What if herd immunity can't be reached with a vaccine, as too many refuse to have it?

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
54,827
Location
Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
The elephant in the room is whether we'd be able to reach such a critical mass. Sadly a significant proportion of people seem to be radically anti-vax, and would refuse any vaccine. When you add to that number those people who cannot receive the vaccine for medical reasons, there's a serious risk we might not reach the 60-80% likely required for herd immunity.
We may, and I know this is controversial, have to legislate on the matter. That is, "you have it, you have proof you can't have it, or you stay at home until the disease has been eliminated", with prison sentences.

Or maybe we could just let people take their own risk and leave the virus in circulation - but what if it overwhelms the NHS?

Could we say that those who refuse a vaccine (and aren't unable to have it for medical reasons) are effectively rejecting NHS treatment for anything relating to the virus? That is, you can refuse it, but if you do your only option is to self-treat at home regardless of severity?

Would it mean we have to socially distance forever?

Are there other viable options to handle this possibility given the size of the anti-vaccination movement? It's quite a concern.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

bramling

Established Member
Joined
5 Mar 2012
Messages
8,768
Location
Hertfordshire / Teesdale
We may, and I know this is controversial, have to legislate on the matter. That is, "you have it, you have proof you can't have it, or you stay at home until the disease has been eliminated", with prison sentences.

Or maybe we could just let people take their own risk and leave the virus in circulation - but what if it overwhelms the NHS?

Could we say that those who refuse a vaccine (and aren't unable to have it for medical reasons) are effectively rejecting NHS treatment for anything relating to the virus? That is, you can refuse it, but if you do your only option is to self-treat at home regardless of severity?

Would it mean we have to socially distance forever?

Are there other viable options to handle this possibility given the size of the anti-vaccination movement? It's quite a concern.
Surely much of the anti-vaccination feeling is based on the (not unreasonable IMO) notion that any vaccine may well have been quite rushed. Presumably there will be enough people willing to be vaccinated that given time others would choose to come round if they see no ill effects. In the meantime herd immunity would be building up, thus reducing the collective risk in the meantime.

I think you're looking for solutions to a problem which would naturally resolve itself over time.
 

DavidB

Member
Joined
18 Nov 2009
Messages
1,006
The number of anti-vaxxers is small overall.

However, a lot more may well (reasonably) be somewhat wary about a vaccine which has been pushed through in far less time than this normally takes.
 

Cowley

Established Member
Associate Staff
General Discussion
Joined
15 Apr 2016
Messages
8,325
Location
Devon
I agree with the previous two posts, and I also think that regardless of the anti-vax movement the majority of people who are currently saying that they won’t take the vaccine will almost certainly have it if cases start to rise again and the news outlets start belting out terrifying headlines about it.
 

BJames

Member
Joined
27 Jan 2018
Messages
573
There are serious moral and ethical concerns with mandating a vaccine. That's not to say they won't do it anyway - but it is certainly a concern. People I know who are most certainly not anti-vaxxers are not too keen on the idea of taking a vaccine that they see has been rushed through. A lot of work needs to be done on convincing people of the safety of it and this needs to be the first step.

Secondly - no, we wouldn't have to socially distance forever because it would just fizzle out.

We could have a situation where those who are most vulnerable will be told they need to have the vaccine or continue shielding but that could take a few years. I think people will suddenly make up their minds.

Realistically herd immunity may be attainable without vaccinating a large amount of the population as many are at significantly lower risk. This has always been about protecting the most vulnerable and if everyone else can get away with having only minor symptoms it may not be necessary to vaccinate them.

We've only seen Dolan's legal challenge against the lockdown - I think people may react quite differently to the government telling them they must have a vaccine, and expect to see a significant amount of legal challenges against this, which would probably be successful as there are legislations (that someone quoted on here a few days ago) that could be argued to protect people against forced vaccination, and even creating new legislation may not be powerful enough to overcome this.
Surely much of the anti-vaccination feeling is based on the (not unreasonable IMO) notion that any vaccine may well have been quite rushed. Presumably there will be enough people willing to be vaccinated that given time others would choose to come round if they see no ill effects. In the meantime herd immunity would be building up, thus reducing the collective risk in the meantime.

I think you're looking for solutions to a problem which would naturally resolve itself over time.
I do agree with this. I'm by no means an anti-vaxxer but it's not unreasonable for people to be sceptical of a vaccine that usually takes around 10 years to produce being done and safely done in a matter of months.
 

