A government vaccination program may not be enough to achieve herd immunity, according to new research from the University of East Anglia.
Researchers have modeled the effectiveness of government immunization programs using Oxford and Pfizer vaccines to combat COVID-19.
They found that the only way for the UK to achieve herd immunity is to vaccinate almost everyone in the country, including children.
The researchers recommend that all healthcare and social workers receive the 95% effective Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to prevent asymptomatic spread among patients and vulnerable groups.
The researchers initially found that 69% of the population should be vaccinated with Pfizer, or 93% of the population with Oxford. However, when they took into account the new, more transmissible COVID-19 variant, they found that 82% of the population would need to be vaccinated with Pfizer to control the spread of the new variant.
Vaccinating 82% of Pfizer’s population will help control the spread of the virus, but the vaccine is not licensed for use on people under 16, but 19% of the population. In addition, some people will refuse the vaccine, so reaching 82% vaccination rate will likely be impossible.
So far, scientists are looking for the optimal vaccination scheme for the population.