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Cases surge as jab given to over-18s


JAB ON THE GO: Maria Kelly (18) gets vaccinated at City Hall yesterday

JAB ON THE GO: Maria Kelly (18) gets vaccinated at City Hall yesterday

JAB ON THE GO: Maria Kelly (18) gets vaccinated at City Hall yesterday

A further 460 positive cases of Covid-19 and no further deaths were yesterday reported in Northern Ireland in the previous 24 hours.  To date, a total of 2,054,420 vaccines have been administered. Of these, 1,168,739 were first doses and 877,402 were second doses.

Yesterday the British Government confirmed that proposals to scrap quarantine requirements for those who have received two doses of a coronavirus vaccine are under "consideration".

Downing Street said it was looking at whether to drop all legal self-isolation measures for fully vaccinated people who come into contact with someone who is infected "as part of the post-Step 4 world".

It comes after The Times reported that a meeting of the Covid operations committee will take place on Monday at which ministers are expected to sign off a plan that will mean those who have been double-jabbed will be "advised", after so-called "freedom day" in England on July 19, to take daily tests but not be required to do so.

A scientific adviser, however, said the problems associated with such an exemption "outweigh the potential benefits" and warned that it could cause "resentment".

Professor Robert West, a health psychologist who is a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (SPI-B), which advises Sage, said: "The most serious problem is that if you have a situation where not everyone has been even offered the vaccine then you've already got clearly a huge unfairness.

"When you get unfairness in situations like this, you get resentment and when you get resentment you can get loss of compliance."

On Friday the Department of Health in Northern Ireland confirmed its interim plans to provide holidaymakers here with short-term written confirmation of full vaccination. They will be in place up to July 19 for those visiting countries where proof of double vaccines are required.

Yesterday a number of appointment-free vaccine clinics were set up across Northern Ireland to try to get more people, in particular younger age groups, to get vaccinated.

A walk-in clinic was set up in the ground of Belfast City Hall offering the Pfizer jab to anyone unvaccinated aged over-18.

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