Sheffield GP responds to isolation for double-jabbed people being scrapped

Fully vaccinated people will no longer have to isolate if they come into contact with a coronavirus case.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 4:40 pm

Anyone who has had their second jab at least a fortnight ago or is aged under 18 will not be required to stay at home for 10 days once the change comes into force on August 16, health secretary Sajid Javid announced today.

Anyone who tests positive will still have to self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status.

Sheffield GP Dr Ollie Hart who is clinical director of the Heeley-Plus Primary Care Network, made up of surgeries in the area, said it was ‘probably the right decision’ based on the information currently available but the Government must be prepared to backtrack if things change.

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Dr Ollie Hart said he 'cautiously' supports the decision to end isolation for fully vaccinated people who have come into contact with a confirmed coronavirus case
Dr Ollie Hart said he 'cautiously' supports the decision to end isolation for fully vaccinated people who have come into contact with a confirmed coronavirus case

“I would cautiously support this. I think it’s probably the right decision at the moment, based on everything we know,” he said.

“But we always have to be prepared to backtrack if it turns out things aren’t working out.

“We’re definitely seeing a lot of distress and mental health issues caused by isolation, lockdown, the financial pressures and so on.

Health secretary Sajid Javid announcing that from August 16 rules on self-isolation are being eased for the fully vaccinated and under-18s (pic: PA/House of Commons)

“From personal experience, we haven’t come across lots of people who have been double vaccinated and become seriously ill after contracting Covid, so the vaccines appear to be working well.

“Obviously case numbers are rising among younger people but they don’t seem to be getting such a nasty illness and we do have to get the country back to normal at some point.”

Asked whether the announcement might encourage some people who have so far held off on getting the vaccination to get jabbed, Dr Hart said: “What’s really tricky is that a lot of people have decided not to have vaccinations for a lot of reasons.

“Some have had reactions to vaccinations in the past and for some people vaccinations are just not a viable option so it does put them in a difficult position.

“But we have to work out what’s going to work best for the majority of people and I suspect that for some people it will be a little nudge in the right direction, for sure.

Addressing parliament, Mr Javid said: “As we make this change we will be drawing on the huge capacity we have built for testing and sequencing and advising close contacts who are fully vaccinated to take a PCR test as soon as possible so they can get certainty about their condition.

He added: “This new approach means that we can manage the virus in a way that is proportionate to the pandemic while maintaining the freedoms that are so important to us all,” he said.

Anyone who is aged under 18 and has therefore not been offered the vaccine will be given advice about whether they should get tested if they come into close contact with a positive case and will only need to self-isolate if they test positive.

The latest announcement comes after Boris Johnson yesterday set out plans to lift the last remaining legal restrictions from July 19, subject to a final decision next week.

And it came on the same day education secretary Gavin Williamson set out plans to scrap the school bubble system in a move which has been welcomed by headteachers in Sheffield.