Scottish Lib Dems oppose vaccine passports

Today Nicola Sturgeon announced that Scots attending big outdoor and indoor events from later this month will need vaccine passports to get in – unless they are exempt because they can’t have the vaccine.

The BBC reports that you will have to show evidence of vaccination or exemption to access:

  • Nightclubs and adult entertainment venues.

  • Unseated indoor live events, with more than 500 people in the audience.

  • Unseated outdoor live events, with more than 4,000 people in the audience.

  • Any event, of any nature, which has more than 10,000 people in attendance.

So, does this mean if I want to go and protest this deeply illiberal and troubling decision that I’ll need to show proof of vaccination? Irony just ate itself.

Alex Cole-Hamilton is leading the resistance to this and he explains why – it is basically unworkable, unfair and isn’t going to help as you can still transmit and catch Covid if you have been vaccinated.

He added:

This Government has moved effectively to a position where people will now be compelled to show evidence of their medical records in order to access certain freedoms. This is an illiberal step and a dangerous precedent.

“Big systems for scheduling tests, contact tracing, travel and more haven’t been up to the task. They are creaking at the sides.

“Domestic Medical ID cards present real risks to the management of our personal information and could be easily expanded to include other aspects of life. The First Minister told me she wouldn’t even put a time limit on this.

“Liberal Democrats have always opposed medical ID cards and, unlike the Greens, we will continue to oppose them.”

And there is a petition you can sign too if you feel strongly about this.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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83 Comments

  • Brad Barrows 1st Sep '21 - 6:19pm

    I welcome requiring people to be vaccinated before they can attend nightclubs etc. Hopefully this will encourage more younger people to take up the offer of a vaccine and thereby benefit of all of us.

  • John Marriott 1st Sep '21 - 6:26pm

    In heaven’s name WHY???

  • Sorry, but with regret, I’m afraid Mr Cole-Hamilton is wrong and Professor Jason Leitch is right. People’s health must always come first.

  • Paul Fisher 1st Sep '21 - 9:32pm

    Words fail me. The inverted pseudo logic is a signpost to oblivion. I am proud to show proof that I am a responsible citizen and that I am respectful and mindful of my fellow human beings, clearly I am not liberal and democratic. So be it. Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

  • @John Marriott – I assume you are questioning the rationale for Alex Cole-Hamilton’s irrational resistance.

  • John Marriott 1st Sep '21 - 10:17pm

    @Roland
    You’d better believe it! By the way, how precisely does Caron Lindsay define “illiberal”? I get the feeling that it’s a throwaway word that is often used instead of explanation. Just for whom is Mr Cole-Hamilton speaking when he states that “Liberal Democrats are opposed to Covid ID Cards”. One wonders whom he consulted before coming out with this highly provocative remark. Not a good start to a new career, methinks.

  • Vaccine passports are not a sensible response at this time.

    1. While current vaccines appear to halve the risk of infection, once infected, vaccinated people are just as infectious as the unvaccinated…

    ‘How 350 vaccinated people caught COVID-19 in huge Cape Cod outbreak’ [July 2021]:
    https://www.livescience.com/cape-cod-covid-19-outbreak-delta-variant.html

    When health officials analyzed swab samples from 133 cases, they found that nearly 90% were infected with the delta variant. And when they analyzed samples from 211 cases, they found that the so-called CT value, a proxy value for viral load, was about the same among fully vaccinated people as those who were not vaccinated or partially vaccinated.

    “High viral loads suggest an increased risk of transmission and raised concern that, unlike with other variants, vaccinated people infected with delta can transmit the virus,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said in a statement about the findings released Friday (July 30).

    2. There’s no scientific basis for their arbitrary and discriminatory application. Other activities which are at least as high risk, such as religious worship and choir practices, are exempt.

    3. Research suggests that coerced adoption of vaccine passports may be counter-productive…

    ‘The potential impact of vaccine passports on inclination to accept COVID-19 vaccinations in the United Kingdom: evidence from a large cross-sectional survey and modelling study’ [June 2021]:
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.05.31.21258122v1

    Overall, we find that the introduction of passports for either domestic or international use has a net negative impact on vaccination inclination, once we control for baseline vaccination intent. Our findings suggest that vaccination passports may not only yield damaging health outcomes for already marginalised communities: this may lead to further distrust in the government and public health systems and may have negative downstream consequences for other health-seeking behaviours, for example, routine immunisations.

  • Considering the billions of vaccines that have now been administered worldwide, There is plenty of evidence now to show that vaccines are safe. So as far as I am concerned, yes to vaccine passports for venues which are high risk of transmission, ie night clubs and large sporting events.
    Public health has to come first.

    As someone who is clinically vulnerable in more ways than one, Asthmatic, Chron’s disease and DVT, I accept that I have to evaluate my own risks, therefore by choice, I will not go to pubs, clubs, restaurants cinema’s etc as these are settings where I would be extremely vulnerable, however, I should be able to at a bare minimum expect to be able to use public transport or go to a shop and feel relatively safe “IF” everyone was wearing a mask. It has been my experience though that this is not the case, as in my local supermarket there has been more people not wearing masks and to top it off, too many customers not respecting boundaries and personal space and would reach over me to get something off a shelf that I am standing in front of, despite me wearing a mask. The stress is far to much and rather than cause a scene each time, have reverted back to home shopping.

    Why is it ok for sick and disabled people to have their freedoms and liberties curtailed or risk playing Russian roulette and yet it is not ok to say to those who have chosen not to be vaccinated, you cannot visit high risk venues unless you have been jabbed?

    The more people that are vaccinated, the less virus there is in the community that would allow vulnerable people to go about their limited life more freely, it is as simple as that.
    The less Virus in the communities and hospital admissions for covid, means more people with other health conditions can be treated more safely in hospitals, it as simple as that.

    There is nothing Liberal about putting the freedoms of others above the health and freedom of someone else, it is as simple as that.

  • john oundle 2nd Sep '21 - 12:37am

    Health & safety of the public must always come first,to be anti vaccine passports just looks like opposition for the sake of it & at the same time is completely irresponsible.

  • Well given many young people have now installed the NHS app, which provides their CoViD vaccine status and has been recognized by many countries as sufficient evidence of vaccination, it isn’t unreasonable to assume that these same young people will have their phones with them when they go out. So is it really unworkable and unreasonable?

    Personally, I would install the NHS app and opt-out of the NHS doctors and hospital data grab the government are trying to effect through private companies trading as “NHS xyz”. The data grab is a bigger threat to people’s freedoms and the NHS than showing your CoViD vaccine status to a nightclub bouncer.

  • Peter Martin 2nd Sep '21 - 6:58am

    “………isn’t going to help as you can still transmit and catch Covid if you have been vaccinated.”

    We could just as well make the argument that 30 m.p.h. speed limits aren’t going to help improve road safety in urban areas because pedestrians can still be killed if they are hit by a car at 30 m.p.h. Or that giving up smoking isn’t going to help improve your health because non smokers can still get lung cancer.

    It’s a nonsense argument.

    We don’t need to be medical experts to know that if vaccines reduce Covid symptoms such as coughing then they will also reduce transmission. If a Covid positive person is not coughing they are much less likely to be be infecting those around them.

