Virtual Event Series

Experts discuss the UK’s current Covid strategy during live virtual event

The Independent’s health correspondent Samuel Lovett hosted an expert panel discussion examining the latest details surrounding Covid

Friday 26 November 2021 11:11 GMT
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Child vaccinations for those aged between 5 and 11 years old, the need for mask wearing and the effectiveness of the boosters were all topics discussed during a virtual expert panel event.

The discussion was hosted by The Independent’s science correspondent Samuel Lovett as part of our virtual event series.

The event entitled ‘Is the UK’s strategy against Covid the right one?’ took place yesterday (25 November) online and was a discussion between Irene Petersen, Professor of Epidemiology and Health Informatics at UCL, London, Peter English, Retired Consultant in Communicable Disease Control and former chair of the BMA Public Health Medicine Committee Simon Hodes, a GP in Watford.

As we edge closer into winter concerns around the UK’s current Covid rates of infection and number of daily deaths loom.

That concern has only increased this week as UK health officials sounded the alarm on Thursday night over the B.1.1.529 variant, which has the potential to evade immunity built up by vaccination or prior infection.

But what did the experts have to say on the current situation?

Watch the event in full in the video below

Is the UK’s strategy against Covid the right one?

The new variant has led to South Africa Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe all being added to the red list meaning hotel quarantine for those travelling from those countries to the UK will be required again.

Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the UK’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says: “This is the most significant variant we have encountered to date and urgent research is underway to learn more about its transmissibility, severity and vaccine-susceptibility.”

The government is currently sticking with its plan A of relying on the Covid vaccines and booster jabs to curb the number of infections. However, last month, hospital and doctors’ leaders urged ministers to move to plan B – compulsory mask-wearing, Covid passes for crowded events and working from home – to avert a looming disaster for the NHS.

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