The 51-year-old Tweeted: ‘This morning I tested positive for Covid. I’m waiting for my PCR result, but thankfully I have had my jabs and symptoms are mild. Please make sure you come forward for your vaccine if you haven’t already.’
Mr Javid had his first Oxford-AstraZeneca jab on March 17 and was given a follow up dose on May 16.
Scientists have always said vaccines are not 100 per cent effective at preventing Covid transmission — the main purpose of jabs is to reduce severe illness and prevent death.
He tested positive for the virus on a rapid lateral flow test and is waiting for a result on a more accurate PCR test.
The Health Secretary said he took the test after feeling groggy this morning but his symptoms are otherwise ‘very mild’ so far.
Well-wishers flocked to social media to bid Mr Javid a speedy recovery, including MPs Angela Richardson and Karl Turner and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
His positive test came amid fears around the Beta variant that originated in South Africa, with scientists concerned the mutant strain could become more prevalent because of its resistance to the AstraZeneca jab.
SAGE member Professor John Edmunds today said the variant ‘has always been a threat to us’, with experts worried by its rapid spread in France.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid revealed in a video today that he has tested positive for Covid-19
Mr Javid had his first Oxford-AstraZeneca jab on March 17 (left) and was given a follow up dose on May 16 (right)
Brits fully-vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s Covid jab may be up to THREE TIMES more likely to get symptoms if infected than those who got Pfizer’s
Scientists at Imperial College London estimate two doses of AstraZeneca’s jab is 55 per cent effective at blocking symptoms of the Indian ‘Delta’ variant.
But the efficacy figure for two doses of either Pfizer or Moderna is thought to be in the region of 85 per cent, they say.
It means that for 100 unvaccinated people who developed symptomatic Covid, 45 would have been expected to have developed tell-tale signs of the illness had they been given two doses of AstraZeneca’s jab.
Just 15 people would have been struck down with symptoms for Pfizer or Moderna, according to the Imperial team, whose estimates were made in June.
The figures are the latest blow to the jab, after it was revealed by researchers today that elderly people who get that vaccine are less likely to have antibodies than those who had Pfizer.
But estimates from other universities found that the Pfizer and Moderna jabs are only slightly more effective than the Oxford injection.
In another day of Covid chaos:
- Experts warned coronavirus cases will stay high for months until autumn after passing 100,000 in two weeks’ time and a new lockdown will be needed by September;
- More than 1,200 ‘Zero Covid’ scientists accused the UK of ‘endangering the world’ and creating conditions for the emergence of a new variant by pressing on with ‘Freedom Day’ on July 19;
- Industry bosses warned Britain faces food shortages with shops being closed early and bins not emptied for ten weeks if urgent action is not taken to address the ‘pingdemic’;
- A senior Government adviser revealed Professor Chris Whitty was worried about over-reacting to the threat of the pandemic, leading to tensions with his scientific counterpart Sir Patrick Vallance;
- British holidaymakers have revealed their fury as families are forced to cancel trips to France after a last-minute reversal of the amber list rule change.
Speaking in a video, the Health Secretary said: ‘I just wanted to inform you all that I have tested positive for Covid.
‘I was feeling a bit groggy last night so I took a lateral flow test this morning and it’s come back positive.
‘So I’m now self-isolating at home with my family until I get the results of a PCR test.
‘I’m grateful that I’ve had two doses of the vaccine and so far my symptoms are very mild.
‘And I also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that’s been involved in our national vaccine rollout programme, truly the best of its kind anywhere in the world.’
He added: ‘If you haven’t had your jabs yet, please get out there and get them as soon as you can.
‘And if like me, you might feel a bit groggy or you think you might have come into contact with someone who might has tested positive, please take a lateral flow test too.
‘If everyone plays their part, you’re not only protecting yourselves and your loved ones but you’re also safeguarding he NHS and helping to preserve our way of life.’
Mr Javid was only appointed to the post last month following the resignation of Matt Hancock after CCTV footage emerged showing him kissing an aide in his office in breach of social-distancing rules.
Around 1.8million people were asked to self-isolate last week in England, data suggests. That includes 194,000 people who tested positive, 520,000 who were ‘pinged’ by the app, almost 340,000 who were contacted directly by Test and Trace, and 750,000 schoolchildren
Up to 1million people were asked to self-isolate last week, data suggests. But that figure could hit 5.6million by the end of the month, if cases spiral by 75 per cent every week (right), according to MailOnline analysis. Separate projections based on a growth rate of 40 per cent – similar to what Test and Trace reported last week – still says the number of people self-isolating could hit 3million a week. But the true figure will be much lower because many people who are told to self-isolate end up testing positive, and some people will be flagged down by both NHS Test and Trace and the app
In a more positive sign, SAGE today estimated England’s R rate is between 1.2 and 1.4, down from last week’s figure of between 1.2 and 1.5
The new Health Secretary is seen by Tories as being noticeably keener than his predecessor on easing restrictions.
If the PCR test proves positive, he will be the latest senior Government figure to contract the virus.
Boris Johnson and Mr Hancock both succumbed during the first wave of the pandemic, with the Prime Minister being admitted to intensive care at St Thomas’ Hospital in London after falling seriously ill.
Politicians and members of the public wished the Health Secretary a quick recovery on social media.
Mr Khan said: ‘Sorry to read this, but pleased to hear the difference having both jabs can make. Wishing you a speedy and full recovery.’
Ms Richardson Tweeted: ‘Hope you feel better soon. Glad to hear your symptoms are mild.’
And Mr Turner said: ‘Sorry to hear this Saj, hope you stay feeling well.’
Mr Javid’s positive test comes after Professor Edmunds this morning warned the Beta variant may become more dominant in the UK because of its resistance to the AstraZeneca vaccine — which the majority of the UK have had.
Professor Edmunds said that although the South African variant is already in the UK, there are fears it is better at defeating the Astrazeneca vaccine and that it could become more prevalent with increasing vaccination.
He said: ‘As the population here becomes more and more immune, the conditions are right then for the Beta variant to get an advantage, so I can understand the concern.
‘Of the variants that are out there and are known about, that one has always been a threat to us. There is some good evidence from South Africa that it can evade the immune response generated by the AstraZeneca vaccine more efficiently.’