    But if you want some medical expertise on the question:

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/yes-vaccines-block-most-transmission-of-covid-19

  • Peter Martin 2nd Sep ’21 – 6:58am:
    But if you want some medical expertise on the question:

    That National Geographic article is dated 21st. April 2021 and predates the arrival of the delta (Indian) variant. This, now dominant, variant is around twice as transmissible as previous variants and data shows that the vaccinated are just as infectious as the unvaccinated (see my first comment above).

  • Peter Martin 2nd Sep '21 - 9:03am

    @ Jeff,

    So what “data” is this? Do you have a reference?

    Yes the R0 rate of the Delta variant is approximately double that of the original strain but this doesn’t mean the vaccine is only half as effective. The two parameters are unrelated.

    As the vaccine has been developed for the original strain it isn’t surprising that its effectiveness will be reduced for later strains but a reduction in effectiveness isn’t the same thing as no effectiveness.

    I’m not sure what you think your reference shows. If we had everyone vaccinated against Covid we too would find 350 Covid infections amongst the totally vaccinated. It simply means that the vaccine isn’t 100% effective, which we know already. It doesn’t mean they have no effect on the severity of infection or on the rate of transmission.

    100% is better than 70% but 70% is still worth having.

  • Any case for vaccine passports has disappeared due to the fact that a vaccinated person can still catch and pass on the virus.

    The vaccines give excellent protection against severe disease (as does natural immunity after the first infection) and that is a reason to have one.

    If it was the other way around ie vaccines only provided 60% protection against severe disease but reduced transmission by 95% then you would have a case but I you would still need to address the ethical issues of it.

    Denmark are already dropping their vaccine passport: https://www.thelocal.dk/20210901/how-denmark-abolished-covid-passport-with-countrys-epidemic-not-over/?amp

  • John Marriott 2nd Sep '21 - 9:54am

    Cal me old fashioned if you like. My mobile phone won’t take the ‘app’. In any case, at my advanced age I do not intend to go ‘clubbing’. My only observation, given the desire of the ‘entertainment industry’ fully to open up its doors to its avid customers, is that a vaccine passport in whatever form is surely a small price to pay. I agree that this is no guarantee that infection will not occur; but it’s surely better than nothing. If it encourages a few more youngsters to get vaccinated, that surely makes it worth doing. So, no jab, no club.

    PS I note that, so far, only Scotland appears to be going down the vaccine passport path. My wife and I immediately noticed the difference when we returned from Scotland yesterday between a country whose government appears to be taking its responsibilities seriously and one where ‘laissez faire’ appears to be the watch word.

  • Jeff 1st Sep ’21 – 10:32pm……Vaccine passports are not a sensible response at this time…….1. While current vaccines appear to halve the risk of infection, once infected, vaccinated people are just as infectious as the unvaccinated…….

    But at such venues the ‘infected’ are passing it to the ‘vaccinated’ with the risk of serious, life threatening Covid symptoms being drastically reduced.. Passing it to the unvaccinated is a different matter..

    In common with most previous posters I’m, yet again, left wondering at ‘foot-in-mouth’ LibDem ‘announcements’..

  • David Garlick 2nd Sep '21 - 10:08am

    The SNP proposal is based on beng seen to ‘do something’. The fact that the proposal is woefully inadequate and in an environment which renders it useless even if it were toughened up enough to become worthwhile makes it even more ludicrous.
    The LD response should be make facemasks compulsory and leave it at that. We can all do that and it will make a difference. If people cannot enjoy an event with a mask on then maybe the event needs to change or maybe they shouldn’t go. Difficult but simple and effective.

  • David Garlick 2nd Sep ’21 – 10:08am….The SNP proposal is based on beng seen to ‘do something’. If people cannot enjoy an event with a mask on then maybe the event needs to change or maybe they shouldn’t go. Difficult but simple and effective…..

    Have you tried vigorous exercise (running, dancing, etc.)wearing a mask? What about those wearing spectacles; all fogged up! How do you enforce it inside the venue? etc., etc.Yet another simple plan that meets Mencken’s criteria..
    As for your ‘maybe they shouldn’t go’. that will make a great media headline and really go down well with the young..

  • “Any case for vaccine passports has disappeared due to the fact that a vaccinated person can still catch and pass on the virus.”

    Not at all, even as jeff says “1. While current vaccines appear to halve the risk of infection, once infected, vaccinated people are just as infectious as the unvaccinated…”

    Even a 50% reduction in people becoming infected with covid means far less covid in the community especially when we are talking about 10’s of thousands of people per day currently becoming infected.
    That makes it safer for vulnerable people to go about life a little more safer whilst carrying out what are restricted freedoms for many who are vulnerable to this virus.
    It also means there are less covid patients and transmission in hospitals which will allow the NHS to get through the serious back log of patients who are in need of urgent care and treatment.

    On that bases and those figures alone, it makes Vaccine passports for high risk venues like night clubs and large scale sporting events sensible and proportionate, and this is far more Liberal than saying to millions of vulnerable people your on your own, make your own choices and risk assessments whilst also making the public health situation worse with an ever increasing waiting list for non-covid care and treatments

  • Peter Martin 2nd Sep ’21 – 9:03am:
    So what “data” is this? Do you have a reference?

    ‘Impact of Delta on viral burden and vaccine effectiveness against new SARS-CoV-2 infections in the UK’ [24th. August 2021]:
    https://www.ndm.ox.ac.uk/covid-19/covid-19-infection-survey/results/new-studies

    ‘Delta Variant and vaccine effectiveness; what can the CIS tell us?’ [19th. August 2021]:
    https://blog.ons.gov.uk/2021/08/19/delta-variant-and-vaccine-effectiveness-what-can-the-cis-tell-us/

    Whilst the risk of getting COVID-19 is still lower for people who had received two doses of either vaccine, if they do get COVID-19 they will now have just as much virus in their nose and throat as people who haven’t been vaccinated, and so may be just as likely to pass the infection onto others.

    I’m not sure what you think your reference shows. If we had everyone vaccinated against Covid we too would find 350 Covid infections amongst the totally vaccinated. It simply means that the vaccine isn’t 100% effective, which we know already. It doesn’t mean they have no effect on the severity of infection or on the rate of transmission.

    That vaccines reduce the severity of illness is not in dispute here. My understanding is that this discussion is about vaccine passports and whether they are a reliable indicator of person’s risk of infecting others. For earlier virus variants they were. For the delta variant they are not. The above study shows that once infected a vaccinated person has a similar viral load in their upper respiratory tract as an unvaccinated person and is therefore just as likely to transmit the virus. While vaccination reduces the risk of contracting the virus in the first place this protection wanes over time particularly with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine which most people under 40 years old have had. In short: with the current vaccines, passports give a false sense of security and may also bring the idea into disrepute making them less useful in the future. We’ve seen this before with lockdowns and masks where low efficacy, due to poor implementation, has resulted in them being increasingly seen as ‘not to work’.

