The warning was issued after SAGE published documents on Friday suggesting the “eradication of SARS-CoV-2 will be unlikely” and that a future Covid strain could be just as deadly as the MERS virus. The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and had a fatality rate of up to 35 percent.
Friday’s report claimed it was “likely” for a genotypic change to occur in the internal genes provided cases of COVID-19 remained high and added that, in this instance, there would be a “realistic possibility” for the strain to have an “increased severity phenotype”.
The scientists said the United Kingdom should jab Britons with booster doses during the winter in an attempt to minimise the threat posed by new variants.
They also suggested culling animals that can carry and transmit the virus, including cats.
Denmark culled thousands of mink after Covid transmitted through the species.
According to recent NHS data, over 46 million people in the UK have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine.
Just under 38 million are now fully inoculated after receiving two jabs.
While experts say vaccines will remain important, they also suggest a future variant could be resistant.
In the scientific paper, they suggested a possible recombination between the ‘South Africa’ strain and either the ‘Kent’ or ‘Indian’ variants could lead to the emergence of a variant with “increased morbidity and mortality”.
READ MORE: China suffers ‘most extensive’ Covid outbreak since Wuhan
They added that a strain could lead to an increase in mortality “even in the face of vaccination since vaccines do not provide absolute sterilising immunity.”
The SAGE report also detailed how it was a “realistic possibility in the long term” that a COVID-19 mutation could introduce a far less potent form of the virus.
“In other words, this virus will become like other human CoV that causes common colds, but with much less severe disease predominantly in the old or clinically vulnerable,” the scientists claimed.
SAGE also said: “The UK should continue to proactively support a strategy of worldwide effective vaccination in order to drive down global viral load reducing the likelihood of dangerous variants emerging in other parts of the world.”
Brexit LIVE: EU’s shambles makes AstraZeneca look at vaccine future [LIVE]
Prince Harry won’t ‘earn $20m’ from tell-all book [EXPERT]
Queen’s legal row turns SNP politicians against each other [REVEALED]
In response to the document, Dr Philippa Whitford, vice chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus, said: “This report, which should have sent shock waves through the UK Government, was instead quietly snuck out among a glut of reports during parliamentary recess.
“Recommendations and comments made by SAGE bring home the simple reality that we have not yet ‘defeated’ the virus.”
But the SNP’s spokesperson on health and social care also suggested the UK Government should continue to donate vaccines to other nations and introduce stricter border controls.
Dr Whitford said: “The Government must not stick its head in the sand or it will run the risk of undoing the progress we have made over the past eighteen months.”