Dr Clive Dix, who led the UK’s vaccine taskforce at the height of the pandemic, called for an end to mass vaccinations after the current booster campaign. Speaking to Sky News, the highly respected official, who helped firms develop the Covid vaccine during his tenure, claimed the coronavirus should be treated like an endemic disease, similar to flu. He added that the country should “stop measuring Covid by case numbers, we are not going to stop those numbers”.
The call to have a major rethink on Covid comes as the NHS is under increasing strain from Covid-related staff absences.
Dr Dix said: “Given Omicron is a much, much more mild variant now, it is pointless to keep giving more vaccines to people who are not going to get very ill.
“We should let them get ill. We should focus on why vaccines are good at stopping disease.
“What we have seen as the variants have come about is that the vaccines are less effective at stopping infection and transmission, but they are very good still at stopping people getting a severe disease.”
He called for the country to move towards a “new normality” where people go to work and “go about their business” if they do not feel ill.
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He urged scientists to focus on vaccines that help boost cellular immune responses, instead of antibody responses.
Dr Dix explained: “Your immune system can’t keep making endless antibodies.
“It doesn’t need to, so it doesn’t do it. Antibodies wane anyway, they won’t be high all the time.
“We should focus on Covid as a normal endemic disease, rather than a pandemic.”
When asked what the Government should focus on after the current booster campaign, Dr Dix responded: “We need to focus on persuading people who haven’t been vaccinated to get a vaccine, that’s very important.
“We need a targeted approach to those who really need vaccines, rather than boosting everyone. We must stop mass vaccine campaigns after this current booster campaign.”
His remarks won praise among some public figures, with GB News contributor Darren Grimes tweeting: “The former chairman of our nation’s vaccine task force Clive Dix tells the Observer COVID-19 should be treated as an endemic virus similar to flu, and says ministers should end mass-vaccination after the booster campaign wraps up. It’s over, folks.”
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GB News host Dan Wootton also tweeted: “Dr Clive Dix – highly respected former chair of UK vaccines taskforce who helped firms develop Covid vaccine – dropping a truth bomb: ‘Mass population-based vaccination in the UK should now end.’ Covid should be treated as an endemic virus similar to flu.”
The intervention comes after it was confirmed that more than 150,000 people across the UK have now died from Covid.
Official figures published on Saturday recorded a further 313 deaths, the highest daily number since February last year, which brings the total recorded deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test to 150,057.
Marking the grim milestone, Prime Minister Boris Johnson again urged Britons to get jabbed, tweeting: “Our way out of this pandemic is for everyone to get their booster or their first or second dose if they haven’t yet.”