Experts warn tens of thousands could still die of Covid despite vaccine success

Health experts are warning the UK could suffer up to 30,000 more deaths in the grim battle again Coronavirus.

Despite 23 million people having been vaccinated against the disease, and continuing drops in the number of cases, hospital admissions and deaths, experts are warning the war against the killer disease is far from over.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond, head of the Office for National Statistics, warned another spike in cases was highly probable, most likely this autumn, or in the winter months.

The government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies has also suggested that even under the most optimistic set of figures, at least 30,000 people could still die of Coronavirus.

Experts were speaking out against calls to lift the lockdown sooner than May 17, when groups of 6 people will finally be able to meet indoors.

England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, told the Andrew Marr show: "We need to recognise that this is a virus that isn’t going to go away. What we are going to see is, as things are opening up, is that at some point we will get a surge in the virus.

"We hope it doesn’t happen soon, it might for example happen later in the summer if we open up gradually or, because of the seasonal effect, it might happen over the next autumn and winter.

"All the modelling suggests there is going to be a further surge and that will find the people who either have not been vaccinated or where the vaccine has not worked.

"Some of them will end up in hospital and sadly some of them will go on to die."

However, it was all not all grim news.

The professor said: "We are seeing quite remarkable increases in the level of antibodies in the over-80s, and increasingly in the over-70s. So I’m very, very confident that the vaccine rollout is really starting to provide some real protection.

"At the other side, we also see relatively high levels of antibodies amongst young people which just shows how much they have been affected by the virus."

Prof Whitty also revealed there were big geographical differences in the number of people who have antibodies to fight the disease, with 30% of people in London compared to 16% in the South West.

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