UKC

April vaccine reduction.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.

We were warned of a reduction in April, but this doesn’t seem to have materialised (so far).  Which is good. Anyone got any thoughts on this?  Possible ‘promise low, deliver high’ policy? Perhaps they got it wrong, or got more vaccine?  

 jimtitt 26 Apr 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

The rate of first vaccinations shows an abrupt slowing for April.

7
In reply to jimtitt:

But that was due to the massive increase in second jabs. So we’ve basically been giving out the same total jabs (ish). 

1
 Si dH 26 Apr 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

This graph from the dashboard shows the total number of jabs per day with the line showing the 7-day average. As you can see, there was a drop at the start of April*, but it since largely recovered to the rate in the second half of March. I think it probably needs to accelerate a bit more to hit the July target in a world of ideal 100% take-up.

* Apparently caused by a combination of India delaying exports and there being problems of some kind with one of the UK-produced AZ batches.


 jimtitt 26 Apr 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

> But that was due to the massive increase in second jabs. So we’ve basically been giving out the same total jabs (ish). 

No, there was a drop from 11,209,159 vaccinations over the last 21 days of March to 8,173, 116 for the first 21 days of April, that is 3,036, 043 less.

 Philip 26 Apr 2021
In reply to jimtitt:

> No, there was a drop from 11,209,159 vaccinations over the last 21 days of March to 8,173, 116 for the first 21 days of April, that is 3,036, 043 less.

Fewer.

9
In reply to jimtitt:

Hmm.  First 25 days of March = 12,948,775. First 25 days of April = 11,646,130.  So a drop, but not as big as I was ‘sensing’ given media reports and NHS letter etc.  
 

Not that I’m complaining, just interested.

Post edited at 19:54
In reply to Si dH:

I was worried that the ‘blip’ would have been worse, glad it wasn’t. 
Think Moderna will be given out from about mid May.  That should help ramp things up a tad. 

As an aside, I had my second Pfizer last week and suffered virtually no side effects (arm hurt way less, no tiredness). Although my tongue is sore with all the door handles I’ve enjoyed licking...

 Si dH 26 Apr 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

I thought Moderna had already started, or was that just a small batch that got used up quickly?

Hoping I might get my first before the end of May if things go well.

 Eric9Points 26 Apr 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

You may find this thread on vaccine delivery interesting. It has projections out to July.

https://twitter.com/PaulMainwood/status/1384582664976576516?s=19

Also this one which predicts everyone will have had their first dose by July 21st and assuming 3 million jabs a week, everyone would have had both doses about five weeks later.

https://twitter.com/ThatRyanChap/status/1386655090367418371?s=19

In reply to Si dH:

You’re right about Moderna. Was thinking when it arrives where I live. 

 wintertree 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Si dH:

> I thought Moderna had already started, or was that just a small batch that got used up quickly?

Moderna has some delays in production in the EU and this is likely to impact UK deliveries.  Spooling up any vaccine production line at this kind of scale seems to be a fraught process.  So far, the UK aren’t making a big fuss about this and threatening to sue Moderna whilst simultaneously sitting on existing deliveries and cancelling future orders, 

https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/moderna-sees-shortfall-britain-covid-vaccine-shipments-eu-deliveries-track-2021-04-16/

> Hoping I might get my first before the end of May if things go well.

I flippantly said last week about a Zeno’s paradox as the advancing age range moved from 10 years to 5 when getting in to my decade.  Then on Monday it advanced by 1 year...  Given the monotonic decay in cases I’m a lot less concerned by this than I’d expected would be the case.  Still, I hope to get a first dose before the expected May unlocking, especially if we have a great undergraduate shuffle to go with it.

In reply to willgriggsonfire:

I think the reduction in supply means we dropped back to the old level and didn’t keep going at the highs seen in March.  Perhaps no bad thing given that we’ve kept cases in decay, deaths are almost eliminated and the need for time to evaluate some very low probability findings over the AZ and J&J vaccines.

1
 Jenny C 26 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> I flippantly said last week about a Zeno’s paradox as the advancing age range moved from 10 years to 5 when getting in to my decade.  Then on Monday it advanced by 1 year...  Given the monotonic decay in cases I’m a lot less concerned by this than I’d expected would be the case.  Still, I hope to get a first dose before the expected May unlocking, especially if we have a great undergraduate shuffle to go with it.

I wonder if after the 45+ age group crashed the booking website, they are simply trying to stagger demand by only opening up for one extra years worth of people at a time.

In reply to Eric9Points:

Thanks for these. My maths: assuming an optimistic 3.5 mill jabs/wk, we need to have given 31 mill second jabs by end June (because 31 mill first doses were given by end March). Already give 13 mill second jabs, meaning 52 mill first jabs by end June. 
 

Given there will be a number of people who can’t or won’t have the jab, wouldn’t surprise me if everyone who wants it has their first jab earlier than most predictions (fingers crossed vaccine supply is OK). 

 Snyggapa 27 Apr 2021
In reply to Jenny C:

I can't get an appointment without a 100 (as the crow flies) mile 4 hour round trip, and adding 44 year olds just seems to delay the time when a vaccine centre near me will have a slot. I live on the North Devon coast and check 2 or 3 times a day and get offered Exeter, Plymouth or the royal Cornwall showground.

I suspect I am just unlucky to be in a thinly covered oversubscribed area, it'll work itself out at some point.

Post edited at 00:31
 Misha 27 Apr 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

As you say, it’s better than we had perhaps been led to believe. Still doing about 100k a day first doses, which does add up over a month. This might accelerate a bit as they’re just about done with second doses for the 12m top priority people who got their first jabs by 15 Feb, after which point there was a temporary drop off in first jabs for a few weeks before they picked up again in mid March. 

In reply to willgriggsonfire:

The UK has slowed dramatically relative to other countries because it is dependent on imports and  the supplier countries -  EU and India - have now got a Covid wave of their own.

But this is against a background of more vaccine capacity coming on line so the outcome has been flattening the availability rather than reducing it.  So we are doing about the same amount of doses while other countries are scaling up.  The US is now doing 3 million doses a day and will get its entire population vaccinated long before the UK and EU.   My guess is Germany and many other EU countries will also get fully vaccinated before the UK as local vaccine supply lets them make up for starting later.

https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

15
 Forest Dump 27 Apr 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

Wales based, early 40s, had my 1st Moderna jab last Friday

In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

>   My guess is Germany and many other EU countries will also get fully vaccinated 

Germany might, it bought 30m if its own in dec20, when it too realised the eu scheme was a shambles. 

2
In reply to summo:

> >   My guess is Germany and many other EU countries will also get fully vaccinated 

> Germany might, it bought 30m if its own in dec20, when it too realised the eu scheme was a shambles. 

Yet only seem to be around the EU average of around 30% and notably very slightly behind Spain for example according to Statistica. In global terms, the EU seems to be doing OK in rolling out vaccines.

In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

The one that surprised me was Chile, I think they're just ahead of us in %age. Quite a contrast to Brazil.

In reply to Michael Hood:

Chile is a funny one. They're smashing through first doses, but using a vaccine that's almost totally ineffective until after the second dose, so it's a very different position for a similar looking place in the charts.

 CurlyStevo 27 Apr 2021
In reply to Misha:

The first doses in Scotland in the last week are running at around 3 times less than the rest of the UK

I'm 48 in Edinburgh no sign of the blue letter yet!

In reply to The New NickB:

I don't think Germany has received its individual order of 30m yet, there is a waiting list. The problem will be the youth, the antivaxxers tend to be younger and plenty eu leaders have whipped up fears against some vaccines, which many will apply to all. Some countries tend to have greater uptake of measles vaccine, but this might not correlate with covid. 

As long as supply improves, because most are still on over 65's. 

In reply to CurlyStevo:

> The first doses in Scotland in the last week are running at around 3 times less than the rest of the UK

> I'm 48 in Edinburgh no sign of the blue letter yet!

