The United Kingdom has established a Covid plan for autumn and winter; reinforcement shots to start next week
Sajid Javid, the UK’s health secretary, is gone, and Boris Johnson, the UK’s prime minister, during a press conference at 10 Downing Street in London, UK, on Tuesday 7 September in 2021.
Neil Hall | Bloomberg | Getty Images
LONDON – Sajid Javid, the UK’s health secretary, on Tuesday outlined the government’s autumn-winter plan to tackle the coronavirus crisis, outlining a series of policies aimed at avoiding the need for more blocks.
His comments came shortly after British officials gave the green light to offer the Covid-19 boosters vaccine to vulnerable people and all those over 50 six months after their second dose.
The UK Community Committee for Vaccination and Immunization said the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was used for the booster dose, or alternatively a half dose of a Modern vaccine.
Javid said he had accepted this advice from the JCVI, and the National Health Service in England is expected to start next week. The Welsh Minister for Health has accepted JCVI’s advice on booster vaccines.
Health and health policy is changing in the UK, with various provisions made in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Separately, all children aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot. The move, which follows in the footsteps of many other countries, is intended to help reduce the disruption of education.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell more about the country’s Covid autumn-winter plan when he hosts a press conference from Downing Street later this afternoon.
Johnson is expected to say he is strongly opposed to the introduction of new blockade measures. It is also seen as likely to discard the country’s so-called “traffic light” system for traveling overseas and higher-risk “red list” countries are significantly reduced.
Winter can be “devastating at times”.
Professor Neil Ferguson, a leading epidemiologist from Imperial College London, said earlier this week that another lockdown at the national level could not be ruled out “completely” in the coming months.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s “Today” show on Monday, Ferguson was asked if another lockdown would not be necessary after the country’s vaccination. “I hope so,” he said. “I don’t think you can discard anything completely but I hope so.”
“I think with this level of immunity we have in the population, if we need to further drive the transmission then we may not need complete blockade,” Ferguson said.
To date, the UK has registered nearly 7.3 million Covid cases and 134,587 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
On Monday, the country reported 30,825 new coronavirus cases and 61 deaths in the 28 days of a positive test. This compares to 29,173 infections and 56 deaths recorded on Sunday, while more than 41,000 cases and 45 deaths were reported this time last week.
The deputy head of England, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, warned on Tuesday that the coronavirus crisis in the coming months could be “sometimes bumpy”.
He said other respiratory viruses were “highly likely” to make a comeback in that period, saying the government’s goal was to “stay on top of things”.
In winter, people tend to spend more time indoors grouped together, with less ventilation and less personal space than in summer.
Respiratory infections, such as coronaviruses, are spread by droplets that are released when a person coughs or sneezes. Health experts say that colder and drier conditions in winter greatly influence the transmission of flu-like diseases.