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Just a note for anyone who may want some time out from the thread.

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Over the last couple of months, we've seen activity in this thread set this topic on course for the most read and replied on OTF of all time. 

We know many will be worried and stressed and feel like they can't avoid the Covid-19 discussions on OTF. 

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You can do so by reporting a post, or sending one of us a PM with the request and the period you'd like a breather. Some of us are already doing so in parts.

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But if you need time out from this thread, do not hesitate to ask. We're always here for a chat as well. 

Please take care of yourselves, your families and each other. 

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Just now, Mr_Whippy said:

They're legally not allowed to force them to give up their holiday - it is in their contacts (well it is in my wifes). She's already said she's not doing anything additional over the holidays, the kids are knackered as it is.

This. I don't know where the Starmer quote is from but it's incorrect. It's a breach of contract and they would be open to a suit. 

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9 minutes ago, Big Geordie said:

For the teachers on here;

May be an image of text that says 'Impact of School Reopening Options on Rt By Model 0.8 Relative impact on Rt where stay shut and fully reopen is1 0.6 0.4 0.2 kids holiday ettings 5A primary Allsecondary attendance) contacts |contacts haif off day reopen 1Stay Shut worker summer Early year contacts contacts andkey AM/PM 9Fully children on/twooff weeks off on, weeks.on,2o week week lass srable 5/6/10/12, weeks dass class bHaif class Haftime ears class, sition (Full 7bHalf time Half LSHTM/Cambridge BPHe CBristol/Exeter Warwick modelling of option 7 (the rota system) is the least robust of all scenarios, and further exploration needed.'

I wonder how much of R is added with the fully reopen option - they did say 0.7 with the new variant. 

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46 minutes ago, Coulthard's Jaw said:

 

The problem I have with this kind of tweet is that it assumes that as long as people stay at home, they'll be fine.

We already know that not to be true. There are any number of scenarios where the briefest of encounters, no matter how careful you've been before and after it, can lead to infection.

We also know that people in essential roles will have to be exposed to risk whether they like to or not.

There'll also be a situation, as things relax that more companies will decide to abandon their work from home policies and force people back into the office whether they like it or not. Its already happened, it'll continue to happen too.

 

Of course we need to have a path out of this situation, but it really feels like this is more a "We're bored, its been too long, let's open everything up!" Rather than being on the right track.

For me and maybe I'm wrong, it feels like they've decided to go with the bare minimum requirements of vaccines across the population as the marker, rather than ensuring a larger proportion of the population have at least the first dose of the  vaccine and a significant number of the vulnerable being on the second dose too, which is where I think I'd prefer it.

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I’m sympathetic with the concerns of teaching staff - I was teaching in a university capacity until Christmas - but if the country’s senior medical officer and senior scientist are on board with reopening schools (and subsequently universities for that matter), then I accept that it’s reasonable to do so, and that the risk is negligible (almost non-existent for the children). I certainly wish I was teaching in person this semester rather than online, and don’t think it should be contingent on my own vaccination.

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3 minutes ago, bolton1987 said:

If you're classed as an unpaid carer (or claim Carer's Allowance) from this morning you can now book in on the NHS website 

They're updating it pretty often.  The bookable age is now 64 instead of 65, and I'm hoping they add the moderate risk group soon given my wife hasn't heard anything from our GP.

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12 minutes ago, Confused Clarity said:

The problem I have with this kind of tweet is that it assumes that as long as people stay at home, they'll be fine.

We already know that not to be true. There are any number of scenarios where the briefest of encounters, no matter how careful you've been before and after it, can lead to infection.

We also know that people in essential roles will have to be exposed to risk whether they like to or not.

There'll also be a situation, as things relax that more companies will decide to abandon their work from home policies and force people back into the office whether they like it or not. Its already happened, it'll continue to happen too.

 

Of course we need to have a path out of this situation, but it really feels like this is more a "We're bored, its been too long, let's open everything up!" Rather than being on the right track.

