Schools ‘don’t act like booster’ for Covid despite fears of Indian variants, Sage member says
Aif the pandemic could be declared over if hospital admissions could be kept low, Professor Andrew Pollard, University of Oxford, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: “If the current generation of vaccines is able to prevent people from going to hospital, while there are still mild infections, people catch colds with the virus, then the pandemic is over.
“Because we can live with the virus, actually we’re going to have to live with the virus somehow, but it doesn’t matter if most people are kept away from the hospital, because then the NHS can continue to function and life will return to normal. We just need a little more time to be sure about that. “
On whether booster vaccines will be needed, he said work was underway to make new vaccines in case they were needed, but it was uncertain whether they would be.
He urged people to have their second vaccine and said the coronavirus would find the unvaccinated, adding that the Indian variant was able to spread “slightly better” whether people were vaccinated or not.
“Of course, this is the variant that exists right now, but future variants are going to get even better in this area,” he said.
“This is the evolution of this virus, that it will find ways to bypass the immune responses to be able to spread a little better, and that gives a very important public health message, namely that if you are not not vaccinated, then the virus will eventually find those individuals in the population who are not vaccinated, and of course if you are over 50 and not vaccinated you are at a much greater risk of serious illness. “