A Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) member has warned of the risk of waning immunity in older individuals and extended strain on the NHS.
Professor John Edmunds told BBC Radio 4’s the World at One programme: “I think there’s a risk because of waning immunity in older individuals, and that’s all adults, not just the elderly, that cases could really take off.
“So, I think it’s really important that we boost immunity in older individuals and then we might be able to avoid any significant fourth wave.”
He said the UK is ahead of other parts of Europe – where the Covid-19 situation is worsening – due to the rollout of boosters and the level of infection, but warned over the length of pressure being heaped on the NHS.
“It has been (under strain) for months and months, and that’s not going to ease up any time soon because this very high level of infection that we have now and we’ve had for months isn’t going to decline significantly,” he added.
“We’re going to have high levels of infection for many months, so I think the NHS will unfortunately be under significant strain – it may not get to breaking point, where we were close to before – but significant strain for a very long period of time is certainly on the cards.”
Booster jabs are to be added to the NHS Covid pass for travel from Friday, it has been announced.
It means travellers will be able to prove they have had the extra jab when visiting other countries.
The move comes as a number of countries, including Croatia and Austria, have introduced a time limit for the validity of the coronavirus jab.
Boosters will not be added to the domestic Covid pass.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We want to make it as easy as possible for people to show their vaccine status if they are travelling abroad.
“This update to the NHS Covid pass will mean people can have their complete medical picture at their fingertips if they are going on holiday or seeing loved ones overseas.”
Around one in 65 people in private households in England had Covid-19 in the week to November 13, down from one in 60 the previous week, according to the…