Learning from the pandemic

The retrospective report

Technical report on the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK


Baroness Hallett, independent public enquiry


Set up to look at the pandemic


Online form launched 16th November


Chapter 1, Section 6


What was the duration of,

naturally acquired immunity,

and vaccine acquired immunity,

and the risk of reinfection over time?

By early 2020

Data emerged indicating that the majority of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 displayed an antibody response between 10 to 14 days after symptom onset

Throughout the first half of 2021

Following natural infection

Antibody detectable in saliva for at least 8 months,

and in blood for at least 9 months.

The presence of antibody, associated with a protective effect against infection, at least 7 to 10 months

Cell-mediated immune response to SARS-CoV-2 was shown to be detectable up to 8 months after infection

Reflections and advice for a future CMO or GCSA (for Chapter 1)


Point 1

Scientific and medical advice will often need to be formulated on the basis of limited data.

Point 2

Understanding the pathogen and the disease was a global effort, particularly at the outset, and sharing data and expertise from the beginning was key.

Point 3

Gaining a clear understanding of the pathogen and the disease required an array of cross-disciplinary studies to be initiated quickly.

Point 4

Building on and adapting existing research systems and networks was usually much faster than setting up new systems, but strong leadership, direction and coordination are required.

Point 5

Viral variants, population behaviours and population immunity changed significantly over time requiring continuation of studies.

Not mentioned

State secrecy needs to be eliminated, early, open sharing of all science.

No more cover ups

Dangerous gain of function research should stop

Procurements should be on the basis of clinical and scientific need, not commercial interests

Powerful international corporations should not be allowed to influence the agenda

All pharmaceuticals should be considered, rather than just expensive ones

Powerful international corporations and individuals should not be allowed to control public communications

Early scientific peer review must be allowed and encouraged, based on fully disclosed primary data

Primary anonymised data from clinical trials must be made public for the worlds clever people to process

Scientists and doctors with ‘outlying views’ should be judged on the quality of the evidence they present

Play the ball

Further comments

Britain a 'prolonged period' of excess deaths
but not from coronavirus itself

Heart disease and cancer,

stayed away or could not access treatment
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