It was widely published at the time, and ever since that the vaccines being offered against Covid 19 were not 100% effective and very early on it was discussed that fading of the efficacy is evident within months.

Dr.Clare is entirely correct in saying those who missed this can only blame themselves if they are then disappointed if/when they subsequently become ill with Covid 19 and/or pass it on.

I don’t know if the Dr. title refers to a university degree, in what discipline or where from, but Dr.Clare then goes on to expound some detritus which is not worthy of being taken seriously except for the damaging effect it can have. The title is presumably intended to give weight to his views and quite possibly some will find it persuasive.

For many, many decades we have had in widespread use various inoculations/vaccines against different threats. Some offer lifelong immunity (as close to 100% as dammit), others need regular boosters and some have been known to have a severe limitation in coverage - I am thinking in particular of the Hepatitis one but Yellow Fever also comes to mind. Smallpox has been eliminated through the use of the original vaccine.

Limitations are not new. But all vaccines have hitherto received an almost universal and worthy welcome, some areas like parts of Pakistan (think Malala) are contrasting aberrations. Now we have the Western anti-vax/conspiracy theorists outdoing the likes of the vaccine Taliban.

The scientific community is overwhelmingly supportive of the use of the best of the Covid vaccines and leaders throughout the world are correct to see these as offering the best hope of avoiding the worst effects of the pandemic. Is anyone actually against mitigation, however limited, of the threat (is Dr.Clare’s hand raised high?)

In places where the population is reluctant to heed public health (and even straight forward hygiene) advice, widespread vaccination will overcome their dogged determination for self harm. Of the countries I am able to compare, the United Kingdom stands out - surprise, surprise, among those having most difficulty with Covid, including persuading the population to accept the vaccine(s). The “huge success” ran out of much steam and stalled somewhat after the first dose went past 60% of the adult population. Since then it has appeared to be an uphill struggle.

The sort of disreputable campaigning apperaring in the letter you published simply reduces the likelihood that attempts to hinder Covid’s March will have a truly significant effect - maybe that was the deliberate intention.

Fully vaccinated has now changed from two doses to three doses whereby more than 90% efficacy is achieved for a longer duration than hitherto - we still don’t know for how long, this is a new situation (yes, unprecedented too).

We shouldn’t let envy of someone being paid for their efforts lead to refusal to see things clearly, nor social media hysteria (or just malevolent self-aggrandising aims) seep into our thinking. There is such a thing as healthy scrutiny/criticism of “the system” but it should not foam so much as to obscure genuine efforts toward helping mankind cope better. The scientific press deserves the trust Dr.Clare implies, including when the Lancet published a really thorough comparison of national health services. The British NHS came out 23rd, behind Portugal’s, but still the British insist theirs is “Second to None, World Beating, the Envy of the World, etc., etc.”. The facts were not widely discussed and the perception did not change - within the United Kingdom the definition stands. Again, he is correct to indicate that some cannot be saved from their misconceptions and I fear that may apply to him too.

Karl Mooney (Mr.), By email

Editor, The report Dr John Clare refers to in the Portugal News of 13 November studies the transmission and the viral load of the virus in household conditions of vaccinated and not vaccinated people.

Directly quoting from the report’s summary: “Vaccination reduces the risk of delta variant infection and accelerates viral clearance. Nonetheless, fully vaccinated individuals with breakthrough infections have peak viral load similar to unvaccinated cases”.

Another quote: “Although current vaccines remain effective at preventing severe disease and deaths from COVID-19, our findings suggest that vaccination alone is not sufficient to prevent all transmission of the delta variant in the household setting, where exposure is close and prolonged”.

Therefore, the study confirms what was already known: vaccinated people can get infected and can spread the virus. However, the study also mentions that vaccinated people are less infectious because of the shorter time frame they spread the virus and vaccinated people end up not nearly as ill (or even dying) as unvaccinated people. This last part is of course the main reason to get vaccinated.

If anyone wishes to read the full study:

Alfred Koolen, By email

Editor, I know after many years in industry, the same statistics and numbers can be used to prove two totally different conclusions. So what are we to believe regarding the Covid vaccine correspondence?

John Clare makes a very convincing case to avoid vaccination ~ but what’s his agenda?

Can it really be true governments world wide, at great expense, are duping us on this issue and if so why?

Why is the Covid vaccine so controversial when most people accept the validity of vaccinating against all of the childhood maladies?

There seems to be more sides to this issue than the old threepenny bit had!

I’ve had both the original jabs and am now encouraged to take a booster. (I’m 81).

Should I go for it or decline?

A rather confused, but still

Ray Scott, Faro.