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COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic


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6 minutes ago, av3ry said:

The EU being slow? Well, I never...

I read that Hungary have had enough and have decided to try and negotiate their own vaccine supplies from Russia and China. Is that true?

 

Orban gonna Orban

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1 hour ago, Coulthard's Jaw said:

fwiw I think this is a dreadful idea from Labour.

I can see where Starmer's coming from to be honest. Your risk of dying or being hospitalised from covid, in over-simplified terms is "chance of getting covid" x "typical severity of illness if you get it". Age affects the latter, so older people are more likely to have severe covid if they get it. But key workers are far more likely to get it in the first place.

A vaccine given to a 55 year old who works from home and has their shopping delivered (for example) might achieve less than one given to a 25 year old supermarket worker. Even beyond the individual, look at transmission rates. The 55 year old in this example wouldn't be likely to spread it beyond their household - the 25 year old key worker might.

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2 minutes ago, profii said:

I'm not sure what your worry actually is here? Your post indicates you think the 2nd dose is important for long term vaccination. I also agree this seems to be what all the scientists are saying (admittedly I don't read nearly as much as some others) but the general consensus is the 1st dose will protect you.

 

The point is there is a limited window for the second dose (up to 12 weeks), after that, we don't know what the effects are of getting the second dose. 

The 1st dose protects you, up to a point. The second dose is to bring it up even further.

It's not about buying time, but its actually stretching the limits of the vaccination programme - what if we are out of the same vaccine that Jo Bloggs was vaccinated with the first time? They've decided they will get another one as a backup, but still that is frowned upon. 

The worry is that by stretching it out, it leaves those most vulnerable still vulnerable to infection and death, more so than if they are vaccinated the second time 4 weeks apart instead of 12

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4 minutes ago, m_fenton said:

Even beyond the individual, look at transmission rates.

Scientists are saying though the vaccination doesn't necessarily mean lower transmission and people who have had it still need to be vigilant and cautious.

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7 minutes ago, Lucas said:

The worry is that by stretching it out, it leaves those most vulnerable still vulnerable to infection and death, more so than if they are vaccinated the second time 4 weeks apart instead of 12

There is also the added risk of breeding a vaccine resistant strain of covid by having a huge raft of folk who only got the first jab, and had to wait so long for their 2nd they picked up covid in the meantime. 12 weeks might not even be reachable now, with the supply issues, which was another reason not to make the gap between jabs any wider to begin with in case err, supply problems happened.

Edited by Obi-Wan Kenobi
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7 minutes ago, Lucas said:

The point is there is a limited window for the second dose (up to 12 weeks), after that, we don't know what the effects are of getting the second dose. 

The 1st dose protects you, up to a point. The second dose is to bring it up even further.

It's not about buying time, but its actually stretching the limits of the vaccination programme - what if we are out of the same vaccine that Jo Bloggs was vaccinated with the first time? They've decided they will get another one as a backup, but still that is frowned upon. 

The worry is that by stretching it out, it leaves those most vulnerable still vulnerable to infection and death, more so than if they are vaccinated the second time 4 weeks apart instead of 12

But what's your alternative?

I understand this viewpoint, but Chris Whitty knows a lot more about this than anyone here and he thinks this is the best way to go, along with the independent JCVI.

If we had unlimited vaccines then it would be optimal of course to vaccinate everyone after three weeks, but we don't. 

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The twelve weeks is just really a line in the sand. It might be the sweet spot for the second jab but your immune system won't just stop producing antibodies then. 

Regardless, although I'm sure we'd all want to get everyone up to 80-90% immunity the second dose is claimed to provide, the immunity from the first vaccine should be enough to make a significant difference. 

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1 minute ago, Jisntdaman said:

But what's your alternative?

I understand this viewpoint, but Chris Whitty knows a lot more about this than anyone here and he thinks this is the best way to go, along with the independent JCVI.

If we had unlimited vaccines then it would be optimal of course to vaccinate everyone after three weeks, but we don't. 

Well one problem is if there's an issue with supply and administering, so some from -11 weeks ago miss out, somehow. 

The other is still the risk factor of hospitalisations and death, and how that is impacted. 

The alternative really depends on what your goal is to achieve (less deaths and hospitalisations, or lower transmission, or what?) 

I'm not saying I have the answers, just pointing out it's potentially a worry if some unforseen problem comes up before people are due the second dose.

