He told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “I think the problem is that we are not too far off reaching the kind of immunization levels that would help us contain the virus and I think people are not saying we should drop the June 21 date altogether, but just to delay it for a few weeks while we gather more information and can look at the trajectory in a clearer way.
“If you look at the costs and benefits of being wrong, I think it’s strongly in favor of the delay, so I think that’s the key point.
“Yes, we will learn to live with it, but this date that was set did not take into account that we would have a new variant on the horizon, with properties that allow it to escape to some extent antibodies and a virus that is more transmissible. “
Professor Adam Finn, of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, said there was a question mark as to how fast the increase in Covid cases was going to be and how much the number would increase.
“And under these circumstances, we’d all be better off doing whatever we can to minimize that risk so that we don’t get to a position where we really have to go back in terms of the restrictions we all have to endure. He told Times Radio.
Professor Finn said the JCVI will advise the government on vaccinating children, but said more evidence is needed before they can give clear advice.