NorthOxonian

Member
Joined
5 Jul 2018
Messages
430
Location
Oxford/Newcastle
We may, and I know this is controversial, have to legislate on the matter. That is, "you have it, you have proof you can't have it, or you stay at home until the disease has been eliminated", with prison sentences.

Or maybe we could just let people take their own risk and leave the virus in circulation - but what if it overwhelms the NHS?

Could we say that those who refuse a vaccine (and aren't unable to have it for medical reasons) are effectively rejecting NHS treatment for anything relating to the virus? That is, you can refuse it, but if you do your only option is to self-treat at home regardless of severity?

Would it mean we have to socially distance forever?

Are there other viable options to handle this possibility given the size of the anti-vaccination movement? It's quite a concern.
The danger with any sort of legislation is that much of the anti-vaccination argument revolves around conspiracy theories. By mandating anything like this, you really play into their hands. Things could get very ugly indeed if you tried to mandate vaccines - there might even be riots.

I think we need to be pragmatic. There is a hardcore group who are completely opposed to any vaccine (who probably can't ever be convinced), and then a group who are simply concerned about side effects and safety but not inherently opposed to vaccines. The latter need to be convinced, perhaps a good way could be having high-profile figures publicly have the vaccine to demonstrate its safety? Not just politicians and doctors, but also celebrities and "national treasures". I wouldn't think that those who are hard core anti-vaccination plus those who can't have the vaccine combine to be large enough to prevent herd imminity.
 

BJames

Member
Joined
27 Jan 2018
Messages
573
I agree with the previous two posts, and I also think that regardless of the anti-vax movement the majority of people who are currently saying that they won’t take the vaccine will almost certainly have it if cases start to rise again and the news outlets start belting out terrifying headlines about it.
Despite my post above I do agree with this too - if the government put out a strong enough campaign and highlight the safety of the vaccine and how we can return to normal if everyone eligible takes it, I think enough people will. Not sure if that would be the case in America however...
 

Cowley

Established Member
Associate Staff
General Discussion
Joined
15 Apr 2016
Messages
8,325
Location
Devon
Despite my post above I do agree with this too - if the government put out a strong enough campaign and highlight the safety of the vaccine and how we can return to normal if everyone eligible takes it, I think enough people will. Not sure if that would be the case in America however...
Even in America I could imagine it having a high take up rate in much of the country, just maybe not in every area if you know what I mean..?
 

NorthOxonian

Member
Joined
5 Jul 2018
Messages
430
Location
Oxford/Newcastle
I do agree with this. I'm by no means an anti-vaxxer but it's not unreasonable for people to be sceptical of a vaccine that usually takes around 10 years to produce being done and safely done in a matter of months.
On the other hand, AIUI the Oxford vaccine is based on a principle that has been worked on for several years, and has just been tweaked slightly to deal specifially with this virus. I could be wrong, but it seems like a lot of the groundwork was done before COVID-19 was even around.
 

Scrotnig

Member
Joined
5 Sep 2017
Messages
416
On the other hand, AIUI the Oxford vaccine is based on a principle that has been worked on for several years, and has just been tweaked slightly to deal specifially with this virus. I could be wrong, but it seems like a lot of the groundwork was done before COVID-19 was even around.
I believe this to be correct.

The Oxford trial is more about how effective it is, not safety. They already know it's safe.

The project lead, Prof. Sarah Gilbert, allowed her two adult children to take it in the earlier trial. I can't imagine she'd ever do that if she had even the tiniest doubt it was safe. It's just about how well it works.
 

BJames

Member
Joined
27 Jan 2018
Messages
573
On the other hand, AIUI the Oxford vaccine is based on a principle that has been worked on for several years, and has just been tweaked slightly to deal specifially with this virus. I could be wrong, but it seems like a lot of the groundwork was done before COVID-19 was even around.
I believe this to be correct.

The Oxford trial is more about how effective it is, not safety. They already know it's safe.

The project lead, Prof. Sarah Gilbert, allowed her two adult children to take it in the earlier trial. I can't imagine she'd ever do that if she had even the tiniest doubt it was safe. It's just about how well it works.
Thanks for confirming this, I wasn't quite sure but this is good news anyway.
Even in America I could imagine it having a high take up rate in much of the country, just maybe not in every area if you know what I mean..?
Yes indeed.

