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Neil Ferguson says herd immunity in the UK could be achieved before the end of the year


"Professor Lockdown" Neil Ferguson said high infection rates and the introduction of mass vaccines in the UK could bring herd immunity to coronavirus that was achieved before the end of the year – which means a return to normal by autumn.

Ferguson, whose dire predictions of 500,000 deaths in the UK convinced the government to implement the first lockdown, now says he is "optimistic" about the country's future in 2021.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Ferguson said that he believes there will soon be a slowdown in infection rates, and perhaps even a decline – driven by high infection rates that give people immunity without the need for a sting.

"That may be helped somewhat by the fact that there is quite a bit of herd immunity in places like London," he said. “Maybe 25% or 30% of the population is now infected in the first and second waves. So this helps reduce transmission. & # 39;

He also predicted that north-west England – another area where large numbers were infected – could also be on the way to herd immunity.

Herd immunity policies, which allow the virus to spread through the population so that people develop immunity to the virus, was originally touted by some high-level government officials, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

However, when the potential cost to people's lives from prosecuting such police was exposed, and Ferguson said up to 500,000 people could die, the government changed its approach.

Ferguson, whose dire predictions of 500,000 deaths in the UK convinced the government to implement the first lockdown, now says he is "optimistic" about the country's future in 2021 when vaccines are introduced

Like many scientists, Ferguson believes that herd immunity to Covid-19 should be achieved through the delivery of vaccines to the population, not through the spread of the virus.

With the UK currently one of the hardest hit countries in the world in terms of number of cases and with three vaccines approved for use, herd immunity is moving ever closer, according to the professor.

An additional 59,937 cases were reported on Saturday, bringing the total number of reported cases in the UK to over 3 million.

The number of hospitalized patients treated for Covid-19 topped 32,000 for the first time, while another 1,035 people succumbed to the virus – a total of 81,000.

But Ferguson says it will only get worse in the coming months, saying it is "very likely" that the UK will suffer 100,000 deaths. "Avoiding another 20,000 deaths will be quite difficult even if it is optimistic," he said.

In order for the UK to achieve herd immunity, a high percentage of the population will need to be vaccinated against Covid-19, although the exact number is currently unknown.

For herd immunity to measles, one of the world's most contagious diseases, around 95 percent of the population must be immune, while the threshold for polio is around 80 percent.

In measles, the last five percent are protected by the fact that the diseases do not spread to vaccinated people.

Most scientists and experts believe that at least 80 percent of the population must be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity to Covid-19, but Ferguson admitted, "We don't know how far immunity completely blocks infection – neither natural nor immunity Immunity You Would Get From Vaccines. & # 39;

The professor said that now, nine months after the pandemic, scientists have a clearer picture of how long a person will be protected from the virus after being infected.

"Once you get infected, you have adequate protection from disease for at least a year or more, a bit like a vaccine," he said.

Key worker James Hutchinson receives the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on January 9th in the Life Science Center of the International Life Center in Newcastle upon Tyne in North East England. In order for the UK to achieve herd immunity, a high percentage of the population must be vaccinated against Covid-19, although the exact number is not currently known

Key worker James Hutchinson receives the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on January 9th in the Life Science Center of the International Life Center in Newcastle upon Tyne in North East England. In order for the UK to achieve herd immunity, a high percentage of the population must be vaccinated against Covid-19, although the exact number is not currently known

Key worker Russell Robson from Sunderland will be briefed before he will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on January 9th at the Life Science Center of the International Life Center in Newcastle upon Tyne, North East England

Key worker Russell Robson from Sunderland will be briefed before he will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on January 9th at the Life Science Center of the International Life Center in Newcastle upon Tyne, North East England

“You are not necessarily protected from re-infection or transmission. It is just not very likely that you will get very sick. There are all of these reservations about immunity. This applies to both the vaccine and natural infections. & # 39;

When asked if the final lockdown will help the country get a grip on the virus, Ferguson said that depends on how transmissible the new Covid-19 variant is.

During the first lockdown in March, the R-rate – which refers to the number of people an infected person can spread the virus to – dropped to 0.6. The new variant, whose R-rate could be 50 percent higher than the older variants, suggests that the blocking could reduce the rate to 0.9 – below the target of 1.

However, according to Ferguson, experts are unsure whether the latest lockdown is as difficult as the first. She said "it's going to be a pretty close affair" and that the decline may be slower than in March and April.

He added that the picture would be much grimmer if the current surge in cases had been seen earlier in the year – before vaccines began to roll out.

