Current trajectories suggest that the UK is facing a third surge of covid-19, while booster vaccinations are likely to be required for the next two to three years to tackle new variants, England’s chief medical officer has said recently.
Speaking at the NHS Confederation conference on 17 June, Chris Whitty praised NHS staff for their efforts in responding “quite remarkably” to the pandemic over the past 15 months.
But while he highlighted the positive impact that the vaccination programme is having on deaths and serious illness, Whitty said the growth of the significantly more transmissible delta variant made a third wave likely.
“In the next few weeks, I am anticipating, unfortunately, that the rates will continue to go up,” he said. “The height of that surge is still uncertain, but it will definitely translate into further hospital admissions and, unfortunately, it will undoubtedly translate into further deaths.”
He added, “It’s a slightly gloomy point, but we as the NHS have to be realistic and get ourselves prepared.”