May 24, 2021
Around 80% of the population would need to have immunity to Coronavirus for the country to achieve “herd immunity” against current dominant variants, a leading scientist advising the government has said.
Herd Immunity Against Current Variants Could Be Close, Sage Member Suggests
Professor Peter Openshaw, who sits on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said that level of population immunity would protect against the significant spreading of the current dominant Covid variants.
It raises the question of whether of England can reach herd immunity against the Kent and India variants soon.
Official data last month estimated 69.3% of the population in England would have tested positive for Covid antibodies, suggesting they have either been vaccinated or previously infected.
In Wales, the figure is 63.2%, Northern Ireland 63.5% and Scotland 59.2%. 
All the figures are based on the latest Office for National Statistics infection survey, carried out in the week beginning April 19.
With the ongoing success of the vaccination programme, it suggests the UK may be approaching a tipping point towards herd immunity.
But the ONS stressed that detecting antibodies alone is not a precise measure of immunity protection given by vaccines, which all have different efficacies against different variants.
The arrival of new variants could also change the calculation.Openshaw, a respiratory expert at Imperial College London, was asked by MPs at the Commons public administration committee what level of population immunity would allow the UK to achieve herd immunity against Covid.
He replied: “There is an approximate relationship between the amount of transmissibility of the pathogen and the level of immunity that is required in order to prevent its circulation in the community.
“So with a very, very infectious virus, say measles, you need a very high level of immunity in the population in order to prevent onward spread.
“Whereas with a less infectious virus, even reduced levels of immunity are capable of reducing circulation.
“So we were initially expecting with the Wuhan strain that immunity of something like 60-65% was probably going to be enough to prevent onward transmission.
“With the increment in transmissibility of the 117 [variant] that was originally isolated in Kent or the 617.2, one of the Indian variants, each of those represents an increase in transmissibility which translates into a requirement for greater levels of immunity in the population in order to prevent spread.
“So I would say that in the face of these increased transmissible variants, we are probably looking to achieve something closer to 80% immunity in order to prevent onward transmission.”
Since the last ONS infection survey was carried out in the week beginning April 19, an additional five million more people have received the first dose of the vaccine, according to the government’s Covid data dashboard.
This suggests the figures for people testing positive for antibodies should rise when the latest infection survey figures come out in two days.
Furthermore, an extra 12m or so people have received their second dose since April 19, which will help build up levels of protection and immunity.But appearing at the same committee as Openshaw, virology professor Judith Breuer stressed that as long as Covid keeps mutating with new variants either arising in or entering the country, herd immunity may never be achieved.
She stressed that governments around the world should therefore focus on keeping infection rates low.
“It’s very, very hard to have herd immunity without restricting the import of variants or without it [immunity] being universal,” the University College London director of infection and immunity said.
“As prof Openshaw said, the variants we’re now dealing with are more transmissible than the variants we started with and therefore the herd immunity estimates have to go up.
“And then if we get even higher transmissible variants then the herd immunity estimates will have to go up even further.
“That’s only if you’re only in a closed community as well - if it’s being transmitted all over the world, every time a new variant comes in or a new virus is introduced then you still get outbreaks.
“Herd immunity is a nice concept but it’s going to be a long time before we can actually use it for public health planning.”Related...Boris Johnson Delays Social Distancing Review Over India Covid Variant SpikeNo.10 Denies Claim PM Worked On Shakespeare Book Instead Of Key Covid MeetingsRevealed: How More Contagious Covid Variants Spread
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Ben Affleck: It’s important to have 2 parents for the upbringing of a child | Page Six
December 01, 2021
gLQMBrL1afQ
Teen Mom's Amber Portwood says relationship with daughter Leah is ‘much better’ now| Page Six
December 01, 2021
g79CurdSDIY
Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy are still battling over daughter Bryn | Page Six Celebrity News
November 30, 2021
Bia5SQYW2Bg
ATL Mayoral Candidate Says T.I., Isaac Hayes III's Fake News Hurt Election Chances | TMZ
December 02, 2021
xFlFobjMkaU
Billy Porter Says Virgil Abloh Did a Lot for Diversity in Fashion | TMZ
December 02, 2021
alwkDkMVaFk
Rep. Tim Burchett Calls BS on Pentagon Heading Up UFO Research | TMZ
December 01, 2021
b6MI--aC_Yk
'Summer of Soul' Director Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson Joins Variety's Doc Dreams
November 29, 2021
DbTuXYlVQwY
Peter Jackson Reveals How He Convinced Beatles Paul and Ringo To Let Him Make 'Get Back'
November 24, 2021
K95MIzDth_A
Kevin Hart, Wesley Snipes, and Eric Newman Talk 'True Story' and Kevin's Acting Skills
November 23, 2021
PuTxxFD4tHM
Little Mix Announces Break After 2022 Tour | E! News
December 02, 2021
tEqEj55qo6s
Cardi B Announces New Gig With Playboy | E! News
December 02, 2021
Uzmd8-ro2ak
Eminem's Daughter Proves She's His No. 1 Stan | E! News
December 02, 2021
TN2YMCYByOc
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
19
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group H
Sydney FC - Shanghai SIPG
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Tottenham Hotspur
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Roma
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Juventus
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Monchengladbach
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Wolves
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg - Hoffenheim
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Athletic Bilbao
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Alaves
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Granada CF
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Crotone
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Villarreal
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bayern Munich
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester United
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Sheffield United
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Cadiz
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Betis
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Augsburg - Hertha Berlin
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Stuttgart - Eintracht Frankfurt
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig - SC Freiburg
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Preston NE
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Fiorentina
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Watford - Coventry
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Swansea City
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - QPR
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Barnsley
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Wycombe Wanderers
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Fulham
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Millwall
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Middlesbrough
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Bournemouth
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Osasuna
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Spezia
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Leeds
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Ferencvaros - Juventus
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Barcelona - Dynamo K.
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group A
Salzburg - Bayern Munich
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group D
Atalanta - Liverpool
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.