Health

Medical chief warns ‘records will be broken’ as Omicron cases rise



A SENIOR medical expert has warned that the country is facing two epidemics, and records will continue to be broken as Omicron cases rise.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference this evening, Professor Chris Whitty said: “I’m afraid we have to be realistic that records will be broken a lot over the next few weeks as the rates continue to go up.”

He said the Delta variant of coronavirus appears to be still flat while Omicron is growing.

The chief medical officer for England said: “What we’ve got is two epidemics on top of one another – an existing Delta epidemic, roughly flat, and a very rapidly-growing Omicron epidemic on top of it.”

Professor Whitty also challenged those who think vaccines are not effective during the briefing.

He explained that people “cannot really argue” they do not work, pointing to data which showed a compairons of people who are in hospital with the virus, who have been vaccinated compared ot those who are unvaccinated. 

Prof Whitty explained: “When people say ‘do vaccines work’? I really do think if people look at these data, they cannot really argue, except that vaccines are remarkable at working.

“But people do still go into hospital even when they’re double vaccinated and they will still go into hospital even after boosters, but their risks are much reduced.”

He said data showed the vaccines provided “massive amounts of protection against Delta”.

He warned: “What we’re expecting to happen with Omicron is that some of that difference is going to be eroded, because it is less well … the vaccines are less well matched to the Omicron variant.

“This is what the laboratory data are implying, we don’t have clear clinical data yet.”

He added: “Therefore, the point of the booster is to try and get people back to as good as a position in terms of replicating this really good protection after they’ve had their booster dose.”

Boris Johnson said the UK government was “throwing everything” at the booster vaccination effort.

The Prime Minister said: “We are throwing everything at it and wherever you are, we’ll be there with a jab for you, so please get boosted now.”

 





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