The UK has gone in the direction of acquiring herd immunity, in our country there are not enough people vaccinated against COVID-19 for such a strategy – virologist Professor K. Włodzimierz Gut.

PAP: Great Britain recorded the highest number in three months, about 50 thousand. Infected people in one day. What is happening?

a. Włodzimierz Gut: Great Britain went in the direction of acquiring herd immunity, so all penalties for non-compliance with the principles of prevention were abolished. It was decided that those who wanted to be vaccinated were vaccinated, and the rest, at their request, had a “chance” of contracting COVID-19.

PAP: This is worrying, because the vast majority of the population in Great Britain is vaccinated – more than in Poland, and yet the number of infections is high.

WG: But there is still a large proportion of the unvaccinated (nearly 30 million – PAP). Hence these numbers of infected, but fewer deaths. Compare this to Russia, which sometimes has fewer cases – or a similar number, but in Britain there are at least seven or eight times fewer deaths.

PAP: There are also fewer hospitalizations, thanks to which the burden on healthcare is less?

WG: The UK has reached a level of infection that guarantees national security, that is, the security of the economy and medical care.

PAP: Isn’t this strategy risky in the long run? Those who do get sick may have long-term effects of COVID-19 and will be a burden on health care later.

And A: Yes, that’s true, but there are already too many people who have been vaccinated, so that shouldn’t be a big deal.

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PAP: Recently, the Health and Welfare Commission (HSCC) published a report indicating that the delay in introducing the lockdown in Great Britain after the outbreak of the pandemic was a mistake, and there were too many casualties.

WG: It’s possible that … good social attitude is also important (as people followed the recommendations – PAP), it is also important and the number of deaths has been limited.

PAP: What if we did the same in our country and gave up wearing masks, staying away and disinfecting?

The Wall Street Journal: Great Britain owns about 80 per cent. Vaccinated population, Poland – only 50 percent. Then our country would be in the middle in terms of infection between Great Britain and Russia, which has 35 percent. vaccinate people.

PAP: How will the fourth wave continue to develop in Poland?

WG: The vaccination is going the same, more and more people are getting the third dose, and I’d rather have more people get the first and second doses than the third. Because the third dose is just a reminder of what the body already knows how to behave in the event of an infection. In my opinion, it probably won’t be 27 thousand. Injured, but we will grow a little more.

PAP: The increase in infection in the fourth wave will be mild?

WG: Right from the start, this growth is of a different kind. At the time, the number of patients was doubling every ten days, and now we have a 40% increase from week to week.

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PAP: And the structure of the disease?

WG: Young people with milder illness are sicker, and there will be more later consequences of COVID-19 than severe forms and deaths.

PAP: In France and Germany, there are fewer infections in Italy than in Great Britain, is this due to the fact that in these countries there is not much loosening of the rules?

WG: That’s right. In Italy, a parliamentarian will not be able to vote unless he is vaccinated against COVID-19, because he will not enter the parliament building.

PAP: So universal vaccination is of key importance in fighting an epidemic?

WG: That’s right. Then we can reduce the economy at the expense of the unvaccinated, thanks to which – jokingly – we have enough to buy a vaccine for those who want to be vaccinated. (PAP)

Interviewed by Zbigniew Wojtasiński (PAP)

zbw / beech /