“90% of the population needs to be vaccinated”

Vaccinologists have warned that in order to ensure protection against new variants of coronavirus, including the one first detected in India, 90% of the population needs to be vaccinated to beat the pandemic.  Until now the goal had been at least 70%.

“At the start, some models showed 70% immunity would be sufficient” says Corinne Vandermeulen of Leuven University “but new variants of the virus like the British (i.e. Kent variant) and Indian variants have emerged.  They are catchier.  As a result the old models are no longer valid.”

New models show popular immunity needs to be a lot higher. 

“At least 90%” says Vandermeulen.  With regard to vaccinations for other infectious diseases 90% has always been the goal.  For measles the goal is even 95%. The past has shown high immunity levels are needed to conquer infections.”

Prof Van Damme, a vaccinologist at Antwerp University, adds: “If new variants emerge that are catchier, the Reproduction number will rise and the virus can spread more readily.  This is why it’s necessary to build up immunity.  Corona vaccines are not 100% effective.  That’s why it’s so important to have as many people as possible getting the jab.”

Prof Van Damme says 90% of people ending up in UK hospitals are unvaccinated.  Many Brits, who were not convinced of the point of vaccination, have changed their mind after seeing the figures.”

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