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Coronavirus: The Thread

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Coronavirus: The Thread

Old 7th Jul 2021, 10:51
  #16201 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
It would be interesting were the ONS Covid Infection Study to be expanded this winter to assess how many influenza cases there actually are, and how many are asymptomatic especially since roughly the same groups of people in society are likely to have either been immunised or going to be offered immunisation (for flu) as they are every winter. The comparisons could be interesting, provided the nation didn't go into panic mode and lock down were flu to be a big thing this winter.

Though I am for erring on the side of caution where unlocking for covid-19 is concerned, and would have liked to see mask wearing in public transport and other crowded indoor settings remain for the time being, I would hate the country, and perhaps the world to become even more risk averse than it already is.
I think it would be very worthwhile to study the flu epidemiology in more detail. Not to cause panic or major disruption, but to understand it better. And perhaps find non-invasive methods of preventing/treating it (perhaps early identification of cases likely to become serious).

One thing that seems clear though is that the covid vaccines give far better protection than the current flu vaccines.



No doubt both the vaccine technology and the variability of the diseases contribute.

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Old 7th Jul 2021, 10:59
  #16202 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
So really, at the moment the high new case figures in England at least could very well be the old adage of "the more you look, the more you find".
It is not so much the more you look the more you find that matters but rather how is the percentage of +ve tests changing in respect of the total no tested.
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Old 7th Jul 2021, 11:07
  #16203 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
It would be interesting were the ONS Covid Infection Study to be expanded this winter to assess how many influenza cases there actually are, and how many are asymptomatic especially since roughly the same groups of people in society are likely to have either been immunised or going to be offered immunisation (for flu) as they are every winter. The comparisons could be interesting, provided the nation didn't go into panic mode and lock down were flu to be a big thing this winter.
i agree completely about reviewing the figures.

Four years ago, there was a drive to vaccinate children - who very rarely become ill with flu - but are notorious ‘superspreaders’ Events with Covid have somewhat overtaken this drive.

https://www.england.nhs.uk/2017/11/s...-at-christmas/





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Old 7th Jul 2021, 18:06
  #16204 (permalink)  
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Latest ONS update. Note the data is over 3 weeks behind the vaccination programme so these figures will be substantially below those at present - and even further behind those on the 19th….

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulat...heuk/7july2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, antibody and vaccination data, UK: 7 July 2021
.
  • In England, it is estimated that…. 89.8% of the adult population would have tested positive for antibodies against coronavirus on a blood test in the week beginning 14 June 2021, suggesting they had the infection in the past or have been vaccinated.
  • In Wales, it is estimated that…. 91.8% of the adult population would have tested positive…..
  • In Northern Ireland, it is estimated that…. 87.2% of the adult population would have tested positive….
  • In Scotland, it is estimated that over… 84.7% of the adult population would have tested positive…

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Old 8th Jul 2021, 07:06
  #16205 (permalink)  
 
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Chilling letter to The Lancet from a dissenting group of scientists: Mass infection is not an option: we must do more to protect our young
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Old 8th Jul 2021, 07:25
  #16206 (permalink)  
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Independent SAGE again.

At least three issues within that letter.

Firstly it implies keeping the present measures could or would prevent the growth of the present wave. Since the current exponential growth is taking place whilst they are still in place that is a dubious proposition. Indeed with the infectivity of the Delta variant it qustionable if a full lockdown would suffice. This is not an issue of whether the additional millions they are concerned about be infected, but when.

Secondly their solution involves the vaccination of all adolescents. The moral justification for doing so is still under debate as the risks from vaccination currently exceed thise from the vaccine itself. No data exists to support the collateral claim that these age groups do or will suffer from long Covid which would chanage the rationale in that decision.

Thirdly they claim it is necessary to lessen the NHS workload. It is precisely that issue, however, which is driving the current lifting of restrictions. The official Sage models showing that allowing the inevitable wave during the summer prevents unacceptable loads during the current winter when loads on the NHS are expected to be far higher as usual.

