The global dominance of the Delta variant has led to other coronavirus variants “becoming extinct,” said the chief executive of the British health authority.
But dr. Jenny Harries warned that we still have to “remain vigilant” – and that “it is still at the very beginning of a new virus”.
She told the Andrew Marr Show on BBC One, “With Delta dominating, it looks like many of the other variants discovered are becoming extinct, and a number of the variants studied have increased slightly, as we have seen cases, and they are extinct .
“Well, that is true, but I think that is correct, but I don’t think we should reduce our surveillance systems altogether. We have to stay vigilant to see.
“It’s just the beginning of a new virus.”
And Dr. Harries said the difficulty now is predicting what will come with Covid-19 as immunity to vaccines declines in some elderly people.
She told the Andrew Marr Show on BBC One: “We obviously had an extremely good vaccine intake and that is now preventing very high hospitalizations and deaths.”
She added: “Probably the difficulty lies at this point in the pandemic, it is one of the toughest times to predict what is to come.
“We have different degrees of vaccination, we have a little decreasing immunity in older people, which is why we are now starting to introduce a Covid booster vaccine.
“We have slightly different efficacies with different vaccinations that have been provided.”
Dr. Harries said it is not the case that 120 deaths per day are considered an “acceptable death rate” for Covid.
She told the Andrew Marr Show, “We obviously have major vaccination programs going on, we have major testing.
“This is not usually how we treat an endemic disease, so I think the answer to that is clearly no. We take it very seriously.
“But it’s important to remember that there are about 11,000 deaths a year in the average flu season – between four (thousand) and 22,000 for the past four to five years.
“So we are starting to move into a situation where Covid is perhaps not the most important element and many of the people affected naturally have other comorbidities that make them susceptible to serious illnesses for other reasons as well.”
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