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Vaccinations 'will go on well into 2022’ says virologist
Dr Clarke, from Reading University, has warned that those not on the most vulnerable list for a coronavirus vaccine jab will be “lucky” to get one this year. The warning came as the Government opened seven mass vaccination centres across England on Monday in a bid to meet its 13 million vaccination target by mid-February. NHS staff, care home residents plus their carers currently sit at the front of the queue for vaccination in the priority list set out by Government Ministers.
Dr Clarke told talkRADIO’s Mike Graham that “ordinary people” can expect to wait until the summer months before receiving a coronavirus vaccine.
He said: “I will be lucky to have it this year, there will be vaccinations going on well into 2022 and Matt Hancock said yesterday that the entire adult population will eventually be vaccinated.
“I suspect that will be going on late into this year and of course, that will mean secondary jabs into next year.
“But of course we don’t know how long, even if someone has the vaccine today, how long the immunity is going to last for that and they may end up having to have a booster in the spring of next year.
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Host Mike Graham said: “There is still a lot we don’t know, we don’t know for example if you had the disease. I speak to people every day and as ask them did you have it and they say yes, but they are not really sure.
“I’m told if you have an anti-body test actually if it was long ago it might not sure up anyway.”
Dr Clarke replied: “That’s right, you can have an anti-body test if it comes back positive then that is a pretty sure sign but if it comes back negative possibly not.
“There are tons of respiratory tracts infections that go around at winter that is just what they do.|
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“They were circulating 12 months ago as well, it wasn’t just the coronavirus.
“So people who had a nasty bout of a chest infection twelve months ago shouldn’t automatically assume that it was coronavirus because it almost certainly wasn’t.”
The comments come as more than 200,000 Britons are now being vaccinated each day, according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
The Health Secretary told Andrew Marr that vaccines would be offered to every adult in the UK by the autumn.
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Mr Hancock is expected to unveil the Government’s plan on how to hit the target by mid-February in a press conference from Downing Street on Monday at 5pm.
There are currently three vaccinations approved for the UK.
First came the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, then the Oxford/AstraZeneca, and last week, the third, made by US firm Moderna.
The vaccine roll-out will help to further mitigate transmission, although the impact of vaccinating 200,000 people per week similar in magnitude to the rates reached in December 2020 may be relatively small.
An accelerated uptake of 2 million people vaccinated per week is predicted to have a much more substantial impact.
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