Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce plans to manage the Covid-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom during the winter tomorrow.
To reduce the need for winter blockades and stop the rise of infections, governments need to expand vaccination policies and target respiratory transmission routes.
Throughout the UK, we have maintained approximately 30,000 cases daily since July. In the future, schools have recently reopened and we can expect them to act as transmission hubs. As temperatures begin to drop, people are more likely to meet indoors where SARS-CoV-2 is susceptible to infection.
The immunity transmitted by vaccination may already be diminished in the first vaccinated person. Israeli data on the exclusive use of the Pfizer vaccine suggest that vaccine protection begins to weaken after six months, and UK data suggest that the same applies to AstraZeneca. Vaccine after 4-5 months.
The NHS is under great pressure, and accident and emergency waiting times are currently the worst on record in some areas.
This is the worst situation, and as a virologist, it is clear that multiple lines of defense need to be set up to avoid sleepwalking.
Other than blockade, the only best measure that can be implemented to reduce the spread of the virus is vaccination. Vaccination reduces the risk of infection by half to two-thirds and slightly reduces the chance of infection. In other words, vaccination of everyone in a particular scenario will prevent 3 out of 4 infections.
Therefore, the full vaccination range, including the younger age group, limits viral infection to the levels seen at the onset of the pandemic when the original emergent virus was about a quarter of the delta variant. ..
In the United States, more than 10 million adolescents are vaccinated, which shows that vaccination is very safe at these ages. The risk of myocarditis and pericarditis (a type of heart inflammation) is lower with vaccination than with viral infections, which reduces viral infections and benefits all age groups.
In the UK, self-reported data show that vaccination halves the risk of developing long Covids during adult infection. The impact on adolescence is not yet known.
MHRA approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine in June between the ages of 12 and 15, and JCVI concluded that vaccination was slightly beneficial in limiting acute illness in these individuals because the margin of benefit was too small. I attached it. As the four Chief Medical Officers of the United Kingdom have now agreed, urgent action should be taken to vaccinate these groups and further consideration should be given. Pfizer is currently conducting clinical trials in children up to the age of five.
A third jab will be deployed to protect people in high-risk groups who have failed to develop immunity with the first two vaccinations, but a broader booster program should also be considered. It is currently unknown whether the reduced immune defense is specific to individuals with a weak immune response, or whether this is relevant to all. Given the number of vaccine doses the UK has already purchased, this is not something we need to find a difficult way. Instead, you can follow the Israeli model of providing a third dose to anyone who received a second dose more than 5 months ago.
The high number of cases strongly recommends the use of vaccine passports to limit primary infections and nullify subsequent infection chains. Vaccine passports will soon be required for large-scale events in Scotland, but this is not enough and needs to be extended to hospitality facilities such as bars, cafes and restaurants throughout the UK. This system has already been introduced in other countries, including France, and such measures appear to have improved vaccine intake.
This is not to limit freedom, but to expand it. This may prevent you from returning to the blockage. Vaccine passports may not need to be closed, which also protects businesses.
SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to be easily transmitted via both respiratory droplets and aerosols. We also understand how to limit these diffusion modes. Masks are effective in minimizing droplet propagation and should be reintroduced immediately. With proper use of masks, transmission can be reduced by more than 70% in various settings, but most studies on this were done before the emergence of delta variants.
Ventilation and air purifiers are our greatest weapons against aerosols. Ventilation methods, how to use CO2 monitors, definitions when CO2 levels are too high (and what to do if this happens), and strong and clear obligations regarding the use of HEPA filters in shared work and education areas. British government as needed.
None of the proposed interventions are silver bullets. However, when used together, it is the best chance that you will need to prevent further blockades and minimize life and health losses in the coming months.
Dr. Eleanor Gaunt is a Research Fellow at the Rosslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh. She has a PhD in clinical correlation and epidemiology of respiratory viruses and is currently investigating the molecular biology of influenza A virus and SARS-CoV-2...