"We will be able to vaccinate a large part of the population by Easter," he said. Even if we don't fully set the Prime Minister's timetable, there is a very good chance we will have these key groups in place by mid-March. & # 39;

The Queen and Prince Philip got their Covid-19 vaccinations yesterday – and made the fact public to encourage uptake of the injections that could finally turn the tide on the deadly pandemic.

When Boris Johnson announced an ambitious "Test and Jabs" flash to fight the virus, Her Majesty, 94) and the Duke of Edinburgh, 99, received their injections at Windsor Castle from a doctor in the Royal Household.

It came when the UK recorded more than 1,000 Covid-19 deaths for the fourth straight day as the new mutation wreaked havoc across the country.

Another 1,035 people died today on the deadliest Saturday since April 18, when the total death toll in Covid since the pandemic began hit a grim 80,000.

The total rose 132.5 percent from the 445 deaths recorded Saturday last week, and was the highest Saturday number since April 18.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked families to make a plea, asking them to stay home to save lives as Britain has its highest death toll since the pandemic began and the NHS launches a new advertising campaign led by Chris Whitty

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked families to make a plea, asking them to stay home to save lives as Britain has its highest death toll since the pandemic began and the NHS launches a new advertising campaign led by Chris Whitty

Everyone in England is told to stay home and act like you have it in a major advertising campaign. including posters (pictured) encouraging the public to control the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives

Everyone in England is told to stay home and act like you have it in a major advertising campaign. including posters (pictured) encouraging the public to control the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives

In a positive sign, the upward curve could in some cases offset another 59,937 people who tested positive, an increase of just 3.8 percent over last Saturday.

It's also more than 8,000 fewer cases than the 68,053 recorded yesterday – a record high. There were also 1,325 other deaths on Friday.

However, Professor Chris Whitty warned hospitals of "the worst crisis in living memory" in which 46,000 medical workers are sick.

The Prime Minister said on Friday evening that the action was aimed at stabbing 12 million people in England by mid-February.

More than 1.5 million people have been vaccinated to date, but the rate needs to get closer to two million a week for Mr Johnson to achieve his goal. He has promised to call in the army to strengthen the program.

After the Queen and Prince Philip received their vaccine, Mr Hancock said he was "pleased" and tweeted, "We're defeating this vaccine one by one."

When Boris Johnson announced an ambitious flash of "Test and Jabs" to fight the virus, Her Majesty 94 and the Duke of Edinburgh (pictured in November) 99 received their injections at Windsor Castle from a doctor in the Royal Household

When Boris Johnson announced an ambitious flash of "Test and Jabs" to fight the virus, Her Majesty 94 and the Duke of Edinburgh (pictured in November) 99 received their injections at Windsor Castle from a doctor in the Royal Household

Vaccination booths are pictured at Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol, one of seven mass vaccination centers to open on Monday

Vaccination booths are pictured at Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol, one of seven mass vaccination centers to open on Monday

While the royal couple wait for their second dose, what is known as the HMS bubble – the protective shield created around them by isolating and regularly testing staff – is maintained.

A senior SAGE official warned Friday that the actual number of Britons currently infected on a daily basis is closer to 150,000. He claimed the size of the second wave was now significantly worse than that of the first.

As the UK death toll continues to rise, experts are calling for an even tougher lockdown to tackle the fast-spreading new variant, while the government launched a new campaign flash to get people to abide by lockdown rules.

England is currently in its toughest and longest period since last spring and may not emerge from it until all of the most vulnerable groups are vaccinated against Covid-19.

Prof. Whitty warned hospitals of "the worst crisis in living memory" as Covid-19 cases continue to rise – 46,000 medical workers are now sick.

Brits who do not take the coronavirus lockdown seriously will cause "preventable deaths" if critically ill patients are turned away at the hospital door, warned Professor Chris Whitty in a scathing article for the Sunday Times.

According to the chairman of the British Medical Association, Chaand Nagpaul, nearly 50,000 hospital workers are currently suffering from Covid-19, which means an already overloaded workforce is under even more pressure, The Guardian reported.

He said: "Only if the NHS workforce stays fit and healthy can we meet the unprecedented surge in demand over the coming weeks and months and deliver the vaccination program that remains our only hope to end this terrible pandemic." & # 39;

On the deadliest Saturday since April 18, crowds were seen along the coast in Southend (pictured)

On the deadliest Saturday since April 18, crowds were seen along the coast in Southend (pictured)

Chris Whitty warns hospitals of "living memory's worst crisis" as Covid cases loom

Chris Whitty has warned that hospitals are facing "worst crisis remembered" as Covid-19 cases continue to rise – 46,000 medical workers are now sick.

