Vaccine immunity "won’t just disappear" with Covid variants – expert

Immunity to Covid vaccines “doesn’t just go away” in the face of imported variants of the virus, an expert said.

Professor Adam Finn, member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI), expected a “gradual erosion” of vaccination protection as the virus evolved.

However, he said the lockdown is unlikely to drop back to “number one”.

Professor Finn said this would not be enough to “thwart” the prime minister’s roadmap, as a leading scientist had predicted.

On Friday, Imperial College’s Danny Altmann said “we should be terribly concerned” after 77 cases of a potentially vaccine-damaging Covid-19 mutation were identified in the UK, first discovered in India – which could lead to a third wave.

Professor Finn said he found the assessment “somewhat pessimistic”.

He told Times Radio: “We all expected this virus to develop from the beginning.

“I also think we know from other viruses and previous experience that the immunity that vaccines impart doesn’t just go away.

“It will be a gradual erosion. It won’t be back in first place. I would be really surprised if that happened.

“So I think this interpretation may be a bit pessimistic.”

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