I am sure there are other points of contention.
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Old 8th Jul 2021, 07:39
  #16207 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Independent SAGE again.

At least three issues within that letter.

Firstly it implies keeping the present measures could or would prevent the growth of the present wave. Since the current exponential growth is taking place whilst they are still in place that is a dubious proposition. Indeed with the infectivity of the Delta variant it qustionable if a full lockdown would suffice. This is not an issue of whether the additional millions they are concerned about be infected, but when.

Secondly their solution involves the vaccination of all adolescents. The moral justification for doing so is still under debate as the risks from vaccination currently exceed thise from the vaccine itself. No data exists to support the collateral claim that these age groups do or will suffer from long Covid which would chanage the rationale in that decision.

Thirdly they claim it is necessary to lessen the NHS workload. It is precisely that issue, however, which is driving the current lifting of restrictions. The official Sage models showing that allowing the inevitable wave during the summer prevents unacceptable loads during the current winter when loads on the NHS are expected to be far higher as usual.

I am sure there are other points of contention.
Would you be prepared to admit that the UK government policy is essentially one of achieving herd immunity as quickly as possible, with a target of the start of the new school and university terms? Your first paragraph certainly appears to imply this, and the WHO certainly appears to fear it is.

Whether "herd immunity" is the right way to go is secondary; the government levelling with the population and implicitly laying out their objectives regarding herd immunity is important, since when the daily new case figures hit 100,000 a lot of people are going to be very afraid - even though 100,000 isn't that big a number relatively.
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Old 8th Jul 2021, 07:39
  #16208 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Latest ONS update. Note the data is over 3 weeks behind the vaccination programme so these figures will be substantially below those at present - and even further behind those on the 19th….

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulat...heuk/7july2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, antibody and vaccination data, UK: 7 July 2021
.
  • In England, it is estimated that…. 89.8% of the adult population would have tested positive for antibodies against coronavirus on a blood test in the week beginning 14 June 2021, suggesting they had the infection in the past or have been vaccinated.
  • In Wales, it is estimated that…. 91.8% of the adult population would have tested positive…..
  • In Northern Ireland, it is estimated that…. 87.2% of the adult population would have tested positive….
  • In Scotland, it is estimated that over… 84.7% of the adult population would have tested positive…

Which raises a question. At that level of antibodies, their should be evidence of herd immunity but it is spreading like wildfire.
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Old 8th Jul 2021, 07:48
  #16209 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ninthace View Post
Which raises a question. At that level of antibodies, their should be evidence of herd immunity but it is spreading like wildfire.
I read that posting yesterday when out working and intended to reply in exactly the same vein as you have. One can only assume that quite a large percentage of those people have inadequate levels to stop them catching Covid-19, even if the infection, as a consequence is asymptomatic or extremely mild. The BBC's Andrew Marr reckoned he had a pretty nasty dose, even though he was double vaccinated early on with Pfizer. Of course that could just have been a bad case of "man-covid"!
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Old 8th Jul 2021, 07:50
  #16210 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
Would you be prepared to admit that the UK government policy is essentially one of achieving herd immunity as quickly as possible, with a target of the start of the new school and university terms? Your first paragraph certainly appears to imply this, and the WHO certainly appears to fear it is.

Whether "herd immunity" is the right way to go is secondary; the government levelling with the population and implicitly laying out their objectives regarding herd immunity is important, since when the daily new case figures hit 100,000 a lot of people are going to be very afraid - even though 100,000 isn't that big a number relatively.
100,0000 a day and rising soon adds up to a large number. As I said in a earlier post. The government seem to have given up the fight and are crossing their fingers and hoping for the best but they lack the courage to admit it. I am not buying the “like flu” argument. I have had flu and will go out of my way to not have it again. Likewise, I have not had Covid and I don’t want it either, since I don’t know how sick I am likely to be, vaccine or no vaccine. If the government won’t protect us, we will have to ride out the wave without their help.
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Old 8th Jul 2021, 07:59
  #16211 (permalink)  
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The clue is in the words “adult population”. That excludes most of those under 21, who are those mixing and through which Covid is spreading.

