The British government’s decision to abandon the latest anti-coronavirus measures from July 19, and to cancel the distancing and masks commitment at home, is a political question: the position of scientists is different, they demonstrate Calls these days to review the strategy. Letting the coronavirus spread while the country is in the midst of a third pandemic wave could have dire consequences for both the UK and the rest of the world. Let’s see why.
Infection is on the rise. The delta variant spread caused the daily number of virus cases in the UK to exceed 32,500 on July 7. In the week before reopening July 19, new infections are supposed to reach 50,000 cases per day, and at the end of the month there will be 100,000 cases per day, a quota not reached at any stage of the pandemic. The repercussions of hospitalization are bound to appear two weeks late. Compared to previous waves, two-thirds of the British population has now received at least one dose of an anti-virus vaccine, and 51% of them have been fully vaccinated. But even if hospital admissions are reduced by two-thirds compared to last winter, that doesn’t mean there won’t be.
According to Warwick University models, which take into account the rate of virus spread, vaccinations and the impact of vaccinations, hospitalizations in England alone could reach 1,300 per day between the end of July and the beginning of August. If the number of new cases increases further, reaching between 150,000 and 200,000, the pressure on health facilities will become great (new daily hospitalizations in the winter wave were 4000), and therefore the number of deaths will increase.
The models only take into account new infections and not patients with COVID-19, which is very common among young people, who are currently the least covered by vaccines. The British health system now has to deal with 5 million people who are negative but still have symptoms of the Covid virus.
Youth and immunity. As more people get vaccinated, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus will try to establish itself In those who have not yet been vaccinated, by selection, because of age and precedence limits for high-risk groups, or for people who have not been vaccinated for health reasons. What Boris Johnson called “Freedom Day” will become a day of fears for immunosuppressed or elderly people, who even when vaccinated have less efficient immune systems.
According to an opinion piece just published in Lancet (entitled Mass infection is not an option: We must do more to protect our young, “Mass infection is not an option: we must do more to protect our youth”), the British government’s decision leaves children and young people with immunity derived from natural infection, with all the risks that this entails. Due to the high incidence of COVID-19 among young people, and given that only 20% of unvaccinated people have contracted the virus in the past, there are still 17 million unvaccinated people.
Covid generation. There is a danger of creating an entire generation characterized by the long-term consequences of a disease whose origin and effects we still do not understand. The rest of the summer will be created Viral reserve Which will speed up transmission of the virus when schools and universities reopen in the fall. The right to education, which has already been violated in the past year and a half, will suffer even more.
The plan is to introduce the double-dose vaccination to all adults in the UK by mid-September. But with a delta variable transmission rate (in the absence of mitigation measures, one infected person infects seven more), autumn is far away. A single dose of the vaccine provides only 33% efficacy against infection with delta forms, and the virus will have wide freedom of movement: these are ideal conditions for choosing the most resistant variants of vaccines, as was observed with the advent of deltas. alternative. This last aspect concerns not only the UK but the whole world, because the variables certainly do not look at geographical boundaries. In many middle and low-income countries, vaccines against the virus have not yet arrived and will not arrive before 2023.
Immunity is far away. And if herd immunity completely blocking the path to infection is most likely a mirage, then to have at least hope of trying it should reach 85% of the population immune or fully cured. As adults make up only 80% of the population, there is still a long way to go; And not getting sick doesn’t mean you don’t risk passing the virus on to others.
“Bacon trailblazer. Certified coffee maven. Zombie lover. Tv specialist. Freelance communicator.”