Freedom Day will set up ‘bigger problem’ unless ALL adults jabbed, says expert

Boris Johnson praised for ending lockdown by Mark Dolan

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Dr Nathalie MacDermott, expert in Paediatrics Infectious Disease at KCL, appeared on BBC Newsnight to discuss ‘Freedom Day’ with Emily Maitlis. On Monday, Boris Johnson announced all legal restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus will expire on July 19, but stressed the need for “personal responsibility”.

Speaking to Ms Maitlis, Dr MacDermott warned ending restrictions could lead to a “bigger problem” this winter.

When asked what she expects to happen over the coming weeks, Dr MacDermott said: “I think that if we give the virus a foothold now by removing restrictions, we’re probably just setting ourselves up for a bigger problem in the autumn.

“The last thing that we want to do now is to allow a virus to gain a foothold and circulate significantly within our population as we come into the winter months.

“We saw what happened last summer when case numbers were vastly lower than now, I mean today’s numbers were in excess of 27,000 new cases.

“They were vastly lower this time last year and yet, with summer travel and everything, we saw a significant rise in the autumn.”

Dr MacDermott continued to stress the Government should prioritise vaccinating as many adults as possible before unlocking the country.

She added: “We should be waiting until all of our adult population, and possibly some of our younger adult population and children, are fully immunised before we reduce our restrictions.

“Or we are going to see a significant rise in cases, which is then going to trundle on into the winter alongside other respiratory viral infections.”

The expert also pointed out Covid causes “significantly more problems after infection than other illnesses”.

She said: “If we had the number of people having ongoing long term problems following illness with influenza, we would be immunising our entire population, not just those over 65.”

The Prime Minister confirmed in a Downing Street press conference on Monday that face masks will no longer be legally enforced from July 19.

However, he added: “Guidance will suggest where you might choose to do so – especially when cases are rising and where you come into contact with people you don’t usually meet in enclosed spaces, such as obviously crowded public transport.”

When asked by reporters during the briefing if he would continue to wear a mask, Mr Johnson said: “It will depend on the circumstances.

“Clearly there’s a big difference between travelling on a crowded Tube train and sitting late at night in a virtually empty carriage on the main railway line.

“We want people to exercise their personal responsibility but remember the value of face coverings both in protecting themselves and others.”


July 5 saw 27,334 cases, nine deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test and a further 358 people admitted to hospital with the virus.

As of Monday, 1,905 patients are currently in hospital and 321 are on ventilation.

In total, the UK has seen 4,930,534 cases and 128,048 deaths from the virus.

Another 77,222 first doses and 128,231 second doses of coronavirus vaccine were administered on Thursday.

In total, 45,351,719 first doses and 33,726,362 second doses have been administered, equalling 86.1 percent and 64 percent of the population respectively.



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