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19 Mar, 2021 11:17

Scientists warn vaccinations alone won’t contain UK Covid infections, as UK eases lockdown – study

Scientists warn vaccinations alone won’t contain UK Covid infections, as UK eases lockdown – study

Scientists at the University of Warwick have stated that the UK’s vaccine rollout alone won’t contain Covid infections, in a potential warning to the government, as it proceeds with the roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions.

The modelling by researchers, which occurred before data was available on the real-world impact of the vaccine rollout, established that, while vaccinations will reduce the risk of another spike in infections, it can’t be done by that alone.

Vaccination rollout in adults alone is unlikely to completely stop COVID-19 cases spreading in the UK. 

Addressing the government’s proposed plan for easing lockdown measures, the study outlined how the “early sudden release of restrictions is likely to lead to a large wave of infection,” suggesting that governments should take “many months” to come out of nationwide shutdowns.

The UK has tied its plan to get out of lockdown to the country’s vaccine rollout, seeing inoculations as key to “the road to freedom,” with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying that it will put the UK “on track to reclaim the things we love.” 

But the research suggested that starting to ease lockdown measures last month would lead to 131,100 Covid deaths in the UK by January 2024, while doing so in April will cause 61,400 fatalities in the same timeframe, and beginning in June would cost the lives of 53,900 people.

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Instead of focusing entirely on vaccinations, scientists said a number of measures, including mandatory masks, hygiene measures, self-isolating, and test and trace systems, will need to remain in place to contain the virus.

The study was published on Friday in Lancet Infectious Diseases, which has contained a number of research documents exploring the government’s handling of the Covid pandemic.

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