From what I saw when I got mine it really looked to be vaccine supply limited.  They'd built out a really nice facility and everything worked super smoothly but it was operating nowhere near capacity based on the number of processing lines they had built compared with the number of people waiting.   If the vaccine supply scales up they could go a lot faster.

6
 Jenny C 27 Apr 2021
In reply to Jenny C:

Website now open for those aged 42+ to book a vaccine.

 CurlyStevo 27 Apr 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I wish we could just book in like England / Wales can, seems a bit unfair? Its 42 there now and I'm not far off 49. Nearly 7 years is quite a lot, with covid it's 10 times more risk in 20 years so 7 years must be around double the risk (or so).

Post edited at 09:29
 Jenny C 27 Apr 2021
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> I wish we could just book in like the rest of the UK can, seems a bit unfair?

It's called independence and taking back control..... 

2
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> I wish we could just book in like the rest of the UK can, seems a bit unfair?

Maybe.  All I can say is I thought they did a good job.  I liked that my wife and I got appointments only a minute apart at the same centre even though we have different GPs.  Made it super easy to go together and get it done in one trip.  They've got a floor in one of the commercial offices out by the bypass and they've fitted it out really well with the freezers for the vaccine outside and the space built out with lots of processing lines and really spaced out so you don't get near anyone else or have to touch anything and the whole thing from car park to check in to vaccination to waiting for ten mins was absolutely streamlined and very pleasant.

 CurlyStevo 27 Apr 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Yeah I think I'll be getting my jab in the next few weeks, atleast infection numbers are low now. Still the UK is dealing with vaccine supply as a whole and I think its time to redirect vaccine to where its most needed. Seems mad that N Ireland is now vaccinating 35 year olds.

Post edited at 09:34
 Jenny C 27 Apr 2021
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> ..... Seems mad that N Ireland is now vaccinating 35 year olds.

Totally agree. Really don't think it's fair that as a country we aren't taking a united front on vaccine rollout. 

Yes there will inevitably be some regional discrepancies and better to offer the jab to younger people than have it (or appointment slots) go unused, but when one area is unable to offer the vaccine to those aged 50+ and another has it openly available to those -40 I think they need to review the supply chain and try to even it up.

1
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> I wish we could just book in like England / Wales can, seems a bit unfair? Its 42 there now and I'm not far off 49. Nearly 7 years is quite a lot, with covid it's 10 times more risk in 20 years so 7 years must be around double the risk (or so).

Double a low number is still a low number.

A month plus ago someone related to distribution said if they put in measures where each area reported ages, vulnerable etc who'd been vaccinated. They compared nationally. Looked at predicted vaccine supplies, then modified distribution, it would likely lead to delays for everyone.

What happens if you make a booking in 2 weeks time, then it's cancelled next week because a person 5 years older elsewhere has taken the doses loosely assigned to you. It would be chaos.

Because of demographics and variable uptake, perfectly streamlined age brackets are impossible. There are plenty who'd love to have the uk vaccine programme. 

1
In reply to Jenny C:

> Totally agree. Really don't think it's fair that as a country we aren't taking a united front on vaccine rollout. 

The more people vaccinated, the safer everyone is, including the unvaccinated.

I think it's much more important to just get doses out there than to worry about what's "fair", now that the highest-risk groups have been vaccinated.

In reply to CurlyStevo:

> I'm 48 in Edinburgh no sign of the blue letter yet!

I was speaking to my GP yesterday about something else, and she mentioned that she thought I'd get mine in about three weeks.

I'm 44 and in Stirling, not sure whether we're ahead of you but I don't imagine it'll be wildly different, and you're in a slightly higher priority bracket than I am.

 CurlyStevo 27 Apr 2021
In reply to summo:

well people in NI at age 35 are getting vaxed before nearly 50's in some areas of scotland. That's a lot more than 5 years and represents over 4 times risk difference.

I'm not suggesting canceling appointments, but how about we slow down the rate of new appointments for first doses in areas that are over 5 years ahead of the average or something. Its not rocket science after all! There obviously is some equation they are using to distribute the vaccine as the population distribution of the UK is not consistent. The equation just needs some rebalancing IMO.

Post edited at 10:27
2
 CurlyStevo 27 Apr 2021
In reply to skog:

There are just new highest risk groups now. Remember with covid its pretty much the same increased risk with getting older irrelevent of age (Ok not quite but not far off). It's roughly 10 times more risk with 20 years increase in age.

 CurlyStevo 27 Apr 2021
In reply to skog:

> I was speaking to my GP yesterday about something else, and she mentioned that she thought I'd get mine in about three weeks.

> I'm 44 and in Stirling, not sure whether we're ahead of you but I don't imagine it'll be wildly different, and you're in a slightly higher priority bracket than I am.

The main reason for that I suspect is because of the February burst in first Pfizer doses, by mid feb the number was massively reduced. 12 weeks later takes you to early - May, by when we should see a surplus of Pfizer again as the second doses tail off.

In reply to CurlyStevo:

Yeah, but 'highest' isn't high now.

I'm not keen on catching covid, but it isn't really something to be terrified of, for me it's comparable risk to a bad 'flu season. I was worried about catching it and infecting my mother, or my wife who has type 1 diabetes, but they're fully vaccinated so at very little risk now.

Just keep being careful until at least a couple of weeks after you get your first dose and you really aren't at a lot of risk of the really nasty consequences. Ideally, keep being careful after that, too!

1
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> The main reason for that I suspect is because of the February burst in first Pfizer doses, by mid feb the number was massively reduced. 12 weeks later takes you to early - May, by when we should see a surplus of Pfizer again as the second doses tail off.


Yeah, Moderna's coming on-line now too, that can only help.

 CurlyStevo 27 Apr 2021
In reply to skog:

Moderna is in very low supply though for spring in the UK

 wintertree 27 Apr 2021
In reply to CurlyStevo:

In reply to CurlyStevo:

> I'm not suggesting canceling appointments, but how about we slow down the rate of new appointments for first doses in areas that are over 5 years ahead of the average or something. Its not rocket science after all! There obviously is some equation they are using to distribute the vaccine as the population distribution of the UK is not consistent. The equation just needs some rebalancing IMO.

You say "obvious" but AFAIK you have yet to demonstrate that the problem rests primarily with the high level distribution of doses between nations and not in the roll out using doses on hand within the four nations.  There have been some press articles about Scotland in particular a few weeks ago that suggested the problems were in the logistics within Scotland and not the high level supply.

Right now, the system is working well, doses are going in to people at a phenomenal rate, deaths have been brought down very close to 0/day by the vaccine, hospitalisations are small and falling, and doses given are demonstrably reducing the spread of infection as well, protecting everyone either directly or indirectly.  The whole program is working phenomenally well.

Why risk disrupting the logistics and planning that must stretch to months in the future to address a transient imbalance between individuals at very low risk from infection when the risk of infection is also very low - and dropping partly because of the vaccination - and when you still haven't evidenced that the problem is in the high level distribution of doses?

TLDR:  Don't let perfect be the enemy of good enough.  What we have is way better than good enough for where we are right now.  It's running at scale, the wheels are staying on despite the unpredictable bulk supply of doses, and everything is getting better every day.  

1
 wintertree 27 Apr 2021
In reply to Jenny C:

> I wonder if after the 45+ age group crashed the booking website, they are simply trying to stagger demand by only opening up for one extra years worth of people at a time.

I think you're right given the way it's opened up more today in England - those aged 42 by the first of July.  I'm surprised at how quickly the leading edge is moving down the ages given the low number of first doses being given; then again they're not making such an effort to get everyone to sign up but vaccinating those who come forwards perhaps.

 CurlyStevo 27 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

"There have been some press articles about Scotland in particular a few weeks ago that suggested the problems were in the logistics within Scotland and not the high level supply."

Well right now Scotland is level pegging with England wrt to first and second dose (they are both wavering around the same percentages) so I think that's pretty much irrelevant.  

