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.
Serco has won a £212m ($278m) contract for disease testing and contract tracing from the UK Health Security Agency, the organisations set up to replace the controversial NHS Test & Trace and doomed Public Health England.
In a contract initially set to last two years, the tech and public sector outsourcing provider will be expected to support services in the country including positive case tracing, contact tracing, isolation follow-up, test enquiries, and test bookings.
It has been one of the most enduring Covid conspiracy theories: that the ‘gold standard’ PCR tests used to diagnose the virus were picking up people who weren’t actually infected.
Some even suggested the swabs, which have been carried out more than 200 million times in the UK alone, may mistake common colds and flu for corona.
If either, or both, were true, it would mean many of these cases should never have been counted in the daily tally – that the ominous and all-too-familiar figure, which was used to inform decisions on lockdowns and other pandemic measures, was an over-count.
And many of those who were ‘pinged’ and forced to isolate as a contact of someone who tested positive – causing a huge strain on the economy – did so unnecessarily.
Such statements, it must be said, have been roundly dismissed by top experts. And those scientists willing to give credence such concerns have been shouted down on social media, accused of being ‘Covid-deniers’, and even sidelined by colleagues.
But could they have been right all along?
Boston Consulting Group – paid £28million – held a boozy party this month
Images of the lavish bash showed scores of cocktails and string quartet
Unfortunate timing meant two weeks later the spend on the company was slated
Public Accounts Committee said NHS Test and Trace system failed objective
It said it had not ‘broken chains of COVID-19 transmission’ as it had intended
The PAC said it was ‘overly reliant on expensive contractors and temporary staff’
BCG declined to comment when contacted by MailOnline over the party
Lord John Mann said they should ‘hang heads in shame’ and give money back
New documents published by the Department of Health and Social Care show that Doja Limited were awarded the multi-million pound contract in May of last year. The company’s director has said it was founded to sell “rare diamonds”, and does not appear to have a history of supplying PPE.
The company, which has no website and is registered to an accountant’s firm, was handed the contract under a controversial scheme which allows ministers to directly award deals relating to procurement during the pandemic without putting the tender to a competitive process.
Hospitals have spent £2 million on more than 50 gagging orders preventing staff speaking out, a Freedom of Information Act request has revealed.
Tory MP Steve Barclay, who obtained the figures, accused NHS chief Sir David Nicholson of either failing to ask questions about the orders or being “complicit in a cover-up”.
Sir David will retire as NHS England’s chief executive next year but Mr Barclay said he should stand down now because the culture in the health service had to change.
It was reported last night that at least 52 staff have been silenced using the orders since 2008, some of which cost as much as £500,000. All are thought to contain confidentiality clauses.
…North East Cambridgeshire MP Mr Barclay told The Daily Telegraph: “It is simply not plausible that the man who was supposed to be running the NHS was seemingly unaware that employees threatening to speak out were being offered golden goodbyes in return for a vow of silence.”