  • Peter Martin 2nd Sep '21 - 11:41am

    @ Jeff, @ Marco

    “My understanding is that this discussion is about vaccine passports and whether they are a reliable indicator of person’s risk of infecting others”

    “Any case for vaccine passports has disappeared due to the fact that a vaccinated person can still catch and pass on the virus”

    Neither of these comments is correct. As its says in the OP “you can still transmit and catch Covid if you have been vaccinated”. This is literally true, but I think we all agree that the risk of serious consequences to those being infected is much less if they are vaccinated. It follows that the reason for the passports isn’t solely about transmission.

    Jeff’s ONS reference doesn’t make any claims on transmission. It uses the phrase “may be just as likely to pass the infection onto others.” Equally they may not. So the best you can say is that the effect is uncertain at the moment. It doesn’t seem at all likely that there is a measurable and positive benefit for all other previous variants which disappears completely for the Delta variant.

    It is a logical fallacy to assume that an uncertainty in the benefit level means that it must be zero. If we knew that there wouldn’t be any uncertainty.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 2nd Sep '21 - 12:10pm

    Alex Cole-Hamilton is absolutely right to oppose vaccine passports, and I agree with all the points he makes. This is such a dangerous precedent.
    I was delighted to be vaccinated. But I do understand the reasons why some people are reluctant to do so. This needs to be a personal choice. No-one should feel coerced into accepting a vaccination, by the threat of losing the right to take part in activities that they enjoy. And it does seem fairly obvious that the real reason for the introduction of vaccine passports is to coerce people into being vaccinated, especially young people, who are the most likely to be vaccine hesitant.
    As Alex Cole-Hamilton points out, vaccine passports will do little or nothing to prevent the spread of infection. People who have been vaccinated can still catch Covid, and can still pass it on, even though the vaccine will prevent them from becoming seriously ill. If some people at a venue are unvaccinated, then it is the unvaccinated people who are taking the risk. They should be allowed to make a personal choice about whether or not to take that risk.
    If vaccines work, then vaccinated people can feel confident in attending events, knowing that their vaccine will almost certainly prevent them from becoming seriously ill. It is therefore really none of their business whether someone else at the venue has chosen to be vaccinated or not.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 2nd Sep '21 - 12:42pm

    It is only Matt, as often, who has the emphasising of the vulnerable, which I agree with , though on the issue here, we do not share the same exact view.

    It is the NHS which is not mentioned enough. It is not a good service in many locations, due to lack of supply and huge demand.

    If more get ill, then more unable to get treatment for things non covid , shall wait for help.

    We never addressed this abysmal supply and demand mismatch in our country, unlike most developed world states.

    I am concerned the passport issue is a cover by supporters and opponents, for lack of current effort or action.

    We should have kept venues shut, borders too. New Zealand is free of this because it put corona first, dealing with it, expelling it, and continues to be a model.

    I do worry about government data collection, and private companies also, just the same.

    My view point is this: we could beat and defeat this bin it, literally, like an old mask. instead we are containing it a little, with gimmicks!

  • ACH’s positioning on this simply demonstrates that, not surprisingly, under his leadership the Scottish Lib Dems are positioning themselves right of centre to try to garner Tory votes.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 2nd Sep '21 - 12:43pm

    And spokespeople ought not talk as if in one voice! There are various and many views.

  • Supporters of vaccine passports are not addressing the ethical issues at all.

    Matt, Peter Martin et al I get that the vaccine reduces transmission to some extent but that is not enough to justify vaccine passports which are hugely divisive and exclusionary and would create a two tier society.

    The right to refuse medical treatment without being penalised is more or less sacrosanct in medical ethics all but the most extreme circumstances.

    If you have had Covid already you are less likely to transmit it so should people who have had it be exempt from vaccine passports?

  • Lorenzo Cherin 2nd Sep '21 - 2:49pm

    May we please see this in a different and more sensible way, forward?!

    Martin you are correct on social Liberalism , we agree on the Harm principle, it is the essential and vital glue which keeps the party together, or more, it is the essence of what it ought to be.

    I disagree with Catherine on the virus response completely on here and often. I agree with Matt almost wholly.

    But on this policy things need far more detail. Catherine is a very responsible person who thinks of others. I think she has too much confidence in the others good sense. I believe compulsion essential on issues that cause harm. She does not. But to paint her as some sort of unthinking or rather uncaring individualism proponent is a bit unfair. The tone rather than the substance of your commentary is all I take issue with. In general my view though, is passports with status of jab, is a smokescreen for little effort and such a complacent and in my view, with delta rampant, unreliable solutions like vaccine dependency.

    A social Liberal and social democratic response would in my view have this country look to Australia, and, more so, New Zealand.

  • Nonconformistradical 2nd Sep '21 - 2:50pm

    “She claims that the issue is one of ‘personal choice’, would she, I wonder, argue similarly over speed limit restrictions? ”
    I do recall similar arguments over both speed limits and drink driving laws in the past.

    “Are public health and safety really issues of ‘personal choice’?”
    No. We all have responsibilities towards our communities. That’s a fundamental difference in my view between liberalism and libertarianism.

  • Peter Martin 2nd Sep '21 - 2:56pm

    This Nature article says:

    “Delta’s increased infectiousness could mean that the proportion of people in a population who need to be vaccinated to bring the pandemic under control will be larger than would have been required with earlier variants.”

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02054-z

    I’m usually wary of words like “could” in these kinds of statements. I’m not sure why it is used here but if Delta is more infectious then it’s hardly likely to mean fewer people need be vaccinated. The scientific message is clear. We need to have as many of the population vaccinated as possible. If people don’t want to be vaccinated, that’s up to them but they shouldn’t then expect to be allowed to do whatever everyone else can.

    Many would even say that they shouldn’t be treated for free on the NHS should they get sick.

    So it’s a good thing that the percentage of the population who think it’s ” really none of (our) business whether someone else at the venue has chosen to be vaccinated or not.” Call the rest of society ” busybodies” if you like but we’re making it our business. This is whether the namby-pamby liberals, or more correctly, the irresponsible libertarians, like it or not.

  • @Marco

    “not enough to justify vaccine passports which are hugely divisive and exclusionary and would create a two tier society.”

    Really?? So allowing large amounts of virus to circulate through the community because a significant minority chose not to get vaccinated, which puts vulnerable people at risk and puts further pressures on public health as a whole because the NHS is having to deal with more and more covid patients which becomes a breading ground for infection in hospital settings and thus making it unsafe for some people to undergo vital treatment for non-covid procedures is ok?

    Creating a 2 tier society where the clinically vulnerable have to make a choice between keeping themselves safe or playing Russian roulette with Covid. That is ok and acceptable to liberals, but requiring people to show proof of vaccination in high risk settings, ie nightclubs and large sporting events, that is not acceptable as it creates a 2 tier society…… Do you actually read what you write????