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15 minutes ago, Lucas said:

Scientists are saying though the vaccination doesn't necessarily mean lower transmission and people who have had it still need to be vigilant and cautious.

What I'd seen was a bit of both - but I appreciate they need a large portion of the population to get it to confirm. As a general rule, as I understand it, you are more transmissive the worse your symptoms are. If the vaccine means you get either no symptoms or only mild ones, you are therefore less able to spread it. You still CAN - but compared to if you hadn't been vaccinated you should spread it less (all else being equal).

So yes I agree - still need to be vigilant and cautious.

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1 minute ago, Lucas said:

Well one problem is if there's an issue with supply and administering, so some from -11 weeks ago miss out, somehow. 

The other is still the risk factor of hospitalisations and death, and how that is impacted. 

The alternative really depends on what your goal is to achieve (less deaths and hospitalisations, or lower transmission, or what?) 

I'm not saying I have the answers, just pointing out it's potentially a worry if some unforseen problem comes up before people are due the second dose.

Yeah those are fair points.

But equally, I'm sure those in charge of the rollout have the same thoughts and concerns; they have to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages and believe this is the best strategy.

I think Whitty spoke a bit about this in yesterdays briefing and gave his rational.

 

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13 minutes ago, Jisntdaman said:

But what's your alternative?

I understand this viewpoint, but Chris Whitty knows a lot more about this than anyone here and he thinks this is the best way to go, along with the independent JCVI.

If we had unlimited vaccines then it would be optimal of course to vaccinate everyone after three weeks, but we don't. 

Regarding the Pzifer vaccine, Whitty and the JCVI dont know anything for certain. Thats because there is no data even by Pfizer for the UK approach.

The UK approach will work shorterm, but longterm if those 2nd jabs get delayed then who knows. Its a gamble. Lets hope it pays off

Edited by Paul Bacon
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I don't know how 'stuff' works but we were promised* 1.2m AstraZeneca doses in Jan and received 200 000.

*I reckon promised means contracted and not 'we promise!'. :)

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Wednesday Reported Cases

3 weeks ago - 62,322

2 weeks ago  - 47,525 (down 14,797 - 24%)

1 week ago - 38,905  (down 8,620 - 18%)

Today - 25,308  (down 13,597 - 35%)

My nonsense analysis - Cases still going in right direction

 

Wednesday Reported Deaths

3 weeks ago - 1,041 

2 weeks ago  - 1,564  (up 523 - 50%)

1 week ago - 1,820  (up 256 - 16%)

Today - 1,725  (down 95 - 5%)

My nonsense analysis - Deaths are high but creeping down - hopefully the start of a trend. 

 

Wednesday Reported Vaccines

2 weeks ago - Total - 223,726  / First Dose - 207,661 /  Second Dose - 16,065

1 week ago - Total - 346,922 (up 123,196 - 55%)  / First Dose - 343,163 (up 135,502 - 65%) /  Second Dose - 3,759 (down 12,306 - 77%)

Today - Total - 312,770 (down 34,152 - 10%)  / First Dose - 311,060 (down 32,103 - 9%)  / Second Dose - 1,710 (down 10,596 - 86%)

My nonsense analysis - Vaccines down on last week but potentially due to ice / snow and no shows rather than a lack of supply?

Edited by Mr Adam
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Think we can say case numbers have fallen into the 20k's now. Next stop sub 20k.

Hospital data interesting as well, for the most recent day (23rd) 3,000 admissions. Was up at 4,000 as recently as the 20th.

The rate London is going daily new cases will be back at November levels very soon.

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3 minutes ago, Coulthard's Jaw said:

Think we can say case numbers have fallen into the 20k's now. Next stop sub 20k.

Hospital data interesting as well, for the most recent day (23rd) 3,000 admissions. Was up at 4,000 as recently as the 20th.

The rate London is going daily new cases will be back at November levels very soon.

I’m still nervous there may be a little jump in the next couple of days. Think a tonne of people will have got tested today now that most of the snow and ice has melted away from southern England 

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We're below 200/100,000. We can get to 150 by the end of the week COME ON!

For those who would like a rough count it is 183 on the BBC site now :thup:

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6 minutes ago, Mr Adam said:

I’m still nervous there may be a little jump in the next couple of days. Think a tonne of people will have got tested today now that most of the snow and ice has melted away from southern England 

Maybe, and I'm not expecting a sub 20k day this week, although London had snow for about 2 hours before it melted away and it's also seeing big drops in numbers.

