Professor Kevin Tyler, lead author in the study, said: “Over the past 17 months, economies, education and mental well-being have suffered tremendously due to the restrictions imposed in an attempt to stem the spread of the pandemic.
“Although vaccines have weakened the link between infection and mortality, they should not be used as an argument to justify a broad change in policy for countries experiencing an exponential increase in infection numbers.
“Relaxing restrictions boosts transmission and allows the virus population to expand, which enhances its adaptive evolutionary potential and increases the risk of vaccine-resistant strains emerging by a process known as antigenic drift.
“Put simply, limiting the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible restricts the number of future deaths by restricting the rate with which new variants arise.”
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