AstraZeneca Defends Knockout Against US Claims As Prime Minister For Speaking Nation-LIVE
Plan a vacation in the UK this summer, says Professor Neil Ferguson
A senior science advisor said people should be planning a vacation in the UK this summer.
Professor Neil Ferguson, whose model led to the first UK lockdown last March, said easing border measures too early threatens the success of the UK’s vaccination program.
He said that the danger from Europe is the arrival of new variants, or the import of cases of the kind of concern to South Africa from countries where cases are increasing.
He told BBC Radio 4’s “World at One” program: “The spread of a major epidemic in Europe does not necessarily mean that we will spread a big epidemic here.
“What determines whether we have transmission here is the extent of the population’s immunity, the amount of vaccine use, the remaining social distancing controls.
We have done very well with the launch of the vaccine so far, so we are in a different position to Europe.
“Somehow what they’re seeing now is what we saw last November / December with what’s called the B117 or Kent variant.
“I have to say that we also have some variants from South Africa here already and other variants that might be similar, which we are watching very carefully, so this is the main concern in general going forward and why we need to be vigilant, not just looking at Europe, and what is happening within our borders. Also “.
Professor Ferguson said that the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines “could drop dramatically, 60 percent or 50 percent” in the face of the variants.
“ And what that means is that if we then allow transmission to resume which is likely to happen while loosening social distancing measures, we face a slight risk of returning to a situation where we are susceptible to increased infection, hospitalizations increase with the people who were, ” he said.
And back, at worst, to where we were in Januri.
“So effectiveness, and exactly how effective vaccines are, is critical to how quickly we can … reduce measures.”
When asked whether he therefore favors keeping the borders closed, Professor Ferguson said: “I certainly support easing border measures at a slower rate than we relax controls within the country, and we do everything in our power to reduce the risk of importing variants that might undermine our vaccination program.”
When asked what he would like to see, he said that means finishing “vaccinating everyone under 50, which will be late summer, and we have vaccines in our stock that we know work very effectively against those variants.”
“In a conservative way, and risk averse at the moment, I think we should be planning a summer vacation in the UK, not abroad.”
He said that most people who are currently traveling to and from France for basic work or trade are exempt from quarantine and testing procedures.
“I think we need to revisit that, not the quarantine part, but for example providing a test for everyone who returns, including these essential workers.”