foolish of me to advise him although it would make lots of people very happy.

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Greg Fell, Sheffield Director of Public Health, pictured.

"The vaccination programme is going well, but case rates are rising. We are a bit behind the curve as it is taking off everywhere else, particularly among the 15-35 age group, probably because they are going out, making the most contacts and are the least well vaccinated.

"Whatever happens the most important thing to do is to get dose one or dose two, whichever applies to you. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of young adults coming forward because I wasn’t sure this would be the case.

"People have said they want their freedom back and getting vaccinated is the way to do it.

"I think it’s unlikely Freedom Day will be brought forward to July 5 or even be July 25, but that does give us more time to get jabs in arms.”

Coronavirus update with Greg Fell - Director for Public Health Sheffield.

More than one million Covid-19 jabs were booked in just two days after the NHS vaccination programme opened to all remaining adults in England.

The huge surge in bookings prompted some health experts to say the successful vaccination drive could see all remaining lockdown restrictions lifted ahead of schedule on July 5, two weeks earlier than currently planned.

A total of 1,008,472 vaccine appointments were arranged over Friday and Saturday (18-19 June) via the booking service, averaging more than 21,000 every hour, or six every second, NHS England said.

The full figure is likely to be higher as it does not include appointments at local GP-led vaccination services or people receiving the jab at walk-in centres.