Edited by Coulthard's Jaw
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Just now, Big Geordie said:

What does Johnson actually mean when he says he 'accepts full responsibility' for the UK government approach to Covid?

He stands down?

One can hope.

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4 minutes ago, Big Geordie said:

What does Johnson actually mean when he says he 'accepts full responsibility' for the UK government approach to Covid?

‘Praise me, I’ve done nothing wrong!’

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10 minutes ago, Big Geordie said:

What does Johnson actually mean when he says he 'accepts full responsibility' for the UK government approach to Covid?

Narrator: He accepted zero responsibility but knew it sounded good as a soundbite.

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I honestly don’t know what Labour are playing at with that key worker idea. Why the **** would you prioritise a supermarket worker in their 20s over a 69 year old or someone with underlying  health conditions? They need to sort their thinking out to be honest.

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Because the supermarket worker is in contact with 1000s of people every day. The 69 year-old or the person shielding is not in contact with 100s of people every day.

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1 hour ago, Coulthard's Jaw said:

 

EU is having an absolute nightmare with this. Just really awful toy throwing to try to push their supplies ahead of those that were contracted to earlier. I can’t really think of any situation where this wouldn’t be the case.  Taken together with their threats to block export of vaccine produced in its borders it is hard to conceive of how they could look more like they are pursuing a policy of very blunt  vaccine nationalism.

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In any reasonable country this wouldn't even be a point of debate, there would just be a government publication saying "this is the number of vaccines, this is the advice of the researchers who on best evidence have modelled how to most effectively distribute these vaccines to reduce loss of life, this is what we're going to do". 

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5 minutes ago, av3ry said:

Because the supermarket worker is in contact with 1000s of people every day. The 69 year-old or the person shielding is not in contact with 100s of people every day.

The problem is individual examples miss the point. Our hospitals are at breaking point because they are full of people aged 50 and over, vaccinate that demographic first and you help our health service become functional again much faster.

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Just now, Coulthard's Jaw said:

The problem is individual examples miss the point. Our hospitals are at breaking point because they are full of people aged 50 and over, vaccinate that demographic first and you help our health service become functional again much faster.

This. I have no problem with prioritising the groups with highest transmission risks when you get to under 50s, but before then,and against the specific advice of the JCVI, it is just madness. It isn’t like the risk profile and difference in hospitalisation and death between these groups is small.

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6 minutes ago, InigoPatinkin said:

In any reasonable country this wouldn't even be a point of debate, there would just be a government publication saying "this is the number of vaccines, this is the advice of the researchers who on best evidence have modelled how to most effectively distribute these vaccines to reduce loss of life, this is what we're going to do". 

But that is exactly what the government are / have been doing. There's only a debate because people feel the need to question / challenge everything they do.

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2 minutes ago, Mr Adam said:

There's only a debate because people feel the need to question / challenge everything they do.

And people only feel the need to question/challenge everything they do, because they lie and **** up pretty much everything they touch.

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Just now, Obi-Wan Kenobi said:

And people only feel the need to question/challenge everything they do, because they lie and **** up pretty much everything they touch.

I don't disagree. 

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2 hours ago, m_fenton said:

So they mishandled the spring around border closures, mass gatherings and the general early response. Seemed to have been getting on top of it, but then did permanent and to some extent irreparable damage to future actions with their response to Dominic Cummings. 

In the summer they did everything they could to keep the low levels of virus in circulation. They even started briefing that those who wanted to stay at home should be the first sacked if companies were in financial difficulties. There was the entire exam results fiasco that was predicted months off, but they stubbornly insisted on going through anyway. Do you remember the "tier negotiations" that went on as the went round the midlands and the north area by area trying to effectively screw each one down on price? 

In the winter they flat out ignored the science and and made, at a conservative estimate, 7,000 u-turns (often just within the space of their morning TV interviews). To say the build up to Christmas was "stressful" would be an understatement - it was emotionally exhausting just trying to keep up with what was legal, what was illegal, what was legal but unadvisable, what was advisable yesterday but completely immoral today etc. Their constant delaying and mucking about with the extension of furlough caused completely unnecessary job losses and hardship.

Throughout every season they've funnelled money into their own/their family's/their donor's pockets instead of serving the country. They've done pretty much f all to actually keep children safe and educated - just piled impossible pressure upon schools without actual solutions.

