'Possible' Covid will become 'much more treatable' in near future

27 Janvier, 2021, 04:20 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • 'Possible' Covid will become 'much more treatable' in near future | ITV News

He said there was a "huge focus" to ensure that services for those requiring urgent cancer surgery were sustained.

Meanwhile, Sir Simon also said he hoped to see the COVID vaccine combined with the flu jab in the future.

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said offering the COVID-19 and flu vaccines together could happen in the future.

Sir Simon said Covid deaths were "highly concentrated" in the older age groups, including those aged 70 and above, the clinically extremely vulnerable, and the health and social care staff looking after them.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals said there was a reduction in overall infections seen within the first week, with 100% prevention of symptomatic infections.

"We are seeing more vaccine hesitancy on the part of some groups in the population".

Delays in cancer surgery are one of the biggest concerns facing NHS chiefs, as services struggle to cope with the impact of the pandemic, the head of England's health service has said.

"We're obviously at 80 percent already in the over 80's, over half of people aged 75-79 have now had their first vaccination, so actually uptake is going very well", Stevens added.

But the NHS boss said the priority order for vaccinations could be subject to change, with teachers, police and people with learning disabilities considered for the next round.

Now the government is targeting the over-70s and the clinically extremely vulnerable, with the over-80s the priority.

"There will be a legitimate discussion in my view that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation will have to advise on as to whether or not there are certain other groups who should receive that priority".

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'People with learning disabilities and autism, certain key public service workers, teachers, the police, they will have to be factored in that post-February 15 prioritisation decision'.

He also said there will come a point where people are told they can come forward to get a vaccine if they have yet to receive one.

Sir Simon told the Downing Street press conference: "Fundamentally the driver of the death rate is the infection rate, set against that we are seeing continuing improvements in hospital treatment for severely sick coronavirus patients".

'As we move through each successive cohort there will come a moment when we will say: 'If you haven't been contacted then please come forward yourselves'.

However, when asked for a "working assumption" of when the NHS may return to normal, he was optimistic.

"But as we get to the end of each cohort we will then be saying very clearly: "If you fall into this category and you haven't been vaccinated, here's how you can come forward and be vaccinated".

He said the emergence of new coronavirus treatments in the second half of this year offer hope of a "much more normal future".

Sir Simon said when it comes to deciding who to prioritise for a jab, reducing the number of people in hospital with the virus was not "the only consideration".

He added: 'When you look at the critical care positions, again, we have got over 4,000 patients in critical care and about three-quarters of our critical care are there for Covid-related reasons'.

Vaccinating everyone aged 65 and over will have a "big impact" on the pressure on hospital beds, Sir Simon said, but added that about a quarter of hospital admissions for COVID-19 are for people aged under 55, and about half of inpatient critical care bed days for coronavirus relate to patients under the age of 65.

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