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 2nd Sep '21 - 3:11pm

    Martin, I feel you misunderstood me – but perhaps I didn’t make my points clearly. I wasn’t really thinking of myself. I don’t go to nightclubs! But if I wanted to, I’d have no difficulty being admitted, as I am fully vaccinated. I’m not even confident that I wouldn’t become seriously ill. But I feel much more confident of this since I was vaccinated. All the evidence suggests that vaccines are very effective in preventing serious illness. But much less effective in preventing infection and transmission.
    I am concerned about people who may face discrimination because they have made a decision not to be vaccinated, And I suppose in a way I am concerned about myself – and everyone else, whether or not they have chosen to be vaccinated against Covid. This sets a precedent. Most of us are happy to be vaccinated against Covid. But next time, it could be a different vaccine, with far greater risks, and far less benefits…or some other medical procedure… Surely few of us want to live in a nation where the government can demand that we submit to an invasive medical procedure in order to live life to the full.

  • Nonconformistradical 2nd Sep '21 - 3:18pm

    @Catherine Jane Crosland
    “I am concerned about people who may face discrimination because they have made a decision not to be vaccinated”
    If failure to get a vaccination results in failure to access a nightclub – so what? It’s a choice they make. These people – unless they have a sound clinical reason not to be vaccinated – would appear to have little regard for their communities as far as I can see.

  • Roger Billins 2nd Sep '21 - 6:49pm

    I have been a member of this party and its predecessor since 1976. I consider myself an instinctive Liberal but the party’s opposition to vaccine passports is I think insane and dogmatic. The greater good must come before taking away somebody’s freedom to go to a night club without proof of vaccination. Infections and deaths are on the rise and the countries of the UK must use this simple weapon in the battle against this disease. This nonsense on top of the party’s mishandling of Brexit and the 19 election has lead me to consider resigning.

  • Peter Martin 2nd Sep ’21 – 11:41am:
    It doesn’t seem at all likely that there is a measurable and positive benefit for all other previous variants which disappears completely for the Delta variant.

    With previous virus variants vaccines reduced viral load in the upper respiratory tract. That doesn’t happen with the delta variant and this can be measured…

    ‘How the Delta variant achieves its ultrafast spread’ [21st. July 2021]:
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01986-w

    According to current estimates, the Delta variant could be more than twice as transmissible as the original strain of SARS-CoV-2. […]

    …the researchers report that virus was first detectable in people with the Delta variant four days after exposure, compared with an average of six days among people with the original strain, suggesting that Delta replicates much faster. Individuals infected with Delta also had viral loads up to 1,260 times higher than those in people infected with the original strain. […]

    The sheer amount of virus in the respiratory tract means that superspreading events are likely to infect even more people, and that people might begin spreading the virus earlier after they become infected.

  • matt 2nd Sep ’21 – 3:10pm:
    So allowing large amounts of virus to circulate through the community because a significant minority chose not to get vaccinated,…

    Even if everyone was vaccinated with current vaccines that will happen anyway. Informed opinion is that the virus is now endemic…

    ‘Delta variant renders herd immunity from Covid ‘mythical’’ [10th. August 2021]:
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/10/delta-variant-renders-herd-immunity-from-covid-mythical

    Reaching herd immunity is “not a possibility” with the current Delta variant, the head of the Oxford Vaccine Group has said.

    Giving evidence to MPs on Tuesday, Prof Sir Andrew Pollard said the fact that vaccines did not stop the spread of Covid meant reaching the threshold for overall immunity in the population was “mythical”.

    “The problem with this virus is [it is] not measles. If 95% of people were vaccinated against measles, the virus cannot transmit in the population,” he told the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on coronavirus.

    “The Delta variant will still infect people who have been vaccinated. And that does mean that anyone who’s still unvaccinated at some point will meet the virus … and we don’t have anything that will [completely] stop that transmission.”

    Although the existing vaccines are very effective at preventing serious Covid illness and death, they do not stop a fully vaccinated person from being infected by the virus that causes Covid-19. […]

    Data from a recent React study conducted by Imperial College London suggests that fully vaccinated people aged 18 to 64 have about a 49% lower risk of being infected compared with unvaccinated people. The findings also indicated that fully vaccinated people were about half as likely to test positive after coming into contact with someone who had Covid (3.84%, down from 7.23%).

    Dr. John Campbell has more thoughts on this ‘Important announcement’:

  • Paul Fisher 2nd Sep '21 - 9:22pm

    This thread highlights a serious dyfunction in the so called liberal AND democraic ethos of the LIbDems. Just what is LibDem Policy on this matter? Perhaps Ed Davey or Mark Pack may like to comment!

  • Peter Martin 2nd Sep '21 - 9:50pm

    It is curious that both ends of the spectrum of opinion on Covid are arguing against the efficacy of vaccines in their ability to prevent the transmission of Covid. Those on one end who are wanting to eliminate Covid completely, are arguing that further lockdowns will be necessary – because we can’t rely on the vaccines.

    On the other extreme we have the libertarians who don’t like the idea that governments might have a role to play by doing needs to be done to boost vaccination numbers also saying the same thing. ie we can’t rely on the vaccines!

    Well yes we can. They are the only alternative to interminable lockdowns as the Aussies are discovering the hard way. Governments need to do what it takes to maximise vaccination numbers and if necessary fund the development of newer and better vaccines against the new variants. There is not a single disease that is known to be equally transmissible amongst the vaccinated and unvaccinated. There is no reason to suppose that Covid will prove to be an exception.

  • Nonconformistradical 2nd Sep '21 - 9:55pm

    @Paul Fisher
    “Just what is LibDem Policy on this matter? Perhaps Ed Davey or Mark Pack may like to comment!”
    LibDem policy is primarily decided by members at Conference, not by the leader or president.

  • @Jeff

    I am struggling to understand your point.

    You say that vaccines help to prevent 50% of people getting infected.

    Well on that basis alone, that would mean 50% less virus in the communities.
    That would mean it would be a little bit safer for those whom are extremely vulnerable to this virus to enjoy “some” freedoms like going to shops and using public transport, knowing that if everyone was vaccinated and using masks in those settings, it would be as safe as it can be for them in those settings.
    It would also mean because there is less transmission in community, there would also be less people in hospital with covid and less transmission in hospital settings, meaning it would be safer for those needing vital NHS Treatments and operations that have thus far been delayed due to covid.

    If in order to achieve that we need to have vaccination passports for high risk settings in the hope that it will increase the uptake of vaccinations, then I am all for that.

    To me a Liberal Society is where we all pull together so that everyone can enjoy liberty and freedom, even if that means accepting some “temporary restrictions “on those freedoms, not one where we create a 2 tier society where we abandon the most vulnerable and their immediate family members which seems to me what some people are willing to accept in order to protect their own freedoms. I will never accept that, as far as I am concerned there is nothing Liberal about that and I would have thought given this parties constitution, it goes against everything this party is supposed to stand for

  • @ Matt

    “allowing large amounts of virus to circulate through the community because a significant minority chose not to get vaccinated”

    Covid will continue to circulate anyway regardless of how many people are vaccinated, it is unscientific to suggest otherwise. The vaccines will not eliminate it.

    The clinically vulnerable are already protected by having had the vaccine. The only thing we can do to protect them further is booster jabs.

    For the very small number of people who unfortunately don’t have an immune response to the vaccine, a crowded place would not be safe even if everyone there was vaccinated.

    Of course I read what I write, what an odd question to ask.

