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‘Covid here to stay’ warns Wales’ Chief Medical Officer

01 Jan 2022 2 minute read
Wales’ CMO Dr Frank Atherton

Wales’ Chief Medical Officer has suggested that Covid may never go away and that vaccinations may become part of a “new normal” and assessed on a “seasonal basis”

Speaking to the Press Association Dr Frank Atherton speculated that Wales would need to respond rapidly to new variants of Covid as they arise and may need an annual vaccination programme similar to the seasonal flu jab.

He said: “We just need to get through this wave of infection and see what the future brings, but I am confident we can come to terms with this virus, that it’s never going to completely go away, but that we can come to live with the virus.”

Dr Atherton also considers that there would be “great strength” in a collective approach to tackling new variants, pointing to the differences in restrictions across the UK.

Common solutions

He said: “I’ve always felt throughout this pandemic that there is great strength when we have collective decisions and we have common process.

“Obviously the ways of transmission have occurred at different times, in different countries, and different countries have made their own responses.

“Some variation is inevitable, but where we can have common solutions that is a strength of the system as well.”

While England has comparably relaxed levels of restrictions, in Wales the ‘rule of six’ applies to people meeting in pubs, cinemas and restaurants, with table service a requirement in licenced premises, and a maximum of 30 people attending  indoor events and up to 50 for outdoor events.

He believes that the cautious approach in Wales is broadly welcomed by the public who have indicated in surveys that they feel Welsh Government efforts to keep them safe have been “reasonable”.

Dr Atherton says he is honoured to have been given a knighthood for services to public health, but said the past two years have been “really difficult”.


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Adopted Cardi
Adopted Cardi
11 months ago

If the vaccines work then the best thing to do is hand them out world wide, for free.
If no, then covid probably won’t go away.
Happy New Year!

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
11 months ago
Reply to  Adopted Cardi

Who has paid for a covid jab?

Adopted Cardi
Adopted Cardi
11 months ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

well, I know who hasn’t – that moron in no.10. He pays for nothing. I’m not on about Britain, or Wales – but the whole world. We’re all in it together mate.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
11 months ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

The vaccines cost around $20 a shot and governments and insurance schemes pay for them. What Cardi means are the missed targets of WHO and COVAX due to  “vaccine nationalism” by richer nations.

The UK gave £548M to COVAX but Trump refused under his “America First” policy. Biden overturned that madness but India diverted 400M doses from COVAX for domestic use. That left them 400M sort of the 600M target by August.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
11 months ago

We’ve heard the saying often how ‘Covid is here to stay’, ‘we must live with it’. And I agree. We live with many once deadly viruses such as Chicken Pox, Measles and the Flu etc…. that in their day devastated populations. Take the flu virus. Most who catch a cold become ill but are strong enough to fight it, although there are ones who need a flu jab every year , especially sufferers of lung conditions like COPD & Asthma. Remember, in its day the Spanish flu variant killed millions the last century until vaccination eradicated that strain, but it… Read more »

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