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If Herd Immunity Is Not Reached In Ireland

  • 16-07-2021 7:09pm
    Posts: 0

    I was having a chat with a friend earlier about the current lay of the Covid land. He is of the opinion that at this stage we need 90% of the population fully vaccinated and it's unlikely we will reach that. My view is different. Firstly I haven't a clue and secondly if my friend is correct then part of that 90% will be made up of those who already had the virus.

    Anyways my question is what will happen if we don't reach a magic number of immunity? Will we remain in a kind of holding pattern of constant monitoring and ongoing restrictions? So pretty much like what we have now. We can live but there are many conditions placed on our lives.

    All opinions welcome.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,209 ✭✭✭FintanMcluskey

    Until we change the metrics for implementing restrictions in Ireland this won’t end

    at some point we have to accept illness to reach normality

    we are years from that right now

  • Registered Users Posts: 318 ✭✭Pat_bottom

    90 percent is very high for ammuinity. I'd of thought 70 full vaccinated and numbers start to die down. Kids not been done will be our issue but at end of the day theain spreaders are going to be teenagers up to 35.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    If you haven't a clue op, why are you not accepting your friends opinion?

    I believe 70% is considered the minimum to obtain herd immunity in time but Ireland is on course for 90% anyway.

    Even if we got 100% vaccinated, the virus would still pop up periodically but within acceptable numbers

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I think we will reach 90% but I don't have any certainty on that. Or my friend may be right. Or neither of us will be or something completely different will happen.

    My curiosity is around the possibility of not reaching herd immunity. Is it even possible given the huge uptake in Vaccinations here?

    If it is then what do we do.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,967 ✭✭✭ceadaoin.

    You live with it. Like every country in the world will have to eventually

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,430 ✭✭✭jhegarty

    UK is currently at 87.6% first dose and still growing about .2% per day. I don't see any reason we don't do as well as them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,842 ✭✭✭Van.Bosch

    We can’t get to 90% in Ireland, way more than 10% of the pop are kids.

    question then becomes if 90% of adults is enough.

  • Posts: 6,192 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]

    I think once everyone who wants a vaccine has received it for them/their kids (if allowed),your as close to herd immunity then as reasonably possible

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,505 ✭✭✭✭josip

    If the R0 of the Delta variant is 6, we'll need 83% of the population fully vaccinated.

    If the R0 of the Delta variant is 8, we'll need 87.5% of the population fully vaccinated.

    To achieve that, we'll probably have to vaccinate to at least as young as 6 year olds.

    Otherwise it'll remain endemic among the unvaccinated and very young.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,353 ✭✭✭Pauliedragon

    Slightly off topic but I think the biggest worry is new variants. It seems every 2nd week there'a new one. How long until one arrives that the vaccines are useless against and we're back to square one until we find a new vaccine. I got my second jab yesterday was told it's 60% protection from the Delta one. That's low enough considering this has only been around for about 18 months.

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Is it possible to reach the upper percentage with those who have had Covid?

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,209 ✭✭✭FintanMcluskey

    But those not vaccinated will need a test to know they have it

  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 17,969 Mod ✭✭✭✭ixoy

    If 90% is a target for vaccination, then no country on earth will likely reach it never mind Ireland.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,650 ✭✭✭cooperguy

    The problem at the moment is that we dont have enough people immune. So when covid gets going it exponentially grows putting severe pressure on hospital systems etc. We dont need (and probably wont reach) herd immunity. We just need enough people immune that the spread doesnt get so bad that it cripples our health system (and economy in general with people off sick etc. etc.).

    All vulnerable people are now vaccinated, and in another few weeks so will most of the rest of the population. It will be like the flu then. A very small number will end up in hospital, maybe in winter hospitals will be back at capacity dealing with people who are infected. But the majority will be fine and life moves on. There'll probably be an ongoing higher interest in flu/covid vaccines and boosters though

  • Posts: 6,192 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]

    Would you need these blood tests that show protection from infection for those who caught it already......

    as there was a big bone of contention about "false positive" test results one time,from anti lockdown/anti masker/anti vaxxers.....i presume there was a.semblence of truth to it somewhere espially at start of this??

    Interesting concept though

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Variants will always emerge. That's how viruses evolve and adapt.

    How do you define useless? Protection from infection will start to wane eventually due to antigenic drift. Protection from severe disease however will likely last a very long time, possibly for life. We won't be going back to square one.

