England’s medical officer thinks Covid-19 to remain a problem for ‘next few winters’. Here’s why
England chief medical officer Chris Whitty on Monday said that the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is likely to remain a problem for the "next few winters" despite aggressive vaccination drive. The United Kingdom has administered more than 18 million doses with over 27 doses per 100 people, one of the highest in the world, and is expecting the end of all Covid-19 restrictions in England on June 21.
However, the chief medical officer warned that the virus can still cause a significant number of fatalities as other respiratory diseases, for which vaccines are available, continue to cause deaths. He said that Covid-19 is going to be added to the list of diseases that puts vulnerable individuals at risk despite vaccination.
“This is something that we have to see for the long term and, in my view, is likely to be a problem in particular during the winter for the next few winters,” he said. “We vaccinate against flu, we vaccinate against pneumococcal pneumonia and still there are cases and there are deaths.”
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johson has said that he is optimistic about the June 21 date earmarked to lift the Covid-19 restrictions amid concern over virus variants. "I'm hopeful, but obviously nothing can be guaranteed...I'm very optimistic that we'll be able to get there," Johnson told broadcasters.
Over 212 million vaccine doses to provide immunity against Covid-19 have been administered, so far, in at least 107 countries and territories, according to Our World in Data. The United States, which has reported more than 28 million Covid-19 cases and over 500,000 related deaths, is the front runner of the vaccination drive in terms of absolute numbers. The worst-hit nation has administered more than 64 million vaccine doses, with nearly 20 doses per 100 people. Israel has the highest vaccination ratio in the world, with over 82 Covid-19 vaccine doses administered per 100 people.
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