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/vaccinations

"You have yet to demonstrate that the problem rests primarily with the high level distribution of doses between nations and not in the roll out using doses on hand within the four nations."

It seems unlikely that areas can't scale up to accommodate greater vaccine supply. We are constantly being told the issue worldwide is vaccine supply. Areas of the UK and countries of the world seem to be scaling up fine to meet the supply. Can you prove its not down to supply or that the current disparities can't be fixed by small changes to distribution?

Post edited at 10:57
4
 elsewhere 27 Apr 2021
In reply to CurlyStevo:

98% of people over 50 in Scotland have been vaccinated.
"Only" 89% of people over 50 in NI have been vaccinated.

That might contribute to why NI has vaccine "left over" to move on to the over 35s as Scotland & NI have done the same number of vaccinations (82 & 83  vaccinations per 100 adults respectively).

England & Wales have done 84 & 93 vaccinations per 100 adults respectively. Don't know what the Welsh secret is. 

All numbers based on https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55274833

Last time I looked (a while back) the variations within one of the four nations exceeded the variations between the four nations.

In reply to CurlyStevo:

>  Its not rocket science after all! 

Tell that to the eu. 

I think you might be under rating how complex it is to vaccinate 300,000 people across the country on a daily basis.

Post edited at 11:22
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I like a gamble - bet you a tenner Germany etc doesn't catch up.

 wintertree 27 Apr 2021
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> Well right now Scotland is level pegging with England wrt to first and second dose (they are both wavering around the same percentages) so I think that's pretty much irrelevant.  

This was a thread in the pub about a month ago when Scotland was behind and you called for vaccinations in other areas that were ahead to be paused to help Scotland catch up, when the news at the time made it clear there were other issues unrelated to supply within parts of Scotland.

So it's not irrelevant - anything but - as it shows that Scotland caught up without a pause elsewhere, presumably by using the buffer built up when they worked out local issues.

> Can you prove its not down to supply or that the current disparities can't be fixed by small changes to distribution?

I'm not the one asking for a pause to vaccinating people based on an unproven theory; I have nothing to prove.  You continue to bounce this issue back rather than evidence the position from which you are calling for change.  

1
 wintertree 27 Apr 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

> I like a gamble - bet you a tenner Germany etc doesn't catch up.

Likewise the USA... https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/04/us-covid-vaccinations-fall-nearly-11-in-a-week-as-demand-wanes/

 elsewhere 27 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

In Scotland those right age group will be getting the famous blue envelope (chosen to be obvious in the junk mail) with an appointment within two weeks rather than an invitation for those aged 42 to make a booking for some time up to two months away.

Different approach, unclear which if any is better. I wonder if issuing an appointment that people would have to cancel or feel guilty about missing explains the higher uptake in Scotland.

> then again they're not making such an effort to get everyone to sign up but vaccinating those who come forwards perhaps.

Brand ambassadors for the vaccine - telling their age group how quick/easy/painless it was.

In reply to willgriggsonfire:

To be honest I would like to see a pause in our vacation program to send the doses to places like India that are being hammered. Our most vulnerable are done so let's look after others. 

4
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

>   I liked that my wife and I got appointments only a minute apart at the same centre even though we have different GPs.  Made it super easy to go together and get it done in one trip.

Might not be that way for second dose in Scotland.

Speaking to two neighbours - whilst both had same day and time appointments for the first dose as their spouses, both have their second appointments separated by 4 & 5 days apart from their spouses. Also, with one, his wife even has been given a different vac centre.

 wintertree 27 Apr 2021
In reply to Dax H:

> To be honest I would like to see a pause in our vacation program to send the doses to places like India that are being hammered. Our most vulnerable are done so let's look after others. 

That's a bit like the societal version of taking a half course of antibiotics IMO - it doesn't work out in the long run and is more likely to breed a vaccine resistant variant which is worse for the whole world.  

India is producing far more vaccine than we can send them - licensed on a non profit basis from Oxford University and AstroZeneca.  

The most useful things we can send them right now are things like medical supplies, zeolite oxygen units and CPAP kit, and medical staff.  With where they are right now, vaccination isn't going to change their situation much, other approaches are needed - control measures and expediting the earlier stage pharmaceutical interventions coming out of the pipeline, particularly the interferon beta approach.  Things that can be rapidly pushed out in the community targeted at those who are becoming ill and that keeps some of them out of hospitals by moderating their illness.  Unlike vaccination, this works faster and is targeted reducing the supplies needed.

1
In reply to elsewhere:

Interesting article, and states possible reason for declining vaccination numbers in USA is 'waning demand' - people not eager.  Be interesting if this is replicated here, and whether or not the government will adjust timescales based on 'we have kinda done all we can.'

 RobAJones 27 Apr 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

I'm surprised to be getting my second jab tomorrow, only six weeks after the first, which was also earlier than I expected aged 50. Might be reading too much into it, but they probably have been quite cautious with the number of first jabs over the last month or so as they need to be sure to give everyone eligible, the second one, before twelve weeks.  As they they seem well on top of this there might be scope for accelerating the first jab offers. 

 CurlyStevo 27 Apr 2021
In reply to elsewhere:

I see, good spot about the over 50's I suppose mostly its down to different strategies. Scotland's letter only (mostly) system may make it more likely people actually take it at the correct time for their age group. Whilst England and Wales system may make it more likely a bunch of eligible people apply on line sooner than they get an actual letter (but perhaps have to travel for the vaccine). I suppose each country is allowed to have its own strategy here.

Like you said it seems a bit odd Wales is 10% ahead of Scotland but the rest of the UK is neck and neck.

Post edited at 16:11
 Mark Edwards 27 Apr 2021
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> Like you said it seems a bit odd Wales is 10% ahead of Scotland but the rest of the UK is neck and neck.

In my health area (in Wales) there is no booking website or letters but you get a call from the doctor’s surgery when it’s your turn, asking if you want it. Maybe it’s the personal touch that explains the high uptake?

In reply to Mark Edwards:

> In my health area (in Wales) there is no booking website or letters but you get a call from the doctor’s surgery when it’s your turn, asking if you want it. Maybe it’s the personal touch that explains the high uptake?

I can imagine it would, partly because (I hope) most of us don’t like letting someone down, and a ‘request’ from a GP feels a bit like an instruction, especially for older people (risking generalising I know).

Also, on the ‘deaths where Covid mentioned on death certificate’ data, Wales has done the worst of the nations, so perhaps folk are keener?

Either way, everywhere is doing bloody good, and it’s kinda good that we are in essence splitting hairs about who’s done better and why. 

 Si dH 27 Apr 2021
In reply to RobAJones:

> I'm surprised to be getting my second jab tomorrow, only six weeks after the first, which was also earlier than I expected aged 50. Might be reading too much into it, but they probably have been quite cautious with the number of first jabs over the last month or so as they need to be sure to give everyone eligible, the second one, before twelve weeks.  As they they seem well on top of this there might be scope for accelerating the first jab offers. 

There seems to be a lot of variation in gap between doses, unless quite a few people are not coming forward for their second, which would be surprising. My mum and all her friends in the North West (group 5) got their second jabs after about 8 weeks. My brother in London (group 6) has just had his after 6-7 weeks. My wife's relatives in different bits of the country (groups 2, 5 and 7) have all had theirs in 8-9 weeks as well I think.  Yet according to top level numbers the average should be about 10.5 weeks. I haven't heard of anyone taking that long, but I understand that people that booked both appointments online were asked to go for 11 week gaps so maybe that explains it? (All the above were just called to book by their GP, I don't think any used the online system to book both appointments together.)

Post edited at 17:28
In reply to Si dH:

Both my mum and father-in-law, Wigan (Leigh) and Fife respectively, got their second exactly 12 weeks after (the appointment was made straight after their first).  Must be a lot did this. 

