When you've had your vaccine...

Published on: Tuesday, 16th February 2021

As the Government works its way through the vaccination programme, questions may well be raised as to what someone who has been vaccinated can then do in society.  Erewash Sound brings you some guidance on this subject.

The current anticipation is that all over 50s will have received their first dose of the vaccine by May 2021.   

However, recipients should not expect life to return to normal instantly.  It will take some time before restrictions are lifted and more elements of familiarity and normality can re-appear.   Vaccines offer varying degrees of protection against severe illness and hospitalisation but NOT total immunity, and those yet to receive a second dose will not benefit from maximum protection.

The following guidance is written for the information of those who have been vaccinated with at least one dose.

HOME VISITS:  Unless you have a long-standing (and not established merely for convenience) support bubble, there should be NO visits (inside) between households for any reason.   Those who have had the jab can still carry, catch and spread the virus.

MASKS: Masks should continue to be worn in all public places including public transport, regardless of whether you have had the vaccine or not.   England regulations apply with regards to mask wearing for anyone aged 11 or over unless medically exempt.

MEETING OUTDOORS: From March 29th 2021, you can meet up to six persons outdoors and in private gardens, however, social distancing (2mtrs) should be observed.  Meeting outdoors can include whilst walking, but walks should be in your local area.

SHIELDING: The 31st March 2021 is the last day that Government guidance indicates that those classed as "clinically vulnerable" in England and Wales should 'shield' at home.  Letters have been sent out beforehand to those to whom it applies.  The recommendation now is that those persons should minimise social contact, work from home where possible and keep a safe distance from others.  NHS Digital data shows that 3.8m have been shielding.   People in the 'shielding' category are those who have received stem-cell transplants, undergoing chemotherapy for cancer and adults with acute kidney disease (list not exhaustive) with these persons in a priority group for a vaccination.   Relevant guidance can be found at www.gov.uk.

SHOPPING:  If you are not living with someone classed as vulnerable, basic necessities can be obtained from shops close to home, and ensuring adherence to social distancing measures.

VOLUNTEERING: This can continue, ideally at home unless going to the location at which you volunteer is essential.  

WORK: This can continue, ideally at home unless going to the location at which you work is essential.

Government guidance should continue to be observed, i.e. to stay at home and otherwise, observe strict social distancing rules, irrespective of whether you have received a vaccine or not.

Despite the roadmap, expectations are that something akin to 'normal' might be some time away yet - as much as 12 months.

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