Covid vaccines 'won't achieve herd immunity' until summer as Britain faces months of restrictions

Covid vaccines 'won't achieve herd immunity' until summer as Britain faces months of restrictions

December 28, 2020

THE coronavirus vaccine won't achieve herd immunity before the summer, government scientists have warned.

Calum Semple, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, has said herd immunity from vaccination won't beaffective until 70 to 80 per cent of the population get the jab.

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The professor of outbreak medicine at the University of Liverpool told BBC Breakfast: To get the wider community herd immunity from vaccination rather than through natural infection will take probably 70% to 80% of the population to be vaccinated, and that, I'm afraid, is going to take us right into the summer I expect."

He described the Oxford vaccine as a "game changer" if it is approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Yesterday, the Government said it has set a target of two million people to be jabbed by the middle of January — and hopes 15million will be immune by March.

Regulators are poised to give the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine the go-ahead within days — raising hopes of a faster return to a normal life.

The Sun also understands the Government will overhaul the priority list when the new UK vaccine is given the go-ahead.

The news comes as face months Brits could face months of restrictions.

Government scientists have reportedly told Boris Johnson he needs to implement stricter measures to stop virus from spiraling out of control.

There is no suggestion it would be called "Tier 5", but the measures that are being called for go further than the current Tier 4 ones.

Sage has told the PM that because of the new faster-spreading variant of the virus, the R-rate would surge above 1 in January, it has been reported.

Experts have told Mr Johnson that a New Year national lockdown similar to the one in November where schools remain open will not be enough.

They recommend even stronger measures where secondary schools are shut and pubs and non-essential shops remain closed, Politco has reported.

Sage has reportedly advised that the R-rate could be kept below 1 if all schools remained closed in January.

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