Vaccine passports and a return to working from home have not been ruled out in the government’s contingency plan to tackle rising hospitalisations in autumn
Professor Andrew Hayward told BBC Radio 4’s 今天 programme: “We’ve moved away from a situation where there’s a potential for hundreds of thousands of deaths to a situation where we may still see tens of thousands of deaths.”
The warning came as 鲍里斯·约翰逊 refused to rule out a face-mask mandate and vaccine passports as part of a “plan B” to tackle a potential infection surge this winter.
While booster vaccines will be offered to all over-50s at the start of autumn, advisers have warned ministers must not wait to implement additional measures if needed.
Sir Patrick Vallance told a news briefing on Tuesday: “When you make a move, you have to go earlier than you think you want to, you have to go harder than you think you want to and you have to make sure you have got the right geographical coverage.”
EU to send 200M more vaccine doses to Africa
The European Union has pledged to send a further 200 million vaccine doses to Africa.
The donation, which adds to the 250 million doses already pledged, will be delivered in full by the middle of next year.
Announcing the latest measure aimed at speeding up global vaccination, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called it an “investment in solidarity and it is an investment also in global health.”
她说: “Our first and most urgent priority is to speed up global vaccination.
“With less than 1 per cent of global doses administered to lower income countries, the scale of injustice and the level of urgency is obvious.” She said that on top of delivering 700 million doses to Europeans, the 27-nation bloc had also sent as many to a combined 130 国家.
Charity calls for more support immunocompromised as schielding scheme ends
A blood cancer charity called for more support for those shielding from Covid-19 as the programme was scrapped following the success of the vaccine rollout.
An update to the government webpage for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable on Tuesday said: “Given the successful rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine programme, the shielding programme has now ended.”
More details on the ending of the scheme are expected today.
Henny Braund, chief executive of Anthony Nolan, said that clinically extremely vulnerable patients must not be “left behind” as society reopens.
他说: “We are extremely disappointed that the shielded patient list is ending with no clear plans to provide support for immunocompromised patients.
“This news will be a blow to blood cancer patients who are vulnerable to Covid-19 because the vaccines are less likely to protect them.
“As Covid-19 transmissions remain high, Anthony Nolan is urging the Government to fund more vital research into the vaccines, provide clear advice and support, and appoint a Government lead for people who are immunocompromised.
“The Government cannot leave these patients behind as society continues to open up.”
Government must “act quickly” is situation worsens, 专家说
The government has been told it must be quick to move from plan A to plan B in the face of a worsening situation in autumn and winter.
Dr David Nabarro, World Health Organisation special envoy for the global Covid-19 response, 告诉 天空新闻: “Speed is of the essence. We’ve been through this before and we know, as a result of past experience, that acting quickly and acting quite robustly is the way you get on top of this virus, then life can go on.”
Sir Patrick Vallance told a news briefing on Tuesday: “When you make a move, you have to go earlier than you think you want to, you have to go harder than you think you want to and you have to make sure you have got the right geographical coverage.
“所以, if this goes in the wrong direction and cases go up, followed by hospitalisations, it’s important that the measures are put in place early enough and they are significant enough.”
Ruling out another lockdown would be “irreponsible,” health secretary says
Health secretary Sajid Javid has this morning declined to rule out another lockdown.
He told BBC Breakfast it would be “irresponsible for any health minister in the world” to rule out another lockdown, especially in the face of “vaccine-escape variants” which may or may not emerge in the future.
“No-one wants to see another lockdown, I certainly don’t. I don’t think we are going to need to see another lockdown. I think the vaccines are working,“ 他说.
“But I think it would be irresponsible for any health minister in the world to say that this or that is 100 per cent ruled out, not least because I just don’t know whether at some time in the future – 明年, the year after, the year after that – there might be a vaccine-escape variant that doesn’t work with the current suite of vaccines.
“We always have to be vigilant but we have made huge gains in the last few months.
“We have done those together as a country and the plan yesterday we set out is a plan that will help protect those gains.”
‘Tens of thousands of deaths’ still a possibility, Sage member says
While the UK is in a much better place than last winter, it is still possible we will see tens of thousands of coronavirus deaths in winter, a Sage member has said.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s 今天 programme, Professor Andrew Hayward said: “This winter is definitely very different from last winter.
“When we went into last winter, 关于 10 per cent of us had antibodies to Covid, this winter 90 per cent of us have antibodies.
“所以, we’ve moved away from a situation where there’s a potential for hundreds of thousands of deaths to a situation where we may still see tens of thousands of deaths.”
He added that the “number of hospitalisations” is a more relevant figure than the number of cases when looking at what may trigger plan B.
“We should be more focused on the number of hospitalisations and the ability of the NHS to cope,“ 他说.
Government’s ‘plan B’ to tackle rising cases may include vaccine passports and masks
Boris Johnson has said it is “not sensible” to rule out vaccine passports, which may be necessary along with masks and a return working from home as part of the government’s “plan B” to tackle rising cases in autumn.
早些时候, Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed all over-50s in the UK – as well as those in other vulnerable groups – would be offered a booster shot to maintain protection levels as the country enters the autumn.
但, if the situation significantly worsens, a contingency plan has been drawn up to avoid any future lockdowns.
Mr Johnson said the government’s plan B had “a number of different shots in the locker” with which it could respond if cases started rising.
“You wouldn’t necessarily play them all at once, far from it, you would want to do things in a graduated way,“ 他说.
“We’re now in a situation when because so many of the population have some degree of immunity, smaller changes in the way we’re asking people to behave can have a bigger impact.”
Speaking on 天空新闻 this morning, health secretary Sajid Javid said plan B could be triggered by a new variant of concern, pressures on the NHS and the level of hospitalisation.
然而, he declined to put a number on how many cases or admissions would trigger plan B.