The collective immunity strategy is back
Herd immunity strategy is back: ministers hope it will help slow the spread of Covid infections among young people, sources say
- Ministers hope element of herd immunity will slow the spread of virus among young people
- The policy of trying to boost immunity has never been recognized by ministers
- The concept became so toxic last year that Downing Street banned its use in talks
Ministers hope that an “element of herd immunity” will help slow the spread of Covid infections among young people, sources told the Daily Mail.
The controversial policy of trying to boost immunity by allowing the virus to spread through one part of society has never been recognized by ministers.
The concept became so toxic last year that Downing Street banned its use in internal government discussions.
Sources told the Mail that health ministry officials are now referring to a “hybrid immunity” strategy of vaccinating older and more vulnerable people, combined with a mix of vaccinations and infections for them. youth.
Young woman receives Covid-19 vaccine at walk-in vaccination clinic at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
People wait to receive their Covid-19 vaccine at the NHS vaccination center which has been set up at the Millennium Point center in Birmingham
A source from Whitehall said: “There is an element of collective immunity in what we do. Obviously, the most vulnerable people, including all over 40, will be offered both doses at the time of opening. Younger people are less at risk of serious problems with Covid.
“All adults will have been offered a vaccine by July 19, but with such a high number of cases, it is inevitable that some people will gain immunity through infection. This is not so much a political objective as it is a consequence of the fact that we are living in a third wave. ‘
Collective immunity is a common concept in science and refers to establishing such a high proportion of the population with antibodies that a virus cannot spread.
This became controversial last year at the start of the pandemic when it was realized that letting Covid cross the population would mean hundreds of thousands of deaths.
People talk to healthcare workers before getting their Covid-19 vaccine in Newcastle
The prime minister’s official spokesperson told reporters yesterday that collective immunity “is not a political goal of the government”. But a senior government adviser said collective immunity was a legitimate goal.
Professor Robert Dingwall, member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, told Sky News: “It may seem like a difficult and callous thing to say, but every infected person brings us towards this goal of a level of immunity. of the population where we are all protected against the most serious infections.