People could become less diligent at sticking to coronavirus rules as more of the population is vaccinated, scientists have warned.
If people start abandoning the rules early, it could lead to a spike in cases that outweighs the gains made by rolling out the jab, government advisory body SAGE has said.
Sky News reported that minutes from a meeting in December said: “There is a risk that changes in behaviour could offset the benefits of vaccination, particularly in the early months of the vaccine rollout.”
The jab offers protection against becoming unwell from coronavirus, but it is still unclear whether the vaccines stop people catching and spreading the infection.
According to Sky, SAGE believes there should be a public awareness campaign with “timely intervention” if people start flouting the rules.
The number of individuals who have had a first jab now exceeds 4 million.
It is hoped that by mid-February the four most vulnerable groups of people will have had the first dose of the vaccine, which represents 88 per cent of people who are most likely to die from coronavirus.