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Coronavirus Update

Published by Safety Net Team

March 23, 2022

“Living with the Virus” Strategy

The Government claims that the success of its vaccine campaign has put the UK in a strong position and has conferred significant protection on the population as a whole. However, the document admits that there is considerable uncertainty about the path that the pandemic will now take in the UK. It therefore sets out how the Government intends to ensure resilience and maintain contingencies for a range of possible scenarios while enabling people to be as free as possible to get on with their lives.

The threat of Covid-19 has not yet been downgraded from a pandemic into an endemic but the belief is that it will increasingly be possible to respond to the virus in a similar way to other existing respiratory illnesses, through sustainable public health measures. The main unknown is the emergence of new variants of the virus which could make existing vaccines less effective, prove resistant to antiviral treatments, or cause more severe disease.

Like other illnesses, the Government expects that:

  • the population’s defences against new variants will continue to strengthen as immunity increases through advances in vaccine technology and repeated exposure to the virus
  • over time, though hard to predict, it is likely that Covid-19 will become a predominantly winter seasonal illness with some years seeing larger levels of infection than others.

Its response through the next stage of the pandemic will be based on 4 principles.

  1. Living with Covid-19 — removing domestic restrictions while encouraging safer behaviours through public health advice.
  2. Protecting the most vulnerable — this will largely be accomplished through vaccination boosters and targeted testing.
  3. Maintaining resilience — public health authorities will maintain ongoing surveillance and have contingency plans in place.
  4. Securing innovations and opportunities — investing in research.

Vaccines will underpin the response. Their deployment will continue to be guided by Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice. Testing, although it has been a key part of the pandemic response, will be slowly phased down as it becomes less important.

For more information go to get free advice and request a call back

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