If the young are normal again and the older people are shielded, this would have "dire consequences".

According to SAGE, if the boys could get back to normal while protecting the elderly, there would be “dire consequences” for the NHS.

In leaked documents handed to ministers last week, the advisory panel suggested that unpacking bars and nightclubs was "impractical" as it creates a huge burden of hospitalizations, deaths and deaths from non-Covid-19 sufferers would all ages.

They said it was impossible to prevent age-group contact because even "small leaks" in infection would lead to "many diseases".

Leading epidemiologists also opposed calls for the UK to pursue a herd immunity strategy, warning that an "unrestrained epidemic" among young people would seriously affect health services.

They pointed out that a quarter of all hospital stays in the first wave were under 60 years of age and that “shielding strategies” in nursing homes had still resulted in more than 20,000 deaths, to support their arguments.

The scientists remained at odds, however. Nearly 11,000 medical and public health scientists supported the Barrington Declaration, which urged ministers to evade lockdown restrictions and pursue a "herd immunity" strategy.

The statement said it was better "to allow those at minimal risk of death to lead normal lives in order to build immunity to the virus through natural infections while protecting those at greatest risk".

A study by King & # 39; s College London found that one in ten people under the age of 50 could be affected by “long-term covid,” who suffer from chest pain, breathing problems and chronic fatigue when infected with the virus.

SAGE has warned that a "full epidemic" strategy will not work in one age group as infections will "leak" in others. Pictured: Manchester night owls enjoy a night before stricter lockdown restrictions

It comes after an 83-year-old shopper from Barnsley, South Yorkshire said she couldn't worry about new restrictions coming into effect in the area on Saturday

It comes after an 83-year-old shopper from Barnsley, South Yorkshire said she couldn't worry about new restrictions coming into effect in the area on Saturday

Barnsley Pensioners slams new Tier 3 lock for South Yorkshire

An 83-year-old Barnsley woman has said she doesn't care about staying home after it was announced that Tier 3 restrictions would go into effect this weekend.

The outspoken buyer said to the BBC =: “I think it's all ridiculous, we should never have been blocked. All vulnerable people would have helped and they should stay safely at home.

“And all the rest of us, I'm 83, I'm not breaking the ground.

“I see it that way, I don't have that many years of mine left and I won't be locked up in a house if the government gets it all wrong.

& # 39; We need … how can we get the country back on its feet? Monetarily? Where's all the money?

“By the end of this year, millions of people will be unemployed and you know who will pay for them? All boys. Not me, because I'll be dead. & # 39;

From midnight Saturday, the South Yorkshire areas of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield will switch to Tier 3, joining Manchester, Lancashire and Liverpool.

The October 15 documents, viewed by The Times, said in SAGE: “Such a strategy (segmenting by age groups) would not be practical as it would not be possible to prevent the virus from spreading from younger to older people .

"A very large part of the population has to withdraw from everyday life for many months, which would have profound consequences for the NHS and unknown long-term effects for those infected."

It added, “We don't know if SARS-CoV-2 infection will result in long-term immunity. Even if high levels of immunity could be achieved within the younger age group, it is almost certain that another wave of epidemics would occur in the elderly after segmentation was completed. & # 39;

The top scientists also rejected the possibility of segmenting the population in July, according to minutes of the meeting released by the government last week.

They said any attempt to divide the population by age "is likely to fail" after modeling revealed high levels of contact in younger groups among those over 45.

But it also showed that people over 70 mingled with their own age group far more than with anyone else.

"The policies of segmenting the population by age, easing restrictions on younger groups and restricting restrictions on older groups are likely to fail," they advised the government.

“The great mix of ages would make it extremely difficult to prevent transmission between segmented age groups, regardless of ethical and practical issues.

"Furthermore, any age segmentation policy is sure to raise significant social, ethical, and practical issues that are not addressed here, in addition to the cost of greater wellbeing."

The July protocol released last month also advised against any plans to shield anyone over 45. Around two thirds of people in the UK live in a household, including at least one person in this age group.

