Britain didn’t need to roll out Covid booster jabs to the entire population, among the country’s top virus professionals has said, as he backed natural immunity as superior to shot immunity and said allowing the virus circulate is “ probably the best way to protect the particular population”. The Postal mail has more .
Sir John Bell, that served as Boris Johnson’s testing tsar and an earlier member of the vaccines taskforce, said he’s “ not really entirely sure” the nation needed top-up doses, which health chiefs said were essential for all adults to boost defense amid the Omicron wave last winter.
Third jabs are offered to all over-16s and a few at-risk 12 to 15-year-olds. And three rounds of seasonal booster jabs are already dished out to certain organizations, including the over-50s, frontline NHS staff and carers.
But the Oxford University scientist said serious illness due to the virus provides “ essentially disappeared” as well as the jabs only provide short-term protection against catching Covid.
He required the Government to “ think quite hard” about its vaccination strategy – since letting the virus circulate among healthy people is “ probably the best way to protect the population”.
The approach to boosters so far, which sees top-up doses given every 3 to six months, is estimated to cost between £ 4-5 billion annually.
Sir Bob was speaking to MPs on the Science and Technologies Committee and Health and Social Care Committee as part of the inquiry into lessons learnt from the Covid pandemic.
Asked what the latest evidence showed on the effectiveness of boosters, Sir John stated: “ All three of the original vaccines – the AstraZeneca vaccine and the two mRNA vaccines – are already unbelievably effective at eliminating that actually dreadful disease that caused a lot of deaths early on.
“ And the durability of those vaccines in preventing those people problems has been impressive. Now i’m not entirely sure that we all even needed boosters. We don’t have any clear data on that. ”
He added: “ That syndrome associated with Covid virus has essentially now disappeared. We’re still benefiting from deaths but they’re generally in elderly people and people who often have Covid infections alongside some other medical problems. ”
Sir John mentioned that boosters are “ probably a safe bet for the elderly”. But this individual suggested that others have a tendency need the jab.
Latest data recommend the top-up doses provide 67% protection against catching Covid – but this particular only really lasts with regard to 70 days, he mentioned.
Sir John added: “ Therefore , the boosters are not really providing any prolonged security against transmission – you might have one now and by mid-January you would be getting very little defense against transmission. ”
However , natural immunity – protection from a Covid infection rather than vaccine – lowers the risk of catching the virus for around six months, which is a “ material amount”, he mentioned.
Plus some people have protection for up to ten months.
He or she told MPs: “ I believe we do need to think quite hard about our vaccination strategy with boosters now – because it could well be allowing the virus to move and transmit in populations not at risk of death has become the best way to protect the population. ”
Might presently there be another reason Dr . Bell is going cool on the jabs that he is not mentioning?
Worth reading through in full .
Stop Press : Dame Kate Bingham, the former head of the vaccines taskforce, has said the current Covid jabs are “ not good enough”. Giving evidence to the exact same parliamentary inquiry as Dr . Bell, she said: “ Our vaccines currently aren’t good enough. We need to improve the high quality of the vaccines, the strength, the ability to stop transmission, the way in which we give vaccines. ”