Study says Britain needs to vaccinate two million a week to prevent a third COVID-19 wave

(Reuters) – Britain needs to vaccinate two million people a week to avoid a third wave of coronavirus outbreaks, a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has concluded.

According to a Reuters report, the UK has had more than 71,000 coronavirus deaths and more than 2.3 million cases of COVID-19 infections since Monday.

“The most severe intervention scenario with level 4 (restrictions) England and schools closed during January and vaccinated 2 million individuals per week is the only scenario we have considered that reduces the peak tax (intensive care) below the levels set during the first wave, ”the study said.

“In the absence of a significant vaccination of the vaccine, cases, hospitalizations, admissions and deaths on the ICU in 2021 may be more than in 2020.”

An accelerated intake of two million a week vaccinated “is predicted to have a much greater impact”, added. The study has yet to be peer-reviewed.

In response to the study, a spokesman for the UK Department of Health told Reuters that “in the coming weeks and months the vaccination rate will increase as millions more doses become available and the program continues to expand.”

The UK government has said it has secured early access to 357 million doses of vaccines through agreements with various developers.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his scientific advisers have said that a variant of the coronavirus, which can be up to 70% more transmissible, is spreading rapidly in Britain, although it is not more deadly or serious.

This has caused severe social mixing restrictions for London and south-east England, while plans to lighten curbs across the country have been dramatically scaled back or scrapped altogether.

In media reports over the weekend, Britain said it would roll out the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from January 4, with the approval of the country’s medical regulator within days.

Earlier this month, Britain became the first country in the world to launch the vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech.

The British government said on Thursday that 600,000 people had received the first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Edited by Michael Perry and Giles Elgood