I regret saying ‘herd immunity’, Vallance tells UK Covid inquiry

Chief scientific adviser says term was misunderstood and mistakenly taken to be government policy

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Sir Patrick Vallance has expressed regret for using the phrase “herd immunity” during an early media interview about Covid, saying this was misunderstood to imply a wish to allow the virus to spread unchecked through the population.

Vallance, who was the UK government’s chief scientific adviser, said in his written witness statement to the Covid inquiry that he was “trying to explain a technically difficult concept of how infections reduce their impact and eventually stop and did so in a rather poor way”.

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