According to a University College London (UCL) model, the UK is very close to having herd immunity to covid.
However, rather than showing some interest, UK health minister Matt Hancock has poured cold water on the idea and is encouraging the public to listen to the government instead.
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Britain will have achieved herd immunity against covid by Monday, academics from UCL claim in comments to the Daily Telegraph.
Breitbart reports: According to the university’s models, 73 per cent of people in the United Kingdom will have some form of immunity to coronavirus by Monday, which they say is enough to have herd immunity.
Professor Karl Friston, of UCL, told the newspaper:
The herd immunity estimates surprised me. However, they are unremarkable when one considers that over 50 per cent of adults have been vaccinated, around 42 per cent of people have now been exposed to the virus and about 10 per cet have pre-existing immunity.
When factoring in the estimated efficacy of vaccination in terms of sterilising immunity, this – according to the model – means about 70 per cent of the population are immune.
Based upon contact rates at the beginning of the pandemic and estimated transmission risk, this is nearly at the herd immunity threshold.
But the British government — which has recently been pleading with the public to keep obeying its strict lockdown rules, even as they start to relax as part of the government’s staggered ‘return to normality’ — dismissed the claims.
Health Minister Matt Hancock told LBC radio, in comments reported by The Times, that instead of listening to pronouncements by scientists, the public should keep following the government’s lockdown roadmap announced in February and recently updated.
He said: “I was told by some scientists that we were going to have herd immunity in May and then in June and then after that… What I prefer to do is watch the data. We’ve set out the roadmap, the roadmap is really clear. It is our route back to normal. We’re on track to meet the roadmap and that is our goal.”
Hancock continued that being too optimistic and acting normally before the government says it is safe to do so could cause coronavirus cases to rise again. He said: “I think we have taken the right course in plotting our way to freedom and doing it carefully because we want it to be irreversible. We have seen what happens when this virus gets going and we are seeing it getting going right now on the continent and other parts of the world — some of the scenes are really appalling.
“We want to get out of this safely and irreversibly and that’s why we set out the roadmap.”