Coronavirus vaccines could be looked at on a “seasonal basis” due to emerging variants, Wales’s chief medical officer has said, as he spoke of the “great privilege” of being knighted in the New Year Honours.
Dr Frank Atherton, who has been given a knighthood for services to public health, said the past two years have been “really difficult”, but added there is “great strength” in the UK making “collective decisions” to combat the virus after each UK nation imposed different rules around the Christmas and new year period.
Dr Atherton told the PA news agency: “Coronavirus will continue to evolve and what we need to do globally, here and in the UK, is to make sure our surveillance is good, that we can spot new variants as they arise, as we did with the Omicron variant.
“When new variants arise they need to be very rapidly assessed in terms of their transmissibility and how dangerous they are, how much harm they cause to people.
“So I think that will be something of a new normal for us in the UK and here in Wales we will probably need to look at vaccination perhaps on a seasonal basis, in the same way we do with an annual flu booster, but that’s a little bit speculative.