Science advisers warn Welsh government collective immunity ‘extremely difficult’ to obtain in Wales – .

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Scientists providing advice and guidance to the Welsh government in response to Covid-19 have said it could be “extremely difficult” to obtain collective immunity in Wales.
The revelation is contained in a nine-page report detailing the advice of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) – made up of scientific and technical experts from the Welsh government, NHS Wales and academia – for the Welsh government’s review of the restrictions September 17th.

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The group also warned that the median age of hospitalizations was increasing, with the balance of Covid-related admissions shifting to vaccinated rather than unvaccinated patients.

The document explains that in order for the effects of the population’s immunity to be observed, more than 80%, or perhaps more than 90%, of the Welsh population, spread evenly across Wales, must be immune to the virus.

Despite an average absorption of the first dose of vaccine of 89% in people aged 16 years and over in Wales (74% of the total population), several factors reduce the likelihood of achieving population immunity, as directed.

These include:

  • decreased vaccination in younger age groups
  • a significant proportion under the age of 18 are not eligible for vaccines
  • uneven distribution of immunization across Wales and across age groups
  • transmission rate of the dominant delta variant and other emerging variants
  • the proportion of individuals immune to natural infection
  • the possibility of declining immunity and the need for booster vaccines
  • the possibility of emerging variants with an increased risk of transmissibility or mortality or the ability to evade immune responses
  • and evidence that vaccines are not 100% effective.

The report continues: “Decreased immunity against natural infections and vaccination is a key uncertainty in population immunity estimates and is increasingly important. “

He added: “Despite an average absorption of the first dose of the vaccine of 89% among people aged 16 and over in Wales (74% of the total population), it will be extremely difficult, if possible, to achieve the immunity of the population. “

He cites recent studies from Israel that reported higher infection rates in people vaccinated earlier compared to those who were vaccinated later.

TAG’s advice to the Welsh government also highlights the potential damage from vaccine passports and other ‘immunity certifications’, such as those that prove you have already had a Covid-19 infection or a recent negative test result. .

Although the opinion admits that passports could encourage vaccination, it said “the evidence is limited”.

Instead, scientists fear that such certification will give people “unreasonable expectations of the level of protection they have” and insist that “even in the case of important events and hospitality, detention of a certificate should not allow an individual to avoid self-isolation in the event of the onset of symptoms, nor be exempted from other measures used to protect those at high risk ”.

Other concerns include “perverse inducements” (such as deliberate infection where certification includes evidence of a previous infection), complacency with other security measures (such as social distancing or wearing masks), increased opposition to vaccination in some groups and increased mistrust of the vaccine in marginalized communities.



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The report continues: “More recently (August 2021), a study of 1,300 adults in the UK and Israel explored willingness and motivation to be vaccinated based on psychological need. The authors conclude that vaccine passports can have detrimental effects on autonomy, motivation, and willingness to be vaccinated, and affect longer-term relationships with local governments and health authorities (which are crucial for the vaccination). adherence to public health and behavior change).

The council comes as Prime Minister Mark Drakeford announced at the September 17 briefing that although the Welsh government will not bring full vaccine passports, it will insist on the NHS Covid pass for clubs and events.

The guidelines also provide an update on coronavirus hospitalizations in Wales and reveal that more Covid-19-related admissions are made up of vaccinated rather than unvaccinated individuals.

He continues to say while “the ratio of cases to hospitalizations and deaths remains low”, he says that “the growth of cases, hospitalizations and deaths is on an exponential rather than linear curve” and that there is “There is evidence of continued increasing stability in hospital admissions and intensive care admissions” as we approach 500 cases per 100,000, with the median age of hospital admissions increasing.

Announcing the results of the last three-week review of the coronavirus regulations on September 17, Prime Minister Mark Drakeford urged everyone to work from home whenever possible and make sure they are fully vaccinated.

The Prime Minister announced that anyone over the age of 18 will need to have had two vaccinations or performed a lateral flow test within the previous 48 hours to be able to download the NHS Covid pass.

The obligation to present an NHS Covid Pass will take effect from October 11. Adults will need to have an NHS pass to enter nightclubs, indoor non-seated events for more than 500 people, outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people and any setting or event with more than 10,000 people in attendance.

For the coronavirus briefing, click here.

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