Health

Boris Johnson announced the end of the latest restrictions by COVID-19 in England

File image of COVID-19 checks at the entrance to the Premier League match between Manchester City and Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, UK.  December 26, 2021. Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine
File image of COVID-19 checks at the entrance to the Premier League match between Manchester City and Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, UK. December 26, 2021. Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday that the mandatory isolation of people infected with covid-19 will end in England on Thursday, February 24.removing the main restriction that remained against the virus after two years of the pandemic.

“From this Thursday … we will end the legal obligation to self-isolate following a positive test,” Johnson told MPs in Parliament on Monday.

The British government’s plan foresees that the virus will become endemic, but will be kept under control with vaccines and treatments.

Johnson called on the population “not to abandon caution”, but insisted that it was time to “move away from prohibiting certain behaviors or imposing certain behaviors, and rather encourage personal responsibility.”

Some scientists, however, opined that the plan is very risky. and that it could increase the number of cases of the virus and harm the possibility of protecting the country from future variants.

Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, which developed AstraZeneca’s vaccine, said “the decision of when and how to relax restrictions is extremely difficult.”

He added that it is essential to maintain “surveillance on the virus, let’s say an early warning system, that alerts us when a new variant emerges and gives us the ability to detect if that new variant is causing more severe disease than omicron”.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the ACF building at the Technopole, Bush Estate, in Edinburgh, Scotland, Great Britain.  February 14, 2022. REUTERS/Jeff J Mitchell
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the ACF building at the Technopole, Bush Estate, in Edinburgh, Scotland, Great Britain. February 14, 2022. REUTERS/Jeff J Mitchell

Johnson’s government lifted most restrictions in England in Januarysuch as the obligation to present proof of vaccination to enter a closed space or the obligation to wear a mask, with the exception of hospitals.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which make their own public health rules, have also lifted restrictions, albeit more gradually.

On the other hand, The British Minister of Health, Sajid Javid, announced on Monday that people considered vulnerable and those over 75 years of age in the United Kingdom will be able to receive a fourth dose of the covid-19 vaccine from the boreal spring..

The announcement is known as a result of the recommendation made by the so-called Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) of this country.

The JCVI will keep under review whether the booster dose program should be extended to more groups considered at riskJavid pointed out.

Until now, only a fourth dose of the preparation was recommended for those with particularly weakened immune systems.

Current scientific evidence suggests that the immunization generated by vaccines declines over time and many of the individuals included in the nation’s oldest age groups received their most recent dose last September or October.

A man walks past a billboard amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain January 24, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A man walks past a billboard amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain January 24, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

It is these individuals who face a greater risk of contracting severe covid, according to the JCVI, which indicates that for these people – more than seven million – a fourth dose of the vaccine is recommended this spring.

“We know that protection against covid-19 fades over time. This is why we will offer a booster dose to those at higher risk of serious illness to ensure they maintain a high level of protection.”, said the minister.

Specific, the dose will be offered to those over 75 years of age, residents of nursing homes, and those over 12 years of age who are immunosuppressed.

Adults will be eligible for a fourth injection from Pfizer or Moderna while those between the ages of 12 and 18 will receive Pfizer.

For his part, Wei Shen Lim, the president of the JCVI covid-19 vaccination program, recalled today that last year’s reinforcement project “has, to date, provided excellent protection against covid-19″.

“To maintain high levels of protection for the most vulnerable individuals in the population, an extra dose of the vaccine this spring is recommended before introducing a booster vaccination schedule later in the year,” it noted.

(With information from EFE, AFP and AP)

Keep reading:

COVID cases dropped in the world in a week, but deaths increased
Can the Omicron variant cause prolonged COVID?
Sweden removed all restrictions and stopped considering COVID-19 a critical illness

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