UK COVID Vaccine Immunity Waning; open economy threatened

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The Financial Times calculated that 75 percent of the elderly in the UK have been five months since their second vaccination, compared with 35 percent in Italy and France.

Wearing masks is also much less common in the UK than on the continent. However, in Scotland, where there is a mask requirement in public institutions and schools, the number of cases is higher than in England, where face coverings are not applied.

British MPs have come under fire for failing to set an example in the overcrowded House of Commons by wearing masks. Credit:Jessica Taylor

When asked why it makes no sense to make masking compulsory in English venues, Javid replied, “We still think it’s the right decision to learn to live with this virus.”

NHS England Medical Director Professor Steve Powis said concerns about declining immunity shouldn’t deter people from getting their first and second doses and a booster vaccination if they are over 50 or clinically susceptible.

“It’s a natural phenomenon that immunity decreases over time – it will happen,” he told reporters.

“And that’s exactly why we recommend a booster dose, which is an important part of our armor, especially in winter.”

The UK has introduced around 4 million booster vaccinations but has been criticized for being too slow in this program and in introducing vaccines for children.

Overall, 79 percent of people aged 12 and over in the UK have received two doses.

Eastern Europe is also struggling with an increase in infections as funeral home businesses in Romania cannot keep up with demand. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday advocated a week-long plant shutdown to curb the death toll.

The Russian government previously announced a record of 1,028 deaths in the past 24 hours, although the real number is believed to be much higher.

Romania has 19 deaths per million people daily – one of the highest rates in the world and ten times the rate in the UK.

The number of deaths in the UK averages 140 per day.

As northern winter approaches, medical professionals are concerned about a perfect storm with high coronavirus cases, a resurgent flu season and a huge backlog caused by lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.

About 8,000 people are hospitalized with COVID – nowhere near the fatal first and second waves and well below what the government’s expert advisory board had forecast for this time of year.

Two doses of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine with the Delta variant are estimated to be 96 percent and 92 percent effective against hospital stays, respectively.

Paul Moss, professor of hematology at the Department of Immunology at the University of Birmingham, said reinfection is “something that has to live with society around the world”.

“What we see is that the antibody levels decrease after the second vaccine. There is some evidence of a four to five fold decrease after the second vaccine over several months, and we are seeing a slight increase in breakthrough infections.

“But the protection against very serious illnesses and deaths is relatively reassuring.”

Moss said the severity of reinfection was less severe because people had built up immunity and antibodies.

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