PEOPLE will probably have to live with coronavirus in some form “for years to come”, Jason Leitch has said, with routine vaccination likely.
Scotland’s national clinical director said there is nothing to suggest the virus will suddenly disappear or die off.
He made the comments while giving evidence to Holyrood’s Covid-19 Committee.
Mr Leitch also said he supported the idea of immunity passports, as championed by former prime minister Tony Blair.
He said: “I think we will probably move towards that. I haven’t seen the exact details of what Mr Blair’s think tank have said, but I imagine it’s relatively sensible.
“It’s about doing it globally rather than just in an individual region of the world.”
However he added: “I’m not attracted to red and green bar codes that allow you to behave differently yet, because I just don’t know if the science suggests that’s the way we should go. That may happen in the future.”
He said there are precedents, adding: “For example, you cannot be employed as a surgeon, as I was, without showing your Hepatitis C status.”
Referring to the longer term outlook, Mr Leitch said: “We will probably have to live with this virus in an endemic way in some form.
“We just don’t know what that looks like. We do that with flu just now.
“There is no science that suggests this virus is suddenly going to disappear, or suddenly going to get fed up and die.
“It looks as though we will live with Covid in some form, probably with routine vaccination over time, for years to come.”