Pollard

Sir Andrew Pollard thinks testing may soon only be used to diagnose COVID in someone with symptoms.
The Delta variant of COVID-19 has wrecked any chance of herd immunity, according to the Oxford scientist who led the AstraZeneca vaccine team, as he called for an end to mass testing so Britain could start to live with the virus.

Scientists who addressed Britain's all-party parliamentary group on coronavirus said it was time to accept that there is no way of stopping the virus spreading through the entire population, and monitoring people with mild symptoms was no longer helpful.

Professor Andrew Pollard, who led the Oxford vaccine team, said it was clear that the Delta variant can still infect people who have been vaccinated, which made herd immunity impossible to reach, even with Britain's high uptake.


Comment: Throughout history herd immunity has been achieved through mass infection, not through mass injections; moreover, it's likely that the experimental injections are in large part to blame for the rise in virulent variants.


Sir Andrew Pollard thinks testing may soon only be used to diagnose COVID in someone with symptoms.

The Department of Health confirmed on Tuesday that more than three quarters of adults in Britain have received both jabs and calculated that 60,000 deaths and 66,900 hospitalisations have been prevented by the vaccines.


Comment: How can we know that the above claim are true if vaccines do not prevent infection or transmission? Meanwhile it's predicted that lockdowns, which even PM Bojo said are more 'effective' than vaccines, could kill well over 75,000 people.


Speaking to the all-party parliamentary group on coronavirus, Sir Andrew said: "Anyone who is still unvaccinated will, at some point, meet the virus.

"We don't have anything that will stop transmission, so I think we are in a situation where herd immunity is not a possibility, and I suspect the virus will throw up a new variant that is even better at infecting vaccinated individuals."

Analysis by Public Health England has shown that when vaccinated people catch the virus, they have a similar viral load to unvaccinated individuals, and may be as infectious.

Paul Hunter, a professor at the University of East Anglia and an expert in infectious diseases, told the committee: "The concept of herd immunity is unachievable because we know the infection will spread in unvaccinated populations and the latest data is suggesting that two doses is probably only 50 per cent protective against infection.


Comment: Israel's Health ministry recently admitted Pfizer's vaccine is only 39% effective at preventing infection.


"We need to move away from reporting infections to actually reporting the number of people who are ill. Otherwise we are going to be frightening ourselves with very high numbers that don't translate into disease burden."


Comment: It's taken them 16 months to realise they should not be including healthy people in their case reporting? China has been doing it since the beginning, and, in turn, China's cases and deaths are many, many times lower than Britain's.

It's also notable that, now they're coercing greater numbers into suffering the injections, they suddenly want to stop deliberately scaring people with exaggerated data, and this is likely because it will contradict their claims that the injections work.


On Tuesday, Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, confirmed that third dose booster shots would be given from next month. However, Pollard argued that Britain could be continually vaccinating the population for no real health benefit if mass testing continued.

"I think as we look at the adult population going forward, if we continue to chase community testing and are worried about those results, we're going to end up in a situation where we're constantly boosting to try and deal with something which is not manageable," he said.

Is the herd immunity dream dead?

"It needs to be moving to clinically driven testing in which people are willing to get tested and treated and managed, rather than lots of community testing. If someone is unwell, they should be tested, but for their contacts, if they're not unwell, then it makes sense for them to be in school and being educated."

Dr Ruchi Sinha, consultant paediatrician at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, told MPs and peers that choosing not to vaccinate children would be unlikely to cause problems in the health service.

"What matters is the burden of patient hospitalisation and critical care and actually there hasn't been as much with this Delta variant," she said. "They tend to be the children who have got their comorbidities, obesity, or severe neurological problems and those children are already considered for vaccination. COVID-19 on its own in paediatrics is not the problem."