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Expert warns reopening ‘risks variants entering UK which will evade vaccines’

11th Jun 21 11:13 am

Jim McManus, vice-president of the Association of Directors of Public Health has warned that if Boris Johnson fully reopens on 21 June, then the UK risks new variants which will “evade the vaccine completely.”

McManus has been urging the government to delay the 21 June reopening which will “stop us going backwards.”

McManus said, “If you get enough people infected, you will get a rise in hospitalisations.

“You will also get a significant rise in long COVID, which is something we want to avoid too.”

The vice President of the directors of Public Health further warned, that reopening could lead to the emergence of new variants in the UK which will make vaccines less useful in overcoming the virus.

McManus said, “The second thing is that the more people infected, the more variants will develop, and the more risk we have that a variant will develop that evades the vaccine completely.

“So actually, investing a bit of time is really important to enable the vaccine programme to finish and do its job.”

Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, he warned, “Relaxing our vigilance now, even after we have had the vaccine, could undo what we have all made huge sacrifices to achieve.”

He added, that “patience now will pay off in the long run.”

Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary, Lisa Nandy said on Friday that it is “highly unlikely” the full relaxation of restrictions will happen on 21 June.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast Nandy was asked if “caution and temperance” is required when opening up.

Nandy told the BBC, “I do, I am desperate to unlock, I think like everybody else, to try to get back to normal.

“Here in the North West lots of us have been in almost continuous lockdown for nearly a year-and-a-half now and it’s just really starting to take its toll.”

She added, “But I think if we proceed too fast, if the government can’t get control of the new variant that has emerged which is more transmissible than previous variants, then we could end up in another lockdown and this has got to be the last lockdown.”

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