 RobAJones 27 Apr 2021
In reply to Si dH:

>All the above were just called to book by their GP

Same for both of us

>I haven't heard of anyone taking that long

It has prompted me to contact my 91 year old auntie's GP surgery. She (mid wales) hasn't had her second yet. First jab was delayed (nearly 10 weeks ago) due to her being ill in Jan and she now needs a home visit for the second, but it seems odd getting my second dose before her. Although my younger brother living in Italy had his second jab a couple of weeks ago.

In reply to elsewhere:

A letter? Are GP’s not texting patients with appointments like they are in England?

The fact that there are small variations across the four nations is no great concern, what’s encouraging is how good the uptake is across all age groups so far - we can pick apart national strategy later but vaccine delivery in all of the four nations is going very well.

In reply to Dr.S at work:

> A letter? Are GP’s not texting patients with appointments like they are in England?

> The fact that there are small variations across the four nations is no great concern, what’s encouraging is how good the uptake is across all age groups so far - we can pick apart national strategy later but vaccine delivery in all of the four nations is going very well.

Text is the main form of communication but direct phone calls are also being used by group practices to book some appointments.

In reply to wintertree:

No doubt the UK will start getting a higher percentage of refusals too as its program progresses and it starts to offer vaccine to age groups which aren't as scared of Covid.   

The USA has just overtaken the UK on vaccine doses per hundred people and is on a steeper trajectory, the gap is going to widen.   The UK is still ahead on 1st doses but the US is miles ahead on second doses due to not having the 12 week gap between doses.

https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

When the US removes the hold on the one dose Janssen vaccine it will speed up even more, one dose rather than two is going to make a big difference.

7
 Misha 28 Apr 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

If Germany manages to finish their vaccinations first, good on them but right now I know we’re in a much better situation. We can more or less maintain that till the end of our vaccination drive (so Germany finishing first won’t really matter), as long as BoJo doesn’t do something stupid like his ‘back to normal on the 21st’ idea or opening up overseas holiday travel (so we’re probably screwed but you might be in a better situation with Nicola, though I suspect she will cave in to the travel lobby as well). 

 Misha 28 Apr 2021
In reply to Jenny C:

NI is a tiny % of the UK population so their offering the vaccine to 35+ makes very little difference to E, W and S. 

 Misha 28 Apr 2021
In reply to Dax H:

> To be honest I would like to see a pause in our vacation program to send the doses to places like India that are being hammered. Our most vulnerable are done so let's look after others. 

I’m not sure about that. Firstly, a fe a million doses is a drop in the ocean for India. Secondly, and more importantly, I suspect BoJo will do something stupid like a full unlock on the 21st. That would mean open season for vaccine resistant variants. A virus under significant pressure from the vaccines but with a significant % unvaccinated is going to have both the ‘need’ and the opportunity to develop and spread a vaccine resistant strain. We’ve gifted the Kent variant to the world - no need to gift another one...

2
 Misha 28 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

I think places like India need massive loans from ‘the West’ to be able to support their population through a proper lockdown. Plus the political will to implement it. Unfortunately Modi seems to have  given in to hubris. Same as BoJo, Macron and so many others... Most politicians just don’t get it.

It’s either lockdown or herd immunity through infection. Vaccination won’t make a difference in the short term, as you say. Medical aid is needed to tackle the effects but does nothing to address the causes.

In reply to Misha:

>  A virus under significant pressure from the vaccines but with a significant % unvaccinated is going to have both the ‘need’ and the opportunity to develop and spread a vaccine resistant strain. 

I wonder whether India is creating the circumstances for an AZ vaccine resistant strain to emerge.   No lockdown so huge numbers of infected people where mutant strains can develop and AZ as the vaccine in the vaccinated part of the population.

3
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

The only reason a strain would be resistant to the AZ vaccine and no others would be if it simultaneously evolved a kilt and a set of bagpipes, painted its face with a saltire and started making infected people shout "freeeeedooooooommmmm", and we'd notice that at the airport so I'm not too worried.

1
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I can see Chile being a concern for this, but that's because the vaccine they're using is barely effective (like 3%!!) until the second dose and cases are high, so to the untrained amateur here that sounds like vaccinating the virus against the vaccine.

Post edited at 07:28
In reply to Misha:

> I think places like India need massive loans from ‘the West’ to be able to support their population through a proper lockdown. Plus the political will to implement it. Unfortunately Modi seems to have  given in to hubris. 

I don't think it needs loans, it's not poor, it has its share of billionaires. The problem is the caste system and politics, meaning the money would never reach those having to work to eat. 

Western companies who use India as a giant sweat shop could do something, through their supply chain, which is where many of the poorest work, making stuff we don't really need, to buy online, whilst sat at home bored on furlough! 

 Si dH 28 Apr 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

To a noddy observer, if the vaccine after a first dose is only 3%* effective, surely there is very little additional pressure for the virus to mutate?

* Which vaccine is that?

Post edited at 11:36
 wintertree 28 Apr 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The UK is still ahead on 1st doses but the US is miles ahead on second doses due to not having the 12 week gap between doses.

I meant to respond to this yesterday.  

You are pitching this as if the 12-week gap is a hindrance.  It was a deliberate choice with the first dose offering significant protection from death and hospitalisation.  The current per capita death rate in the USA is about 10x what it is in the UK.  

Further, it's been looking likely for some time from the data that the first dose is significantly limiting transmission of the virus in the UK; the report out yesterday was that the first dose about halves transmission.  This has contributed significantly I think to R remaining < 1 for all of 2021 in England and so reducing the number of people - vaccinated or not - exposed to Covid further reducing deaths.  The USA has seen a relatively stable and very high daily number of cases. 

The USA may be "miles ahead on second doses" but arguably the results from the UK show that this is not the optimum way to use a limited set of resources around vaccination, and it's going to be a long time yet before their situation improves to the point where we are now, let alone where we hopefully continue heading.

Rom in particular had a bee in his bonnet over the 12-week change, and had a lot of negative, anti-UK sentiment on the issue.  They've been oddly quiet on the issue of late. 

Post edited at 11:51
In reply to wintertree:

> Rom in particular had a bee in his bonnet over the 12-week change, and had a lot of negative, anti-UK sentiment on the issue.  They've been oddly quiet on the issue of late.

Unlike most posters on here, I'm not Rom.

However, I did have concerns that the untested 12-week gap was a bit of a gamble, although maybe a necessary one (as the UK health service was right on the brink of collapse in many areas).

I still think it was - but it's pretty clear that it has paid off now, and very well at that.

In reply to skog:

> Unlike most posters on here, I'm not Rom.

> However, I did have concerns that the untested 12-week gap was a bit of a gamble, although maybe a necessary one (as the UK health service was right on the brink of collapse in many areas).

> I still think it was - but it's pretty clear that it has paid off now, and very well at that.

I've always strongly disagreed with that. The 4 weeks was arbitrary and chosen to get to trial results quicker. It was never suggested or even suspected that it was optimum. It just happened to be what was tested.

 wintertree 28 Apr 2021
In reply to skog:

I see what you did there.

> However, I did have concerns that the untested 12-week gap was a bit of a gamble, although maybe a necessary one (as the UK health service was right on the brink of collapse in many areas).

I think it was perfectly understandable for people to have concerns about the change.

It was a hard choice I think, but it was one made with input from immunologists, and with the clear context that the 4-week gap was formalised because that is what had been run in the trials, and that the trials have been run to a 4-week gap in preference to a longer gap due to the immense time pressure on the trials.  So, whilst it was a bold change, it was never a reckless one.  

It may yet be that there are significant differences in immunity say more than a year out between 4- and 12- week gaps, and that difference could be in either direction - but first we have to get to a year out.

> I still think it was - but it's pretty clear that it has paid off now, and very well at that.

