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It’s not too late for the British government to develop an effective Covid strategy | Gabriel Scally

A public health-focused response should have three pillars: prevention, vaccination and control. We’re using just one

  • Gabriel Scally is a professor of public health and member of the Independent Sage committee

The emergence of a new and worrying variant of Sars-CoV-2 shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Omicron appears to be a real threat, and should give pause for thought on how countries can protect their populations against this and other similar challenges in the future.

The UK has helped to create the conditions for variants to emerge by opposing the granting of a patent waiver so that countries worldwide could step up the production of much-needed vaccines. At the same time, the British government has prioritised vaccinating its own. Vaccines are of course an important tool in protecting most individuals from severe disease when infected, but no single intervention, no matter how technologically sound, would keep the virus suppressed and under control in the population.

Gabriel Scally is visiting professor of public health at the University of Bristol and a member of the Independent Sage committee

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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