James O'Brien challenges caller who sees 'positives' of Delta variant surge in UK

6 July 2021, 12:19

By Fiona Jones

James O'Brien takes on this caller who claims there are "positive" aspects to the Delta variant surge in the UK.

It comes as the UK has recorded another 27,334 coronavirus cases and nine related deaths, according to Public Health England.

This compares with the 24,248 Covid cases and 15 deaths recorded on Sunday, and 22,868 cases and three deaths on Monday last week.

Caller Jason told James that "everybody's said the [Delta] variant is a quite negative thing" and that while it shouldn't have happened in the first place, it is only negative "to a certain extent."

James asked: "To which extent is it a positive?"

"The positive extent is it has shown that the vaccines are working against the different variants, that's what the positive is," the caller said.

Read more: More deaths than births in UK for the first time in almost 50 years - ONS data

James countered that the vaccine would still have worked against the Delta variant if the UK was not currently a further 27,000 people contracting the infection.

"We would still have proved that it worked if it worked on one person, so I'd struggle to see it as a positive," James said, "here's one person with the Delta variant, oh great the vaccine works, here's 100,000, oh great the vaccine works. You see why one of those scenarios is far preferable than the other.

"You can test the efficacy of the vaccine with one infection or with ten infections or with a total of 200 infections. In Israel they reintroduced restrictions after they were seeing 100 a day, we're now up to 27,334.

"You can't really make the case that it's good news because the vaccine works when proving that the vaccine works could have been done with one case."

Read more: What did Boris Johnson announce about July 19? Key points the PM outlined