Vaccine ‘reduces’ risk of spreading virus says expert
Today’s Programme host Mishal Husain questioned whether the hospitality sector and others could open if they only admitted those that were vaccinated. The BBC host spoke to Professor of Paediatrics at Bristol University Adam Finn who argued the Government was unlikely to take this approach. He noted that they would attack this problem as a whole rather than grant special allowances to those that have had the coronavirus vaccination.
He explained this after Ms Husain played a clip of a restaurant owner calling for hospitality to open in the next month due to the increase in vaccinations.
The restaurant owner Andy Lennox said: “If you can get to a stage where somebody can say ‘I have been vaccinated’ and the Government concern of if you have been vaccinated you can’t pass it on is found to be true, then why shouldn’t hospitality be allowed to open?
“Basically in a months time, you could say anyone who is vaccinated can start rolling in.
“We are safe and very good at track and trace and if someone turned around to us and said ‘I have got a system that can basically prove that this person has had a vaccine’ then why couldn’t hospitality open?
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“It would be safe and quick and potentially would save 100,000s of jobs”
The host asked the professor a hypothetical where it was found that if you had the vaccination you could not pass on the disease.
She asked: “What would be your view in opening sectors to people who can prove that they have had the jab?”
Professor Finn replied: “I think we will get some information on that at some point.
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“But I think it is very unlikely that we will ever be able to say that had you had the vaccine it completely eliminates the risk of you transmitting the virus to someone else.
“I think it is much more probable that it reduces that risk, maybe very substantially.
“I think what we know about other vaccines and the little we know about these ones so far does not suggest that it is going to be a complete cast-iron guarantee.
“The way that one constructs these kinds of strategies is not thinking more about the individual but about the population at large.”
Ms Husain added that the professor was predicting it would be unlikely for the Government to open the hospitality sectors for those that have been vaccinated.
She added that those who were vaccinated were not likely to receive greater freedoms during the pandemic.
Professor Finn replied: “I suppose what I am saying is that it can’t be done on an individual basis.
“So, for example, person X has been immunised so they are not a risk so they can behave differently than person Y.
“It is more that by immunising the population at large then everyone can reduce their levels of distancing and isolation because the circulation of the virus, in general, has gone down to low levels.
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