For me and maybe I'm wrong, it feels like they've decided to go with the bare minimum requirements of vaccines across the population as the marker, rather than ensuring a larger proportion of the population have at least the first dose of the  vaccine and a significant number of the vulnerable being on the second dose too, which is where I think I'd prefer it.

I think what they're saying is that they want people classed as vulnerable to have had their first dose before things are significantly opened up.  And they'll monitor the situation in case anything needs to change.  One thing i'd be interested to know - i'm sure the info will be out there, but I don't really read too much in the media - surrounds the 2 doses of the vaccine.  I'm guessing here but i'd imagine the 1st dose will give you the immunity and the 2nd dose will be a booster shot to strengthen that?  If that's the case maybe they're banking on the first jab to provide a significant amount of protection to people, so that things can be opened before a number of people need the 2nd dose?

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5 minutes ago, bolton1987 said:

If you're classed as an unpaid carer (or claim Carer's Allowance) from this morning you can now book in on the NHS website 

Didn't know this, that's good news (for me) at least, thank you 

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2 minutes ago, mrw072 said:

One thing i'd be interested to know - i'm sure the info will be out there, but I don't really read too much in the media - surrounds the 2 doses of the vaccine.  I'm guessing here but i'd imagine the 1st dose will give you the immunity and the 2nd dose will be a booster shot to strengthen that?  If that's the case maybe they're banking on the first jab to provide a significant amount of protection to people, so that things can be opened before a number of people need the 2nd dose?

 

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26 minutes ago, JJ72 said:

I wonder how much of R is added with the fully reopen option - they did say 0.7 with the new variant. 

Yeah I think there was a SAGE doc a few weeks back suggesting 0.7 but the R rate gets particularly messy with the vaccine now.

For example - and I hadn't thought about this until I saw someone on Twitter saying about it - if the base R rate for covid (in normal, unlocked times) is 3 then the current combination of vaccine + some immunity from people previously infected means that the current R rate with no measures is probably actually 2 (a third of the population is protected, so that third person who should have been infected doesn't get infected). And then obviously the measures in place bring it down further.

How's that translate to schools? Does that original 0.7 come down to 0.5? Well maybe not because kids shouldn't have been vaccinated, teachers and parents are probably less likely to have had the vaccine than the societal average. 

Basically I have no idea and some clever person probably does, but hopefully shows that using the R number is going to get more complicated the further we go.

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1 minute ago, Dave Vessey said:

They're updating it pretty often.  The bookable age is now 64 instead of 65, and I'm hoping they add the moderate risk group soon given my wife hasn't heard anything from our GP.

Yeah, I've been checking twice daily.

I technically class as an unpaid carer, so have booked in for a vaccine at Bolton's stadium for next Saturday.

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It would certainly be better for the safety of teachers for them to all to be at least partly vaccinated before schools open, but in terms of controlling the potential increase in spread within the community from schools opening it's pissing in the wind with the kids not being vaccinated. I guess that the governments thinking is that the most vulnerable teachers have already been vaccinated and the rest will have to take their chances along with the kids. I'm glad I'm not a teacher, not that I could cope with doing that job normally anyway.

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21 minutes ago, Dave Vessey said:

I’m sympathetic with the concerns of teaching staff - I was teaching in a university capacity until Christmas - but if the country’s senior medical officer and senior scientist are on board with reopening schools (and subsequently universities for that matter), then I accept that it’s reasonable to do so, and that the risk is negligible (almost non-existent for the children). I certainly wish I was teaching in person this semester rather than online, and don’t think it should be contingent on my own vaccination.

Would never assume they are on board just because they are still in post. They may well be voicing their concerns and disagreements and just biting their lips to get through this. 

Personally I think its a bit nuts to open up until those up to group 6 have had the second jabs, but looks like they are hoping that will be pretty much the case by the time May rolls around.