Returning to which, it is a fourth issue with the letter above - the supposition that those in that age bracket can be persuaded to accept vaccination without making it mandatory - a measure being considered in France but unlikely to be accepted in Parliament.

From today’s Times:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/v...jabs-msm22wq9w

Vaccination rates plummet as the young hesitate over Covid jabs

First vaccinations have almost halved in two weeks as demand from young people starts to dry up.

Government scientists accept that the country is “close to maximum take-up”, with many young people still hesitant about vaccination.

The NHS reported no problems with Pfizer-BioNTech supplies and many vaccination centres are starting to offer early second jabs to young people, saying they would otherwise be sitting idle, but the government is resisting calls to bring forward second doses.…..

About 90 per cent of adults in Britain have antibodies to the disease from vaccination or previous infection, the Office for National Statistics said.

In England this includes 60 per cent of those aged 16 to 24 in the week ending June 20, suggesting previous infection is the main cause. This rises to over 99 per cent in people over 65…..

However, the figures mean millions are still potentially susceptible to infection, with concerns that younger people’s enthusiasm for vaccination is waning. On Tuesday just 85,811 first doses were given, with the seven-day average at 113,532 down 45 per cent from a peak of 205,668 on June 23.…..

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Old 8th Jul 2021, 08:01
  #16212 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ninthace View Post
100,0000 a day and rising soon adds up to a large number. As I said in a earlier post. The government seem to have given up the fight and are crossing their fingers and hoping for the best but they lack the courage to admit it. I am not buying the “like flu” argument. I have had flu and will go out of my way to not have it again. Likewise, I have not had Covid and I don’t want it either, since I don’t know how sick I am likely to be, vaccine or no vaccine. If the government won’t protect us, we will have to ride out the wave without their help.
Unfortunately the government appears to have given up on supporting us in that regard remembering that the virus is spread primarily through airborne transmission, and it has just removed requirements for mask wearing which of course protects others, not the mask wearer. I don't think I'll be changing my behaviour very much after 19th July, still wearing a mask in most of the same situations I do now, and not using public transport during the rush hours at least. I will only go into pubs / restaurants where table service is the norm and certainly wouldn't consider going to theatres and cinemas at the present time. My 2nd vaccination which I received in mid May is still comparatively recent, but like you I have had "real" flu once and if Covid-19 is as bad or worse than I recall flu to have been if it's OK with the rest of the population I'll give both a miss! I must have had "long flu" since it left me short of energy for weeks afterwards, and I was much younger then.
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Old 8th Jul 2021, 08:03
  #16213 (permalink)  
 
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ORAC,

You don't appear to have answered the question. Do you believe the "real" government covid policy is now to go for herd immunity in 8 weeks?
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Old 8th Jul 2021, 08:07
  #16214 (permalink)  
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Would you be prepared to admit that the UK government policy is essentially one of achieving herd immunity as quickly as possible, with a target of the start of the new school and university terms? Your first paragraph certainly appears to imply this, and the WHO certainly appears to fear it is.
Depends on your emphasis. I think it represents a belief within Sage and the government that the exponential growth of the D variant, together with the vaccination programme, means community immunity is inevitable within the 6-9 months.

That growth can’t be stopped - the best they can do is to try and stop it happening during the coming winter.
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Old 8th Jul 2021, 08:14
  #16215 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Depends on your emphasis. I think it represents a belief within Sage and the government that the exponential growth of the D variant, together with the vaccination programme, means community immunity is inevitable within the 6-9 months.

That growth can’t be stopped - the best they can do is to try and stop it happening during the coming winter.
I assume you meant 6-9 weeks?

If that is the case then why doesn't Johnson use his next news conference to come clean. I think the public would welcome such honesty and straight talking. From a straw poll over the past couple of days most people are expressing the opinion that "herd immunity" in so many words is the policy.

Last edited by ATNotts; 8th Jul 2021 at 09:47.
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Old 8th Jul 2021, 08:27
  #16216 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
The clue is in the words “adult population”. That excludes most of those under 21, who are those mixing and through which Covid is spreading.

