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“We need to reduce handover as a country now” – SAGE member Sir Jeremy Farrar

Medical researcher Sir Jeremy Farrar says we need to act early.

He told Sophy Ridge, “There is no question that community transfer is increasing across the country, the number of hospital admissions is increasing and tragically we are seeing the number of deaths increasing. That is something that is very concerning when we enter winter and we are all indoors. more often.

You either have to go very early and faster than you might think and more geographically scattered than you might think, or you have to go one step at a time, one week after another or fourteen days after the other, to try to overcome the restrictions. feed.

“I am in favor of going earlier, I think if you go earlier the restrictions can be less draconian and you can have a bigger impact on the transmission, and critically get that R-value at 1 and below. That’s what we should strive for – it should be the goal. ”

He added, “Without it, we will see major increases in community transmission.”

Sir Jeremy says he disagrees with Michael Gove’s objection to a national circuit breaker lockout.

He said, “As one of SAGE’s scientific advisers, our job is to provide advice – the best way to reduce handover and get the land back to where we were in early September and then make sure we track. -, testing and isolation work properly, and the NHS prepared.

“I really believe vaccines will be available in the first quarter of next year. In that context, I think we should now reduce handover as a country – not in fragments of the country – but as a whole country because the handover is underway. all over the country. ”

Sir Jeremy said scientific advice to impose a circuit breaker around September 20 was not enforced by the government, adding that it would be better to enforce a national lockdown now than at the end of November.

“Better to run the circuit breaker now than in a month, but it would have been better to have it done three weeks ago,” he said.

“The situation is worse now than scientists said it would be a month ago. A circuit break would take us back at least a month. ”

Sir Jeremy is positive about hopes for a vaccine early next year.

He said: “The UK is in an extremely strong position. The vaccine task force chaired by Kate Bingham has done an absolutely extraordinary job. Britain has access to a number of different vaccines for a number of different approaches. Great Britain has a portfolio of vaccines. which I think will be available in the first quarter of next year. ”

He says not everyone will have to have a vaccine.

Sir Jeremy does not think the Christmas vaccines will be ready and deployed.

“We will have the data on the vaccines I hope by November and December, but Christmas will be difficult this year,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s going to be the usual celebration it is with families getting together. I wish I could say it was, but we face three to six months of a rough patch. But there is light at the end of the tunnel with a vaccine next year and treatment. ”

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