My vaccination is tomorrow thankfully, will still need to shield for some time though.

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1 minute ago, Lucas said:

Would never assume they are on board just because they are still in post. They may well be voicing their concerns and disagreements and just biting their lips to get through this. 

Personally I think its a bit nuts to open up until those up to group 6 have had the second jabs, but looks like they are hoping that will be pretty much the case by the time May rolls around.

My vaccination is tomorrow thankfully, will still need to shield for some time though.

Whitty used yesterday evening's press conference to explicitly refute the Guardian's story that he was against opening schools in one go; in fact, he suggested he had replied in the contrary to the journalist, who printed the story anyway.  That's a fairly substantial hint that he's at least tolerant of the government's roadmap.  I think he accepts reality in the sense of lockdown being unsustainable beyond the next month or two, even if it's a political judgement to give kids at least the final term of this school year back in the classroom.

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10 minutes ago, titchuk said:

Yeah I think there was a SAGE doc a few weeks back suggesting 0.7 but the R rate gets particularly messy with the vaccine now.

For example - and I hadn't thought about this until I saw someone on Twitter saying about it - if the base R rate for covid (in normal, unlocked times) is 3 then the current combination of vaccine + some immunity from people previously infected means that the current R rate with no measures is probably actually 2 (a third of the population is protected, so that third person who should have been infected doesn't get infected). And then obviously the measures in place bring it down further.

How's that translate to schools? Does that original 0.7 come down to 0.5? Well maybe not because kids shouldn't have been vaccinated, teachers and parents are probably less likely to have had the vaccine than the societal average. 

Basically I have no idea and some clever person probably does, but hopefully shows that using the R number is going to get more complicated the further we go.

Yes not sure it's affected too much by it. I don't know any teaching staff that have been vaccinated yet. A few parents will be who were vulnerable.

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1 minute ago, Dave Vessey said:

Whitty used yesterday evening's press conference to explicitly refute the Guardian's story that he was against opening schools in one go; in fact, he suggested he had replied in the contrary to the journalist, who printed the story anyway.  That's a fairly substantial hint that he's at least tolerant of the government's roadmap.  I think he accepts reality in the sense of lockdown being unsustainable beyond the next month or two, even if it's a political judgement to give kids at least the final term of this school year back in the classroom.

He was very careful to stress there was very little risk to children. Didn't say anything about teaching staff or wider society.

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Just now, JJ72 said:

He was very careful to stress there was very little risk to children. Didn't say anything about teaching staff or wider society.

True enough, although he has said in the past that teachers have not been disproportionately affected relative to other professions or groups - a technical answer perhaps, but accurate as far as I'm aware.

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Not sure if it's just me or if it's already been discussed but having lost 100k+, as well as people close to me, I'm struggling to get excited when mates are already trying to make plans for 21st June or whenever it is. 

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3 minutes ago, Dave Vessey said:

True enough, although he has said in the past that teachers have not been disproportionately affected relative to other professions or groups - a technical answer perhaps, but accurate as far as I'm aware.

We've been in lockdown most of the time so schools have only properly been open from September to December. The studies on that data showed otherwise. Statistics can prove a lot and the government's agenda is to get schools open. Forgive me for being cynical about anything from official mouths.

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15 minutes ago, JJ72 said:

Yes not sure it's affected too much by it. I don't know any teaching staff that have been vaccinated yet. A few parents will be who were vulnerable.

Teachers and school staff in special schools have

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13 minutes ago, batch said:

Not sure if it's just me or if it's already been discussed but having lost 100k+, as well as people close to me, I'm struggling to get excited when mates are already trying to make plans for 21st June or whenever it is. 

Yeah, I'm the same to be honest.  Also, I would be surprised if it all goes as planned.  The blessing is that it is a Monday.  They have finally learned not to open everything up on Friday!

I actually have a bit of sympathy for Boris on this occasion.  It's the media that have gone mental over that date, some of the newspapers are a joke this morning.

