When will the UK achieve herd immunity? It could be soon for Britain fighting Covid

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When will the UK achieve herd immunity? It could be soon for Britain fighting Covid



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The UK’s increased immunity to Covid-19 points to the prospect of emerging from the worst of the pandemic, with some scientists saying the country could cross a key threshold as early as Monday.

According to researchers at University College London, this is when so-called herd immunity could be obtained in the UK.

Britain has already seen a plunge in new cases and deaths, and the government will ease restrictions, including on al fresco dining, on Monday. These developments have fueled hopes that the nation will soon get rid of its Covid chains.

Many other scientists believe the UK is much further from collective immunity than the UCL model suggests. It has been criticized by some who say it overestimates the strength of vaccines and does not sufficiently take into account declining immunity and new virus variants. No more than 40% of the country is protected from Covid, according to Imperial College London estimates.

“There is a lot of uncertainty about the duration of immunity, both vaccine immunity and natural immunity,” said Anne Cori, speaker at Imperial Oil. “If immunity wanes, you may lose collective immunity after you achieve it.”

Still, the progress marks an important milestone for the European country hardest hit by the pandemic, with more than 127,000 dead, and for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has been criticized for being slow to respond to the crisis.

Prepare more

Daily UK cases are lowest since September before lockdown eased

Source: Bloomberg, seven-day moving average of new cases

At first, his government’s chief scientific adviser suffered a backlash after speaking of the UK’s apparent ambition to “strengthen some degree of herd immunity” – exposing part of the population to the virus – but he has since insisted it was never official policy and claims it was misinterpreted.

Virologists describe herd immunity as the point at which a virus finds it difficult to establish itself in a society due to high levels of immunity, either through vaccination or through previous exposure to the pathogen. If this is elusive for the UK, for most of the rest of the world, it is still a distant dream. Experts agree that speeding up vaccinations is the surest way to bring the virus under control and, in this regard, Britain is ahead of most other countries.

Almost half of Britons have received at least one dose of the vaccine, compared to just 14% in the European Union, according to Bloomberg. Vaccine Tracker. Yet, after becoming the epicenter of a new wave of Covid, there are tentative signs that Western Europe is turning a corner.

People arrive to be vaccinated against Covid-19, at a vaccination center in Grenoble, on April 9.

Photographer: Philippe Desmazes / AFP / Getty Images

Thursday, France reached the goal of giving a first blow to 10 million people, a week before the scheduled date. Germany vaccinated 720,000 people that day, a record for the nation, and aims to fully immunize its population by mid-summer. As supplies increase, Europe’s largest economy could administer 3.5 million doses per week, according to Health Minister Jens Spahn.

Europe achieves rare successes in fight to defeat Covid

Even so, European countries will likely lag behind Britain in fully immunizing 75% of their population, according to an analysis by Airfinity Ltd., a London-based research company. While the UK is expected to reach this level in early August, Germany will only get there in September and France until October, according to current company estimates.

75% stroke

France and Germany could achieve high immunity months after UK and US

Source: Airfinity

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