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UK at risk of facing another wave of coronavirus despite vaccines: WHO

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The UK has been ramping the vaccine drive for locals but a senior World Health Organization has warned that the success of the vaccine programme is not enough to protect the country from another wave of coronavirus.

Dr Catherine Smallwood, a senior emergency officer at WHO Europe, warned that since the number of cases is still on an alarming increase in the UK, the country is still at risk of facing another wave of the pandemic.

As the non-essential shops, gyms, outdoor restaurants and pubs are set to re-open in the UK, Smallwood said that “very restrictive measures” were holding the cases down.

Also read | UK COVID data shows more than 6 million people have had two doses of vaccine

While she has been urging people to get vaccinated to “build our defences” as the UK still has “potential to develop its own sort of renewed resurgence of cases without any involvement from the rest of Europe,” she said.

She also added that the decline in cases in the UK are not a result of the vaccination.

Also read | Britain advises alternative to Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for under-30s

“The population groups that are really driving transmission are still in the majority since the ones that have not yet been vaccinated as a whole,” Smallwood said. “Transmission can still happen in the UK without any washing up on the shores of the European outbreak.”

Another point raised in her interview was that while the eldest generation, who are more at risk of falling critically ill from coronavirus are being vaccinated, the younger generation, who are more exposed to the deadly virus, is not yet being vaccinated.

“Whenever these things happen, the first thing that we worry about is the level of confidence that people have in both the processes and the vaccines themselves. So yes, of course, it’s a concern. And that’s where transparency, trust and communication are all really, really key here,” she said talking about Wednesday’s communication.

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