Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said until half of Britons are inoculated with the COVID-19 jab the virus will not reach a “very low” level of circulation. His dire warning comes as a further 190 people who tested positive for coronavirus died in hospitals in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 46,578, according to NHS England statistics.
The patients were aged between 41 and 103 and all except five, aged between 72 and 91, had known underlying health conditions.
Speaking at a Science and Media Centre press briefing, Prof Evans said: “We actually need to have the absolute amount of virus circulating to be very low.
“And we won’t do that by vaccination alone until we’re getting 50 percent of the population vaccinated or more, and that’s going to be quite a bit of a long way off yet.
“So I fear that the sort of restrictions we have, the non-medical interventions, are going to need to be carried on.”
He went on to say Britons should be living in a way that they assume every person they come into contact with has the viral disease.
That way, he said, social activities could resume in a safe manner.
However, he warned adopting such behaviours would be necessary “for quite a long time” to keep the crisis under control.
Prof Evans added: “I think if people take these seriously, then it’s possible for various economic activities to go ahead, but you have to make sure that you are keeping to the non-medical interventions, being aware and behaving as if every person you contact has got the virus. And that you have it as well.
“And when you behave in a way that realises that, and that the consequences for either you or the person around you getting the virus can be very serious, then it changes people’s behaviour.
“And we’re going to have to go on doing that for quite a long time.”
More to follow….