Today it takes three shots to be “fully vaccinated;” who knows how many it will take in the future? Britain’s Dr. Clive Dix throws cold water on the idea that we can vaccinate covid into oblivion:
Dr. Clive Dix, who played a key role in helping pharmaceutical firms create the COVID-19 vaccines, told LBC radio on Jan. 16: “The Omicron variant is a relatively mild virus. And to just keep vaccinating people and thinking of doing it again to protect the population is, in my view, now a waste of time.”
Dix said the focus now should be on protecting vulnerable people, such as those over 60, 2 percent of whom remain unvaccinated.
Most people hoped that the vaccines would stop transmission of the coronavirus. Remember herd immunity? But they don’t, so where are we now?
Though he supports the ongoing booster campaign, he said he has been “critical” of boosting everybody as he is not convinced “it was needed or is needed” for younger people.
Dix said, “I think the thinking of the time was very much to stop infection and transmission where clearly these vaccines don’t do that.”
More broadly, with vaccinations providing limited protection for six months or perhaps less, what is the most viable strategy for the future?
Dix told The Observer newspaper last week that mass vaccination against COVID-19 should come to an end and the UK should focus on managing it as an endemic disease like flu.
“We now need to manage disease, not virus spread,” he said. “So stopping progression to severe disease in vulnerable groups is the future objective.”
The UK government’s medical advisers have already acknowledged that it is “untenable” to jab the population every three or six months.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK’s chief scientific adviser, said on Jan. 3 that it is not the government’s “long-term view” to give everyone a booster vaccine every few months.
Professor Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and chair of the government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), told The Telegraph that it’s “not sustainable or affordable” to “vaccinate the planet every four to six months.”
That seems rather obvious. So what is left? First, continuing to protect the vulnerable, i.e., the very elderly and the immunocompromised, through vaccination and other means, like quarantine (them, not the rest of us).
Second, focusing on identification and development of effective treatments. I fail to understand why relatively little attention has been paid to treatment, as opposed to futile efforts to prevent the virus from spreading. Now that Dr. Fraudci has admitted that covid will eventually infect “just about everybody,” perhaps a long-overdue focus on treatment will ensue.
And, finally, accepting the fact that covid, like the common cold, which is also a group of coronaviruses, will be with us indefinitely. Happily, it is a relatively benign virus, especially in the current omicron variant and most likely in future versions, as viruses tend to become less dangerous over time. (The virus doesn’t want to kill you or make you sick enough to stay home; it wants you feeling pretty good and walking around, spreading the virus to others.) Once we get over politically-inspired and media-driven hysteria, living with covid should be more or less indistinguishable from living with the common cold.