Millions of Britons could need Covid boosters every six months for the foreseeable future, a health boss hinted today.
Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), suggested the most vulnerable ‘relevant groups’ in society will still need regular top-up jabs.
One of Britain’s most senior health advisers has been accused of disseminating “dodgy data” that inflated the potential risk of omicron.
Dr Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), is understood to have been the source of a contested claim by Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, that there is typically a 17-day lag between patients becoming infected and requiring hospitalisation.
However, independent experts pointed to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, which suggested an average delay of nine or 10 days.
Covid may no longer be the most “significant” threat to health, Dr Jenny Harries has said.
The chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency said today that Covid was possibly no more dangerous than flu, as she warned that there would be a lower immunity to the illness this year.
She said: “It is important to remember that for an average flu season it’s about 11,000 deaths a year, it’s somewhere between four (thousand) to 22,000 over the last four to five years.
The evidence on face coverings ‘is not very strong in either direction’, England’s deputy chief medical officer has said, leaving Britons confused once again over experts’ changing attitudes to masks.
According to Dr. Jenny Harries, England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, the evidence shows:
- The vast majority of children, even those deemed to be in the vulnerable category, do not have severe outcomes from COVID-19.
- The risk child dying in a road traffic accident or from flu “is probably higher than their risk from COVID-19”.
Members of the public could be putting themselves more at risk from contracting coronavirus by wearing face masks, one of England’s most senior doctors has warned.
Jenny Harries, deputy chief medical officer, said the masks could “actually trap the virus” and cause the person wearing it to breathe it in.
“For the average member of the public walking down a street, it is not a good idea” to wear a face mask in the hope of preventing infection, she added.
Jake Dunning, head of emerging infections and zoonoses [infectious disease spread between humans and animals] at Public Health England, told The Independent there was “very little evidence of a widespread benefit” from wearing them.