People with Covid vaccine ‘inappropriately feeling bulletproof’, warns prof

People With Covid Vaccine ‘Inappropriately Feeling Bulletproof’, Warns Prof People With Covid Vaccine ‘Inappropriately Feeling Bulletproof’, Warns Prof
There is no 'magic' number of vaccinations after which Ireland will return to normal, the Nphet member said. Photo: PA Images.
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Vivienne Clarke

Some who have received their Covid-19 vaccine in Ireland are now “inappropriately feeling bulletproof,” a member of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) has warned.

Professor Philip Nolan, the chair of Nphet’s modelling advisory group, said that while the vaccine offered protection, the virus could still be transmitted.

“We can’t let the disease run riot,” he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

There is no “magic” number of vaccinations after which Ireland will return to normal, Prof Nolan added.

Herd immunity was a useful concept but reaching a figure of 85 per cent would not mean “everything goes back to normal,” he said.

'Grim possibilities'

Prof Nolan said high levels of vaccination needed to be reached before any “non-pharmaceutical” restrictions could be relaxed.

In the meantime, everyone, as a society, needed to continue to play their part. A gradual reduction of other restrictions could be looked at as vaccination levels were increased, he said.


Prof Nolan cautioned against looking at what had happened in Scotland recently, where case numbers rose and then dropped.

There were always reasons to be optimistic and not to be focused on the “grim possibilities”, but it was not inevitable that a specific trajectory would occur, he added.

What happened next depended on “what we do for the next few weeks,” he said. “Where the numbers go next depends on us. The good news is that the vaccine gives us great protection.”

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On Thursday evening, Prof Nolan warned on Twitter that rising case numbers, on a trajectory to double every 12 days, would translate into “an as-yet-unknown” level of severe disease and mortality over the next two to four weeks.

The risk to the population of contracting the virus now was 30 per cent of what it had been, while the risk of serious disease was now ten to 15 per cent, he said on Friday morning.

Prof Nolan called on the public to “get your vaccine when it is offered” and for those who were already vaccinated to support those awaiting their vaccine in efforts to live their lives fully and safely.

The Delta variant would remain a significant threat for the coming weeks, he said. Everyone needed to continue to pay attention to the basics. He said he had noticed that people were “simply getting too close.”

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