Dr Hilary warns you 'can't rely' on vaccines for herd immunity
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“Just because we have antibodies, we don’t know what level of antibodies give you protection against Covid,” said Dr Hilary. “Vaccination isn’t 100 percent [effective],” he added. “You can’t rely on it.” The ONS stated: “Across all four countries of the UK, there is a clear pattern between vaccination and testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies. “But the detection of antibodies alone is not a precise measure of the immunity protection given by vaccination.”
What are antibodies?
Antibodies are specialised Y-shaped proteins, explained Live Science, that bind to viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites in the body.
A vital part of the adaptive immune system, antibodies go out and hunt viruses, for example.
Once binded to the virus, the antibodies trigger a cascade of actions that vanquish the intruder.
Dr Hilary referenced another report on ITV’s Good Morning Britain earlier today.
He mentioned a report that suggests if the population achieves 73 percent of antibodies, “we’ve cracked it”, meaning herd immunity would be achieved.
But Dr Hilary says this is a “big ask”, as “herd immunity [is] dependent on different parts of the country”.
“Others have no immunity, some have immunity,” Dr Hilary continued, moreover he said that if the majority of the population is vaccinated, “it’s not all over”.
He strongly advised against assuming herd immunity will be achieved if enough of the population is vaccinated.
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What is herd immunity?
John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health stated that herd immunity is “when most of the population is immune to an infectious disease”.
This then provides “indirect protection” to those who aren’t immune to the disease.
Up to 90 percent of a population needs immunity before infection rates start to decline.
“But this percentage isn’t a ‘magic threshold’ that we need to cross,” clarified John Hopkins School of Public Health.
“Both viral evolution and changes in how people interact with each other can bring this number up or down,” it elaborated.
However, the higher the level of immunity in the population, the larger the benefit.
“This is why it is important to get as many people as possible vaccinated,” it said.
Population-based studies cited by the organisation demonstrated that an initial Covid infection is protective against repeat infection for more than six months.
However, this level of immunity may be lower among people with weakened immune systems.
People are still cautioned to follow the Government’s social distancing guidelines.
This is to help prevent transmission of the virus, which otherwise has more opportunity to mutate if it infects more people.
An increase in mutations can decrease the effectiveness of vaccines and make the pandemic more unruly.
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