'UK to be Covid-free this summer', vaccine chief says

Covid will "no longer be circulating in the UK by August", the outgoing chief of the UK’s vaccine taskforce has said.

Clive Dix, who took over the role in December and stepped down last week, said it was his belief the UK will have a population protected from Covid this summer.

He told the Daily Telegraph: "We’ll have probably protected the population from all the variants that are known.

"We’ll be safe over the coming winter," he added.

His comments come as more than 50 million doses of a Covid vaccine have been distributed in the UK, 16.7 million of which are second doses, according to government figures.

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Earlier this week, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said scientists are looking at a range of options for an autumn booster vaccination campaign to protect against a third wave of coronavirus.

This could include new jabs to protect against variants or mixing the types of injections given.

But Mr Dix told the paper he felt this could be pushed back into the new year.

He said: "We may decide that we need to boost the immune response, and we’ve got the vaccine to do that.

"Whether we’ll need to or not, I would think probably not, but we might still do it in case. I really don’t think it should be autumn.

"We should be thinking about boosting in maybe January or February, because the immune response will be strong."