  • matt 2nd Sep ’21 – 10:24pm:
    You say that vaccines help to prevent 50% of people getting infected.

    Well on that basis alone, that would mean 50% less virus in the communities.

    I’ve referenced research which shows that a vaccinated individual is around 50% less likely to catch the virus. That is not at all the same as saying vaccines help to prevent 50% of people getting infected or that it would mean 50% less virus in communities.

    …if everyone was vaccinated and using masks in those settings, it would be as safe as it can be for them in those settings.

    A focus on ventilation with CO2 monitors being used to measure levels of exhaled air and a major public health campaign to get people to take high-dose vitamin D throughout the winter would further improve safety. By comparison, vaccine passports for nightclubs aren’t likely to be of much help, not least because most unvaccinated youngsters have already had the virus and have natural immunity.

    If in order to achieve that we need to have vaccination passports for high risk settings in the hope that it will increase the uptake of vaccinations, then I am all for that.

    The research cited in Point 3 of my first comment above suggests that such coercion may have the opposite effect on those who are currently reluctant to be vaccinated.

  • Oh my god! Thank goodness I didn’t stay in the Lib Dems. You’re no better than the Tories.

    I won’t rehearse the arguments made by those against suffice to ask two questions to people that want the vaccine passports:

    1. When will they no longer be required?

    2. The older people on here are so mired in fear that they seem scared of younger people. There’s no reason for a fit 18yo to take the vaccine. I see one person said that he’s too old to go clubbing – yet still thinks people need vaccine passports.

    Do you not realise what you are saying? Haven’t the young suffered enough?

    Mind you at least the leadership of the Lib Dems are showing LEADERSHIP that’s more than you can say for the clown of Downing Street and Captain Hindsight!

  • Peter Martin 3rd Sep '21 - 6:40am

    @ Jeff,

    Do you know of any other disease causing viruses which are equally transmissible by both vaccinated and non vaccinated individuals?

    If not why would you expect this particular virus, SARS-CoV-2, to be an exception?

  • Peter Martin 3rd Sep '21 - 7:07am

    @ Denis Clay,

    “There’s no reason for a fit 18yo to take the vaccine”

    In your unconsidered opinion.

    However the considered opinion of scientists in the JCVI is:

    “For adults aged 18 years and over, JCVI considers that the potential benefits of vaccination with Pfizer-BNT162b2 continue to outweigh potential harms.”

    https://tinyurl.com/853bsp3t

  • Nonconformistradical 3rd Sep '21 - 7:20am

    @Denis Clay
    “Haven’t the young suffered enough?”

    Haven’t the old suffered enough?

  • `In your unconsidered opinion.

    However the considered opinion of scientists in the JCVI is:

    “For adults aged 18 years and over, JCVI considers that the potential benefits of vaccination with Pfizer-BNT162b2 continue to outweigh potential harms.”

    We don’t know yet. How do they know as there hasn’t been enough data. Still no idea how that effects people at music festivals and clubs (where mostly young people go) considering the vaccinated can still transmit the virus and that natural immunity is far more effective than vaccinations.

    @noconformistradical – I consider the young, who have a whole lifetime ahead of them, of more importance than others. They have suffered unnecessary disruption to their schooling, university life, universities ripping them off, lack of a social life when young – and now it looks like they are going to have their life chances threatened with unaffordable housing to buy, precarious employment prospects etc

    Why are Lib Dems and so called nonconformist radicals so anti-young? Please don’t try and guilt trip me. I’m not from the CCP who sent this thing here nor a rubbish education secretary completely out of his depth.

    It’s funny. But sometimes I feel like I’m discussing things with died in the wool Tory party members. It’s a funny old world!

  • Peter Martin 3rd Sep '21 - 8:44am

    @ Denis Clay,

    ” natural immunity is far more effective than vaccinations.”

    Natural immunity hasn’t worked too well for 135k people in the UK or the 5 million or so people in the world who have died from Covid! Neither has it worked too well for sufferers of long Covid!

    It hasn’t had such a good track record with other dangerous diseases such as polio, smallpox, measles etc.

    It’s a moronic remark to make!

  • Jayne mansfield 3rd Sep '21 - 9:07am

    @ Denis Clay,
    I share your anger at what I too perceive as a betrayal of the young. My own view is that liberal as been mis- characterised as permission to be by some as a right to selfish ND absorption. In the 60’s when many of we oldies came of age and were challenging rather than accepting received values and norms.

    The betrayal of the young started well before this pandemic, Issues as important as stemming climate change, fighting for equality of opportunity, equality of access to health care and a first class education, the right to a life that ensured families had enough money to put food on the table, and a decent roof over their heads, jobs that offered security. I could go on.

    The idea that betrayal of the young is about the issue of health passports to night clubs, seems worthy of the diversionary tactics of the current government who are benefitting from these tactics.

    Our mainstream scientists ( seemingly now members of the dreaded elite! according to some), are doing a brilliant job at an amazing pace. Yes, data gathering is continuing, but in the meantime one can only proceed on the basis of the data one has, and as always in such as situation, the balance of probabilities.

    The worst betrayal of our young that I can think of, is that we create a society where we fail to show by example, that one ought to consider the effect of our actions on others, rather than behaving in purely selfish ways. Personally, I haven’t seen a purely selfish approach lead to an increase in the sum of human happiness and contentment.

  • John Marriott 3rd Sep '21 - 9:21am

    Dr John Campbell’s video is well worth watching. He makes it quite clear that, as, according to him, we may all well get COVID, we could, like the Germans plan, dispense with mass testing and concentrate on those, who show symptoms. I notice he recommends taking Vitamin D, which my wife and I have been doing for many years and, of course, getting vaccinated. Whoever he is (apparently a former senior nurse) he seems to be talking a lot of sense. Thanks, ‘Jeff’ for posting his comments.

  • Peter Martin 3rd Sep ’21 – 6:40am:
    …why would you expect this particular virus, SARS-CoV-2, to be an exception?

    Infectivity is largely determined by the viral load in the upper respiratory tract. For infections with the delta variant, research has shown this is similar in both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

    ‘Transmissibility of COVID-19 depends on the viral load around onset in adult and symptomatic patients’ [December 2020]:
    https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0243597

    High nasopharyngeal viral loads around onset may contribute to secondary transmission of COVID-19. Viral load may help provide a better understanding of why transmission is observed in some instances, but not in others, especially among household contacts.

    ‘Impact of Delta on viral burden and vaccine effectiveness against new SARS-CoV-2 infections in the UK’ [24th. August 2021]:
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.08.18.21262237v1

    With Delta, infections occurring following two vaccinations had similar peak viral burden to those in unvaccinated individuals.

    ‘Expert reaction to preprint looking at the impact of the delta variant on vaccine effectiveness’ [19th. August 2021]:
    https://www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-preprint-looking-at-the-impact-of-the-delta-variant-on-vaccine-effectiveness/

    Dr Simon Clarke, Associate Professor in Cellular Microbiology at the University of Reading, said: […] “While vaccinated individuals are less likely to get Covid-19, we also see that it did not affect the amount of Delta variant which could be ‘shed’ from coughs and sneezes when someone does get infected.”

