Coronavirus latest news: Boris Johnson’s plan to lift Covid restrictions on July 19 is ‘dangerous and unethical’, scientists warn πŸ’₯πŸ‘©πŸ’₯

Professor Adam Finn, from the University of Bristol and a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said he thought people aged 50 and over would be offered a free NHS flu vaccine this year, together with older children.

He told Sky News that flu was a “more serious illness” than Covid in some respects, especially for children, adding: “The truth is that we see epidemics of influenza every winter, with one exception and that was last winter.

“The restrictions that were in place before and during the second wave were sufficient to stop influenza from being passed around almost entirely, and as a consequence of that we actually are really concerned that we might see a much bigger epidemic of flu this year, simply because all of the immunity that that epidemic would have created doesn’t exist.

“So, if you have then a coincidence of a big flu epidemic, and a further wave of Covid, that doubles the pressure on the health service and means that we’re in a much more vulnerable place.”

Prof Finn said he hoped some people at least would be offered a flu vaccine and Covid vaccine at the same time.

He said people died every year from flu, adding: “If we get a particularly large and particularly bad flu epidemic this year, we could be seeing thousands of deaths from flu. Now, combine that with the other viruses and further Covid, you’ve really got a serious problem on your hands.”

Coronavirus latest news: Boris Johnson’s plan to lift Covid restrictions on July 19 is ‘dangerous and unethical’, scientists warn

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