Yes - it was a bold choice, and I am very grateful that it has paid off.  It's perhaps disappointing to see other countries in the midst of problems not learn from that choice, as the data continues to come out to validate it.  Perhaps that will change when the UK trial on 12-week spacing completes, although I suspect we will have sent cases so low by doing it "live" that the trial will struggle to reach statistical significance in terms of numbers of infections on even the control arm.

 neilh 28 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

I do find it odd that other countries are not following the 12 week gap. There again perhaps as we have purchased a suite of vaccine manutacturing methods 9 as distinct from brands) it means we have a back up.

Bold but also interestingly backed by Blair and his govt think tank from Day 1.

 wercat 28 Apr 2021
In reply to skog:

"My name is Rom, for we are many .."

this post is whimsical and is not meant to be taken literally

Post edited at 12:46
In reply to neilh:

> Bold but also interestingly backed by Blair and his govt think tank from Day 1.

Still baffles me that Blair got on the front pages/credited with that one. It's up there with "Why don't we put more than 2 legs on a stool?" yet to some he's nostraf*kingdamus.

In reply to wintertree:

> It was a hard choice I think

> Yes - it was a bold choice, and I am very grateful that it has paid off.

I'm still slightly curious why we didn't go further, other than public perception and potential accusations of irresponsibility. We could have gone for no second doses until everyone had a first. Which would be happening about 2-3 weeks from now. So it would end up being ~22 weeks for the first few and much less than that for the majority. Would that have saved more lives? Reduce or increase chance of mutation? Hard to say for sure, but... well... I'd be interested to hear thoughts or read any papers on it.

If I was India right now, especially given what we now know, I'd be thinking quite hard about this.

Post edited at 13:20
 George Ormerod 28 Apr 2021
In reply to neilh:

> I do find it odd that other countries are not following the 12 week gap. There again perhaps as we have purchased a suite of vaccine manutacturing methods 9 as distinct from brands) it means we have a back up.

Some Canadian provinces are.

 neilh 28 Apr 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

His think tank on government produces some excellent stuff, some top line research.Look it up.

1
In reply to neilh:

I have. I'm looking forward to their thesis dealing with the critical issue "Underpants or trousers. Which to put on first?"

6
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

Just been invited to book my first covid vaccination. I'm in my early 30s with no pre-existing medical conditions. 

 elsewhere 28 Apr 2021
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

> Just been invited to book my first covid vaccination. I'm in my early 30s with no pre-existing medical conditions. 

If you don't mind, let us know roughly which region and when your appointment is.

I'm curious if it means in some places

  • they are so far ahead that early 30s can get vaccinated this week  

or...

  • early 30s can book now for an appointment in 6 weeks time
 elsewhere 28 Apr 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Currently there are relatively few deaths so doing only first jabs now could only have a relatively small impact. Might be good for opening up the economy though & avoiding long Covid risks in younger adults.

The real benefit of the 12 week gap was 4 weeks into mass vaccination where they could continue doing first jabs when there were 500-1000 deaths per day to speed up that decline from hundreds (Feb) to tens of deaths per day (March).

I wonder if the calculation was 12 weeks meant they hoped everybody in priority groups 1-9 should be offered a first jab before the shift to second jabs. 

I think the vaccine & immune system experts were confident the immune system does not have a 4 week or 12 week deadline. 

Maybe 12 weeks was the longest they thought they could get away with scientifically  and politically.

In reply to elsewhere:

Well, yeah, that's what I'm saying/asking. We went for 12 weeks, but if we'd gone for ~20 weeks there would have been no demand for second jabs until firsts were done. Hypothetically, had we done that, how different would things look?

Post edited at 16:40
 elsewhere 28 Apr 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Hypothetically, had we done that, how different would things look?

Not very different in terms of death toll because deaths had already tailed off from ~1300 per day in late Jan to ~70 per day on 25th March when daily 2nd jabs started outnumbering daily 1st jabs.

If first jabs only had continued on 25th March those people would have had immunity 2 or 3 weeks later which would have saved them from infection 8th April onwards which would have saved them from death a further 3 weeks later (about now). Daily deaths currently 21 per day so that is the unrealistic absolute maximum number of deaths that could have been saved by continuing to do 1st doses rather than switching to 2nd doses.

If daily deaths now are mostly under healthy people under 50 that would suggest first doses should have continued but the number saved cannot realistically exceed about 21 per day.

 wintertree 28 Apr 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Hypothetically, had we done that, how different would things look?

That's kept my brain occupied during the Chores Wednesday.

I don't think it would have made much difference, because by the time the bulk of supplies switched to second doses on a ~10.5 week gap, and accounting for the lag from vaccination to it taking effect and from infection to death, the situation had improved to the point very few people who would catch the virus and die was small - I'm not even sure the various lags have all run out yet and deaths are still falling.

But, what would that small difference be?  I think it depends strongly on the longitudinal data on who is currently dying of Covid - and that is not public data and nor have I seen a published summary.  (I may be missing something).  Most of the people dying of Covid remain older adults.  I think there are 2 basic scenarios to consider:

  1. Those dying now refused the vaccine or were medically unable to be vaccinated
  2. Those dying now were not sufficiently protected by their first dose of the vaccine.

In the case of (1), extending the gap between doses to 22 weeks as you ponder would decrease the deaths, by indirectly protecting the people who would not or could not take the vaccine, by accelerating the rate at which cases fall nationwide by immunising more people.  

In the case of (2), assuming reasonably that the second dost boosts the protection offered by the vaccine, increasing the gap would increase deaths.

How far reality falls on a spectrum between (1) and (2), I have no idea.  Hopefully someone, somewhere does, but in terms of actually running a different policy, as you have noted there are social/political aspects as well as scientific ones, and the difference I think it would have made can be seen in hindsight to likely have been minimal.  

 wintertree 28 Apr 2021
In reply to elsewhere:

I agree with your take on the question.

> If daily deaths now are mostly under healthy people under 50 that would suggest first doses should have continued but the number saved cannot realistically exceed about 21 per day.

Most are older  - https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/off_belay/friday_night_covid_plotting_23-733980?v=1#x9450914

In reply to wintertree:

It's a good one, isn't it? Had me circling round quite ah few "ah, yes, but"s throughout today, which is why I thought I'd share.
It's almost as if someone, somewhere, did some pretty solid modeling and projection to come up with a better number than 4 weeks, possibly somewhere in the teens, and politics and practicalities tweaked it to a round number. It's almost as if that could have happened, and by some massive stroke of fortune it got through into policy.

In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

I suppose another way to phrase it is under what circumstances does using a dose for a second jab offer more benefit than using it for a first? Whichever side of the ideal we're on in the UK it's clear we've landed pretty close to it. But when you think about it in those terms it makes you wonder what the strategy is in some countries.

 wintertree 28 Apr 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> It's almost as if someone, somewhere, did some pretty solid modeling and projection to come up with a better number than 4 weeks, possibly somewhere in the teens, and politics and practicalities tweaked it to a round number. It's almost as if that could have happened, and by some massive stroke of fortune it got through into policy.

There’s been a lot more of that sort of thing since the new year.  I am glad.  

 elsewhere 28 Apr 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> I suppose another way to phrase it is under what circumstances does using a dose for a second jab offer more benefit than using it for a first?

Supposing first jab gives 90% reduced risk and second jab an additional 5% protection.

It's better to give person B their first jab rather than give person A their second jab provided person B's risk exceeds 5.55% of person A's risk.

0.9*0.0555 > 0.05

(Risk to B)/(Risk to A) > 0.05/0.9

Doing that calculation for 67 million people - I'm going to need a bigger fag packet.

Post edited at 19:14
 Eric9Points 28 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

> > Hypothetically, had we done that, how different would things look?

> That's kept my brain occupied during the Chores Wednesday.

> I don't think it would have made much difference, because by the time the bulk of supplies switched to second doses on a ~10.5 week gap, and accounting for the lag from vaccination to it taking effect and from infection to death, the situation had improved to the point very few people who would catch the virus and die was small - I'm not even sure the various lags have all run out yet and deaths are still falling.

