Posted: 06.04.21 at 18:01 by Ethan Davies, Local Democracy Reporting Service
LOCKDOWN easing will "inevitably" lead to an increase in Covid infections in Cheshire, according to the Prime Minister.
Boris Johnson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service on his visit to the county today (Tuesday) that it is up to residents to "obey basic common sense" to keep infection rates low.
“We do expect there to be rises in infection that follow the openings that we’ve been doing of schools on March 8, that will inevitably will have an impact on the overall budget of the virus,” the PM said at AstraZeneca in Macclesfield, one of the leading companies producing Covid jabs.
“The further relaxation on March 29, and on Monday April 12 again, we do expect naturally with more mingling of people, there will be an increase in infection — and I’m afraid that’s just a reality.”
Mr Johnson went on to say that it was down to residents to follow the rules.
He said: “The issue is first of all to what extent people continue to observe the rules and continue to be disciplined and obey basic common sense, follow Hands Face Space and do things in the open air.
“The second thing is to what extent we will have built up enough natural defences in all of ourselves as a result of vaccines.
“The evidence at the moment is quite encouraging that the speed of the decline in serious disease and death is I think pretty clearly now been assisted by the vaccine roll-out.
“The question is how much protection we have and we can’t know that at the moment and that’s why the vital thing for everybody is to go out and get their jabs and get their second jabs, particularly the elderly and vulnerable.”
Currently, more than 60 per cent of the Cheshire and Merseyside population have had their first dose of a vaccine — including 94.7 per cent of Cheshire’s over-50s.
The PM believes "that there will be continuous supply of the Covid vaccine".
NHS leaders locally have called on over-50s to book vaccination appointments sooner rather than later in order to avoid disappointment in the future.
But Mr Johnson said: “I think that there will be continuous supply of the vaccine. The vaccine task force under Kate Bingham ages ago made some very far-sighted arrangements to make sure that we had continuous supply of a number of different vaccines.
“Don’t forget we’ve got the Scottish vaccine coming on stream later, we’ve got Moderna, we’re going to have Jansen, we have another 40 million doses of Pfizer coming down the track.
“I think the total amount is 540 million doses overall but we are still on target to deliver all the one to nine groups by April 15 to get their first jab and all adults by the end of July.
“AstraZeneca have played a remarkable role in the UK and around the world in developing a room temperature vaccine which is absolutely extraordinary.”
Mr Johnson’s visit to Cheshire was to announce £380 million round of funding in a new medicine manufacturing facility and global medicines packaging centre.