Sharp increase in UK baby boomers breaking lockdown rules after having COVID vaccine

Ross McGuinness
·3-min read
CARMARTHEN, WALES - APRIL 07: A nurse prepares the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, at the West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen, on April 7, 2021 in Carmarthen, Wales. Moderna, the third vaccine to be approved for use in the UK, is to be given to patients in Wales from Wednesday. Five thousand doses of the vaccine were sent to vaccination centres in the Hywel Dda University Health Board area on Tuesday. The vaccine's approval by the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency was announced on January 8. The UK has bought 17 million doses of the Moderna jab enough for 8.5 million people. (Photo by Jacob King - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
A nurse prepares the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen earlier this month. (Getty)

There has been a sharp increase in the number of baby boomers in the UK breaking coronavirus lockdown rules, a poll has revealed.

Fewer people in the 55 to 75 age bracket, almost all of whom have had a COVID-19 jab, are adhering to the restrictions, according to a survey by Ipsos Mori.

The survey of 1,078 adults found that the number of people following the rules in the 55 to 75 bracket has fallen from 58% in January to 40%.

Watch: Government advert to encourage under-50s to have COVID vaccine

Despite this drop, those in this age range are still more likely to follow the rules than younger Britons.

Data from NHS England shows more than 95% of those aged 50 and over have had at least one dose.

According to the NHS, more than 16.5 million people aged 55 and over have had a first dose in England up to the week ending 18 April.

Caroline Nicolls receive an injection of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine administered by nurse Amy Nash, at the Madejski Stadium in Reading, Berkshire. The Moderna vaccine is the third to be approved for use in the UK, and is now being given to patients in England. Picture date: Tuesday April 13, 2021.
A nurse administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Madejski Stadium in Reading, Berkshire, earlier this month. (PA)

Overall, Ipsos Mori’s study, published on Friday, revealed that 35% of people in the UK are following lockdown rules, compared with 47% in January.

Almost eight out of 10 Britons (77%) said they are “comfortable” meeting friends and family outside their household, with another 5% saying this is already back to normal.

From Monday, people in England aged 44 are being invited to book their jabs.

Two-thirds of those aged 45 to 49 have received a first dose.

NHS England said about half a million 44-year-olds will receive a text inviting them to get their jab through the national booking service.

It is the first time that the vaccine rollout in England has been extended by a single year group – previously the age-based approach to the programme had offered the jab to people in age brackets.

The NHS in England said it will set out plans to offer a COVID-19 vaccine to those aged 40 to 43 in the coming days.

In addition, people aged 50 and under are being urged to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

A UK government campaign – called “every vaccination gives us hope” – sees the launch of a TV advert that will showcase the health workers and volunteers involved in the vaccination rollout across the UK.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the campaign will predominantly be aimed at people under the age of 50 who will be offered their first dose, as well as the over-50s who are booked in for their second dose.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “Vaccines are helping us get back to doing the things we have missed – they protect you and those around you.

“This campaign is a remarkable and poignant reminder of everything we’ve been through as a country and everything we have to look forward to – as well as the tireless efforts of our volunteers, NHS heroes and the British people.

“Every vaccination gives us hope and I urge everyone to take up the offer of a vaccine when it comes, as we continue on the path back to normality.”

According to figures from the NHS and the Office for National Statistics, an estimated 89.7% of people aged 45 and over in England have received their first dose of a vaccine, including 59.3% of 45- to 49-year-olds.

Over the weekend, figures confirmed that more than half of the UK’s total population has received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as the total doses passed the 46 million mark.

Meanwhile, the European Medicines Agency has approved an increase in batch size and processes at Pfizer’s vaccine manufacturing site in Puurs, Belgium, which should increase availability of the company's COVID-19 jab.

Watch: Total vaccines given in UK passes 46 million