Snippa and herd immunity

It is depressing that we have a health secretary who does not understand, let alone believe in, herd immunity (Tory rebels fire warning shot as 42 MPs vote against stricter Covid measures, 13 October). The three examples that he quotes of diseases that never reach herd immunity are all incorrect, in different ways.

With malaria, the problem is the lack of individual immunity, and with flu the problem is that different strains of the virus emerge from time to time, bypassing any herd immunity that has built up. But it’s his inclusion of measles that really upsets me. You do get herd immunity, in the adult population, but this gets diluted out because people keep having babies. This can be easily counteracted by vaccination of children.

Because measles is far more infectious than Covid-19, with R possibly as high as 20, achieving herd immunity requires vaccine uptake of about 95%. Obtaining that requires a continuing campaign to counter the ignorance and misinformation about vaccines that is circulating.

By wrongly suggesting that herd immunity is impossible for measles, Matt Hancock has just shot himself, and us, in the foot.
Prof Jeremy Dale
Glossop, Derbyshire

Well, don’t that just shoot that fox?

Jeremy Dale studied medicine at Cambridge University and the Middlesex Hospital, London. Following GP vocational training in Oxford, he was appointed as a lecturer in primary care at King’s College School of Medicine and Dentistry in London, becoming a senior lecturer in 1992. While in London, he also worked as a part-time GP principal in a busy general practice in one of the most socially deprived parts of the city. In 1997, Jeremy was appointed Professor of Primary Care at Warwick. Between 1998 and 2007 he was the Director of the Centre of Primary Health Care Studies and between 2003 and 2006 was Head of the Division of Health in the Community at Warwick Medical School. He is also a part-time GP with the Engleton House Surgery in Coventry.

Ho hum.

17 thoughts on “Snippa and herd immunity”

  1. The media campaign and lies against “herd immunity” in March made it a toxic phrase for any government minister. Of course they are going to decry it.

  2. We have now reached a place where an expert is only considered an expert if they toe the current woke line. And conversely someone who doesn’t toe to woke line cannot be an expert regardless of their qualifications. We should have seen this coming, after all we’ve have the ‘You’re not really a woman/black/gay etc’ declaration if such a person dares to stray off the woke plantation for decades now. So now all your years of scientific study and experience and expertise is as nothing if the conclusions you draw don’t meet the woke demands. You are an un-expert.

  3. @allthegoodnamesaretaken

    A certain somebody (look at the tag) argued there was no such concept in medicine as “herd inmunity” and so people advocating a Swedish-style strategy were medical ignoramuses.

  4. @allthegoodnamesaretaken

    Self-proclaimed expert in everything, Ersatz Professor Spud Murphy claimed in a blog that herd immunity was a term not used outside of veterinary medicine so anyone using it in relation to Covid-19 was proving they didn’t know what they were talking about. When presented with ample evidence that plenty of people who obviously did know what they were talking about were using the term, he did his usual about-face on what he said and mumbled something about opinions differing on the effectiveness of herd immunity, which of course wasn’t what he first claimed.

    As always, once Murphy expresses an opinion, he refuses to accept it is wrong, even when it is shown that it is.

  5. I can’t keep score of Captain Spud’s various professorial chairs but aren’t his days as the illustrious tre professori over and isn’t he now verging on being a quondam professor with a recognised OO-gauge brain and the personality of a wart-hog?

  6. TMB: I’ll have you know that warthogs are industrious creatures, keen on family values. Spud’s personality most closely resembles a self service point, inflexible, incapable of working out what is in the bagging area.

  7. I unreservedly withdraw any remark I may have inadvertently made that could be thought to disparage warthogs who, quite apart from being industrious creatures and keen on family values, have never laid claim to having invented country by country reporting which redounds greatly to their credit.

    I had intended to make the comparison to a wart-snake.

  8. I do not understand why that Turk surrounds himself with the Sultan’s harem eunuchs when there are evidently much better qualified experts around.

  9. ‘The media campaign and lies against “herd immunity” in March made it a toxic phrase’: yes, what the hell was that all about? Just journalists being stupid and hysterical, or Quislings still trying to undermine Boris and stop Brexit, or people in the pay of the Russians/Chinese/Little Green Men.

  10. “A certain somebody (look at the tag) argued there was no such concept in medicine as “herd immunity” and so people advocating a Swedish-style strategy were medical ignoramuses.”

    Slightly odd, given that his wife was a GP. Did they never talk?

  11. DM

    Probably all.

    My memory was Piers Moron and his ilk spouting incessant bollocks, and Boris then proving to have no balls. As late as 12th March, Vallance (and by definition, Boris) was fully on board with the normal immunity approach for this sort of event.

    And also evidence subsequently of eastern bots in very large numbers on twatface specifically targeting decision makers (around the world), passing as concerned citizens.

  12. I don’t care about Spud’s views on herd immunity as they make no difference. The same cannot be said for that whey-faced cunt Hancock.

    The media line against herd immunity was/is a combination of media herd behaviour, government leaning as part of the arse-covering exercise, hysteria that ‘something must be done’ and probably a few Chink bots, cos the commies didn’t want loads of countries doing a Sweden and making the Chinese lockdown look ridiculously heavy handed.

  13. James Annan, climate moron, also thought that herd immunity was an exercise in eugenics. STEM graduates can be extremely stupid people. He also believes in man-made global warming. A DPhil in physics might be one of the key clues of insanity

  14. There’s probably a German word for when someone says stuff so cringeworthingly wrong that you want them to stop talking, but at the same time you want them to keep going because its pathologically fascinating.

    Das Ritchiesprechen or something.

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