Nadine Dorries says she no longer has Covid-19 antibodies and is 'no longer immune'

April Roach
·3-min read
Nadine Dorries told MPs she is no longer immune from coronavirus: Parliament TV
Nadine Dorries told MPs she is no longer immune from coronavirus: Parliament TV

Nadine Dorries told MPs she is "no longer immune" to coronavirus as she rejected the notion that there can be herd immunity without a vaccine.

The health minister, 62, was the first MP to be diagnosed with Covid-19 in March.

The MP for Mid Bedfordshire self-isolated at home during her illness, which also saw her 84-year-old mother infected.

During a Commons debate on the coronavirus pandemic, Ms Dorries spoke of her own diagnosis when addressing the issue of herd immunity.

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She told MPs: “On the issue of herd immunity, without a vaccine, how do we attain herd immunity? With no knowledge of immunity of coronavirus, how do we obtain herd immunity?

“And I will share with the House, I was diagnosed with coronavirus on March 7, I had a very severe dose and my antibodies had disappeared 12 weeks later. I am no longer immune to coronavirus.

“And that is not just my story, that’s the story of many, many people.”

She added: “If you do not have long-term antibodies, if you have no vaccine, there is no such thing as herd immunity.”

Boris Johnson with Nadine Dorries during a Tory leadership hustings at the Woodlands Event Centre in Wyboston (PA)
Boris Johnson with Nadine Dorries during a Tory leadership hustings at the Woodlands Event Centre in Wyboston (PA)

Ms Dorries began her quarantine period on March 6, after which she shared regular updates on her recovery via social media.

She tweeted on March 19 that she had lost "100 per cent of" her senses of taste and smell as a "weird" side effect of the disease.

Some 11 MPs entered self-isolation after coming into contact with Ms Dorries or following the official advice at the time.

Ms Dorries' comments on herd immunity came as scientists suggested Covid-19 will eventually become comparable to other coronaviruses that circulate in the population.

Professor Tracy Hussell, director of the Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research, University of Manchester, said a virus works its way out of a community because most of the people become immune to it.

To follow a policy of herd immunity in the early stages of an outbreak would mean letting the virus run free, resulting in the deaths of many elderly people .

“But ultimately, if you have the infection you become immune, hopefully if you have a vaccination you become immune – the endgame is we end up with herd immunity," Professor Hussell said at a science media centre briefing on Thursday.

“So I think that’s what we will end up with even though we didn’t allow it to happen entirely out of control at the beginning.

“So it’s not a good idea, it is the outcome. We end up immune."

Some people would develop immunity, she added, while others might no9t, but as long as it hit the cut off point of 60 per cent of the population then herd immunity would be developed.

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Additional reporting by PA Media.

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