During a Jan. 3 interview with the Telegraph, Pollard argued that injecting people with booster shots every four to six months is an unsustainable endeavor. "We can't vaccinate the planet every four to six months. It's not sustainable or affordable. [If] your goal [with boosters] is to stop all infections, that is wrong," he said.
Instead, the scientist from the University of Oxford argued that vaccine rollouts should "target the vulnerable" instead of boosting entire populations. "The future must [focus] on the vulnerable and make boosters or treatments available to them [in order] to protect them." Pollard and others from the Oxford Vaccine Group tied up with the drug manufacturer to create the AZD1222 adenoviral vector vaccine.
Pollard also said that subsequent shots after the third booster dose should be put on hold unless there is "strong evidence" that they are needed. His comment on fourth booster doses onward came amid several countries such as Israel authorizing a fourth vaccine dose.
"We know that people have strong antibodies for a few months after their third vaccination. But more data [is] needed to assess whether, when and how often those who are vulnerable will need additional doses," he said.
In March 2021, the AstraZeneca vaccine became the center of controversy after it was linked to several instances of blood clots and low platelet count in vaccinated individuals. Because of this, a number of European countries temporarily halted the use of AZD1222. While some nations later resumed its use, a few permanently stopped using the vaccine on their populations. (Related: New research points to link between AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots.)
Pollard said during his interview with the Telegraph that he is "not a huge fan" of compulsory vaccination. Instead, he argues that clearer information is a better tool than vaccine mandates to convince people. "[Compulsory vaccination] would make more sense in some Eastern European countries, where a quarter of the population is vaccinated," he explained.
The Oxford scientist classifies unvaccinated people into three particular groups – those unable to physically access clinics, those who have hesitations regarding the vaccines and those ardently against vaccination. He feels that the "relatively small and young" second group could benefit from "a conversation with community leaders or a trusted person" such as a physician.
Meanwhile, Pollard says the staunch anti-vaccine group "may hold unshakable views and [may] be harder to impact." He adds that he is troubled by the supposed "misinformation" spread by people who belong to this group. "Misinformation risks people's lives. It's highly likely that people became seriously ill and died because of vaccine misinformation," he told the Telegraph. (Related: British media says "hardcore vaccine refuseniks" are "terrorists" that need to be "deradicalized".)
According to Pollard, misinformation also played a role in the criticism lobbied toward the AstraZeneca vaccine. "Some of this misinformation came intentionally from individuals against vaccinations, and others came from the unintentional effects of comments from politicians. Let's just say that comments made in mainland Europe affected people in Africa," he said.
He also expressed agreement with the prevailing opinion that the omicron variant causes less severe disease than the earlier delta strain. Furthermore, Pollard thinks lockdowns are not needed to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
"At some point, society has to open up. When we do open, there will be a period with a bump in infections – which is why winter is probably not the best time. But that's a decision for the policymakers, not the scientists."
He nevertheless lauded the U.K.'s plan B restrictions put in place by Prime Minister Boris Johnson "as a necessary response … to limit [COVID-19] cases and allow the National Health Service to stay afloat."
Watch the video below about Pollard claiming that herd immunity is impossible and seemingly referencing the omicron and delta variants, which are "transmitting in vaccinated populations."
This video is from the WalkInVerse channel on Brighteon.com.
Vaccines.news has more about criticism of frequent vaccine booster doses against COVID-19.