Speaking to The Telegraph, Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, chairman of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said giving boosters to people every six months was “not sustainable”. He said governments “need to target the vulnerable” in the future, rather than giving boosters to all over-12s.
Sir Andrew said there was no point in trying to stop all infections, and “at some point, society has to open up”.
He also suggested “misinformation” about the risks of the AstraZeneca vaccine – espoused by European leaders including Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, and Angela Merkel, former leader of Germany – was “highly likely” to have cost lives in Africa.
His comments come at a time when the UK continues to battle with a steep rise in the number of COVID-19 infections.
A total of 157,758 new COVID-19 infections were reported in England and Scotland on Thursday.
The number of cases were up by almost 50 percent in the week from December 28 and January 3, compared with the week before.
Sir Andrew cautioned against blindly following Israel and Germany, which have given the green light to a second set of boosters to all over-60s.
He said: “The future must be focusing on the vulnerable and making boosters or treatments available to them to protect them.
“We know that people have strong antibodies for a few months after their third vaccination, but more data are needed to assess whether, when and how often those who are vulnerable will need additional doses.”
READ MORE: Scotland to suffer Covid misery with lockdown rules set to last MONTHS
Up to 50 percent of staff in some frontline services, including care homes and the police, have been forced off work as they are isolating after testing positive for Covid.
The shortages have been worsened by problems accessing lateral flow tests or getting PCR results, delaying people’s return to work.