    The issue is not the efficacy of vaccines, but the relative ineffectiveness of vaccine passports as a measure to reduce the level of spread across the community.

  • Peter Martin 3rd Sep '21 - 10:38am

    @ Jeff

    This is a quote you seem to be using with some approval:

    “While vaccinated individuals are less likely to get Covid-19, we also see that it did not affect the amount of Delta variant which could be ‘shed’ from coughs and sneezes when someone does get infected.”

    So doesn’t this mean that if they are less likely to get Covid-19 then they are also less likely to become infected, which is turn means that they will be less likely to be shedding the Delta variant from their coughing and sneezing which they are less likely be doing anyway?

    In other words, the vaccine doesn’t make it impossible for the virus to be transmitted via a vaccinated person, but it does reduce the likelihood of this happening.

  • Nonconformistradical 3rd Sep '21 - 10:41am

    @Denis Clay
    “Why are Lib Dems and so called nonconformist radicals so anti-young?”

    Please don’t make assumptions like that. We’ve all, irrespective of age, been stitched up by an incompetent government one way or another – but in different ways.

  • Antony Watts 3rd Sep '21 - 11:43am

    A zillion people jabbering on, hey just go and get the jab. It’s free and it could save your life.

    What other argument is there?

  • John Barrett 3rd Sep '21 - 11:54am

    Case levels across Scotland are 80 per cent higher than a week ago, and five times greater than they were last month when almost all restrictions were lifted. The number of people in hospital has more than doubled since August 20, from 312 to 629.

    Jason Leitch, the national clinical director, said that he believed 60 per cent of those in hospital are unvaccinated. He earlier admitted that Sturgeon had left open the possibility of extending passports to pubs and restaurants.

    He added “We have got the highest rate of new infections we have ever had in the last week. About 40 or 50 people are being admitted to hospital every day. Vaccine certification is not the only thing in the battle to stop that. But it is another tool in the tool box.”

    A further 6,000 people have tested positive, with the number of people in hospital doubling in the past ten days.

    I wish Alex Cole-Hamilton well in his new role, but I suspect that most people who voted Liberal Democrat and possibly most members will agree with Jason Leitch on this issue.

  • Peter Martin 3rd Sep ’21 – 10:38am:
    …doesn’t this mean that if [the vaccinated] are less likely to get Covid-19 then they are also less likely to become infected, which is turn means that they will be less likely to be shedding the Delta variant from their coughing and sneezing which they are less likely be doing anyway?

    Yes, the vaccinated are around 50% less likely to do that compared to someone who is unvaccinated and who has no immunity from natural infection. However, antibody surveys show that over two-thirds of unvaccinated 16-24 year olds are protected by natural infection. So on average, the unvaccinated may be no more likely to be infected than the vaccinated. What is the point of vaccine passports?

    It takes a few weeks for antibodies to reach detectable levels so this data indicates the antibody prevalence in mid-July…

    ‘Covid-19: 80% of young adults in UK are likely to have antibodies, data suggest’ [2nd. September 2021]:
    https://www.bmj.com/content/374/bmj.n2162

    The fortnightly bulletin on antibody and vaccination levels in the UK community population includes data to 13 August on antibodies and to 8 August on vaccinations. The data are based on blood test results taken from a randomly selected subsample of people aged 16 and over.

    In England 85.4% of 16-24 year olds would test positive for antibodies, the survey suggests. The corresponding estimates are 85.6% for Scotland, 83.9% for Wales, and 80.4% for Northern Ireland.

    Antibody levels in young people have increased rapidly in recent months, coinciding with the rollout of vaccines to younger age groups. In England the percentage of 16-24 year olds likely to have covid-19 antibodies had jumped from 52.9% in the week beginning 7 June to 85.4% by 13 August.

    However, a proportion of this antibody protection has come from infection with SARS-CoV-2 rather than from vaccination, as in England only 58.1% of 16-24 year olds have had any dose of a vaccine. The figure in Scotland is 54.6%, Wales 52.6%, and Northern Ireland 58.5%.

  • John Barrett. The voice of sensible common sense.

  • Peter Martin 3rd Sep '21 - 3:01pm

    ” over two-thirds of unvaccinated 16-24 year olds are protected by natural infection. ……. What is the point of vaccine passports?”

    Assuming that your figures are correct, and assuming that they are indeed protected, the point of the vaccine passport is to encourage the other third to get protected too.

    In any case, there has never been an assumption that those who have tested positive for Covid don’t need a vaccine. Everyone has been asked to be double jabbed regardless of any prior test status.

  • @Martin – “That is odd, the government’s own website has this from just a couple of days ago…”
    Not at all, the government website and vaccination centres were and potentially still are behind the times. So yes on Aug17th Moderna was approved by the MHRA for 12-17 year old’s, yet the then current JCVI statement was from July 19th which obviously only recommended Pfizer. On Aug 20th the only vaccine being offered to the 16-17 age group was Pfizer, I don’t know if things have changed since then as my son has received his first dose of Pfizer (he had to be driven 25 miles to the only “walk-in centre” vaccinating his age group in the South East-Midlands), although reports indicate Moderna gives slightly better protection to Delta than Pfizer.

    As for Dennis Clay’s understanding of matters and Jeff’s understanding of transmissibility and relative levels of risk, they are separate matters; my only observation is that a little science in the hands of fools is a dangerous thing.

  • I started reading this post having not made up my mind. Here are my thoughts.
    “Alex Cole-Hamilton is leading the resistance to this and he explains why – it is basically unworkable, unfair and isn’t going to help as you can still transmit and catch Covid if you have been vaccinated.”
    What is unworkable? The entry system? If they had some sort of verifiable or secure passport, why would it not be workable?
    Unfair? Presumably this means unfair to those barred from entry. If they were allowed in without a passport, would this be unfair to the rest who took the trouble to get vaccinated?
    “You can still catch Covid if you have been vaccinated.” That is very true, but the chance of you becoming seriously ill is very much less, the chance of needing a hospital bed is less and the chance of you dying is very much less.
    For those who are not vaccinated for whatever reason, why would they want to visit a nightclub? Lots of people close together, breathing heavily from dancing or whatever reason. If I was in that category I would be extremely grateful that vaccine passports were in use.
    The only trouble is that I wouldn’t be allowed in.
    So, what is the answer? A night club is a social venue for entertainment. Being barred should not cause distress or hardship but it does make a lot of sense to reduce the spread of disease and reduce the severity of the consequences should infection occur.
    Common sense outweighs ideology. Use a passport.

  • Moving on from the the scientific debate, there is also no evidence that vaccine passports would actually encourage a higher vaccine uptake. In fact, coercion could increase mistrust of the authorities and increase interest in anti-vaccine and conspiracy theories, effectively acting as a recruiting sergeant for groups who advocate those ideas.

    The idea could be damaging for business, forcing them to act as bouncers. Many could go out of business. There could be a “black market” of nightclubs etc who don’t comply with the rules or operate secretly.

  • Jayne mansfield 3rd Sep '21 - 7:57pm

    @ John Marriott,
    I haven’t watched Dr John Campbells video and am unlikely to.

