Health secretary announces new Covid medication

New health secretary Sajid Javid addressed the House of Commons on Monday afternoon.

The Health Secretary announced that Plan B will not be implemented - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The health secretary has vowed the government will not be implementing their Plan B Covid measures.

In a press conference, Sajid Javid called for the public to get the booster vaccine and announced the trials of new antiviral drugs.

Cases have risen 16pc from last week and there has been a 10.3pc increase in hospitalisations. 

The health secretary said: "This pandemic is not over. This virus will be with us for a long time.

"The link between cases, hospitalisations, and death has significantly weakened, but it's not broken.

"We won't be implementing our Plan B contingency measures at this point, but we'll be staying vigilant.

"The vaccination programme is our primary line of defence. Five million remain unvaccinated, it's never too late to come forward.

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The government are also opening vaccination centres to 12 to 15 year olds.

Mr Javid announced two new antiviral medications that the government hopes will be available by the end of the year.

"It was British scientists who led the clinical trial that discovered dexamethasone that is estimated to have already saved one million lives across the world," he added.

Ronapreve, the other antiviral, was also developed to treat Covid. Both require approval from the UK regulator and will mainly be used to treat vulnerable people. 

These new antiviral medications are thought to cut hospitalisations and deaths by half.

Professor Stephen Powis, the medical director at NHS England, said that the best way the public can help the NHS is to get the flu vaccine in addition to a Covid booster as well as following face-covering guidelines.

He also raised that waning immunity of vaccines is to be expected such as when people get the flu despite having the jab previously.

In response to a question that the government is in danger of ignoring the lesson of the pandemic Mr Javid said: "We don't believe that the current pressures facing the NHS are unsustainable."

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