More than 40% of over-80s admit breaking Covid rules after vaccine

4 March 2021, 13:28

Over 40% of elderly people have admitted to breaking Covid-19 rules
Over 40% of elderly people have admitted to breaking Covid-19 rules. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

More than four in 10 over-80s who received a Covid-19 vaccine have admitted to breaking current lockdown restrictions after getting jabbed, an ONS survey has revealed.

Some 43% of elderly people said they had met someone other than a personal care support worker, member of their household or support bubble indoors since being vaccinated.

And 41% of over-80s vaccinated in the previous three weeks said they had done so, "appearing to break lockdown regulations", according to the ONS.

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Explained: What are the lockdown restrictions for England?

Current rules introduced in England at the start of January mean family or friends cannot meet socially indoors unless they are in the same household or support bubble.

The ONS said a large proportion of over-80s will have been vaccinated after the latest lockdown was imposed and therefore "would have been breaking lockdown regulations by meeting these groups socially".

Health experts are concerned about people who are vaccinated
Health experts are concerned about people who are vaccinated. Picture: PA Images

Tim Gibbs, from the ONS public services analysis team, said: "The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination is, no doubt, a huge relief to many people aged over 80, as we can see that almost half of all them, when asked, considered Covid-19 to be a major or significant personal risk before receiving the vaccination - this decreases to just 5% having the same concern after hypothetically receiving both doses of the vaccine.

"It will hopefully also improve a wider quality of life for this group. We can see that one third of over-80s who had received two or more doses of the vaccine reported they would be more likely to attend a hospital for a medical reason since being vaccinated.

"We hope to start to see these wider positive effects of the vaccine rollout as it continues across more age groups in the coming weeks."

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Its Over-80s Vaccines Insights study ran from February 15 to 20, by which point the Government said it had offered the jab to everyone in the top four priority groups - which includes the over-80s.

It polled 2,070 over-80s in England, with around 1% residing in a care or nursing home.

Overall, 48% of over-80s who had received both vaccine doses had since met up with someone indoors who was not in their household, support bubble or a care worker

Two-thirds (67%) had met with someone they do not live with indoors since getting the jab, which could include members of their support bubble and care workers.

Some 99.8% of respondents said they had been offered a jab, and 78% had received their first dose more than three weeks ago.

The survey found a third of those who had received both doses, and a quarter of those who had received one, said they would now be more likely to attend hospital if necessary.

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Meanwhile, 31% of those who had received both doses, and 26% of those who had one, said they would be somewhat more likely to leave home for another medical reason, such as to attend a GP appointment.

Of all over-80s surveyed, 96% said they would be very or somewhat likely to encourage others to get a jab.

Almost half (49%) considered coronavirus to be a major or significant risk to them before getting a jab, falling to 19% considering the hypothetical risk after one dose and 5% after two doses.