    I haven’t seen it and am no position to make any comment on it.

    What I would say is that social media is rife with people giving their opinions and their perspective on the pandemic and what we should according to them, be doing, or not doing. You and I could do the same if we were so inclined.

    What I find fascinating , is that one of the most important traits for scientists , as far as I am concerned, is that of humility, an understanding of how little we know, and an acknowledgment of this, that keeps one searching.

    I find the certainties of some on here discombobulating . It seems to me, that there are some who have reached a conclusion based on prejudice , prior to a desperate search for some scientific evidence, no matter that their sources have been neither peer reviewed, or been discredited to support their case.

    My opinion of course,

  • David Evans 3rd Sep '21 - 11:04pm

    It is interesting to see so many (Too many?) people here discussing this matter as if there is an absolute principle here and not a matter of judgement. To those who are Lib Dems here I reiterate the very first sentence in the Preamble to our party’s Constitution – “The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community …”

    First there are three fundamental values liberty (of the person), equality (among people) and community (the combined efforts of all the people). Second and vitally, there is a balance which means that there has some give and take across those three fundamental values to reach a conclusion.

    So many young people want to party. Many old people don’t want there to be a party next door to them. So we have night clubs and festivals not near to where old people live. Balance.

    Many young people want to go to a nightclub. Many old people are concerned that unless they are vaccinated, many young people will a) catch the virus and b) pass it on to others including old people. Most young people seem to be unaffected by the virus, but a few are badly affected. Most old and vulnerable people would be seriously at risk if they caught the disease. The vaccine is effective in preventing infection, but not 100% effective. Young people tend to behave in a less inhibited way in nightclubs which makes transmission more likely. People attending nightclubs should be vaccinated and have to prove it. Balance – yes. Perfect balance – no.

    it’s a liberal judgement, not an absolute, and different liberals with different priorities (e.g. I visit great granny often to keep her company and am concerned about giving her the disease – You don’t visit her, but could pass it on to me and I could pass it on to her) can validly reach very different conclusions.

    Then you have to study the data and make a decision, by a vote – That’s the democracy bit.

  • Nonconformistradical 4th Sep '21 - 8:03am

    @David Evans 3rd Sep ’21 – 11:04pm
    You’ve summed it up very well – thank you.

  • Antony Watts 3rd Sep ’21 – 11:43am:
    A zillion people jabbering on, hey just go and get the jab. It’s free and it could save your life.

    Yes, the evidence shows that vaccination greatly reduces the risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and death. That is not in dispute.

    What other argument is there?

    Alex Cole-Hamilton argues against vaccine passports on civil liberty grounds. I’ve pointed out that regardless of that argument, vaccine passports are not a sensible policy at this time based on an examination of the science and statistics. Why? Current vaccines only reduce the risk of infection with the Delta variant by 50% and do little to prevent onward transmission once infected. So in a nightclub of 100 young people with 70 vaccinated, 20 unvaccinated, but with immunity from previous natural infection, and 10 unvaccinated with no immunity, an individual is around 3.5 times more likely to be infected by one of the vaccinated attendees (50% of 70 / 10) than one of the unvaccinated (previous infection is around 13-times more protective than vaccination). This is not to argue that vaccination isn’t good, but that vaccine passports are likely to be ineffective and may give a false sense of safety.

  • Peter Martin 4th Sep '21 - 11:22am

    @ Jeff,

    “…..an individual is around 3.5 times more likely to be infected by one of the vaccinated attendees…. ”

    So you’re saying if everyone in your nightclub was vaccinated there would be no chance of catching Covid from an unvaccinated person but still a finite chance of catching it from those who have been vaccinated.

    Can’t argue with that. So this means that it’s much safer to hang out with the unvaccinated? You might need to buy a new thinking cap if you can’t spot the logistical flaw.

  • Jayne mansfield 4th Sep '21 - 12:06pm

    @ Jeff,
    As you say, the issue is the effectiveness of vaccine passports and their effectiveness in reducing transmission of the virus. Also that they may be counter productive by giving a false sense of security.

    May I ask, what you believe is the alternative if one wishes to reduce the transmission in high risk situations such as nightclubs? Government figures show that 1 in 4 young people in the UK are still to get a first vaccine. One can add to that , the number who have still not had a second vaccine.

    Nightclubs, if they haven’t from my day, are full of young people having a good time, unlikely to wear masks and certainly not observing social distances, with inhibitions often dulled by alcohol, in poorly ventilated spaces.

    The issue of young people and long covid is a serious one. Indeed the ongoing longitudinal study by Professor Sir Terence Stephenson of long covid in children and young adults highlights the added need to use every tool in the toolbox to prevent or at least reduce transmission. You have mentioned the negatives of vaccine passports, but one positive that I can see is they encourage people to have the vaccine.

    That this government has mishandled our response to the covid pandemic seems to me to be beyond question, not least because it seems to be incapable of learning from mistakes. My own view is that high risk venues should not be open given the risks , especially to young people who think they are invulnerable – until they aren’t.

  • Peter Martin 4th Sep ’21 – 11:22am:
    So you’re saying if everyone in your nightclub was vaccinated there would be no chance of catching Covid from an unvaccinated person but still a finite chance of catching it from those who have been vaccinated.

    Yes, obviously if there were no unvaccinated people present you could only catch it from those who had been vaccinated.

    So this means that it’s much safer to hang out with the unvaccinated?

    Not “much safer”, but possibly ‘safer’ or ‘as safe’. If, say, 80% of the unvaccinated have already been infected then the average level of protection may be greater than that of the vaccinated where most have yet to be infected. This is because natural infection is up to 13-times more protective, although as with the vaccine, this wanes over time. Going forward, an increasing proportion of the vaccinated will also boost their immunity with breakthrough infections. This is not to imply that obtaining immunity by natural infection is sensible, even for the young; it just reflects the situation as it is with the virus now endemic and a minority of the population unvaccinated (mostly the young and ethnic minorities).

    ‘Comparing SARS-CoV-2 natural immunity to vaccine-induced immunity: reinfections versus breakthrough infections’ [25th. August 2021]:
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.08.24.21262415v1

    Results SARS-CoV-2-naïve vaccinees had a 13.06-fold (95% CI, 8.08 to 21.11) increased risk for breakthrough infection with the Delta variant compared to those previously infected, when the first event (infection or vaccination) occurred during January and February of 2021. […]

    Conclusions This study demonstrated that natural immunity confers longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, compared to the BNT162b2 two-dose vaccine-induced immunity.

  • John Barrett 4th Sep '21 - 2:37pm

    As Peter points out, “A night club is a social venue for entertainment. Being barred should not cause distress or hardship but it does make a lot of sense to reduce the spread of disease and reduce the severity of the consequences should infection occur.”

    Being refused entry to a nightclub can be be be for a variety of reasons, such as wearing the “wrong” clothes, so it is hardly a breach of anyone’s human rights not to get in. What is important is reducing the spread of the disease by reasonable measures and we know that this will clearly not suit everyone.

    The next issue the party will need to discuss will be the vaccination of children.

