UK COVID cases will surge again even with vaccines, medical officer says

Caution in re-opening the economy would affect the size and the timing of a resurgence

  
A health worker prepares an injection with a dose of Astra Zeneca coronavirus vaccine, at a vaccination centre in Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, amid the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain, February 18, 2021.

A health worker prepares an injection with a dose of Astra Zeneca coronavirus vaccine, at a vaccination centre in Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, amid the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain, February 18, 2021.

REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON - Britain will see a resurgence in coronavirus cases at some point and can't bring deaths from COVID-19 down to zero even with a successful vaccine rollout, England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said on Tuesday.

Whitty said that caution in re-opening the economy would affect the size and the timing of a resurgence, but that vaccines would not be able to prevent all deaths from COVID.

"All the modelling suggests there is going to be a further surge and that will find the people who either have not been vaccinated, or where the vaccine has not worked, and some of them will end up in hospital and sadly, some of them will go on to die," Whitty told lawmakers.

"The ratio of cases to deaths will go right down as a result of vaccination, but not right down to zero, unfortunately."

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by William James) ((alistair.smout@thomsonreuters.com; +44 207 542 7064; Reuters Messaging: alistair.smout.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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