'UK to be Covid-free by summer', outgoing vaccine taskforce chief says

8 May 2021, 07:38

The UK could be protected against coronavirus this summer
The UK could be protected against coronavirus this summer. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Britain could be protected against coronavirus by the summer, the outgoing chief of the UK's vaccine taskforce has said.

After stepping down from his position last week, Clive Dix said he believed Covid-19 would not be circulating in the UK by August.

The departing head of the taskforce, who took the job in December, told the Daily Telegraph: "We'll have probably protected the population from all the variants that are known.

"We'll be safe over the coming winter."

The latest government figures show the country has administered more than 50 million Covid jabs since the start of the vaccine rollout.

Of those, more than 35 million are first doses and 16.7 million are follow-up shots.

Read more: Under 40s to be given alternative to Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

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Earlier this week, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said scientists are considering several options for an autumn booster vaccination programme to protect the UK against a third wave of the virus.

This could include new jabs to protect against new Covid variants or mixing the types of injections administered.

However, Mr Dix told the paper he thought this could be pushed back into the new year.

He said: "We may decide that we need to boost the immune response, and we've got the vaccine to do that.

"Whether we'll need to or not, I would think probably not, but we might still do it in case.

"I really don't think it should be autumn. We should be thinking about boosting in maybe January or February because the immune response will be strong."

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