    I assume you're basing the 60% figure on reports from Israel. The data is not conclusive and contradicts data from at least 3 other countries showing ~88% efficacy against infection. Also even if is true 60% isn't poor.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Let's say that there are enough people in the population who are immune from Covid. It becomes as Cooper above you posts, enough people are ok. Why then would we be testing to determine who is or isn't immune? It will cease to matter.

    Or will it still?

    Perhaps my original question is more about the end of this. Covid will become endemic but what will that really look like in this country?

  • Posts: 6,192 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]

    I assumed yous were on about people who had covid/recovered,but werent inclined towards getting a vaccine?

    Long term,id imagine you'd see dedicated covid wards/hospiteals for people to isolate with mild to severe cases like the old TB hospiteal wings back in early 20th century....worse cases sent onto specilised icu wards

    Maybe some way developed to identify those who are so called super spreaders and sent to these wards for few weeks aswell.....maybe booster vaccines for most at risk/elderly aswell??

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,353 ✭✭✭Pauliedragon

    The nurse who jabbed me said it's 90% effective against the virus but 60% effective against the Delta variant. I was just just wondering how this will pan out. I'm no doctor but I know viruses evolve which is why every year some people have to get a fresh flu jab but we don't have to open stadiums to do it. We're 50 odd billion in the hole already over this. More lockdowns simply can't be afforded.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,650 ✭✭✭cooperguy

    It will be just like the flu, people will need vaccinations, hospitals will be bad in winter times. It might become frowned upon to go to work sick

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    What made the virus so dangerous was novel. It was spreading in a population with no inherent immunity. We have excellent vaccines that have changed that. It will eventually be just another seasonal respiratory virus like the 200 or so we have already.

    Professor Francois Balloux has a really good article in The Guardian. It's worth a read:

  • Registered Users Posts: 93 ✭✭Maxface

    Like any virus in history it will evolve and will become less deadly. As mentioned it is novel so immunity is the issue. We will get out of this, time is the only problem, next year it will be bottom page of the news cycle.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,062 ✭✭✭funnydoggy

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,567 ✭✭✭uptherebels

    You might want to knock about 20% off that figure.

  • Registered Users Posts: 245 ✭✭deeperlearning

    As of yesterday (Jul 16, 2021), 53.36% of the total population of the UK was fully vaccinated (35.5 million out of a population of 66.67 million). 68% have received an initial dose. The 87.6% figure above is of the adult population not the total population.

    The UK does not have any plans to vaccinate under 18s and will not reach herd immunity through vaccination. While Ireland is planning on vaccinating 12-15 year olds in the Autumn, the UK is planning on administering boosters as they believe these may be needed for those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

    The UK would appear to have a 'let it rip' strategy that will mean all under 18s and the unvaccinated will contract covid over the coming weeks and they hope to reach herd immunity in this manner.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    The UK's booster campaign is aimed at those who are high risk such as the elderly, immunocomprimised and healthcare workers. It has nothing to do with whether or not they received AstraZeneca.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,205 ✭✭✭✭hmmm

    There's an interesting study here which argues that we may need repeated low-level exposure to maintain and strengthen immunity against severe Covid. I can see healthcare workers maybe needing repeated boosters, and similarly people working with the very vulnerable (e.g. nursing homes), but the rest of us may need a booster only every few years (or possibly never). We're going to have to be more careful about respiratory illness in general, no people soldiering on at work with a "headcold".

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Tony Holohan said recently that we need to be aware our proximity to others when having and kind of respiratory issues. Like you wrote hmmm that there would be no going to work of under the weather. He referred to it as being a "new normal".

    Two words I have grown to despise but am accepting of it in the above context.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,596 ✭✭✭Wolf359f

    The term 'new normal' triggers people. But if a politician says we won't get back to normal in the foreseeable future, the media and people assume it's lock down for ever. What they actually mean is we'll get back to a new normal.... not going to work when you have a respiratory virus, perhaps people will voluntary mask up during flu season on public transport, perhaps the constant hand sanitizing and cough etiquette will become the new normal (I don't think anyone can disagree with that).

    These are things are are common place in Asia, due to their experience with SARS and MERS etc... That is their normal.

    We've only experienced a 'new normal' in the form of air transport, post 9-11, the likes of Isreal, that was their normal etc...

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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,556 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha

    I think getting to 90% would largely depend on whether or not countries plan to vaccinate children.

    But I think governments are now starting to use the stick approach to get the numbers of vaccinations higher. UK have announced no entry to pubs, nightclubs without a vaccine passport from September. France are doing similar, you will need a vaccine passport to get on a train or bus to go anywhere. Would presume the same rules will eventually apply to attending concerts, football stadiums etc. They will make peoples lives very difficult to live without getting the vaccine