I saw the polls were at it yet again last week - "almost a third of Britons would refuse a vaccine or are unsure" - firstly, half of those polled were unsure and secondly I don't remember being polled, nor does anyone I've spoken to. YouGov surveyed 1,663 people (https://www.independent.co.uk/life-...ter-for-countering-digital-hate-a9605286.html) - not sure that this 0.002% of the population is representative of "almost a third of Britons" but sure.
 

londiscape

Member
Joined
1 Oct 2013
Messages
235
Location
SW London
We may, and I know this is controversial, have to legislate on the matter. That is, "you have it, you have proof you can't have it, or you stay at home until the disease has been eliminated", with prison sentences.

Or maybe we could just let people take their own risk and leave the virus in circulation - but what if it overwhelms the NHS?

Could we say that those who refuse a vaccine (and aren't unable to have it for medical reasons) are effectively rejecting NHS treatment for anything relating to the virus? That is, you can refuse it, but if you do your only option is to self-treat at home regardless of severity?

Would it mean we have to socially distance forever?

Are there other viable options to handle this possibility given the size of the anti-vaccination movement? It's quite a concern.
I can't believe the idea of compulsory vaccination is even being discussed as an option in our country. "We may, and this is controversial" - you're damn right it's controversial, and I have serious worries about your point of view especially when you refer to prison sentences. I suggest you might prefer living in China with social credits doled out according to level of compliance with the Communist Party as that is more in line with these kind of things. The basic idea that you can force medical treatment on people is completely alien to this country's society and should never, EVER be even considered here.

I am very far from an anti-vaxxer - almost all vaccines in current circulation have had a number of years of testing and refinement, those given to children are now almost 30 years old and proven to be effective. However, if you want to force me to have a rushed out, untested vaccine against a disease which does not present a significant risk to me (mid-thirties), then you will be told to go forth, and so forth.

Let people choose to have the vaccine if they want it, beyond that let it be.
 

Scrotnig

Member
Joined
5 Sep 2017
Messages
416
We may, and I know this is controversial, have to legislate on the matter. That is, "you have it, you have proof you can't have it, or you stay at home until the disease has been eliminated", with prison sentences.
You really are frighteningly authoritarian.

You can't be putting people in prison for not having a vaccination.

And where are all these prisons going to come from?
 

Bantamzen

Established Member
Joined
4 Dec 2013
Messages
5,007
Location
Baildon, West Yorkshire
We may, and I know this is controversial, have to legislate on the matter. That is, "you have it, you have proof you can't have it, or you stay at home until the disease has been eliminated", with prison sentences.

Or maybe we could just let people take their own risk and leave the virus in circulation - but what if it overwhelms the NHS?

Could we say that those who refuse a vaccine (and aren't unable to have it for medical reasons) are effectively rejecting NHS treatment for anything relating to the virus? That is, you can refuse it, but if you do your only option is to self-treat at home regardless of severity?

Would it mean we have to socially distance forever?

Are there other viable options to handle this possibility given the size of the anti-vaccination movement? It's quite a concern.
I honestly don't know where to start with this, but I'll give it a go.

Problem number 1. As yet there is no tested vaccine, there are candidates but these are now entering the larger trials which will need months at the very least to run. Because if you go and mass produce ones that are not fully tested & distribute it widely & it turns out to have some nasty side effects, you have just potentially poisoned your entire population. That's the kind of thing that starts wars.

Problem number 2. Even if a vaccine makes it through to full certification, it doesn't just pop into existence, it needs to be made & distributed. So are you saying people would be under house arrest until their local health trust secures their stocks & books appointments. And then who do you prioritise, those that would benefit it most, or those less at risk but key to the economy, you know like workers? Either way would lead to inequalities & almost certainly civil unrest. Can you imagine on area of a city receiving the vaccine but not another (which given the state of public sector logistics in this country is possible), I dread to think how you would propose to manage this.

The bottom line is this, if a vaccine reaches certification and the NHS start to receive stocks, they should be distributed by triaging those most at risk. So medical staff, patients, care home works & residents and the elderly. Then when they have all had it offer (note the word offer, not mandate) it to the rest of the population.
 

AM9

Established Member
Joined
13 May 2014
Messages
8,481
Location
St Albans
To take a position somewhere between the two extremes posted here, given the significance of potential carriers circulating in a more relaxed environment where social distancing and other measure are not being practiced, a record of inoculation would be useful to carry. The choice of who to allow into risky environments would then lie with whoever was responsible for those places.
The verification carried need be no more innocuous than the card that GPs hand out showing which vaccinations have been given (and their validity dates) which I have carried with my passports for nearly 30 years. Then there is the 'age verification' card that younger people carry to avoid issues when a barman etc., thinks that they are under aged. When entering a premises, such a record of vaccination, (or an approved exemption certificate) would not be an unreasonable price to pay for enhanced freedom of movement.
 

westv

Established Member
Joined
29 Mar 2013
Messages
2,683
The verification carried need be no more innocuous than the card that GPs hand out showing which vaccinations have been given (and their validity dates) which I have carried with my passports for nearly 30 years.
Not heard of that. Is that for vaccinations related to overseas trips.
 

