Boris Johnson: Number of people catching Covid in hospital is ‘unacceptable’

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On Monday, Prof Graham Medley, the chairman of the Spi-M modelling group, which advises the Government on the virus, said ministers would reach a stage where mass vaccination is no longer cost effective.

“The decisions that the Government makes about vaccinating, for example against measles, are based upon decisions in terms of public health, but also the costs,” he said. 

“I think to some extent that approach will become more and more likely as we go forward. Vaccines are really the things that are changing the landscape, both in terms of public health and in terms of decision-making. 

“As ever, the Government has to make a decision, balancing all these different views and different industries’ perspectives, to come up with what it feels to be the correct policy.”

Prof Medley also suggested that the provision of free lateral flow tests would eventually end but, asked about reports that ministers were considering cutting off the supply, Mr Johnson said: “We’re going to have to make sure that we continue to use testing as one of our most important lines of defence for as long as it’s necessary.”

In a separate question and answer session, his spokesman suggested that ministers have begun to think the UK is past the worst of the Covid pandemic.

Asked whether the Prime Minister agreed that the UK was on a path “from pandemic to endemic”, the spokesman replied: “I think that’s certainly our expectation, that at some point that is where we will get to. That has been the nature of previous epidemics, previous pandemics.”

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