Sunday, October 24, 2021

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    How Britain Coexists with Covid-19

    ONCEUPON At that time, Boris Johnson’s speech would not have been complete without the promise of “defeating the coronavirus.” Still, his speech announcing his covid-19 plan on September 14 was a more modest event. The best thing the prime minister could come up with was a vow to “turn jabs, jabs, jabs into work, work, work.”

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    Britain is no longer a war with the coronavirus. Instead, they are looking for the best way to manage their existence. Its purpose is to keep the economy open while preventing hospitals from being overwhelmed. This means accepting a high case rate in the last few months (see graph).

    This was made possible because the rapid and targeted deployment of vaccines maintained mortality at the European level rather than the United States, reducing public concern. According to Public Health England, immunization has prevented nearly 25 million infections and more than 110,000 deaths.

    The number of cases appears to be declining, despite the prediction that the fall semester will begin and infections will increase as children mix. But the worry is that medical services will rise again during the winter, just as they are under the most pressure. Therefore, the government has announced fine-tuning of its vaccination program. The first jabs are offered for ages 12-15 and boosters for vulnerable ages 50 and up.

    Both calls were made later than in many other rich countries. A government advisory board on vaccination has postponed recommending jabs to young people, arguing that the health benefits are slightly greater than the known harms, but the uncertainty is unacceptably high. On September 13, the UK’s Chief Health Officer advised the government to continue as covid-19 affected children’s education and mental health.

    The decision to provide booster shots was made in response to evidence of weakened protection, especially among the elderly and vulnerable. In providing supplements, Britain ignored the World Health Organization and joined the United States, Germany and Israel. The World Health Organization claims that jabs are more commonly used in countries with low immunization rates. Early evidence from Israel suggests that boosters have at least succeeded in strengthening protection.

    These decisions are expected to enable the UK to circumvent future restrictions on behavior. Health Minister Sajid Javid has announced that the government has reconsidered plans to introduce vaccine passports. NS U-The turn was not due to a change in evidence of its effectiveness, but to the control of a political party. One backbencher argued that passports would be “a dangerous precedent for the progress of the biosecurity nation.” Others are simply fed up with the imposition of covid-19.

    However, the minister has the option of requiring a passport at nightclubs and crowded stadiums, and reintroducing forced masking and advisory work at home, in case the incident reaches dangerous levels in the winter. Keep it open. These changes may be implemented “immediately depending on the relevant data”. However, the government’s plans do not include references to the blockade that has plagued the last 18 months. ■■

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    This article was published in the UK section of the print version under the heading “Living with it”.

    How Britain Coexists with Covid-19

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