The former head of Great Britain’s vaccine task force has called for an end to mass vaccination programs against COVID-19.
“Mass population-based vaccination in the U.K. should now end,” Dr. Clive Dix Saturday told The Guardian, calling instead for a major overhaul of his country’s COVID-19 strategy.
Dix helped pharmaceutical companies create the vaccines that have aided vulnerable people’s protection from COVID-19. His newly-stated position would basically reverse Britain’s approach to combatting the spread of the virus over the past two years in hopes of returning to a “new normality.”
“We need to analyze whether we use the current booster campaign to ensure the vulnerable are protected, if this is seen to be necessary,” Dix said. He added COVID-19 should be treated like the flu, and ministers should end mass vaccination after the current booster campaign ends.
The doctor said leaders should invest in research that looks beyond antibodies in order to create vaccines for vulnerable people that are specific to variants. “We now need to manage [the] disease, not virus spread,” said Dix. “So, stopping progression to severe disease in vulnerable groups is the future objective.”
His advice to pivot on the pandemic follows guidance issued by the country’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). It concluded in a lengthy Friday statement that “an immediate second booster dose of vaccine in the most vulnerable (those over 80 years or in a care home for older adults) would provide only limited additional benefit against severe disease at this time.”
“The current data show the booster dose is continuing to provide high levels of protection against severe disease, even for the most vulnerable older age groups,” Professor Wei Shen Lim, the JCVI’s chairman of COVID-19 immunization, reportedly said. “This is highly encouraging and emphasizes the value of a booster jab.”
“With Omicron continuing to spread widely, I encourage everyone to come forward for their booster dose, or if unvaccinated, for their first two doses, to increase their protection against serious illness,” Lim advised.
Saturday, the country surpassed 150,000 COVID-related deaths.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.