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Prof Sir Andrew Pollard told MPs that efforts were still needed to reach millions of people who have not had first doses. He said the disease is not going away and they will eventually “meet the virus”. Giving evidence to the Commons science and technology committee, he said: “If they’re not vaccinated, those susceptible will end up in intensive care. It just might not be today, it might be next year.That’s why I think we still have to focus on persuading those individuals.”
NHS data showed there were 6,883 patients in hospitals in England with Covid-19 yesterday, including 803 in intensive care beds. Prof Pollard, director of the Oxford
Vaccine Group, said the key metric to monitor was levels of severe disease caused by Covid.
The vaccines are less effective against infection than they are at preventing serious illness, so high cases on their own are not a reason to panic, he said.
Raw data on daily Covid hospital admissions and deaths could also be “misleading”, he added.
Patients admitted to hospital now tend to have more mild disease and get discharged sooner, compared with those in previous waves.
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