The vaccine is good, but not perfect. And that is the danger of breaking the blockade too soon.
New data from the UK Public Health Service suggests that a single dose reduces the risk of serious illness by 75%. It will significantly reduce hospitalization and death.
The second dose is expected to have even greater impact. However, the risk of bad consequences can remain.
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Therefore, it is very important to reduce the spread of the virus throughout the population-whether it is due to herd immunity from a vaccine or previous infection, or by controlling contact between people.
So what do we know about the effects of vaccines on infection?
The latest evidence from the SIREN study of healthcare professionals who have been tested for COVID several times a week has found that a single dose reduces the chances of infection by 70%, with or without symptoms.
The effects on asymptomatic cases are certainly encouraging-these are people who may unknowingly spread the virus because they do not know they have it.
However, there is no evidence that the vaccine will stop the infection. It will come from further research on their viral load and whether they spread the virus to close contact with the people they live with.
Even if the vaccine reduces viral infections to low levels, there is still a large pool of unprotected people after the vaccine is deployed.
One-fifth of the population is children and is now too young to have a jab. And some people refuse the vaccine. The high hesitation rate of young care workers is a sign of concern as it expands into a wider age group.
And what about innate immunity from infection?
Only 10-20% of the population may have antibodies to this disease, and an unknown number has T cells.
Therefore, while herd immunity will be difficult to achieve, the vaccine deployment is impressive.
Therefore, scientists want to carefully lift the blockade.
The priority has always been to reopen school for all children, not just the children of the main workers. It is essential for their education and mental health.
But then, government-advising scientists want to phase out the blockade at intervals of four to five weeks to measure how it affected the spread of the virus. ..
There is a risk of faster and sharper rebounds.
“The sooner you open everything, the higher the risk of resurrection, the slower the better,” Sir Patrick Valence, chief scientist, said at a news conference.
SAGE, the government’s scientific advisory board, has modeled various scenarios for lifting the blockade.
We estimate that at least an additional 30,000 COVID deaths can occur, even under the most optimistic scenarios.
Scientists warn that indoor mixing (even one guest per household per day) is of particular concern, leading to a “significant” increase in infection.
There are significant uncertainties in the coming weeks. The effects of warm weather, weakened immunity, complacency with the “rules” of vaccine deployment, and the emergence of new variants that reduce the effectiveness of jabs.
The model does not consider them, the reason for further attention.
There are still more than 10,000 new COVID cases per day. The sooner the blockade is relaxed, the higher the “base load” of the virus. And every contact between people is an opportunity for it to spread.
The epidemic is not nearing its end.
You’ll want to date your diary to meet your family, meet friends in a pub, or go abroad on your long-awaited vacation, but Sir Patrick warns you, “Look at the data, not the date.” I will.
© Sky News 2021
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