Senex

Established Member
Joined
1 Apr 2014
Messages
2,223
Location
York
What is the "card that GPs hand out showing what vaccinations have been given", please? I've never been offered such a card nor until now ever heard of its existence.
 

thejuggler

Member
Joined
8 Jan 2016
Messages
841
I have a card with my passport, but it was due to a requirement to have it for overseas trips and evidence for insurance purposes.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
54,827
Location
Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
What is the "card that GPs hand out showing what vaccinations have been given", please? I've never been offered such a card nor until now ever heard of its existence.
Is the poster thinking of the MASTA card (more like a little book) for travel vaccinations? Some GPs will do them and others won't (it's a bit of a postcode lottery), certainly around here only travel clinics (which are private) will.

It's literally a piece of card with dates of vaccination written on it. It isn't a form of ID, so if you were going to control access to things based on it (as some businesses may choose to do) it would need to be a more secure document.
 

island

Established Member
Joined
30 Dec 2010
Messages
10,822
Location
0036
What is the "card that GPs hand out showing what vaccinations have been given", please? I've never been offered such a card nor until now ever heard of its existence.
I had one in Ireland where I lived prior to here. I don’t now. As I recall, the main function was as a yellow fever vaccination certificate (although I did not have that particular vaccine).
 

AM9

Established Member
Joined
13 May 2014
Messages
8,481
Location
St Albans
Not heard of that. Is that for vaccinations related to overseas trips.
Yes, e.g., entry to some countries require immunisation from diseases such as yellow fever, typhoid and hepatitis C, which in many cases must be in date. I've attached scans of my original ones from the '90s.
 

Attachments

AM9

Established Member
Joined
13 May 2014
Messages
8,481
Location
St Albans
Is the poster thinking of the MASTA card (more like a little book) for travel vaccinations? Some GPs will do them and others won't (it's a bit of a postcode lottery), certainly around here only travel clinics (which are private) will.

It's literally a piece of card with dates of vaccination written on it. It isn't a form of ID, so if you were going to control access to things based on it (as some businesses may choose to do) it would need to be a more secure document.
Given the importance of eradicating as much of the risks as possible (and the not inconsiderable cost of the process as well), the issue of formal verification along with automatic registration would be a minor issue if it helped the general public make a decision on immunisation that was right for them.
 

Mintona

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2006
Messages
3,258
Location
South West
I’m not keen. I’ve had all my regular vaccinations and so has my young daughter. I’m no anti-vaxxer. But if you tell I must have something, I won’t. If you offer it to me, and show it is safe, I will.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
48,944
Location
Yorkshire
The vaccine will not be mandatory and there is zero chance it would be.

The vast majority of people would take up an offer of being vaccinated; the proportion of people who would refuse is going to be very small and it would make no difference to the outcome for society.

We will drastically reduce the spread of the virus even if a relatively small proportion of the population is vaccinated; there is zero danger that anti vax people refusing to take it could prolong the epidemic in this country.

Talk of prison sentences suggests a major misunderstanding of the situation and is not even remotely realistic; it's just causing people to get annoyed unnecessarily.
 

Yew

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2011
Messages
3,712
Location
Nottingham
I feel that the ultimate premise of this thread is so ludicrous that giving it too much attention doesn't seem like a worthwhile endevour
 

nlogax

Established Member
Joined
29 May 2011
Messages
1,937
As usual, rational and sensible people will ensure that herd immunity will prevail. I don't have time for conspiracy theorists, and personally I think anti-vaxxers are quite, quite mad but as loud as they may be they're also in the tiny minority. Most people will see sense and get vaccinated in order to finally get on with their lives.
 

AM9

Established Member
Joined
13 May 2014
Messages
8,481
Location
St Albans
As usual, rational and sensible people will ensure that herd immunity will prevail. I don't have time for conspiracy theorists, and personally I think anti-vaxxers are quite, quite mad but as loud as they may be they're also in the tiny minority. Most people will see sense and get vaccinated in order to finally get on with their lives.
The only problem being that those who refuse to get immunised on non-medical grounds can still be carriers yet presumably their principles wouldn't go as far as limiting the risks that they present to others.
 

Top