Brits who do not take the coronavirus lockdown seriously will cause "preventable deaths" if critically ill patients are turned away at the hospital door, warned Professor Chris Whitty in a scathing article for the Sunday Times.

According to the chairman of the British Medical Association, Chaand Nagpaul, nearly 50,000 hospital workers are currently suffering from Covid-19, which means an already overloaded workforce is under even more pressure, The Guardian reported.

He said: "Only if the NHS workforce stays fit and healthy can we meet the unprecedented surge in demand over the coming weeks and months and deliver the vaccination program that remains our only hope to end this terrible pandemic." & # 39;

Prof. Whitty has condemned coronavirus rule breakers as "a link in a chain" that enables the deadly virus to infect and kill the elderly and those at risk.

“We have to stay at home except for work, exercise and necessary activities. Any unnecessary interaction you have could be that link in the chain of transmission that a vulnerable person ends up with, ”he wrote.

The country has two weeks before hospitals are likely to be overwhelmed, Prof. Whitty added, as the nation has plunged into the "most dangerous situation" in the history of life.

Prof. Whitty has condemned coronavirus rule breakers as "a link in a chain" that enables the deadly virus to infect and kill the elderly and those at risk.

“We have to stay at home except for work, exercise and necessary activities. Any unnecessary interaction you have could be that link in the chain of transmission that a vulnerable person ends up with, ”he wrote.

The country has two weeks before hospitals are likely to be overwhelmed, Prof. Whitty added, as the nation has plunged into the "most dangerous situation" in the history of life.

Prof. Whitty has also appeared in advertisements urging the British to act like they have a coronavirus to protect the NHS and save lives.

Two terrifying new posters also show a patient dying in hospital and a health care worker wearing full PPE, warning the British, “If you go out, you can spread them. People will die. & # 39;

This week's massive case numbers, which have exceeded 50,000 a day since Monday, have put pressure on the Prime Minister to speed up the sluggish vaccination program that is expected to be phased out in the UK from mid-February.

Scientists have warned that the current lockdown measures are too "lax" and cannot contain the new Covid variant. They are therefore calling for stricter restrictions as "interactions are now riskier" than they were in the first wave of the pandemic.

With 90 percent of the population "mostly" adhering to regulations, the UK's roads and public transport remain busy this week to allow the virus to spread. One expert described the new strain as a "pandemic within a pandemic".

As a result, ministers are considering introducing stricter measures as part of the move, including possibly requiring face masks in busy outdoor areas.

On Saturday, Professor Kevin Fenton, Regional Director of Public Health England in London, said the more coronavirus patients the NHS had to treat, the harder it was to keep other services open, as he urged everyone to doubt the seriousness of the situation and to read Listen to the words of staff and patients.

He told BBC Breakfast, “I would encourage people to read and watch the programs that you run on television, where you interview doctors, where you interview patients who have had this very serious illness and have long-term effects from it .

& # 39; This is the reality and this is the truth. So the advice would be to listen, read, but stay home. Protect yourself, protect your families. & # 39;

SAGE scientist Professor Susan Michie warned this morning that the current nationwide lockdown was "too lax".

She said the virus thrives in cold weather and people who spend more time indoors are at increased risk of transmission.

She said having a lot of leeway for what counts as a key worker means classrooms are almost half full and public transportation is overcrowded by school pickup and drop off – in addition to rush hour for key workers.

Allowing household contact for certain occupations – including non-essential traders or nannies – also increases the risk of the virus spreading rapidly, the professor said.

Professor Michie, a professor of health psychology at University College London, told BBC Radio Four's Today program: "This is a pretty loose ban as we still have a lot of household contact. People go in and out of other people's homes when they do. " You are a cleaning lady, a non-essential trading person, or a nanny.

Three police officers in face masks interview a man who is sitting on a bench in St. James & # 39; s Park in central London this morning

Three police officers in face masks interview a man who is sitting on a bench in St. James & # 39; s Park in central London this morning

Although around 90 percent of the population “mostly” adhere to regulations, roads and public transport are still busy this week, allowing the virus to spread. Pictured: Clapham today

Although around 90 percent of the population “mostly” adhere to regulations, roads and public transport are still busy this week, allowing the virus to spread. Pictured: Clapham today

“We also have mass gatherings related to religious events and open kindergartens, and you have this broad definition of critical worker, so now we have 30 to 50 percent of the classes full and a lot of public transportation to and from those things.

& # 39; It's definitely too loose. If you compare yourself to March, it's the winter season and the virus is surviving in the cold longer. Plus, people spend more time indoors. We now know that indoor aerosol transmission is a very large source of transmission for this virus.

