With every passing day, more Covid immunity is being gained as hundreds of thousands receive the vaccine. Of course, vaccines take time to mature in the body and offer protection, but with roughly a quarter of the population having now received their first inoculation, our approach to dealing with the virus will inevitably need to shift. The big question is how vaccination has changed the equation for how quickly society can be reopened. Modelling from the PCCF project at Bristol University, on cautious assumptions, suggests that the pace of the vaccine rollout would allow significant reopening with herd immunity achieved in July.
First, let’s say how much vaccine immunity has been induced by the vaccine. The latest findings of the PCCF model developed at Bristol University – which is matched against recent ONS antibody survey data – puts the figure today at 44 per cent: 23 per cent coming from recovery from infection, 13 per cent from prior, T-cell immunity, plus a rapidly growing share, already 8 per cent, resulting from the vaccination campaign (see the below chart).