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What is collective immunity? Dominic Cummings’ shocking accusation against the government | UK | New UK News

Collective immunity was one of the routes initially followed by many countries in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, but in October of last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it should not be safely obtained only through vaccination rather than exposure to disease. Achieving herd immunity with safe and effective vaccines makes diseases rarer and saves lives. But what exactly is it and why have the collective immunity charges put the government in hot water?

Home Secretary Priti Patel today denied claims the government pursued collective immunity at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Former Chief Assistant to Prime Minister Boris Johnsons Dominic Cummings claimed the policy was not scrapped until March 2020 after a warning it would lead to “disaster”.

He added that the policy had been replaced by lockdown in the face of spiraling infection and death rates.

Mr Cummings alleged that Health Secretary Matt Hancock may have lied to reporters when he said the herd immunity strategy “was not the plan”.

Instead, the former chief assistant claims that “herd immunity by September” was the official plan in all documents, graphics and meetings “until it is dropped.”

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However, the Home Secretary categorically rejected these allegations.

Asked about the claim and whether collective immunity had been the policy, she replied to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “Absolutely not”.

Ms Patel added: ‘Our strategy has always been to protect public health, save lives and protect the NHS.

“Absolutely all of the colleagues involved in these meetings and discussions, working with the Chief Scientist and the Chief Physicians, absolutely acknowledged this from the very difficult discussions we had.

“At a time of a crisis where the government is making very, very difficult decisions, difficult decisions, we put public life and the protection of the public at the forefront of all of those decisions.

Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, also said that at this point in the pandemic Mr Cummings is referring to, she has never attended a government meeting where herd immunity was posed “as a control mechanism”.

She told Andrew Marr: “I can categorically state that I have never attended a government meeting where collective immunity has been brought to the fore at this point in the pandemic as a control mechanism … attended any of these meetings, but keep in mind that I wouldn’t have been in most high-level positions as deputy marketing director.

“I think to be very clear what we mean by herd immunity, what you look at in a population is trying to see how safe your population would be, and that’s what we are doing with this program. very successful vaccination that we have.

“This is not the same as saying, which I think has been misinterpreted in many places, that the goal would be to allow people to be infected and develop herd immunity.

“It was never the order of the day, but you will always be looking to see how safe you can be in your population through a vaccination program.”

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UK Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance spoke on collective immunity in March 2020.

He said experts estimated that around 60% of the UK’s 66 million people would need to contract the virus to boost immunity.

Sir Patrick told Sky News: “Communities will become immune to this and it will be an important part of long-term control.

“About 60 percent is the kind of number you need to get collective immunity.”

Speaking to the BBC, he added: “Our goal is to try to reduce the peak, to widen the peak, not to remove it completely; also, because the vast majority of people contract a mild disease, to develop some kind of herd immunity so that more people are immune to this disease and we reduce transmission, at the same time we protect those most in it. vulnerable.

What is collective immunity?

Collective immunity describes a condition in which a large part of a community becomes immune to a disease.

This makes the spread of the disease from person to person less likely.

As a result, the entire population is protected against the virus, not just those who are immune.

Collective immunity protects populations at risk, including babies and those with weakened immune systems.

You can get herd immunity in two ways: by vaccination or a previous illness.

Your immune system can naturally develop anti-infective antibodies when it encounters disease.

After recovering from the virus, they end up with some protection of antibodies against the disease.

Vaccines work by causing your immune system to make antibodies against the disease, so that once it enters your body, you are able to build up a defense quickly.

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This notice was published: 2021-05-24 06:21:00