As the scientist behind the millions of life-saving covid jabs, you can expect everyone’s love from Professor Andrew Pollard.
Instead, he and the team behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine have been forced to call the police after being bombarded with intense threats from hateful antivirals.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun on Sunday, Professor Pollard, 56, revealed: “We get a lot of negative correspondence from people, some of them threatening.
“We have extra security during epidemics and we have involved the police if necessary.
“We talk to them regularly about the potential dangers. It’s a little scary, but we support it.
In an extensive interview on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Oxford job, Professor Pollard says that the ban on covid should no longer be “stop people.”
He also revealed that he had been asked to sign autographs while jogging, although he joked that he would not be participating in Strategies anytime soon.
Professor Pollard is speaking to the Vaccine Group’s headquarters in Oxford, the walls of which are plastered with thank-you notes, mostly from children.
It’s hard to imagine the team facing the hateful threats they face.
But the professor says “you have to get rid of the anti-wax extremists.”
He adds: “It extends to the cybersecurity aspect of things, where there is a very good team at the university with the help of the government’s cybersecurity unit.
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“It’s a minority. The overwhelming feeling is that people are so grateful that there are vaccines that have helped us get through.
‘I had autograph requests’
“We got a lot of correspondence from the kids, especially during 2020 when we were clearly in lockdown about what was happening and thinking about science.
“And one of the things I really hope for is that this will be the new generation that is embracing science and how it values almost everything we do in our lives.
“I think some are going to become vaccine experts.”
It has been 13 months since the first Oxford-AstraZeneca jab was given to dialysis patient Brian Pinker on January 4, 2021 at the age of 82.
Professor Pollard, who was knighted on the Queen’s Birthday Awards last summer, was the third person in the world to receive it.
He believes that we are now in a “completely different place”.
On Thursday, all of Cowade’s regulations – including the need to isolate after a positive test – will be removed.
Professor Pollard is largely positive about the reversal of sanctions, arguing that people should “not be deterred” from the epidemic.
“We are in a very different place now, because of course the majority of people in Europe have been vaccinated,” he said.
We got a lot of correspondence from the kids, especially during 2020 when we were clearly in lockdown about what was happening and thinking about science. And one of the things I really hope for is that this will be the new generation that is embracing science and how it values almost everything we do in our lives.
“There have been many infections, which have further boosted the immunity of vaccinators.
“And even in non-vaccinated people there are a lot of infections, which develop some immunity.
“So we’ve reached a point where the population is less likely to get seriously ill than coyotes. There are always exceptions, and we’ve seen them in some people who are still in the hospital.
“But now it is not possible to go back to the beginning of the epidemic unless you get a new virus.”
He added: “Obviously there is a health aspect to this, but politicians have to make decisions based on what they think is best for their country.
“But we must reach a point in the future where countries have made every effort to protect their citizens by improving the flexibility of vaccination and health systems.
“And once you get to the point where there is no other intervention that you can do, you have to decide what society will look like after that.
“If you keep imposing restrictions on this place, without really doing anything new that is stopping people, there will be very little benefit.
“So you think countries will come to a point, I don’t know when that is, where all these sanctions will end because they don’t make sense anymore.”
Nevertheless, Professor Pollard argues that we have an ideal breeding ground for another deadly epidemic.
He says: “If you look at the situation you would like if you were trying to start an epidemic, it would be a huge population size, as has happened in the last century – the human population is very large. Yes, and it will continue to grow by 2050.
“You want to travel a lot internationally, in which we are really good, you want people to live in crowded communities, which happens in many parts of the world.
“And people are either encroaching on areas where animals live, or bringing animals into their communities, as is the case with food in various ways, especially in some parts of the world.”
He also believes that we are “lucky” with Cowade, which kills a small percentage of those who catch him. He goes on to say: “Every data set you see, the virus causes less than one percent of deaths.
“Corona virus, which did not spread very well ten years ago, killed 35 percent of those infected with measles,” he said.
‘Amazing part of history’
“So what does an epidemic look like if you have a high mortality epidemic?”
The plague killed 50% of the European population in 1300. It took another 100 years for Europe to regain its population.
“And if you only think about the impact on the health system today, half the doctors and nurses are dead, as are the supply chains for new vaccines. And that’s what anyone is prepared for. do not have.”
Professor Pollard also believes that starting vaccinations in countries where fewer people receive food should be preferred to another booster job in the UK.
He says: “If you look at it from a global perspective and you have two people in front of you – one of whom has not received a dose of the vaccine and the other has two or three – it is very clear that your biggest The next benefit is to give food to the person who has no one.
If you look at it from a global perspective and there are two people in front of you – one of whom has not received a dose of the vaccine and the other has two or three – it is very clear that your greatest benefit is to that person. The next dose is Not with anyone
“Hardly anyone in the UK has been vaccinated, but the prevalent acute covid in hospitals is found in non-vaccinated.
“Now, if we reach a pattern in the future where, like the flu, it is on the rise every winter, we will not be able to vaccinate up to 60 million people in this country every winter.”
“And that way, you have to start thinking again about what it means to be promoted. That means protecting the people you can identify as people who will be hospitalized.”
Scientists who formed the Oxford Vaccine Group have come close to becoming rock stars since the first vaccination.
Professor Pollard recalls the day: “It was early in the morning, full of people who were there to report it.
“It was a very cold morning. So we went in, and I was the third one to be vaccinated. The third person in the world!”
“And then we spent about an hour and a half outside in the cold, just in a shirt, talking to reporters and shivering. So there wasn’t much time to get involved in that moment.
“But it’s an amazing history that was there when it all started.”
Professor Pollard has become so well-known that he has been stopped on the streets by curious spectators.
He revealed: “I also had requests for autographs, which is a good thing, but usually when I run outside and I feel a little embarrassed – a little red face and sweaty.”
And when he says he has enough applications for new projects, professors aren’t too keen on appearing on reality shows.
With a laugh, he says: “Certainly not strictly!
“Applications have been more professional than waste.”