England’s deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, is to leave the role and return to an academic post, it has been announced.
Boris Johnson thanked Van-Tam “for his extraordinary contribution to our country and his invaluable advice throughout the pandemic”, while the health secretary, Sajid Javid, said it had been an “honour” to work with the “national treasure”.
Van-Tam has been on secondment to the Department of Health from the University of Nottingham since 2017.
He is to take up a new role as pro-vice-chancellor for the faculty of medicine and health sciences at the university.
Javid tweeted: “It has been an honour to work with JVT and I am hugely grateful for his advice & the vital role he has played in our vaccination programme. I wish him all the best for the future at UniofNottinghamUoNFacultyMHS.”
Van-Tam, who has gained public affection for his use of football analogies to explain coronavirus, said in a statement: “My time as DCMO has been the most challenging of my professional career, especially the Covid response. We all wish Covid had never happened. Notwithstanding, it has been the greatest privilege of my professional career to have served the people of the UK during this time.
“I want to pay tribute to [England’s chief medical officer] Professor Chris Whitty, the CMO team, my fellow scientists, public health professionals and clinicians whose support, wisdom and energy has been inspiring.”
Sajid Javid said in a statement: “JVT’s one-of-a-kind approach to communicating science over the past two years has no doubt played a vital role in protecting and reassuring the nation, and made him a national treasure.
“I pay tribute to his relentless work ethic, sense of public duty and leading role in our incredible vaccination programme – on behalf of DHSC (Department for Health and Social Care) I wish him the best of luck on his return to the University of Nottingham.”
Source: The Guardian