Skip to Content

Boris Johnson, Downing Street, 2019. Wikipedia

Famous virologist explains risky ‘logic’ of herd immunity

A virologist twice nominated for the Nobel Prize explains the British strategy of "herd immunity" claiming it may have a logical explanation, but is still too risky.

Published: March 18, 2020, 8:59 am

    Read more

    Prof. Giulio Tarro is one of the famous virologists in the world. He was awarded by the US as “best virologist of the year” in 2018 and candidate for the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2015 – a pupil of the father of the polio vaccine Albert Sabin.  Tarro was the one who isolated the cholera strain when the epidemic broke out in Naples. He spoke to Giornale.it about the peculiar British response to Covid-19.

    When interviewed for clarification on the notion of “herd immunity”, Tarro acknowledged the risk associated with this strategy “to let the virus circulate freely, therefore not using the measures we are implementing, such as rigor and isolation, to try to eradicate what, after all, is a disease that in 96 percent of cases resolves without mortality. So based on this we would have immunity of the whole population”.

    After the latest statements by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to infect 60 percent of the UK population in order to make them develop antibodies and therefore make them immune to the virus, his hypothesis however sparked huge controversy in the world community, which called this as an irresponsible and criminal act.

    The hashtag #ToryGenocide trended on Twitter, with users accusing Johnson and the Conservative Party of deliberately risking the lives of the sick and the elderly.

    On Monday night, Johnson’s policy collided with the facts after an analysis by immunologists at Imperial College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The impact of the Coronavirus in Italy suggested that at least 30 percent of infected patients require intensive care treatment.

    Britain’s state-run National Health Service (NHS) will certainly crash under this weight. In Italy, hospitals are collapsing and the public is increasingly alarmed by the high mortality rate. Lombardy is currently on its knees, and there are fears for the south of the country perhaps not able to contain a similar epidemic. Fatalities in Italy have surpassed 2 500.

    According to Tarro, the problem is the remaining 4 percent which has triggered the crisis in Lombardy because in winter 2018, due to a flu epidemic, hospitals were already overloaded.

    The World Health Organization, maintain that those countries who have halved their intensive care centers from 1997 to 2015 are now living with the consequences.

    In January when the world heard the news from China, France immediately doubled the possibility of having intensive care centers, while Italy and Britain ignored the facts, Tarro said.

    “All this then leads, which I can not accept, that you get to choose between a boy of twenty years and one of seventy,” the virologist concluded.

    Imperial College epidemiologist Azra Ghani told journalists at a press conference that his team had been “expecting herd immunity to build [but] we now realize it’s not possible to cope with that”. The UK has now officially shifted from containment to “epidemic suppression … [as] the only viable strategy at the current time”.

    Richard Horten, the editor of the famous medical journal Lancet, expressed his anger over UK policy on Twitter: “It said it took a study from Imperial to understand the likely burden of COVID-19 on the NHS. But read the first paper we published on COVID-19 on January 24 – 32 percent admitted to ITU with 15 percent mortality. We have wasted seven weeks. This crisis was entirely preventable.”

    In Italy, where hospitals are overwhelmed “patients above 65 are not even assessed” and left to die.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Outrage after Henry Kissinger suggests peace settlement with Russia

    DavosUkraine has reacted with outrage to comments by longtime US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on urgent peace talks between Ukraine and Russia.

    WHO links monkeypox outbreak to gay events in Belgium and Spain

    Monkeypox cases have been associated with a gay sex sauna in Madrid, while three cases detected in Belgium were linked to a gay fetish festival called Darklands in Belgium. But the outbreak may also be linked to VAIDS.

    Proportion of foreign pupils in Berlin schools concealed

    BerlinBerlin's mayor Giffey wants even more immigration for her already ethnically "diversified" city. Meanwhile, the problems of imported "diversity" are swept under the carpet: The Senate wants to conceal the huge language and integration problems in the capital's schools by no longer publishing information on the proportion of foreign or non-German-speaking pupils.

    Le Pen and Zemmour attack the new education minister

    ParisIn the wake of the announcement of the new government in France, the main figures of the opposition have expressed their utter displeasure, fake and real.

    University offers master’s degree against the ‘right’

    MarburgLabelling unwanted political critics has become a field of study. The University of Marburg in Germany offers a master's degree against the "right". Exclusion and discrimination against those with a different opinion will soon be studied at the Philipps University in Marburg.

    Retired Turkish admiral questions wisdom of Sweden and Finland joining NATO

    AnkaraRetired Turkish Rear Admiral Ali Deniz Kutluk said the constant expansion has turned NATO into a cumbersome and unmanageable organisation. The discussed inclusion in the North Atlantic Alliance of two more countries – Finland and Sweden – will make the structure even weaker, and ultimately more dangerous for current members.

    Latest Great Reset fantasy: Ban food photography!

    BerlinLast week, German Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) made a typical political mistake: Rules for thee but not for me. In order to reduce the "energy consumption" of advancing digitalisation, Wissing seriously recommended that Germans refrain from frequently posting photos of food on the internet. Then his Instagram posts surfaced.

    Spain: Toy advertisements may no longer be pink or blue

    MadridIn Catholic Spain, of all places, gender activists have won a new victory. Children's and babies' toys may now no longer be advertised in "gender-specific" colours such as pink and light blue. In Germany, woke parents are subjecting their children to the same grooming.

    Global demand for vaccines drops sharply

    Chinese biotech firm Kexing Holdings has made a fortune selling Sinovac's Chinese vaccine. A few days ago, however, it became known that the bonus payments were withheld and most of the workforce has been laid off. Exports of Chinese vaccines (Sinovac, Sinopharm, CanSino) were 97 percent lower in April than in September 2021.

    Finland will apply for NATO membership – Sweden will follow on Monday

    HelsinkiIt is now clear – Finland will apply for NATO membership on Sunday. Sweden will submit an application on Monday according to information.

    Go to archive