19 April 2021
Harriett Baldwin asks about easing restrictions for people who have had two vaccine doses

Harriett Baldwin welcomes progress on the vaccine rollout and asks about research on those who have had two doses of vaccine, and the possibility that they may be able to go about their daily lives with fewer restrictions than those who have not.

Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire) (Con) [V]

May I add my congratulations to the team that has managed to give two vaccinations to over 10 million people? That is fantastic news. Given the risk of variants, I welcome the difficult decision that the Secretary of State has made to add India to the red list. What research he has commissioned on those, such as my hon. Friends the Members for Mid Derbyshire (Mrs Latham) and for Harrow East (Bob Blackman), who have had two vaccinations, and what possibility there might be that people who have had two vaccinations are able to go about their daily lives with fewer restrictions than those who have not?

Matt Hancock 

The latter question is really a question tied to the certification work. We have not hitherto, as my hon. Friend well knows, said that the rules for people who are vaccinated should be different from those for people who are non-vaccinated, but we know that some other countries are proposing to say that that will be case for international travel, so we do need to have a way of showing or proving it. However, we have not yet come to any conclusions about how we should do that and whether we should do that domestically. That is a matter for the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

On measuring how effective a second dose is, we have tests in the field right now to follow a sample of people who have had both tests, having them tested regularly—weekly, typically—to check whether they test positive, and therefore testing the effectiveness of both of the vaccines in the field. So far, we have published the results of that after one jab. Very early results are coming through after two jabs, and in the next couple of weeks we will have some really rich data on that, I should hope, because we have now seen a significant number of second jabs—10 million as of midnight last night.