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17 minutes ago, batch said:

Not sure if it's just me or if it's already been discussed but having lost 100k+, as well as people close to me, I'm struggling to get excited when mates are already trying to make plans for 21st June or whenever it is. 

I’ve lost people as well, but I’m excited and tbh relieved that an end is hopefully in sight. 

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We didn't run out of PPE as a country, but some stocks in some areas were low for the first month or so.

Our trust never ran low and ended up giving to other local trusts as we had an oversupply.

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21 minutes ago, batch said:

Not sure if it's just me or if it's already been discussed but having lost 100k+, as well as people close to me, I'm struggling to get excited when mates are already trying to make plans for 21st June or whenever it is. 

I'm quite excited but more so because life is for living than anything else. Can't change that people have died.

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2 minutes ago, Jorg said:

I actually have a bit of sympathy for Boris on this occasion.  It's the media that have gone mental over that date, some of the newspapers are a joke this morning.

I don't. If you're going to say you're going to use data to decide when, then don't commit to dates. 

News outlets everywhere are having a field day suggesting things will be open, and of course people booking holidays. What if the date changes? :D 

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31 minutes ago, JJ72 said:

Yes not sure it's affected too much by it. I don't know any teaching staff that have been vaccinated yet. A few parents will be who were vulnerable.

The R rate though isn't just people immediately exposed, but the chain of infection, so it will impact on the national level. Not a comfort to you obviously  but I think that is what the rationalisation will be. 

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10 minutes ago, Coulthard's Jaw said:

I think people should feel whatever helps them cope. If you want to be excited be excited, if you feel its inappropriate don't. But we've all had to work out our own coping mechanisms to get through this so lets not judge each other or anything.

That's exactly what expected your type to say.

Safety wink ;-)

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And once again would make the point that I made a few weeks ago - these policies now are the logical conclusion of a decision to vaccinate by age/vulnerability rather than by liklihood of exposure. If you do that then you implicitly accept that at some point in the process you stop worrying so much about infection rates in groups that are statistically unlikely to require hospitalisation. 

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I think most people knew that was the direction of travel though. It's not a big surprise or anything. They've made it clear from the start of the year that they wanted to vaccinate the most vulnerable, then they'd look to open if the programme was doing well enough and the vaccines worked.

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19 minutes ago, Lucas said:

I don't. If you're going to say you're going to use data to decide when, then don't commit to dates. 

News outlets everywhere are having a field day suggesting things will be open, and of course people booking holidays. What if the date changes? :D 

Trouble is now hes going to be held to those dates. And if things go south, will he cave into pressure to still open on them dates? I get why people want a date for things to open, but some of those dates are very very specific despite being months down the road, and still alot of uncertainty

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1 hour ago, Big Geordie said:

For the teachers on here;

May be an image of text that says 'Impact of School Reopening Options on Rt By Model 0.8 Relative impact on Rt where stay shut and fully reopen is1 0.6 0.4 0.2 kids holiday ettings 5A primary Allsecondary attendance) contacts |contacts haif off day reopen 1Stay Shut worker summer Early year contacts contacts andkey AM/PM 9Fully children on/twooff weeks off on, weeks.on,2o week week lass srable 5/6/10/12, weeks dass class bHaif class Haftime ears class, sition (Full 7bHalf time Half LSHTM/Cambridge BPHe CBristol/Exeter Warwick modelling of option 7 (the rota system) is the least robust of all scenarios, and further exploration needed.'

Literally all that chart shows is that none of the studies agree. On anything. Except that staying shut is safest and opening everything is riskiest.

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1 hour ago, Confused Clarity said:

For me and maybe I'm wrong, it feels like they've decided to go with the bare minimum requirements of vaccines across the population as the marker, rather than ensuring a larger proportion of the population have at least the first dose of the  vaccine and a significant number of the vulnerable being on the second dose too, which is where I think I'd prefer it.

