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Third vaccines/booster

(14 Posts)
maddyone Wed 05-May-21 14:46:11

Are we as a country selfish because there is apparently going to be a roll out of booster Covid vaccines in the autumn for everyone aged fifty and over? I saw the article on the BBC lunchtime news. Some are saying that we should give the vaccines away to other countries and not selfishly take them as boosters for ourselves. I’m just wondering what those on Gransnet feel.

SueDonim Wed 05-May-21 15:19:54

As I understand it, they’re preparing in case they need to give booster jabs in the autumn, but only if it’s necessary because of new variants. We might not need a booster at all.

It would be a shame to lose the ground we’ve made up with our rapid rollout but I think it’s also an oxygen mask situation. We can’t help others unless we are protected ourselves. If there was another surge here, other countries would then be denied medications and equipment that we ourselves would need.

I think we should be offering help to places such as India to ramp up their vaccine production. They are very experienced at producing medicines, maybe the best in the world, so they have the skills to do it. It’s their government that seems to be the problem.

suziewoozie Wed 05-May-21 15:37:37

This is a really interesting question. Firstly though we don’t know how long the immunity from two doses lasts yet and that alone, regardless of variants, is obviously crucially important and could be a game changer on its own. I wish I could easily answer the question maddy has posed though. I was listening to David Nabarro on R4 at lunchtime about the concerns of surges to come in other countries. I understand what you’re saying SueD but wonder if we’ll ever feel we’ve got our oxygen masks on properly? First boosters for over 50s, then under 50s? The issue of children? I can just see us always needing vaccines ourselves.

henetha Wed 05-May-21 15:47:14

Perhaps there is a compromise to be had. Give booster jabs, if they are needed, to the vulnerable before winter, then give surplus ones away to countries who need them.
I think we have the right to protect our own population first.

MayBee70 Wed 05-May-21 15:52:02

Even if we gave all of our vaccines away it would still be a drop in the ocean regarding the number of vaccines India need. What is happening with the amount of financial aid that the government have cut to other countries? That isn’t going to help is it.

SueDonim Wed 05-May-21 15:56:23

I think our oxygen masks are going to be a bit leaky for a while yet, Suzie. It’s the best we can do for now, though.

It’s really hard to help everyone in the world, even though it’s in our own interests to do so. It really needs someone like WHO to coordinate it all.

There’s also the issue of vaccine-sceptic countries. My son’s in-laws nearly fell off their chair when I told them that there was about 95% uptake in the UK. Where they are in California, it’s just 47%. That sent his FIL into a rant about Covid/vaccine deniers, right wing extremists etc - I was quite worried about his blood pressure! But how will those places ever get out of the pandemic, if they don’t take the life belts we are being offered? sad

Grannybags Wed 05-May-21 15:57:01

It is a difficult one.

I think it will become a regular winter booster along with our flu jab

suziewoozie Wed 05-May-21 15:59:43

And it’s not just about vaccine supply is it but organising the actual vaccinations. Obviously there is expertise and experience out there in poorer countries given the vaccination programmes for many childhood illnesses but this is on a much greater scale of course. Both us and Israel had the benefit of data bases to organise the call up efficiently because of how our health care systems are organised.

suziewoozie Wed 05-May-21 16:03:53

Interesting about California. I’d read about the hesitancy in France but it would be interesting to know more about other countries attitudes. The figures we get at the moment tell us the number of vaccines per x of the population but not about those refusing. I’d still like to know more about which countries are following our lead of the gap between doses as well.

Rosie51 Wed 05-May-21 16:08:04

I think the boosters will primarily address the problems associated with variants of concern. Nobody knows for how long immunity is conferred by the current vaccines. We know people are still exhibiting immunity 8 months after their first vaccine in the trials. How much longer will that last, and are the memory cells still programmed to spark into life when required, are questions as yet unanswered.
It may be selfish, but I can't envisage the general public being willing to compromise the nation's virus status, no matter how great the need elsewhere. We care about other countries, but maybe not enough to risk the sacrifices we've made trying to contain this disease. It's an awful situation to comprehend because logic tells us none of us are safe until all are safe, unless we operate effectively closed countries like New Zealand and Australia. Is the UK willing to stop all international travel for years? I doubt it.
We should certainly be aiding countries with medical equipment, and assisting the ramping up of the vaccination program worldwide. This is no time for petty politics, lives are at stake. As we, like many countries, have over-ordered vaccines, hopefully we'll soon be in a position to divert our excess doses where they are most needed. I do wish Pfizer and Moderna were willing to sell their vaccines a bit cheaper, they are way out of the price range of the poorest countries.

suziewoozie Wed 05-May-21 16:14:31

Has anyone an update on the J and J one? It has the big advantage of being one dose but needed lower temps

GrannyGravy13 Wed 05-May-21 16:15:32

I think the U.K. has put over £500 million into the COVAX project which I believe is being coordinated by WHO to get vaccines into third world countries?

Rosie51 Wed 05-May-21 16:19:19

Took too long typing my first reply and answering a phone call.
SW Canada are following our lead in vaccination gap, well according to my son in Quebec. He (like us) was sceptical when it was first suggested, but says he sees it's been the way forward and a feature in our success. His wife, a front line role with children was given the pfizer vaccine a month ago. Their hesitancy about the AZ vaccine means any man of any age can register for a dose of that one. He's getting his first this week, much to our relief!

I don't recall hearing anything about the J&J one recently, and am a follower of John Campbell who reports daily on all things Covid19.

suziewoozie Wed 05-May-21 16:21:28

Thanks Rosie