Second, we have this new variant that is 50 to 70 percent more contagious. If you put those two things together with the NHS in crisis, we should have a more stringent lockdown, no less stringent than we were in March. & # 39;

Professor Michie's concerns were raised by Dr. Adam Kucharski, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, confirmed who said the new variant should be treated as a "new pandemic within a pandemic".

The Sage member told Radio 4's Today program, “The first signals we're seeing suggest that the population is likely to be less moving than in November, but maybe a little more than in April, and that's obvious worrying because this new twist, essentially every interaction we have, has become riskier than before.

People out and about in Clapham, south London today after the Mayor of London reported a serious incident due to the rapid rise in Covid-19 cases in England is currently in its 3rd ban due to Covid 19. Due to restrictions people cannot leave their homes separately. Work, exercise, and shopping for essentials. Pubs and restaurants are closed, stores selling non-essentials are also closed, people have been asked to work from home if possible, and mixing in with other households are not permitted

People out and about in Clapham, south London today after the Mayor of London reported a serious incident due to the rapid rise in Covid-19 cases in England is currently in its 3rd ban due to Covid 19. Due to restrictions people cannot leave their homes separately. Work, exercise, and shopping for essentials. Pubs and restaurants are closed, stores selling non-essentials are also closed, people have been asked to work from home if possible, and mixing in with other households are not permitted

No more warnings: the police promise to get even tougher with fines

Police promise to toughen up fines for the lockdown as scientists call for even stricter restrictions, while No10 pushes an intimidating new ad campaign to try to arrest the rising number of coronavirus cases across the country.

Derbyshire Police were criticized yesterday for going too far against the lockdown after officers attacked two friends for driving only seven miles to walk at a beauty spot.

As a result, the "intimidating" force is reviewing its Covid operations after gaining clarity on the rules. West Mercia police also ridiculed for threatening to fined £ 200 for playing in the snow.

Still, the message from government sources today is that the police should focus more on enforcing than explaining rules, now, almost 10 months after the first restrictions came into effect.

This was confirmed by the Wiltshire Police Chief Kier Pritchard, who wrote in the Gazette and Herald: “While we will continue to monitor the police with consent and in an appropriate manner, my officers will move on to enforcement much more quickly when confronted with people that clearly violate the rules.

So far, the police force has focused on engagement, stepping up messaging in our communities and encouraging the public to abide by it first and foremost and only reverted to enforcement when we are subjected to deliberate or repeated violations.

"We will continue to work with our communities, but my officials will quickly move on to enforce those who openly break the rules."

& # 39; Even if we went back to last spring's exposure reduction, we couldn't be sure that we would see the same impact as last year due to the increased transmission.

“To some extent, we can think of this as a new pandemic within a pandemic.

& # 39; From the data published, it appears that this is a very serious threat. New data from PHE (Public Health England) released yesterday suggests the per-contact risk is likely 40-50% higher than it was.

& # 39; For both the UK and many other countries we need to get rid of this idea that we are going to see a repeat of what happened to our behavior last spring and really face the possibility that it is much riskier is and We are going to have to work a lot harder to reduce the impact. & # 39;

Police have vowed to toughen up the fines, despite officials in Derbyshire being criticized for taking the crackdown too far. They came across two friends who had only driven seven miles to go for a walk in a beauty spot.

As a result, the "intimidating" force is reviewing its Covid operations after gaining clarity on the rules. West Mercia police also ridiculed for threatening to fined £ 200 for playing in the snow.

Even so, the message from government sources today is that the police should focus more on enforcing than explaining rules, now, almost 10 months after the first restrictions came into effect.

However, Prof Michie said getting people to comply would require a more positive approach than stricter enforcement.

"What we know from this pandemic is what really motivates people to know that there is a really serious threat, to know that what they are doing can make a difference, and to know what they are doing, to protect other people and their communities.

& # 39; SAGE's Behavioral Committee consistently says what we need is more support and empowerment for people to keep themselves up, not punishment. For example, an area where compliance is really poor and that has been continuous needs to be isolated at home for 10 days.

“Our own data shows that only 30 percent of people with symptoms stay at home. The reasons given are that they may have caring responsibilities outside the home, that they may need provisions, or that they may need to go to work for income.

“To be effective, you need to have people that people trust and identify with. Yes, experts and scholars are much more trusted than politicians, but we should also think of people from our own communities who are respected, especially young men who find compliance the most difficult, and think about who they identify with and with respect, and that is often sports personalities, singers, people from film and television.

"We should be a lot more creative and resourceful about the kind of people who speak up."

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