England manager Gareth Southgate has urged young people to get their freedom back by supporting the coronavirus vaccination programme.
In the UK, more than 46 million people have now had a first Covid-19 vaccine dose, and more than 36 million have had both doses.
Southgate, 50, whose England side lost this month’s Euro 2020 final on a penalty shoot-out to Italy at Wembley, said in a video message: ‘I just firstly wanted to say thank you for the support you gave the team this summer, but also to say we know the last 18 months have been incredibly difficult for everybody.
‘And there’s no doubt that the vaccination programme is our best route out of this problem, not only for us as a country but across the world.
‘So I just wanted to say how important it is, if you haven’t had your vaccine yet, to go and get it done.
‘I know oldies like me have had both jabs so we can crack on with our lives, but for you younger ones especially it’s the chance for everything to open up, to get your freedom back. So much of that is going to rest on you having the vaccine.
‘So, don’t put it off any longer, go and get it done, we can open everything up, we can protect the people we need to protect and you guys will get your freedom back.’
England manager Gareth Southgate has urged young people to get their freedom back by supporting the coronavirus vaccination programme
Southgate shared the heartfelt plea just weeks after his England side lost this month’s Euro 2020 final on a penalty shoot-out to Italy at Wembley
It comes as official analysis has revealed Covid hospital admissions among elderly people in England are three times lower than they would have been if it wasn’t for vaccines.
About 200 over-65s were admitted to hospital with the virus on July 10, the latest date for which data is available, compared to the 750 that would have been expected without the vaccination drive.
In total, PHE estimates that more than 50,000 admissions have been prevented in England and almost 40,000 deaths.
It is likely that the jabs are performing even better than suggested within the scope of the analysis, which does not break down how many hospital patients were unvaccinated.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the country’s chief scientific adviser, said last week that about 60 per cent of people admitted to hospital have not had their jabs. A smaller proportion will have only received one dose.
AstraZeneca and Pfizer’s vaccines, which the majority of elderly Britons have been given, have been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalisation by more than 90 per cent, even from the Delta variant.
Among those who still catch Covid and are admitted to hospital, their illness is often milder than in previous waves and they are discharged quicker, thanks to the jabs.
PHE said that its analysis did not account for the millions of infections the vaccines have prevented, which will have also indirectly reduced hospital admissions.
Many young people have still not had a first dose of the vaccine, despite nationwide jab drives. Pictured: A woman receives a vaccine at Chelsea FC on June 19
Britain’s daily infection numbers are down for the first time in two months, with the Department of Health recording 39,906 positive tests – a 17.8 per cent drop on the number last Thursday.
The development has been seen as the first glimmer of hope of a return to normalcy since the third wave took off.
But Professor Paul Hunter, an epidemiologist at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline that while the decline was ‘positive’, the effects of Freedom Day on July 19 will not yet be appearing in the data yet.
He warned it was possible infections could begin growing ‘exponentially’ again in the coming weeks.
‘I would caution that this may just be a temporary slowing in reports before we start to see a return to exponential growth towards the end of next week as a result of the ending of restrictions last week,’ he said.
Prof Hunter said we will not know for certain until August 9 – three weeks after so-called ‘freedom day’.
But, like deaths, they are being kept five times lower than the peak in January thanks to the vaccine rollout, which saw another nearly 230,000 doses administered today.
Professor Paul Hunter, an epidemiologist at the University of East Anglia, warned it was possible infections could begin growing ‘exponentially’ again in the coming weeks
In total, when children sent home to isolate from school are included, there were up to 1.8million people told to quarantine last week – or 3 per cent of the entire population
Data shows 618,903 alerts were sent in England and Wales in the week ending July 14, a 17 per cent rise increase on the previous seven days and another record high. The red line show the cumulative number of tracing alerts sent throughout the pandemic, while the blue bars represent the number each week
It comes as hundreds of thousands of more people were plunged into pingdemic chaos after being told to self-isolate by the NHS Covid app.
Data shows 618,903 alerts were sent in the week ending July 14, a 17 per cent increase on the previous seven days and another record high.
The government on Thursday published a list of exemptions for key workers in energy, waste, water, and food supply and production.