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Can you hug your grandparents or parents if they’ve had the Covid vaccine?

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Vaccination is currently one of the only tangible ways out of the Covid pandemic, with uptake surging across the world. The UK’s vaccine programme began in December 2020 and has since covered more than six million people. Most of the vulnerable people now included in the Government’s vaccine figures have only had one dose, with numbers of those covered by the complete regimen in the hundreds of thousands.

Can you hug people who have had both vaccine doses?

Covid vaccines at their full potential protect people from deadly effects of the disease 95 percent of the time.

But people need both doses to receive this benefit, as a single jab only affords protection roughly 50 percent of the time.

Even if someone receives the full regimen, while the coverage is high, it does not offer them complete immunity.

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Health professionals have urged people not to hug one another if they have only had one vaccination.

When asked whether people could hug family members after their first dose, Janet Lord, director of Birmingham University’s Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, cautioned against doing so.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “I would certainly advise not to do that at the moment because as you probably know with the vaccines they take several weeks before they are maximally effective.”

Professor Lord added: “It’s really important that people stay on their guard even if they’ve had that first vaccination.”

“If people do relax what they’re doing then it reduces the benefits of the vaccination.”

Once people have had their second vaccine, hugging people could become possible again – but only once case rates have become sustainably low, and the Government retires its current restrictions.

Dr Mike Tildesley, of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling at Warwick University, told the Mirror people should take care even after elderly relatives have received their jab.

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He added there would still be a risk people could contract the disease until “enough people have had the jab”.

Dr Tildesley said: “Vaccines aren’t 100 percent effective, so if somebody who is in the vulnerable category has had their jab it massively reduces their likelihood of developing symptoms, but it doesn’t reduce it to zero.

“Your gran may be one of the small number of people who won’t get protection from the vaccine.

“There will still be a risk until enough people have had the vaccine so that everyone’s protected.”

People who don’t follow Government rules after their second jab could undermine efforts at infection suppression.

In the same interview with Radio 4, Professor Lord said it would lead to increased public disobedience.

She said: “People might think (it is a) passport to freedom and even those who haven’t been vaccinated will see those changing their behaviours and think, ‘Well why should I bother if no one else is either?’”

She added: “That’s the real worry we’ve got at the moment.”

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  • Posted on January 27, 2021