ENDY JAY

     For quite some time now, news had been circulating on the Net – that can be confirmed by thousands of internauts – that double-jabbed people were still infected with Covid-19 and transmitting the virus.

     For some unclear reasons, no one here raised the issue in public, still less to get it to become a matter of debate, and I would have been the last one to venture to sound a discordant note while the Health Authorities were on a scramble to hasten and extend the vaccination campaign, inevitably offering ground for some complaint and criticism from different quarters for the manner the exercise was being conducted in that race against time. But all this, suddenly, becomes secondary, as we shall see.

    But on reading in ‘Le Mauricien’ of 24/8/21 under the caption ‘Casse-tête à la Santé avec la vaccination à l’avant-plan’ what follows : ‘La Santé est confrontée à des interrogations quant aux vaccins administrés. Les indications sont que la question se pose sur l’efficacité même de ceux-ci‘, I felt there should be no cause to restrain to share what experts are saying on the vaccines – however untimely this may appear to some, even irritating others awaiting eagerly ahead of the reopening of our frontiers on October 1 next –, almost daily on the newsheets of the top news channels, lest one may be considered a charlatan bent on throwing a spanner in the works.

In that connexion, this is what Sky News reported on 24/8/21: ‘Protection from Covid-19 jabs wanes within six months, study suggests.

‘Protection could fall to below 50% for the elderly and healthcare workers by winter, analysis  from Zoe COVID study found.

‘Covid-19 protection from two doses of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines begin to wane within six months new research suggests.

‘In a reasonable ‘worst-case scenario’, protection could fall below 50% for the elderly and healthcare workers by winter.

‘The Pfizer-BioNTech jab was 88% effective at preventing coronavirus infection a month after the second dose.

‘But the protection decreased to 74% after 5 to 6 months – suggesting protection fell 14 percentage points in four months.

‘Meanwhile, protection from Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine fell to 77% just one month after the second jab. It decreased to 67% after four to five months – suggesting protection fell by 10 percentage points over three months.

‘This study involved more thanv1.2 million test results and participants, though vaccines were not trialled against the now dominant Delta variant of the virus’.

     And now experts are saying these latest findings dash all hopes of attaining ‘herd immunity’ – that expression most of us heard for the first time only recently –,   that immunity to be attained, supposedly, when 75-80% of the population are vaccinated. But, in the light of the latest findings, herd immunity will not be attained even if 100% are vaccinated, a target nevertheless impossible to achieve, not only for practical reasons but only if vaccination becomes mandatory for all. Can we imagine this latest scenario?

At the same time some questions come to mind. Why some research units conducted studies on the effectiveness/potency of some vaccines after they got the green light from WHO? Was it because double-jabbed persons got infected, or doubts that a really-effective vaccine could have been found in so short a time – an observation made by some experts in November last when Pfizer made the first announcement of a vaccine? But it can be safe to say we do not have the full story relating to these ‘famous’ vaccines and the role, hesitant at times, played by the WHO? Time will tell.

    All this said without the least intention to embarrass the Authorities. Have we entered a period when vaccination becomes an on-going and permanent feature at the end of every waning period. Should this be the case, what new taxes to buttress that new permanent feature? We are thus facing a conundrum that affords no room for anyone to derive political dividends, no one to possibly rejoice whatever headache awaits the incumbent rulers, no partisan considerations inasmuch as we are ‘all’ in the same boat.

    Many experts have often, of late, said we must learn to live with Covid-19. Live with the virus or die from it!

     Remember ‘signs and omens’?