A leading expert has warned that this week’s 30% rise in Covid cases is no longer just a ‘Jubilee jump’. All Brits aged over 50 should receive a fourth jab to ease pressure on hospitals, minimise the chances of long Covid and reduce the risk of new Omicron mutations.
The leading Covid-19 testing expert, Dr Quinton Fivelman PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at London Medical Laboratory, is warning that today’s reported 30% rise in Covid cases cannot simply be ignored by the Government. He says a new summer jab campaign needs to be planned immediately, to ensure all over-50s receive a fourth jab to protect against severe disease.
Dr Fivelman warns: ‘With cases up across the UK, and hospitalisations climbing, we are facing a new wave, fuelled by the spread of the latest Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. Clearly, this is now more than a “Jubilee jump” surge caused by the Bank Holiday gatherings; it’s a marked trend. The latest research shows BA.4 and BA.5 appear to be able to infect people even if they’ve recently had other types of Omicron. Our natural immune systems are having difficulty in keeping the latest variants at bay.
‘For this reason, it’s vital people have as high a level of antibodies as possible to protect against severe disease. This means everyone aged over 50 receiving a booster jab this summer. Though not specifically targeted at the latest variants, a top-up jab still protects against severe disease. Many antibodies and T cells will remain effective.
‘While the severity of many Omicron cases may be less marked than previous Covid variants, such as Delta, it can still be an extremely unpleasant and dangerous disease. Hospital cases are rising and the latest research indicates Covid may remain active in our bodies, in areas such as the gut, for extended periods of time. This could be the cause of long Covid. It may also mean that people suffering from long Covid could even transmit the virus for many months after their initial infection.
‘The latest US research shows Covid proteins – most commonly the viral spike protein – remain in the blood of 65% of long Covid patients they tested. These were detected up to 12 months after they were first diagnosed, indicating a long-term, low-grade infection. Cases of long Covid among Omicron patients appear to be lower than earlier variants, but there is still a direct correlation: the greater the number of Covid cases, the greater the proportionate number of long Covid cases.
‘Covid cannot be allowed to persist in the population at numbers greater than 1 in 30, as it is currently. The more cases among the general population, the greater the chance the virus will mutate again. Unlike the relatively mild Omicron variant, scientists are warning that the next one may be more severe.
‘The latest ONS research shows that antibody levels, though still relatively high across the UK, have been consistently falling since mid-April. If anyone is concerned about their own immune response to the jabs and how well they continue to produce antibodies, the new generation blood tests available from London Medical Laboratory are highly accurate, quick and simple to carry out, either at home through the post, or at one of the many drop-in clinics that offer this test across London and the southeast’