Covid restrictions needed for another YEAR as 4 in 5 need jab to hit herd immunity

COVID restrictions could be needed for another year as four in five Brits need the jab to stop the spread.

Experts warned we are unlikely to be back to normal life within the next 12 months if vaccine targets aren't hit.

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Social distancing, mask wearing and rules on groups mingling could be with us for many months to come if vaccinations don't pull the R rate down.

Professor Mark Woolhouse from the University of Edinburgh told The Sun: “Not necessarily the restrictions we have now. 

“But we will almost certainly need some measures in place. This is about living with Covid.”

Nearly every adult in the UK will need to be vaccinated to reach the herd immunity threshold needed to break free fully from the strict rules, a new study found.

The research from modelling groups at Imperial, Warwick and Edinburgh Universities, revealed it will take until at least April to give 80 per cent of Brits a first vaccine dose.

And the experts admitted the most pessimistic outcome could see a herd immunity threshold never reached, with Covid-19 becoming endemic.

Professor Woolhouse, part of the study, added: “The general lessons from this, are the cases we most want to worry about are the cases in the vulnerable group that have not yet been infected or vaccinated.

"That means the coverage is key. What fraction of that population we actually manage to vaccinate.


"If 90 per cent, that leaves about one million of the most vulnerable unprotected. That's more than have been infected so far and that's why coverage is key.

"If we delay full release until all adults are vaccinated – we are talking about waiting until September.”

As Brits eagerly await news on when they can once more go to the pub, scientists poured cold water on any anticipation of Easter pints.

They refused to give a suggestion of a timeline, saying those decisions are for politicians, but said boozers should stay closed until at least May, to stop another wave of deaths and infections.

But we revealed this morning ministers are “hopeful” people could be back at the bar by March, with the country moving back into Tiers.

If we delay full release until all adults are vaccinated – we are talking about waiting until September.

It comes as a new study from the University of East Anglia also found the vaccine rollout may not see the UK hit herd immunity.

The team found now there is a new variant of Covid-19 to contend with, vaccinating the entire population with the Oxford vaccine would only bring the R rate to 1.325.

And if children remain unvaccinated the R rate would rise to 2.2.

Giving 82 per cent of the UK the Pfizer vaccine would be enough to control the variant, they said.

But only by giving everyone, including kids, the more effective Pfizer jab could we reach her immunity.

Professor Alastair Grant and Professor Paul Hunter wrote: “Our analyses suggest that vaccination will not be able to guarantee protection of those people who either cannot have vaccine or decline the offer. 

“If herd immunity is not achieved, they will remain at risk of infection, severe illness and death. 

“How we as a nation deal with this remaining group of susceptible vulnerable individuals is not clear. 

“Will we need to maintain some of the restrictions currently in place to continue to protect these people?”


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