The United Kingdom is highly vaccinated against COVID, but it also has the worst rate of new COVID infections in all of Western Europe right now. Eight times the rate in France. Six times the rate in Germany. Twenty times the rate in Spain.
To a vaccine-skeptic, that might seem like evidence that the jabs don’t work. It’s not. The vaccines are doing exactly what they’re supposed to do: reducing the rate of severe illness and keeping people out of hospitals.
The problem is that, as high as the U.K.’s vaccine rate is, it’s not high enough to block the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s transmission pathways and achieve population-level “herd immunity,” especially considering that vaccine uptake is slowing fast. And many of those who are already vaccinated are about to lose some of their protection as their antibodies and T-cells fade.