They note: “Data shows that people tend to have more contact with other people their age, but also a significant number of contacts with people 20 to 30 years older and younger than themselves (probably mainly between parents and Children). .

"There is also considerable contact between grandparents and children."

Surveys have shown that the mix between age groups is high overall. But in those over 60, they are more likely to mingle with people in the same age group. In the heat map above, white represents the highest level of contact while blue represents the lowest level of contact

Surveys have shown that the mix between age groups is high overall. But in those over 60, they are more likely to mix with people in the same age group. In the heat map above, white represents the highest level of contact while blue represents the lowest level of contact

The ability to segment the population despite being briefly flirted by the government has gained support from some Conservative MPs on the backbench.

Steve Baker has called it a "credible Plan B" while Chris Green argued there is "a better alternative to the government approach" after resigning as minister for junior education in response to mounting restrictions.

Scientists still disagree as to whether "herd immunity" can be achieved against Covid-19, and some reject this as "wishful thinking".

Studies have shown that levels of antibodies to the virus, which are believed to indicate immunity, have decreased over time in those who have had them.

However, it still needs to be thoroughly investigated whether T cells against the virus remain in the blood.

These remember how to build antibodies to SARS-CoV-19 and could be the key to immunity as they go back into production when the virus bounces back into the body.

There have been reports of people infected with Covid-19 who caught it a second time, but scientists have warned that this is a rare occurrence.

An Oxford-based company announced today that it is working to evaluate the T-cell response of coronavirus vaccine candidates to determine what immunity they have elicited.

The UK Vaccine Taskforce has selected Oxford Immunotec to provide T-cell tests for evaluating various vaccine candidates.


Herd immunity occurs when a disease runs out of space and can no longer spread because a large part of the population has been exposed to the disease, either because it has already had it or has been vaccinated.

If no one is immune to a disease – as was the case when the pandemic began – it can spread like wildfire. For example, if half of the people have developed immunity, there are only half as many people to whom the disease can spread.

As more and more people become immune, it becomes increasingly difficult for the pathogen to spread until its victim pool becomes so small that it can no longer spread at all.

The herd immunity threshold is different for different diseases, depending on how contagious they are. With measles, around 95 percent of people must be vaccinated against the spread. For polio, which is less contagious, the threshold is around 80 to 85 percent.

However, since there is no vaccine against Covid-19, it means that actively combating herd immunity through natural exposure is controversial as tens of thousands of people would die.

Government advisors previously said that around 60 percent of the UK would need to be infected to achieve herd immunity – around 40 million people. In theory, however, that would mean around 240,000 British people would die, as the SARS-CoV-2 virus kills an estimated 0.6 percent of all infected people.

And scientists still don't have solid evidence of how long immunity actually lasts after a person battles Covid-19, and doctors around the world have warned of re-infections – although the evidence suggests it is less severe.

Some research has found that the herd immunity threshold could actually be as low as 10 percent if it spreads more widely among the most socially active. This is because they are in more regular contact with others and are therefore more likely to spread the disease.

Herd immunity without a vaccine is seen as a controversial way to overcome the pandemic, as it encourages the spread of the virus rather than containing it.

No. 10 was even forced to withhold herd immunity after Boris Johnson's chief assistant Dominic Cummings reportedly confirmed the plan back in February at a private event. He allegedly said it was "a shame" if it meant "some retirees are dying".

And leaked emails released last month showed that both Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty had faced backlash from scientists over the controversial "herd immunity" approach that was further discussed in March.

Unlike most European countries, Sweden never imposed a lockdown, opening schools to children under 16, cafes, bars, restaurants and most shops when the disease hit Europe in February.

Researchers have even suggested that the Scandinavian nation has since built up some level of immunity to the virus, with one scientist claiming that the virus may run out of steam in Sweden.

However, data compiled by Our World In Data – a website that has been tracking the pandemic since it began – suggests that cases have increased again in recent weeks. For example, Sweden's 7-day average of daily infections on October 1 was 560 compared to 250 in early September.

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