Europe

Covid to require annual jab ‘for years’ before world learns to handle virus, expert admits

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Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc across the world as concerns grow over the impact the Omicron variant could have on vaccination efforts. Molecular Oncology professor Lawrence Young suggested Britons may have to get used to annual jabbing to keep the threat of Covid at bay until the crisis can be managed as the flu. Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Prof Young said: “I think we’re going to settle into a relationship with this virus.

“It’s adapting to us, it’s evolving in real-time.

“It’s likely we’re just going to need to have annual jabs to keep it under control for a few years and then it will be settled into this endemic, seasonal infection as we experience with flu and other respiratory viruses.”

He continued: “But at the moment, that’s not the case. We can’t wait around to see whether this is a dangerous situation in terms of very severe disease.

“We’ve got to do something now to protect ourselves.”

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The UK this week introduced a series of tougher measures to tackle the risks of the Omicron variant.

Mandatory face masks were reintroduced on public transport and shops across England, while Scotland and Wales tightened their restrictions further.

Covid passes are now required to access large venues, with a negative Covid test also accepted to enter concert halls, stadiums, and theatres.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan ddeclared a major incident Saturday because of the “hugely concerning” surge in cases across the capital.

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Mr Khan expressed fears about staff absences in vital public services including the NHS, the fire service, and police due to infection.

A Government spokesman said they will “continue to look closely at all data and keep our measures under review” when asked about further restrictions being implemented.

Sajid Javid said the current measures are “responsible and proportionate”, even as he admitted being torn over their introduction.

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Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the current measures are “responsible and proportionate”, even as he admitted being torn over their introduction.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, the Health Secretary said: “Standing in Parliament this week and arguing for Plan B brought me no joy – promoting individual freedom and opportunity is one of the reasons I got into politics.

“But we have to be clear-eyed about the challenge Omicron presents.

“Our strategy since it emerged has been and remains to buy time for our scientists to assess the threat and build up our defences … Together we are taking a responsible and proportionate response.”

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