ELDERLY Brits have been urged to get a booster as Covid cases are set to peak at record highs.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, stepping down as deputy chief medical officer, said the risk of deaths rising if second boosters take too long “keeps me awake at night”.
The Zoe Covid app estimates there are now a record 350,000 new cases per day.
Professor Tim Spector, who runs the study, said: “Covid cases continue to soar to all-time highs but the rate of increase is showing signs of slowing down.
“This is a promising sign that we’ll hopefully see case numbers beginning to drop once again.”
It comes as free public testing is finally scrapped in England today, with people now simply advised to isolate if they feel ill.
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Government advisers still struck cautious tones with Prof Chris Whitty warning there is high pressure on the NHS.
Dr Jenny Harries, chief of the UK Health Security Agency, said Brits have to “come to terms” with the fact Covid will spread for years.
She said: “In my own case I will always put on a face covering when I walk into a shop or if I’m on a train, in those areas where we can help prevent transmission even if we’re not aware that we might have it.”
Hospital admissions are rising but many are brought in for other conditions and only happen to have Covid.
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But the second round of boosters for over-75s and vulnerable people will be critical for keeping deaths down, experts say.
Professor Van-Tam said: “Case rates here in the UK are really, really high.
“What keeps me awake at night is whether the people we have called over 75 for the second booster dose are going to come forward really quickly in the next few days and weeks — because it’s going to be important.”
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Health Secretary Sajid Javid said scrapping large-scale testing and reserving it for high-risk cases is now the right move.
He said: “We are one of the most open and free countries in the world now and it is right also as we learn to live with Covid that we withdraw free testing if it’s not needed any more.”