VACCINE VICTORY: Evidence that COVID vaccine protects against serious illness
A professor has said there is promising evidence that the coronavirus vaccine helps protect people against serious illness.
Professor Adam Finn, from the University of Bristol and a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), told BBC Breakfast there is “very promising evidence” that the vaccines are now beginning to break the connection between the infection and serious illness.
“I do think that we are seeing a position where there are fewer seriously ill people in the context of an increasing number of infections, and that’s extremely encouraging.”
He said getting more people vaccinated will enable the country to “get ahead of this current wave”, adding: “In the past, the lockdown simply pushed cases into the future, people were not infected but they were still vulnerable.
“This is different. We’re giving ourselves time to get people immune and so those people will not get sick when the virus starts to spread about… So, yes, the additional four weeks is extremely welcome and I hope, like we all do, that that’s enough.”
He said “we’re getting into a better and better place every day” through vaccination, and also suggested that a decision on whether to immunise children is coming “quite soon.
It comes as the Government announced that the remaining coronavirus restrictions will remain in place beyond June 21 to allow more people to receive the coronavirus vaccine, amid mounting concerns that the Delta variant is making its way through the population.
The Government’s former chief scientific adviser, Professor Sir Mark Walport, told LBC radio that if nothing had been done, the doubling of cases would have seen a big surge.
He said: “It’s fairly obvious that, if you increase people’s social contacts at the moment, then the rate of transmission will rise further.”
He later told Sky News that “another month will enable many more people to be jabbed and for the effects of those first and second jabs to actually kick in”.
He said a further four weeks of data will also show the extent to which the link between infection and hospital admission is weakened, and politicians will be able to make “a more confident decision”.
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