Those are just a few highlights off the top of my head. They get massive credit for the vaccine rollout. Some aspects of their financial support deserve praise, like the initial use of furlough, but speak to most unemployed people who've been forced out of work and I don't think "praise" is high on their list of words to use. The fact we're only bringing in some sort of mandatory hotel quarantine for international arrivals this week (maybe) for example is just ridiculous.

 

Rant over. I think a lot of what's happened is simply easy to forget or "normalise" with hindsight - but it shouldn't be.

But apart from that, what have the Romans actually done for us? 

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12 minutes ago, Mr Adam said:

But that is exactly what the government are / have been doing. There's only a debate because people feel the need to question / challenge everything they do.

No they haven't, the government publishing of underlying research methodology has been appalling the entire pandemic. 

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18 minutes ago, Coulthard's Jaw said:

The problem is individual examples miss the point. Our hospitals are at breaking point because they are full of people aged 50 and over, vaccinate that demographic first and you help our health service become functional again much faster.

Does it? What if the reason over 50's are getting infected at rates high enough to clog up hospitals is because of key worker vectors who transmit it to them? 

There was a Danish research papers I'll try and find that showed that prioritising care home workers over the elderly in the care homes reduced the chances of an outbreak in the care home by 60%. 

Again though, this is why the opaqueness of the Governments scientific approach is so frustrating. 

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2 minutes ago, InigoPatinkin said:

Does it? What if the reason over 50's are getting infected at rates high enough to clog up hospitals is because of key worker vectors who transmit it to them? 

There was a Danish research papers I'll try and find that showed that prioritising care home workers over the elderly in the care homes reduced the chances of an outbreak in the care home by 60%. 

Again though, this is why the opaqueness of the Governments scientific approach is so frustrating. 

Isn’t that a very specific case where it isn’t so much the higher number of daily contacts but the fact they act as specific vectors for people who are both extremely vulnerable and who also have much lower than normal interaction with other people? It is also quite hard to make these judgements without data on the extent to which immunisation reduces transmission as well as disease.

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2 minutes ago, Peterj said:

Isn’t that a very specific case where it isn’t so much the higher number of daily contacts but the fact they act as specific vectors for people who are both extremely vulnerable and who also have much lower than normal interaction with other people? It is also quite hard to make these judgements without data on the extent to which immunisation reduces transmission as well as disease.

And this is exactly why they've gone with the current strategy (they = JCVI, not Boris and friends). They don't know how well the vaccine stops transmission, even now almost two months after vaccination started, because the evidence isn't there for it. What there is evidence for is the vaccine stops hospitalisations and severe covid. Hence, vaccinate those who are most at risk of severe covid and hospital admission, and not those who are the biggest transmitters. 

Can't devise a strategy to stop transmission with the vaccine when the evidence for it isn't there.

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I mean let's face it we're due a general election this year. We've had one in 2015, 2017 and 2019 so the 2 year cycle is almost up. And Boris is probably aware his legacy now is gonna be making a mess of Brexit, mishandling the pandemic and breaking up the Union, so might want out by the end of the year.

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13 minutes ago, Peterj said:

Isn’t that a very specific case where it isn’t so much the higher number of daily contacts but the fact they act as specific vectors for people who are both extremely vulnerable and who also have much lower than normal interaction with other people? It is also quite hard to make these judgements without data on the extent to which immunisation reduces transmission as well as disease.

Yes, but it's also a pronounced effect. You could easily point to bus drivers etc. as similar, if less obvious potential vectors (and I'm sure there are better examples than that).

10 minutes ago, Astafjevs said:

And this is exactly why they've gone with the current strategy (they = JCVI, not Boris and friends). They don't know how well the vaccine stops transmission, even now almost two months after vaccination started, because the evidence isn't there for it. What there is evidence for is the vaccine stops hospitalisations and severe covid. Hence, vaccinate those who are most at risk of severe covid and hospital admission, and not those who are the biggest transmitters. 

Can't devise a strategy to stop transmission with the vaccine when the evidence for it isn't there.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7430607.2/

Which is kind of problematic because vaccine effectiveness changes the target population you want to vaccinate after the over 75's. If the vaccine is effective then the most correct strategy is to target high-transmission groups and not high risk groups, if it's not very effective then you target the high risk groups. This isn't a case where it's obvious to take the "safety first" approach because getting it wrong results in more deaths.

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