Nearly half of over-80s in UK with Covid vaccines break lockdown rules, officials report

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You’re never too old to break the rules – especially when you’ve had a Covid jab. That’s what officials in the UK reported Thursday, saying nearly half of people over 80 with vaccinations are flouting lockdown rules.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that 41 percent of people aged 80 or over who had received the first dose of a Covid vaccine less than three weeks before, broke lockdown rules by meeting someone other than those in their so-called care bubble.

Under lockdown rules introduced on January 4, seniors are supposed to only have very limited contact with people other than direct carers. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out roadmap for gradually lifting lockdown restrictions, beginning on March 8.

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While about half (49 percent) of seniors said coronavirus presented a major or significant risk to their personal safety before having a vaccine, that outlook dropped to five percent after they received both doses of a vaccine.

“It will hopefully also improve a wider quality of life for this group,” said ONS analyst Tim Gibbs, adding that seniors said they would be more likely to go to hospital for a medical reason since being vaccinated.

We’ve released analysis of people aged over 80 in England during the #COVID19 pandemic, including attitudes and behaviours in relation to the vaccination

— Office for National Statistics (ONS) (@ONS) March 4, 2021

The over-80s were among the first demographic groups to be prioritized by the government when it began its mass vaccination program three months ago, and nearly all in the category have received at least one of three vaccines approve for use by authorities. So far, nearly 21 million have been vaccinated with at least one jab.

The ONS reported that 41 percent of those over 80 had experienced some side effects from vaccination and were still waiting for their second jab. Most (63 percent) said those side effects wouldn’t prevent them from getting the second dose.

An overwhelming majority – 96 percent – of the over-80s said they would encourage others to be vaccinated.

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