> But, what would that small difference be?  I think it depends strongly on the longitudinal data on who is currently dying of Covid - and that is not public data and nor have I seen a published summary.  (I may be missing something).  Most of the people dying of Covid remain older adults.  I think there are 2 basic scenarios to consider:

> Those dying now refused the vaccine or were medically unable to be vaccinated

> Those dying now were not sufficiently protected by their first dose of the vaccine.

My suspicion is that at least some of those who have died were extremely frail and would probably have died of even a common cold. I doubt we'll ever get to zero Covid deaths.

In reply to elsewhere:

> If you don't mind, let us know roughly which region and when your appointment is.

Cumbria, appointments offered from 15th May. 

 elsewhere 28 Apr 2021
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

> Cumbria, appointments offered from 15th May. 

Thanks!

 Misha 29 Apr 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> I wonder whether India is creating the circumstances for an AZ vaccine resistant strain to emerge.   No lockdown so huge numbers of infected people where mutant strains can develop and AZ as the vaccine in the vaccinated part of the population.

Only around 10% vaccinated though, so you’d think the virus isn’t under much pressure from the vaccines. Of course having a huge number of cases will naturally lead to new variants emerging but I’d have thought that in order to become established and spread, a variant needs to have an evolutionary advantage (eg higher transmissibility as was the case with Kent). Now a highly transmissible variant which happens to be vaccine resistant would be really bad news... However this is all well outside the area of my knowledge so happy to defer to those who know more. 

In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> I've always strongly disagreed with that. The 4 weeks was arbitrary and chosen to get to trial results quicker. It was never suggested or even suspected that it was optimum. It just happened to be what was tested.

Yeah - and in competent organisations what is tested is what you do when you go into production and start doing millions of units.    You do your R&D tests with sufficient numbers to get statistical confidence then you use what worked in the testing in production.  The reason you do it that way is because if you try something that might not work on 10 million people and it doesn't work you are f*cked.

Twelve weeks was a gamble, it became a necessary gamble because the Tories f*cked up really badly and let things get out of control.  It wasn't a masterstroke and it wasn't a sign of cleverness or competence.   Clever or competent would have kept the infection rate under control so there was no need to go off-piste.   Clever or competent would have run more test scenarios.   What this was, was lucky.  The thing about lucky is that unlike clever and competent there is no reason to expect it to work next time.

But now the twelve week experiment has been done there's no good reason for other countries not to learn from the data and use the same strategy.

Post edited at 04:00
9
In reply to Misha:

> Only around 10% vaccinated though, so you’d think the virus isn’t under much pressure from the vaccines.

I'm no expert in virus evolution!

My only point is that India has 1.36 billion people compared to 60 million in the UK - it is a much larger experiment in virus evolution vs vaccine.  The absolute number of infections will be very high which means presumably there will be many mutations of the virus occurring just because there is so much virus about.  Those mutations will come across a slowly increasing but numerically large number of people who have had AZ vaccine.  Maybe mutations which are resistant to AZ will get an advantage.

It would seem safer to get the infection count and total amount of virus in circulation down with lockdowns and then have a fast vaccination program to preserve that low infection state than to have a slow vaccination program in the presence of a huge amount of infection and mutating virus.

In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> If I was India right now, especially given what we now know, I'd be thinking quite hard about this.

If you were India right now you wouldn't even be stopping huge religious festivals.  Those guys are as incompetent and corrupt as the Tories, Trump and Bolsonaro.

Probably the ruling class and well off have all had their two doses in private clinics.

Post edited at 04:08
1
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Well yeah, that too. Whatever entity is in charge in India does make some odd priority calls. Space programme trucking along nicely, but that election pledge to have a toilet in every school still nowhere near fulfilled.

Post edited at 06:54
In reply to wintertree:

> The USA may be "miles ahead on second doses" but arguably the results from the UK show that this is not the optimum way to use a limited set of resources around vaccination, and it's going to be a long time yet before their situation improves to the point where we are now, let alone where we hopefully continue heading.

I think this misses the important difference between UK and US.

UK started earlier and is operating with constrained vaccine supply because most of it is imported and there was limited capacity in the first few months.  The UK needed a strategy to use limited vaccine in the most effective way and in January it had an immediate crisis.

The US spun up its vaccination program late but it also had its vaccine manufacturing program going full tilt when it did so.  It doesn't need to use vaccine efficiently and have priority groups and 12 week gaps because it is now making a ton of the stuff.  Its problem is more how many people it can persuade to come in and take it.

3
 CurlyStevo 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Misha:

I personally doubt Germany will overtake us Novavax manufactured in NE UK is very likely coming soon and Germany has to seem to play fair in EU. Plus the younger the age group the more vax skeptical 

Post edited at 19:50
 MG 29 Apr 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Translation:

TIE's six month nationalism-driven effort to do down the AZ vaccine is struggling after it meets reality. Therefore,  move on to claiming it's all down to good luck.

1
In reply to MG:

> Translation:

> TIE's six month nationalism-driven effort to do down the AZ vaccine is struggling after it meets reality. Therefore,  move on to claiming it's all down to good luck.

Translation - the English media is full of nationalistic 'we are world leaders' sh*t .and the English are starting to drink the kool-aid.

The AZ vaccine is not as good as Pfizer, the US CDC says about 76% effective compared to 95%.  The AZ vaccine has more problems with clots and it has more problems with variants.   It is still a good vaccine and I'm happy to have had a dose of it.  But it isn't the best vaccine.

Of course it was good luck.   They didn't qualify the 12 week gap before they used it on tens of millions of people.  That is not a normal thing to do and it should not have been necessary. They got lucky.  

14
 wintertree 29 Apr 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

>  It wasn't a masterstroke and it wasn't a sign of cleverness or competence. 

I disagree.  

Faced with hard choices, it seems to me that high quality medical and scientific input was used to make the choice most likely to head off the immediate crisis.  

One can argue the crisis should not have arisen - I have certainly had very blunt things to say on that although my criticism has been with  the cabinet rather than "the Tories" - but at the time the 12-week decision was made, it was IMO absolutely a decision made based on competence in the moment, and at that point the key politicians had the strength of conviction to stand behind the scientific advise against an onslaught of criticism.  If we had had that unity of political strength and scientific input throughout this pandemic, things could perhaps have been very different.   I think this is absolutely to be recognised as the success that it is, and how it came about could perhaps be a model for the future intersection of government and science in a crisis.

Further, the decision was never as binding as many present; I presume that the longitudinal data on outcomes was consistently crunched day by day during the roll out; the total number of people adversely affected if the data did not bear out the decision would have been quite small so long as the decision was revised based on the continuous data analysis.  Perhaps I presume to much, but I don't think so.

In reply to Mark Edwards:

> In my health area (in Wales) there is no booking website or letters but you get a call from the doctor’s surgery when it’s your turn, asking if you want it. Maybe it’s the personal touch that explains the high uptake?

That is happening in parallel in England and is how I got mine.

In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Admit it, you're desperate for the uk vaccine strategy to fail, it's success must be hurting you? 

 CurlyStevo 29 Apr 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

pfizer seems to be having more issues than AZ now there other blood clots that are many times more frequent and still ~20% deadly and 1:20k heart inflammation in youngish adult males

 wintertree 29 Apr 2021
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Interesting article out tonight on Sputnik.  Claims and counter claims, and rather than wondering which side to trust I’m reduced to wondering which side I distrust the least...

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/04/brazil-rejects-sputnik-v-vaccine-says-its-tainted-with-replicating-cold-virus/

 CurlyStevo 29 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

"Faced with hard choices, it seems to me that high quality medical and scientific input was used to make the choice most likely to head off the immediate crisis.  "

I think the scientific advice at the time could only be probabilistic and not to the degree that most are taken seriously. But we had hard choices to make and this time it paid off. Ofc we royally fkup many times this pandemic too,

Post edited at 22:05
 mondite 29 Apr 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> I think this misses the important difference between UK and US.