54 minutes ago, mrw072 said:

I think what they're saying is that they want people classed as vulnerable to have had their first dose before things are significantly opened up.  And they'll monitor the situation in case anything needs to change.  One thing i'd be interested to know - i'm sure the info will be out there, but I don't really read too much in the media - surrounds the 2 doses of the vaccine.  I'm guessing here but i'd imagine the 1st dose will give you the immunity and the 2nd dose will be a booster shot to strengthen that?  If that's the case maybe they're banking on the first jab to provide a significant amount of protection to people, so that things can be opened before a number of people need the 2nd dose?

This is predicated on them having the capacity to give out second doses. The Pfizer and and Moderna vaccines are mRNA based vaccines which show significant drop off in NAb titres (essentially the immune response) past roughly 1 month. Those vaccines aren't "most of the protection on the first, bit more on the second", the first dose starts to drop off in effectiveness and then the second dose essentially solidifies the effect. There was a paper published in The Lancet on Friday which highlighted the problems with the first vaccine strategy.

 

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Just now, Gricehead said:

Literally all that chart shows is that none of the studies agree. On anything. Except that staying shut is safest and opening everything is riskiest.

I don't think that's true, is it? Just eyeballing it but I'd be willing to bet money there's a significant correlation there. 

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17 minutes ago, Paul Bacon said:

Trouble is now hes going to be held to those dates. And if things go south, will he cave into pressure to still open on them dates? I get why people want a date for things to open, but some of those dates are very very specific despite being months down the road, and still alot of uncertainty

Why would he be? It was and is quite literally spelt out that these are no earlier than dates, and there is absolute the capacity for these dates to shift

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Just now, themadsheep2001 said:

Why would he be? It was and is quite literally spelt out that these are no earlier than dates, and there is absolute the capacity for these dates to shift

I know you've watched a football match before sheep :D how many times have you had to explain what minimum added time means to someone? I have no faith that people are going to be any more reasonable about this than they are the referee blowing a 93.35 when there's 3 minutes of added time. 

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1 hour ago, bolton1987 said:

If you're classed as an unpaid carer (or claim Carer's Allowance) from this morning you can now book in on the NHS website 

Just tried and it wouldn't let my wife book (she is my carer). Said unpaid carers can book soon?

Tbf I still haven't got my letter yet either and I'm group 6 so I'm not holding my breath

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1 minute ago, brindlefly said:

Just tried and it wouldn't let my wife book (she is my carer). Said unpaid carers can book soon?

Tbf I still haven't got my letter yet either and I'm group 6 so I'm not holding my breath

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/

it says there if you are eligible for Carer's Allowance you can book in

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29 minutes ago, InigoPatinkin said:

This is predicated on them having the capacity to give out second doses. The Pfizer and and Moderna vaccines are mRNA based vaccines which show significant drop off in NAb titres (essentially the immune response) past roughly 1 month. Those vaccines aren't "most of the protection on the first, bit more on the second", the first dose starts to drop off in effectiveness and then the second dose essentially solidifies the effect. There was a paper published in The Lancet on Friday which highlighted the problems with the first vaccine strategy.

Said paper

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23 minutes ago, InigoPatinkin said:

I don't think that's true, is it? Just eyeballing it but I'd be willing to bet money there's a significant correlation there. 

Just eyeballing that, PHE has equivalent infection rates for primary and secondary schoolkids. Bristol and LSHTM/Cam think that primary schoolkids induce less infection than secondary. All models agree that sharing space by alternating access on the same day is ineffective. Warwick's model seems to be heavily dependent on numbers in a space, rather than ages. IMO anyway.

By the way IP, why did you wait for someone to be snotty to you before sharing information about your working knowledge? If I knew I could learn something by calling you a lefty basement dweller who wants to lock all good Englishmen in their cellars forever, I'd have done it months ago.

