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Professor Chris Whitty said “quite a lot of damage” could still occur over the winter months. He told MPs yesterday: “Let’s make an assumption that the great majority of children who’ve not currently had Covid-19 are going to get it at some point over the next period.
“It won’t be necessarily in the next two or three months, but they will get it sooner or later.”
Addressing the Commons Education Committee, Prof Whitty added: “Vaccination will reduce that risk.”
England’s chief medical officer was facing questions about the inclusion of children in the Government’s Covid-19 vaccination programme.
When asked for his estimate of the number who had already had the virus, he said: “It varies by age and setting but, if we go for roughly half, that is a reasonable stab at this.
“That’s half over the period of the entire epidemic to date, and we’ve got quite a way to run. We’re running into winter so there’s still quite a lot of damage that could be done.”
England’s deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said the Delta variant is so infectious that contracting it is “inevitable” for those aged 12 to 17 and that GCSE and A-level pupils are vulnerable at a key stage of their learning.
He said: “We are not looking at a theoretical risk.”
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