You missed the key difference which is the US is engaging in extreme vaccination protectionism reserving stocks both of vaccines and key ingredients for itself.

The sort of thing which would have you ranting and raving if there was even a hint the UK would do the same.

Bit odd you didnt highlight it really. Its like you are pursuing an agenda.

 CurlyStevo 29 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Yeah, I've always been quite suspect of the anti AZ / oxford vax camp and the more info coming out the more I feel vindicated about that. Quite where it will land eventually isn't known right now!

Post edited at 22:04
 CurlyStevo 29 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

I suppose you know already about the polio vaccine that is weakened but can still spread between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. It's generally considered as a good side effect, less vax needed, unfortunately it sometime evolves / combines back in to a more virulent strain and starts spreading and killing people.

Post edited at 22:12
 CurlyStevo 29 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

I think there are multiple problems with these vaccines. Partly it could just be down to the covid spike protein binding to ACE2, its just really quite a problematic binding. Secondly all these vaccines like AZ, JJ, Moderna and Pfizer that basically hijack yr cells, they are somewhat untested really and they have never been widely used before!

That said I'll be happy to take my vax when I get it as its the safer option I can see right now. If I was 20 I'm not so sure.

Post edited at 22:23
 wintertree 29 Apr 2021
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> I suppose you know already about the polio vaccine that is weakened but can still spread between vaccinated and unvaccinated people

We’ve been watching Disney’s “Gargoyles” from the 1990s.  One recent episode had Fox describing her project to create a carrier virus bonded to DNA of another virus, that would be released and spread naturally inoculating the world.   For technobabble in a kids show it was surprisingly accurate.  The employee she was explaining this to remarked how it could also be used as a weapon...

Re: AZ and politics:

>  Quite where it will land eventually isn't known right now!

Indeed.  

Post edited at 22:25
 CurlyStevo 29 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

its all far too political but with the world primarily concerned with its own country for some bizarre reason what can you expect. 

Post edited at 22:29
In reply to wintertree:

> Interesting article out tonight on Sputnik.  Claims and counter claims, and rather than wondering which side to trust I’m reduced to wondering which side I distrust the least...

The explicit question is an easy one. The other question, do you want to go into the ring with covid or ad5, also ostensibly not really a toughie. But it absolutely shouldn't be happening.

 Misha 29 Apr 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I suspect the JCVI gave quite a bit of thought to the 12 week gap and based it on experience with other vaccines etc. If they didn't have a sound rationale for the 12 week gap, they won't have recommended it. I don't think it was pure luck.

 Misha 29 Apr 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> It would seem safer to get the infection count and total amount of virus in circulation down with lockdowns and then have a fast vaccination program to preserve that low infection state than to have a slow vaccination program in the presence of a huge amount of infection and mutating virus.

This might work in theory but of course in practice people will want to get vaccinated asap. I certainly would be in that situation, even if it risks a vaccine resistant strain emerging...

Agree with your point about sheer numbers. 

 Misha 30 Apr 2021
In reply to wintertree:

Might explain why my great aunt was laid up in bed for a couple of weeks after her second Sputnik despite being fine after the first one... Obviously this is anecdotal. As you say, whom to trust?

In reply to wintertree:

> >  It wasn't a masterstroke and it wasn't a sign of cleverness or competence. 

> I disagree.  

> Faced with hard choices, it seems to me that high quality medical and scientific input was used to make the choice most likely to head off the immediate crisis.  

Maybe I wasn't clear.  The strategy showed cleverness/competence in the part of the scientists but getting into the situation where risky strategies were necessary showed stupidity and incompetence on the part of the Tories. 

Using an unqualified protocol on millions of people was not a desirable thing to do.  It was a necessary thing to do only because the Tories let Covid get out of control.

5
In reply to Misha:

> I suspect the JCVI gave quite a bit of thought to the 12 week gap and based it on experience with other vaccines etc. If they didn't have a sound rationale for the 12 week gap, they won't have recommended it. I don't think it was pure luck.

I'm sure they gave it substantial thought too.

I give things substantial thought all the time when I am doing engineering.  A lot of the time they still fail in unexpected ways.  Thinking about things is necessary but not sufficient, you still need to test the f*ck out of stuff before releasing it to production.  If you skip the testing you are taking a risk and if it works out then you got lucky.  This isn't a controversial statement: it is why there are rules about clinical trials and regulatory agencies to check the results of trials before approving medicines.

Post edited at 04:19
2
In reply to summo:

> Admit it, you're desperate for the uk vaccine strategy to fail, it's success must be hurting you? 

No.  I'm desperate for it to succeed because I really do not want to catch Covid.

However I am not a flag shagging Tory fanboy.

Post edited at 04:22
8
In reply to mondite:

> You missed the key difference which is the US is engaging in extreme vaccination protectionism reserving stocks both of vaccines and key ingredients for itself.

Sure, it is doing it openly through the defense production act.  But it is supplying vaccine to Canada and I believe will supply it to Mexico.  Which seems logical given its geographical position.

> The sort of thing which would have you ranting and raving if there was even a hint the UK would do the same.

The UK is doing exactly the same but through commercial contracts with AZ. 

The difference is the UK is relying on the EU for much of its vaccine and it is behaving absolutely shamefully towards the EU by forbidding any flow of vaccine in the opposite direction even though there is a substantial problem in the EU caused by the UK strain of Covid.

20 million doses from the EU to the UK.  0 doses from the UK to EU and the UK actively stopped AZ exporting from UK to EU.  But the UK allowed AZ to export to Australia.  This is when there was a major Covid wave and substantial deaths in the EU but near zero Covid in Australia.  Evil Brexit politics.

10
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The UK is doing exactly the same but through commercial contracts with AZ. 

So you admit, the eu contract was late and poor.

> The difference is the UK is relying on the EU for much of its vaccine and it is behaving absolutely shamefully towards the EU by forbidding any flow of vaccine in the opposite direction even though there is a substantial problem in the EU caused by the UK strain of Covid.

If the situation was the other way around Macron would have been stood on a Calais beach waving empty syringes at Dover. 

> 20 million doses from the EU to the UK.  0 doses from the UK to EU and the UK actively stopped AZ exporting from UK to EU.  But the UK allowed AZ to export to Australia.  This is when there was a major Covid wave and substantial deaths in the EU but near zero Covid in Australia.  Evil Brexit politics.

You're about 3 months out of date, many countries don't want AZ, others broke away and ordered their own vaccine elsewhere. It's being stockpiled. It hasn't stopped the bizarre position of the eu starting legal action for non delivery of a vaccine it doesn't want anymore. 

2
 Si dH 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Misha:

> I suspect the JCVI gave quite a bit of thought to the 12 week gap and based it on experience with other vaccines etc. If they didn't have a sound rationale for the 12 week gap, they won't have recommended it. I don't think it was pure luck.

This was definitely the case. Whitty et al gave several good explanations at the time of why the recommendation had been made. There was clearly high confidence in the scientific decision-making community that it would work. I seem to remember but don't have time to look back now that there was also some evidence from the AZ trials that showed that antibody responses after 1 jab stayed strong or even continued increasing out to 12 weeks (you'll remember there was controversy because the data AZ used came from a two mixed cohorts where one used a half-size dose regime, and my memory says that in one of these cohorts the dose interval was variable up to 12 weeks.) Although it was fairly limited data I had the impression they were confident that immunity from a first jab would therefore not wane within the 12 week period, which was really the primary concern. I expect they made a judgement that the inference could be extrapolated to Pfizer because both target the spike and elicit similar responses. 

(If someone remembers the details better, feel free to correct me.)

I had a lot of confidence at the time that it wasn't just a gamble because a number of senior scientists were putting their reputations right on the line. It would have been much easier for them just to shrink back behind the data that they had explicit trials data for.

You have to remember that the companies organising the testing have no motivation to extend the period. They want something straightforward, as low risk of failure as possible and which will conclude as quickly as possible. So naturally they would go for the shortest period between jabs that they would think would worse. And as a regulator I can definitely confirm that once a company thinks they have done enough to get their approval for whatever it is, they will rarely do more without significant encouragement!

