The Delta variant has made other covid types ‘extinct’ but it’s hard to predict what’s to come next – Dr Jenny Harries

The dominance of Delta variation around the world has seen other coronavirus variants “disappear”, the UK Health Security Agency chief executive said.

But Dr Jenny Harries warns that “it is too early for a new virus” – we who still need to “stay alert”.

He told The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One: “With Delta’s dominance, it looks like many of the other variations noticed have been killed, and a number of variations under investigation have increased slightly, we saw cases, and they were killed.

“Now, while holding that, I think that’s right, but I don’t think it means we should reduce our overall surveillance systems. We need to stay alert to see.

“It’s still too early for a new virus.”

And Dr Harries said the difficulty now is in predicting what will come of Covid-19, as immunity from vaccines is waning in some older people.

He told The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One: “Obviously we’ve had a very good vaccine intake and it’s preventing a very significant amount of hospitalization and death.”

He added: “Perhaps the difficulty is at this point of the pandemic, it is one of the most difficult times to predict what is to come.

“We have different levels of vaccination, we have very little immunity lost in older individuals, so we’re starting to put a vaccine on the Covid booster.

“We have slightly different effectiveness with the different vaccinations given.”

Dr Harries said it was not the case that 120 deaths a day was seen as an “acceptable death rate” for Covid.

He told the show on The Andrew Marr: “Obviously we have big vaccination programs going on, we have significant reviews.

“It’s not how we usually treat an endemic disease so I think the answer here is very clearly no. We take it very seriously.

“But it’s important to remember that for an average flu season about 11,000 deaths a year – between four (thousand) to 22,000 in the last four to five years.

“So we’re starting to move into a situation where, perhaps Covid isn’t the most important element and many of the individuals affected will of course have other comorbidities where they are at risk of serious illness for other factor. “

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