News Policy Positions

Mass infection is not an option: we must do more to protect our young

Doctors with M.E. have signed a letter led by epidemiologist Dr. Deepti Gurdasani in The Lancet, warning of grave concerns and consequences from recent UK government announcements. In particular, Doctors with M.E. are extremely concerned regarding the known risks to children from long covid.

This letter follows the John Snow Memorandum in The Lancet warning against herd immunity policies in October 2020.

Healthcare professionals and scientists can sign the letter here:

“This strategy risks creating a generation left with chronic health problems and disability, the personal and economic impacts of which might be felt for decades to come”

Letter to The Lancet

Nine months after the John Snow Memorandum outlined the dangers of a strategy of herd immunity by infection, the UK government has decided to abandon most mitigations in England on the 19th of July. This will be done amid a background of surging cases, while only half of our population is fully vaccinated. This means exposing millions to infection, and its consequences, In our letter to The Lancet signed by more than 120 scientists, we outline our grave concerns about this strategy and call on the government to change course urgently.”


As the third wave of the pandemic takes hold across England, the UK Government plans to further re-open the nation. Implicit in this decision is the acceptance that infections will surge, but that this does not matter because vaccines have “broken the link between infection and mortality”. On July 19, 2021 – branded as Freedom Day – almost all restrictions are set to end. We believe this decision is dangerous and premature.


Gurdasani D, Drury J, Greenhalgh T, et al. Mass infection is not an option: we must do more to protect our young. The Lancet 2021 July 7

Alwan NA, Burgess RA, Ashworth S, Beale R, Bhadelia N, Bogaert D, Dowd J, Eckerle I, Goldman LR, Greenhalgh T, Gurdasani D, Hamdy A, Hanage WP, Hodcroft EB, Hyde Z, Kellam P, Kelly-Irving M, Krammer F, Lipsitch M, McNally A, McKee M, Nouri A, Pimenta D, Priesemann V, Rutter H, Silver J, Sridhar D, Swanton C, Walensky RP, Yamey G, Ziauddeen H. Scientific consensus on the COVID-19 pandemic: we need to act now. Lancet. 2020 Oct 31