UK must remain ‘cautious’ despite vaccine success as European third wave risks disaster

Vaccine: Expert says UK should be ‘cautious’ over success

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Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation, Professor Sir Mark Walport insisted the UK should remain vigilant in its fight against coronavirus. While speaking to host Nick Robinson on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Professor Sir Mark argued people should remain cautious as lockdown is eased. He also warned of the impacts of the third wave in Europe and what that means for Britain.

He insisted the UK should be wary of variants that are resistant to the vaccine thwarting progress if Britons allow the disease to spread easily.

Professor Sir Mark said: “I think the message is, celebrate but celebrate cautiously.

“I think the concern is looking across the channel and seeing what is happening in many other European countries.

Mr Robinson said: “With the third wave, just how would that affect us in the UK.

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“Some people listening will say hold on, if 33 million people have been vaccinated it doesn’t matter if the infection comes here.

“That is because those that are most vulnerable have been vaccinated, it is a very effective series of vaccines and therefore the level of hospitalisations and deaths will be very low, wrong or right?”

Professor Sir Mark insisted the situation was more complicated and there were still risks to UK citizens.

He replied: “It is not quite as simple as that.

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“The issue is we have to be a bit concerned about the variants that may be less susceptible to the vaccine.

“Certainly in parts of Europe, the South African variant has a prevalence of five percent in some parts.

“The answer is vaccines are very good and we know that most of the vulnerable population is protected.

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“We also know that vaccines reduce the transmission of even milder disease.

“There is even data from care homes over the last 24 hours about two-thirds protection against even developing mild diseases.”

This comes as lockdown measures are eased in England to allow more freedom for citizens. 

All outdoor sports are now allowed and people are allowed to meet up outside while maintaining the rule of six. 

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