UK News

UK to be Covid-free by August and protected over winter, says vaccine chief UK News

The coronavirus will no longer circulate in Britain by August, according to one of the country’s top vaccine experts.

Clive Dix, the outgoing interim head of the vaccine working group, said the unprecedented speed of the vaccination program means the pandemic finally has a clear end in sight.

It comes as the government remains adamant all adults will have been offered at least one vaccine by the end of July, with nearly 35 million of them having already received their first dose.

Mr Dix also urged Britain to share millions of spare doses with other countries in desperate need of them.

“In August we will have no more viruses circulating in the UK,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

The successful rollout of the vaccine is also expected to provide sufficient protection against all known variants, meaning that boosters could be postponed until next year, he added.

Mr Dix said it was his “personal prediction” that “we will probably have protected the people” in three months.

“All the variations that are known; I think we will be safe against next winter,” said the expert.

Woman gets caught by Covid
Nearly 35 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine in the UK

Covid cases continue to drop although Britain continues to slowly lift restrictions and reopen the economy.

About 14,000 people tested positive last week, down almost 10% from the previous week, according to official data.

Mr Dix was initially vice chairman of the task force under Kate Bingham before accepting the management post in December when the first blows were delivered in Britain.

He said if boosters were still needed after the first two doses, they could be withheld until early 2022, The Mirror reports.

“We can decide that we need to boost the immune response, and we have the vaccine to do it. Whether we need it or not, I probably think not, but we could still do it just in case,” he said. .

Mr Dix went on to say that “the immune response will be strong” if the boosters wait until January or February rather than this fall.

However, he warned that the most vulnerable in society could see their immunity dwindle faster, which means plans may need to be changed.

It comes as officials have said people under 40 should be offered an alternative to the Oxford / AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine when possible due to a low risk of blood clots.

Virologist Dr Chris Smith said the shift in focus for people under 40 in the UK to be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine as an alternative was “reasonable”.

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Speaking to BBC Breakfast, he said the figures show there is “a small, dramatic change in the risk” of rare blood clots for people under 40.

“And for this reason, since we have alternatives, why not just switch to one of these alternatives for these other age groups while we get more data on the mechanism of this situation?” he said.

“It seems the most sensible and safest thing to do as long as we have other options at our disposal.”