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Thu Apr 8, 2021, 01:21 PM

Britain set to achieve herd immunity on Monday, UCL modelling shows

Source: The Independent

The UK could reach coronavirus herd immunity by Monday, modelling by University College London (UCL) has forecasted in contrast with government scientific advisers’ warning of a surge in hospitalisations over the summer.

The UCL research, seen by The Telegraph, estimates that almost three-quarters of people (73.4 per cent) will have immunity from the virus through vaccination or previous infection on 12 April.


UCL’s dynamic modelling stands in contrast with the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies’ (Sage) more pessimistic view of the UK’s exit from lockdown, which forecasted earlier this week that a full release from restrictions in June could trigger another wave of hospitalisations comparable to January’s.

A document published by the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M-O) on Monday said it was “highly likely that there will be a further resurgence in hospitalisations and deaths after the later steps of the roadmap”.


Read more: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/herd-immunity-covid-coronavirus-uk-b1828267.html

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Reply Britain set to achieve herd immunity on Monday, UCL modelling shows (Original post)
brooklynite Thursday OP
DURHAM D Thursday #1
amcgrath Thursday #2
brooklynite Thursday #3
Pobeka Thursday #4
deurbano Thursday #5
PoindexterOglethorpe Thursday #6
progree Thursday #7
muriel_volestrangler Thursday #8
muriel_volestrangler Thursday #9
FakeNoose Thursday #10
IronLionZion Thursday #11
FBaggins Thursday #12

Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Apr 8, 2021, 01:27 PM

1. Well, one of these is wrong. nt

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Apr 8, 2021, 01:36 PM

2. Interesting mathematics?

The UK governments goal is to have 32 million people receive at least one dose by April 15th - this is from figures published an hour ago.

The UK population is 66.65 million. Therefore by Monday, 12th considerably less than 50% of the population will have received any vaccine, and five days ago, the government figures showed only 5 million had received a second dose of the vaccine.

I am unable to see how a claim of 73% immunity is even close to achieved - and 73% itself seems on the extremely low side of calculations that have been offered by medical experts anywhere.

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Response to amcgrath (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 8, 2021, 01:39 PM

3. Herd immunity is a mix of both vaccinations and prior COVID exposure.

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Response to amcgrath (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 8, 2021, 01:40 PM

4. They are also considering previous infection as a form of immunity.

So, I guess they estimate %25 of the population was infected.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Apr 8, 2021, 01:51 PM

5. I just hope they hang in there with the necessary measures a bit longer.

Last edited Thu Apr 8, 2021, 03:35 PM - Edit history (1)

On a selfish level, I'd like my son, who is finishing his undergraduate degree in the UK, to be able to play in the annual basketball game (already delayed) with the rival university that he is hoping will take place in mid-to late June. He and his teammates have been practicing on an outdoor court in a college sports field. My son was in the US, studying remotely for a while, and is already fully vaccinated (he qualified as a member of the circle of support for his older sister, who is disabled), so I'm not too worried on that score. I just know we didn't feel the UK leaders (or his university, for that matter) were taking it at all seriously enough in the beginning, and I wouldn't want the progress reversed by premature lifting of protective measures.

But I still hope the game happens!

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Apr 8, 2021, 02:31 PM

6. According to the Worldometers covid site

The UK has over 68 million people.

And I believe they are also seeing a huge surge in cases. So they really, really shouldn't be too ready to claim herd immunity.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 8, 2021, 02:52 PM

7. According to NY Times, UK has only 4.6 daily new cases per 100k (7dma), down 44% in last 14 days

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/world/coronavirus-maps.html
compared to U.S. 20 daily new cases per 100K for example. They have the lowest rate in Europe. And lower than any state in the U.S.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html

(7dma = 7 day moving average)

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/world/europe/united-kingdom-coronavirus-cases.html
and their cases have been dropping sharply. 44% in the last 14 days (7 day moving average as of April 7 compared to 7 day moving average as of March 24)

Their 7 day moving average is down 95% from their peak on January 10.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 8, 2021, 02:56 PM

8. No, cases are well down at the moment

See eg https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus

UK cases per 100,000 (rolling 7 day average) 49, compared to USA 196, or Germany 165. They were very high at the beginning of the year, but a combination of 3 months of lockdown (schools closed for 2 months, non-essential shops still closed, etc.) and vaccinating over half the adult population with a first dose has brought that down.

I'd agree that claiming herd immunity already, seems optimistic. To get to the 70% figure, you have to take all those with antibodies by 14 March (54%), add the 7.1 million vaccinated since then and the 0.1 million who are listed as new cases since then, and then mutliply that by 1.1 because:

It is thought about one in 10 people also have some innate immunity through infections with other coronaviruses – pushing population-level protection up further – while others may be immune through T-cells, which would not be picked up in antibody testing.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/04/07/exclusive-britain-will-pass-covid-herd-immunity-threshold-monday/

and getting to 73.4% seems even harder. I think the "some innate immunity" is optimistic (we're worried about how well vaccines work against covid variants, so the effect from other coronaviruses is more doubtful), and I'd also question whether 70% or 73.4% is "herd immunity". The latest estimate of the R number (how many people are infected by one case) is exactly 1 - ie the number of new cases will stay steady, but it had been below that (the reopening of schools probably had an effect). That seems, to me, to be a sign we're not yet at herd immunity if open schools but not open shops (let alone pubs, restaurants etc.) has R at 1.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Apr 8, 2021, 03:09 PM

9. Other experts are sceptical about this model

Experts dismiss UCL model claiming herd immunity threshold is imminent for UK

“Unfortunately, the modelling approach used to produce this analysis has a history of making over-confident and over-optimistic predictions,” he said.
...
“Any assessment of when we are likely to attain herd immunity which does not consider these heterogeneities, would be overly optimistic in its predictions of our levels of protection.”
...
Christl Donnelly, a professor of statistical epidemiology at Imperial College London, said the recent results of the React study provide “strong evidence that herd immunity is not imminent”.

She said that Britain’s R rate stood at 1 between 11 and 30 March, indicating that “with all of the immunity in the population at that point … the social distancing restrictions in place in March were just enough to keep infections from increasing and not enough to make them decrease”.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/covid-uk-herd-immunity-vaccine-latest-b1828491.html

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Apr 8, 2021, 05:03 PM

10. After Brexit, nobody is traveling any more

... at least not in the last 3 months. So their counts are probably down but that's not the same thing as "herd immunity." People are still going to get sick.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Apr 8, 2021, 06:23 PM

11. Brits will get a false sense of security

and continue spreading their deadly variant around. They don't look to be masking.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #11)

Thu Apr 8, 2021, 07:09 PM

12. They may not look like they're masking... but SOMETHING is working

Whether "immunity" is around the corner or a month away... something is having a significant impact on their infection/death rates - which are down >95% since the start of the year.

It may be that effective herd immunity will appear at well below the vaccination rates that we've been expecting.

Early on, Fauchi was saying 60-70%. He now says "75, 80, 85 percent"... but perhaps he's wrong. We won't know until we're looking at it in the rearview mirror... but the UK's numbers are sure encouraging since they're about a month ahead of us.

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