    It looks like the evidence so far is that vaccinating them will provide a very marginal difference to the risk to their own health, but the advantage to the elderly and the more vulnerable in society will be greater – if other groups, such as children are vaccinated.

    I think the issue of vaccine passports will be much less controversial than supporting vaccinating one group of people in order to protect another group.

  • Russell Simpson 6th Sep '21 - 8:27am

    One more reason to not vote Libdem. Dear oh dear, where did it all go wrong?

  • @Jeff – This is because natural infection is up to 13-times more protective, although as with the vaccine, this wanes over time.

    I think you weren’t paying attention back last year when the issues with natural immunity to the corona family of viruses was publicly discussed and why it was so important (and necessary) for there to be a vaccine.

    Remember someones natural immunity is wholly dependent upon the severity of infection – get a mild dose and your natural immunity will last weeks, get a severe dose and you might be immune for 3~6 months.

  • @John Barrett – “The next issue the party will need to discuss will be the vaccination of children.”
    As it is increasingly becoming clear, Delta is CoVid for the unvaccinated, which in the main are children.

    Only those who wish to remain blind, would be unaware of the effects CoVid is having on children. Whilst, they might not get CoVid so badly, there is a worrying and increasing number of “Long CoVid” cases.
    https://www.facebook.com/longcovidkids/

  • Roland 6th Sep ’21 – 3:29pm:
    I think you weren’t paying attention back last year when the issues with natural immunity to the corona family of viruses was publicly discussed and why it was so important (and necessary) for there to be a vaccine.

    Not paying attention? This is what I said in my previous comment:

    “This is not to imply that obtaining immunity by natural infection is sensible, even for the young; it just reflects the situation as it is with the virus now endemic and a minority of the population unvaccinated (mostly the young and ethnic minorities).”

    Remember someones natural immunity is wholly dependent upon the severity of infection – get a mild dose and your natural immunity will last weeks, get a severe dose and you might be immune for 3~6 months.

    Can you cite evidence to support these claims (from an authoritative source, not Facebook)?

  • Roland 6th Sep ’21 – 3:40pm:
    As it is increasingly becoming clear, Delta is CoVid for the unvaccinated, which in the main are children.

    An increasingly large percentage of infections are in the vaccinated. The ZOE COVID Study Symptom Tracker shows symptomatic cases in the fully vaccinated now make up 30% of the total…

    ‘COVID still rising after restriction-free summer’ [2nd. September 2021]:
    https://covid.joinzoe.com/post/covid-still-rising-after-restriction-free-summer

    In the fully vaccinated population, it’s estimated there are currently 17,342 new daily symptomatic cases in the UK, cases in this group have been rising steadily for the last week and now make up 30% of all new daily cases (Graph 1).

    In Israel, which was ahead of the UK in vaccination rollout, the majority of new cases are in the fully vaccinated…

    ‘A grim warning from Israel: Vaccination blunts, but does not defeat Delta’ [16th. August 2021]:
    https://www.science.org/news/2021/08/grim-warning-israel-vaccination-blunts-does-not-defeat-delta

    Israel has among the world’s highest levels of vaccination for COVID-19, with 78% of those 12 and older fully vaccinated, the vast majority with the Pfizer vaccine. Yet the country is now logging one of the world’s highest infection rates, with nearly 650 new cases daily per million people. More than half are in fully vaccinated people, underscoring the extraordinary transmissibility of the Delta variant and stoking concerns that the benefits of vaccination ebb over time.

  • ex pats
    Have tried living in an environment with vulnerable adults and a vulnerable child. Boris fails to think of them when he sets the public free to be sensible. Unfortunately sensible seems to mean take no care whatsoever. Many of the exercise routines you quote do not require masks even by my tight critria. Masks help t stop the spread indoors. Ventilation in schools should be a national spending priority to reduce the impact to and from children. Lots more suggestions that the sensible might consider.
    Passports are vital. Sorry.

  • Peter Hirst 8th Sep '21 - 4:13pm

    It’s all to do with risk. Vaccination reduces the risk. It’s either proof of being vaccinated or cancelling most large audience events. If the public can’t or won’t remain without these activities then vaccination is the only solution and proof of having them is part of that package.

  • Peter Hirst 8th Sep ’21 – 4:13pm:
    It’s all to do with risk. Vaccination reduces the risk.

    It is and vaccination reduces the risk by 50%, but data shows prior natural infection reduces the risk by a further 13 fold.

    Let’s run through the figures. For the Delta variant, current vaccines reduce risk of infection and thus potential transmission by 50% [1]. So the unvaccinated with no natural immunity from a previous infection have twice the chance of catching it and being infectious. ONS data shows that in mid-summer 85.6% of Scottish 16 to 24 year olds had antibodies with 54.6% having been vaccinated [2]. Therefore, 31 out of every 100 (85.6%-54.6%) were unvaccinated, but had antibodies from a previous natural infection. That 31 is 68.3% of the unvaccinated (100*31/45.4). Data from Israel shows that they are 13 times better protected than if they had been vaccinated with no prior natural infection [3].

    By now, it’s safe to assume that at least 80% of unvaccinated 16-24 year olds will have been naturally infected (likely more for those attending nightclubs). Some of the vaccinated will also have had a natural infection. Let’s assume 50%. We can now estimate the relative risks of infection and potential transmission between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Let’s call the risk for an unvaccinated person with no prior natural infection x. For the vaccinated with 50% having also had a prior natural infection the relative risk = 50%*(0.5/13) + 50%*0.5 = 0.02 + 0.25 = 0.27. For the unvaccinated with 80% having had a previous natural infection the relative risk = 80%*(0.5/13) + 20%*1 = 0.03 + 0.2 = 0.23.

    These figures suggest that the vaccinated have slightly more risk of becoming infected and potentially transmitting the virus. As more of those with no antibodies become infected and gain natural immunity the safer unvaccinated people will be on average compared to the average for vaccinated people.

    1. ‘Delta variant renders herd immunity from Covid ‘mythical’’:
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/10/delta-variant-renders-herd-immunity-from-covid-mythical

    2. ‘Covid-19: 80% of young adults in UK are likely to have antibodies, data suggest’:
    https://www.bmj.com/content/374/bmj.n2162

    3. ‘Comparing SARS-CoV-2 natural immunity to vaccine-induced immunity: reinfections versus breakthrough infections’:
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.08.24.21262415v1

  • David Garlick 10th Sep '21 - 8:13pm

    Vacination passports increase vacination take up. Sensible people or self interested people? You decide ,but it really doesn’t matter as long as they get protected..

  • Well, after backing the Tories opposition to this in Scotland, is the party going to oppose their introduction of them in England?

    What knots opportunistic opposition created these days!

  • David Garlick 10th Sep ’21 – 8:13pm:
    Vacination passports increase vacination take up.

    Some recent research suggests that they may not…

    ‘The potential impact of vaccine passports on inclination to accept COVID-19 vaccinations in the United Kingdom: evidence from a large cross-sectional survey and modelling study’ [June 2021]:
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.05.31.21258122v1

    Overall, we find that the introduction of passports for either domestic or international use has a net negative impact on vaccination inclination, once we control for baseline vaccination intent.

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