Returning to which, it is a fourth issue with the letter above - the supposition that those in that age bracket can be persuaded to accept vaccination without making it mandatory - a measure being considered in France but unlikely to be accepted in Parliament.

From today’s Times:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/v...jabs-msm22wq9w

Vaccination rates plummet as the young hesitate over Covid jabs

First vaccinations have almost halved in two weeks as demand from young people starts to dry up.

Government scientists accept that the country is “close to maximum take-up”, with many young people still hesitant about vaccination.

The NHS reported no problems with Pfizer-BioNTech supplies and many vaccination centres are starting to offer early second jabs to young people, saying they would otherwise be sitting idle, but the government is resisting calls to bring forward second doses.…..

About 90 per cent of adults in Britain have antibodies to the disease from vaccination or previous infection, the Office for National Statistics said.

In England this includes 60 per cent of those aged 16 to 24 in the week ending June 20, suggesting previous infection is the main cause. This rises to over 99 per cent in people over 65…..

However, the figures mean millions are still potentially susceptible to infection, with concerns that younger people’s enthusiasm for vaccination is waning. On Tuesday just 85,811 first doses were given, with the seven-day average at 113,532 down 45 per cent from a peak of 205,668 on June 23.…..
. Only the adult population were sampled. Covid was been spreading through the under 21s since the get go, it has not just started. There is no reason to believe the figures for antibodies in that cohort will be any different. The millions left susceptible to infection should be diluted by the immune population so that the virus should not be able to reach them. That is the theory of herd immunity. Clearly, even at the levels of antibody now found. It is not working.

One possible explanation lies in the large numbers of asymptomatic cases. If it is possible to have antibodies and so not be sick but still carry a reservoir of virus in the nasal cavity for an extended period while your body coped with the infection, you would test positive and count as a case, and have antibodies, so feature in the ONS study as having antibodies and also count as immune. In a largely unmasked, freely mixing community, it would be possible to for those with antibodies to repeatedly pick up the virus and carry it around for a while, passing it on to others.
Under those circumstances, you could still spread the disease while apparently immune and herd immunity would not be achieved until everybody was either vaccinated or infected.
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Old 8th Jul 2021, 09:14
  #16217 (permalink)  
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Politico London Playbook:

RETURN OF SHIELDING?

The department of health is due to publish guidance in the coming days on what the immunosuppressed and clinically very vulnerable should do when COVID restrictions are lifted, Times Radio’s Tom Newton Dunn reports. He hears it will involve a degree of shielding until September.

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Old 8th Jul 2021, 09:45
  #16218 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Depends on your emphasis. I think it represents a belief within Sage and the government that the exponential growth of the D variant, together with the vaccination programme, means community immunity is inevitable within the 6-9 months.

That growth can’t be stopped - the best they can do is to try and stop it happening during the coming winter.
The above is almost certainly true.

But it would be good if the government could stop pussyfooting around the fact that stopping the growth happening during the coming winter means making it happen (a) sooner and (b) faster.
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Old 8th Jul 2021, 10:49
  #16219 (permalink)  
 
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I expect Delta was having as much fun last night as the English fans.

I suspect it has dawned on England, before the rest of most of the world, they can no longer fight Covid with lockdowns and personal restrictions. You’ve done all you can to protect those most at risk so life now needs to go on and to use your own judgement about risk. Online shopping has now become the norm and the main supermarkets have invested heavily in it so no one needs to feel they are putting themselves in danger to get essentials.
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Old 8th Jul 2021, 12:02
  #16220 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Secondly their solution involves the vaccination of all adolescents. The moral justification for doing so is still under debate as the risks from vaccination currently exceed those from the vaccine itself. No data exists to support the collateral claim that these age groups do or will suffer from long Covid which would change the rationale in that decision.
Are there any studies claiming this? As I mentioned in a previous comment, the US CDC seems to disagree, at least regarding the mRNA vaccines:

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/me...allace-508.pdf



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