Covid should now be treated as an endemic virus similar to flu, and ministers should end mass-vaccination after the booster campaign, the former chairman of the UK’s vaccine taskforce has said.
With health chiefs and senior Tories also lobbying for a post-pandemic plan for a straining NHS, Dr Clive Dix called for a major rethink of the UK’s Covid strategy, in effect reversing the approach of the last two years and returning to a “new normality”.
“We need to analyse whether we use the current booster campaign to ensure the vulnerable are protected, if this is seen to be necessary,” he said. “Mass population-based vaccination in the UK should now end.”
“We could be digging ourselves into a hole, for a very long time, where we think we can only keep Covid away by boosting every year,” Prof Eleanor Riley, an immunologist from the University of Edinburgh, told me.
Prof Adam Finn, a government vaccine adviser, said over-vaccinating people, when other parts of the world had none, was “a bit insane, it’s not just inequitable, it’s stupid”.