Call to end mass testing and vaccination after booster campaign

The former chairman of Britain’s Vaccine Taskforce has said that mass COVID testing and vaccination should end for all but the most vulnerable once the booster campaign is complete.

R Clive Dix has called for a radical overhaul of the government’s current strategy in the coming months, claiming it has underestimated the impact of cellular immunity on fighting the virus.

The former Vaccine Tsar said that instead, Covid should be treated like the flu or severe cold, which have been completely gripped.


(PA Graphics)

Speaking to C4 News, Dr Dix claimed that mass vaccination has defeated its main purpose, which he said was to stop the spread of the infection.

He said two doses of the jab would “probably” protect against serious disease in most cases, but he said it would be best to boost the entire population.

“It is pointless to try to prevent infection with what mass vaccination is about, because it is not doing that. We are seeing a lot more infections,” Dr. Dix said.

“I am not saying that we should stop the current booster campaign, I am saying that once it is over. The most important thing now is to find and ensure that people who have not been vaccinated. Get them vaccinated.”

He acknowledged that the stance was “controversial”, but said analysis of the virus’s impact at a “clinical level” should favor large-scale testing.


Dr. Dix called for an end to mass testing (Danny Lawson/PA)

Dr. Dix said: “I think it’s a bit controversial but let’s look at a few months’ time, we shouldn’t be doing mass testing. I think mass testing doesn’t help anyone.

“I think we need to get to the point where if we have a young person who gets covid, we know they have levels of protection, but as if they got a very bad cold or flu Well, they stay at home… and when they get better they go back to work.”

The former health chief also told The Observer that the government should urgently research how effective the jabs were in producing “memory B- and T-cell immunity”, which helps the body recognize COVID .

His remarks echoed the latest findings of the Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization (JCVI), which has ruled that four doses are not currently needed.

The JCVI said Friday that most older people receiving a third dose against Omicron are still well protected even three months after the booster campaign began.

Earlier on Sunday, Education Secretary Nadim Zhawi also signaled support for reducing the isolation period from seven days to five in a bid to ease staff pressure on the NHS and business, if it can be done safely.

A new study has shown that white blood cells are able to enhance the immune response against the omicron version of Covid.

Because of the higher number of mutations in the omicron than other covid variants, it can sometimes overtake antibodies created by vaccination or infection.

However, if the virus enters the body, T-cells will attack, according to research from the University of Melbourne and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

The UK has recorded 141,472 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 9am on Sunday, the government said.

The government also said that 97 more people died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, taking the total to 150,154.

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show that 174,000 deaths have now been recorded in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on death certificates.