If controlling hospital admissions is the objective then the pandemic is almost over
The lead story in the Telegraph this morning is under the heading “Exclusive: Vaccination won’t mean an end to self-isolating”. This is in sharp contrast to the strategy being followed by the Biden administration in the US where those who are fully vaccinated don’t need to self-isolate if they have come into contact with someone who has had Covid unless they are showing symptoms. This is based on guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Contrast that with the current approach by the Johnson government which is that if you have been in contact with someone who has COVID then you have to go into quarantine irrespective of whether you have been fully vaccinated or not. So that means a continuation of mask-wearing and following the rules that we have all got used to.
A problem with this is that it takes away an incentive to get jabbed particularly amongst those in the younger age groups who are the least likely to be hospitalised if they get infected.
It appears that the current government objective is to stop the spread of the virus even amongst those who are barely affected by it.
A lot of this is based on the assumption that the vaccinated can still spread COVID. This runs very much against the view of Prof Andrew Pollard, the director of the Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford. He’s quoted by the Telegraph a saying:
If the current generation of vaccines are able to stop people going into hospital, whilst there is still mild infections, people are getting the common cold with the virus, then the pandemic is over.”
It will be interesting to contrast the US and Johnson government strategies over the coming weeks and months.