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3 minutes ago, InigoPatinkin said:

I know you've watched a football match before sheep :D how many times have you had to explain what minimum added time means to someone? I have no faith that people are going to be any more reasonable about this than they are the referee blowing a 93.35 when there's 3 minutes of added time. 

I know :D but that's more on their silliness as opposed to him screwing up, and you know im not exactly a fan of his :D

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1 hour ago, mrw072 said:

I think what they're saying is that they want people classed as vulnerable to have had their first dose before things are significantly opened up.  And they'll monitor the situation in case anything needs to change.  One thing i'd be interested to know - i'm sure the info will be out there, but I don't really read too much in the media - surrounds the 2 doses of the vaccine.  I'm guessing here but i'd imagine the 1st dose will give you the immunity and the 2nd dose will be a booster shot to strengthen that?  If that's the case maybe they're banking on the first jab to provide a significant amount of protection to people, so that things can be opened before a number of people need the 2nd dose?

Its a half ass job and just  the bare minimum to get the country to open again.  Either you do a job proper,  get everyone vaccinated, 2nd dose for the vulnerable etc or not open up at all.  No point patching up the issue and hoping for the best, giving false hopes to people. 

Just do the job properly so we don't end up in square one again where we have to close the country down to sort the mess out.

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22 minutes ago, themadsheep2001 said:

Why would he be? It was and is quite literally spelt out that these are no earlier than dates, and there is absolute the capacity for these dates to shift

Tell that to the media (and general public going on what ive seen on social media). They all seem to be reporting and thinking those no earlier than dates are actual dates for opening. Like when my sister got loads of calls after the announcment for bookings on the 12th April for their hair styled.

Should just say no earlier than June and have done with it, be less specific but still giving people a date to work towards

Edited by Paul Bacon
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7 minutes ago, leftback in the changing room said:

Just eyeballing that, PHE has equivalent infection rates for primary and secondary schoolkids. Bristol and LSHTM/Cam think that primary schoolkids induce less infection than secondary. All models agree that sharing space by alternating access on the same day is ineffective. Warwick's model seems to be heavily dependent on numbers in a space, rather than ages. IMO anyway.

By the way IP, why did you wait for someone to be snotty to you before sharing information about your working knowledge? If I knew I could learn something by calling you a lefty basement dweller who wants to lock all good Englishmen in their cellars forever, I'd have done it months ago.

Cheeky b****** :D I've always been a fountain of useful information! 

I don't work specifically with vaccines or vaccine development (my field is livestock welfare, so it's mostly "how is this vaccination going to mess with what I'm trying to do") so I have generally been pretty quiet on the issue. I also began to get tired of discussing covid over the winter, it became self-evident what had happened and other than watching to see if the death number came down there wasn't much to say. The positive on the vaccine front is that the AstraZeneca vaccine will likely be fine waiting 3 months for a second dose, providing we don't get a resistant strain in the meantime of course. 

Edited by InigoPatinkin
The profanity filter doesn't filter that apparently.
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38 minutes ago, InigoPatinkin said:

This is predicated on them having the capacity to give out second doses. The Pfizer and and Moderna vaccines are mRNA based vaccines which show significant drop off in NAb titres (essentially the immune response) past roughly 1 month. Those vaccines aren't "most of the protection on the first, bit more on the second", the first dose starts to drop off in effectiveness and then the second dose essentially solidifies the effect. There was a paper published in The Lancet on Friday which highlighted the problems with the first vaccine strategy.

 

Can you share the Lancet article IP? - I can't find it - unless you are referring to the correspondence from John Robertson, which I have seen and which contains numerous errors.

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8 minutes ago, themadsheep2001 said:

I know :D but that's more on their silliness as opposed to him screwing up, and you know im not exactly a fan of his :D

Yeah it's likely to come down to how strong willed he's willing to be under pressure, not having Calamity Dom in the background is bound to help in that regard. 

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