Vaccinated UK Health Secretary tests positive for COVID-19
Sajid Javid, the top government official responsible for leading the UK’s response to the coronavirus, announced Saturday that he tested positive for COVID-19 after being vaccinated.
In a video posted to Twitter, the health secretary said he learned of his results from a quick lateral flow test, typically used for people without symptoms of coronavirus, and expected a more accurate PCR test while isolating at home.
Javid said he passed the test on Saturday after “feeling a little dazed” the day before. He received both doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and says her symptoms have so far been “very mild”.
It comes as England set to lift restrictions following one of the toughest lockdowns in the world.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced earlier this month that by Monday, face mask and social distancing requirements would be lifted, along with crowd limits at private gatherings, concerts and sporting events. In pubs, customers will again be allowed to order pints from the bar.
At the same time, infections are on the rise. Last week, 300,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the UK – up 40% from the previous week.
The delta variant, which has spread over 225% faster than the original version of the virus, now represents more more than 90% of infections in the country and is causing outbreaks of COVID-19 in some areas.
Two-thirds of UK adults are fully vaccinated; children are not yet eligible.
Javid supports the national reopening. A few days before his positive test result, he said vaccinations would build a “protective wall” to help “withstand a summer wave”.
On Saturday, Javid encouraged unvaccinated people to get vaccinated. He also recommended getting tested for COVID-19, regardless of vaccine status, if exposure to the disease is suspected or if symptoms are felt.
AstraZeneca says its vaccine fully protects against death and is 92% effective against hospitalization of the delta variant.
Javid has been a health secretary for less than three weeks. Matt Hancock abruptly resigned last month after breaking the coronavirus distancing rules. Hancock was caught on CCTV kissing an assistant.