Post edited at 07:14
In reply to summo:

> So you admit, the eu contract was late and poor.

No.  The EU has a contract with AZ and on the face of it AZ are in default on that contract and the reason is they have a conflicting contract with the UK. 

> If the situation was the other way around Macron would have been stood on a Calais beach waving empty syringes at Dover. 

Well that is obviously bollocks.   The EU sent 20 million doses of Pfizer vaccine to the UK.  Not empty syringes.   The EU provided about 3/4 of the vaccine used in the first few months of the program the Tories boast about.

> You're about 3 months out of date, many countries don't want AZ, others broke away and ordered their own vaccine elsewhere. It's being stockpiled. It hasn't stopped the bizarre position of the eu starting legal action for non delivery of a vaccine it doesn't want anymore. 

They spent more than 400 million dollars up front and got no deliveries while another customer was being supplied the full amount of their order.  Of course they started legal action.   Anybody would.

They have cut off AZ exports to the UK and that is one of the reasons the UK program is flattening off rather than scaling up.   The Tories lost access to a large amount of vaccine by acting like complete dicks over a small amount and p*ssing off their biggest supplier.

10
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh: 

> Well that is obviously bollocks.   The EU sent 20 million doses of Pfizer vaccine to the UK.  Not empty syringes.   The EU provided about 3/4 of the vaccine used..

The eu hasn't supplied anyone with any vaccine. Governments around the world have ordered vaccine from international private companies, with offices, labs and factories located globally around the world. The eu doesn't own any pharmaceutical companies, it's a body of politicians. 

1
In reply to Si dH:

> (If someone remembers the details better, feel free to correct me.)

You're correct. This was one of the big pissing contests with rom. When I found official results showing increased efficacy with a longer gap he did that thing he does.

In reply to summo:

>  

> The eu hasn't supplied anyone with any vaccine. Governments around the world have ordered vaccine from international private companies, with offices, labs and factories located globally around the world. The eu doesn't own any pharmaceutical companies, it's a body of politicians. 

I've heard that argument before.  It is still a nonsense argument over semantics whose only purpose is to justify completely unacceptable, selfish and stupidly short sighted behaviour by the Tories.

The fact is the Tories stopped AZ exporting from the UK to the EU.   Then they allowed AZ to export to Australia.  The Tories are controlling where the UK manufactured AZ vaccine goes and they are playing Brexit politics with it.   The mechanism is irrelevant. 

The Tories should not be surprised when the EU then forced AZ to stop exporting to the UK until it fulfilled its contract with the EU.   The result is the UK lost access to a large amount of vaccine as a result of being a dick over a small amount.

13
 Si dH 30 Apr 2021
In reply to thread:

Ps everyone over 40 can now book, and News reporting this morning that 90% of people 45-49 have had a jab. Which is brilliant.

Edit - bit of a sleight of hand (?) in Simon Stevens quote in the news article this morning - what he said was 90% of over 45s, not 90% of 45-49s. Still, good progress.

Post edited at 08:53
 mondite 30 Apr 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> No.  The EU has a contract with AZ and on the face of it AZ are in default on that contract

Odd that very few lawyers seem to agree with you.

> Well that is obviously bollocks.   The EU sent 20 million doses of Pfizer vaccine to the UK. 

The EU didnt. Pfizer did.

The EU could have tried keeping those supplies but that would have been suicidal since a vital component of those vaccines come from a UK based factory and so the UK government could have retaliated in a rather scorched earth manner.

I know you are driven by your hatred of all things English but you really need to look at some of the more bigotted idiots ranting on about the evil EU and then compare your own comments to theirs. Its really two sides of an unpleasant coin.

In reply to mondite:

> Odd that very few lawyers seem to agree with you.

Wrong.  I basically stated the EUs position and they no doubt have a large number of well paid lawyers.    They called AZ in and they read the riot act and now AZ has agreed it must supply the EU order first from its factories in the EU.

> The EU didnt. Pfizer did.

This argument is about the same level as 'guns don't kill people, people kill people'.   The vaccine came from the EU.   

> The EU could have tried keeping those supplies but that would have been suicidal since a vital component of those vaccines come from a UK based factory and so the UK government could have retaliated in a rather scorched earth manner.

Yeah right.  And where would that end.  The EU has all the cards.  They just need to send the customs guys inn Calais off on holiday for two weeks.   This 'we can stand up to the EU' thing is total Brexiteer English exceptionalist nonsense.  You aren't that important.  No empire any more. 

> I know you are driven by your hatred of all things English but you really need to look at some of the more bigotted idiots ranting on about the evil EU and then compare your own comments to theirs. Its really two sides of an unpleasant coin.

One side of the coin exported 20 million doses of vaccine to a neighbour with a Covid surge,

The other side refused to supply any vaccine to a neighbour with a Covid surge.  But it send some to a country on the other side of the world which has almost no Covid.

Post edited at 09:47
8
 wintertree 30 Apr 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Is it time to point out the absurdity of simultaneously

  • trash talking one vaccine (“pseudo ineffective” )
  • having a large stockpile of said vaccine that they’re apparently unable to put in to people amidst a surge in covid
  • cancelling all future orders for said vaccine with UVdL saying they’re putting their faith in proven vaccines like the mRNA ones - despite the one they cancel having proven itself strongly in ending the UKs surge, and emerging low probability severe side effects of other vaccine
  • Suing over deliveries of said vaccine they don’t want and can’t apparently get in to actual arms as opposed to freezers

It’s got that “playing all sides” aspect to it.

Related: Information on AZ doses delivered and used now seems to be missing from the ECDC portal unless I’m being dim.

Post edited at 09:52
1
 Jon Read 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Si dH:

Just to be clear, it's people aged 40 or over (don't want any 40yos thinking they aren't eligible yet!)

 mondite 30 Apr 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Wrong.  I basically stated the EUs position and they no doubt have a large number of well paid lawyers.   

Yes and the PO had lots of well paid lawyers as well. Look how that ended.

As a useful hint its generally good to look at how disinterested parties view it and the general position seems to be the EU doesnt have a leg to stand on and that their contract writing was absolute shite.

The only reason AZ have changed is due to threats to shutdown them down otherwise. Now if it had been the UK doing this you would be vomitting your hatred left right and centre.

> This argument is about the same level as 'guns don't kill people, people kill people'.   The vaccine came from the EU.   

No it really isnt. You are just too driven by petty nationalism to understand it.

> Yeah right.  And where would that end.  The EU has all the cards.  They just need to send the customs guys inn Calais off on holiday for two weeks.   This 'we can stand up to the EU' thing is total Brexiteer English exceptionalist nonsense. 

And yet they still wouldnt have any vaccines so be somewhat problematic.

> The other side refused to supply any vaccine to a neighbour with a Covid surge.  But it send some to a country on the other side of the world which has almost no Covid.

And the evidence for the UK government as opposed to the UK/Swedish company making that decision is?  Are you now arguing that any contracts signed should be null and void.

 wintertree 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Si dH:

> what he said was 90% of over 45s

Which is still phenomenal - it's not that long since booking opened to the youngest in that range, and appointments can be hard to come by.  I hope that 90% is going to go up over the next few weeks.  

The level of support for the vaccination from the public is just mind blowing, especially when I start reading articles from other similarly developed nations either side of the Atlantic. 

In reply to mondite:

> And the evidence for the UK government as opposed to the UK/Swedish company making that decision is?  Are you now arguing that any contracts signed should be null and void.

The UK government has some kind of exclusivity contract with AZ over output from UK AZ factories.

Th EU contract with AZ specifically forsees production from factories in the UK if there are problems with factories in the EU.  It also has a clause where AZ say they have no conflicting contracts.

AZ is not delivering on a 400 million dollar order placed by the EU but it is delivering on an order placed by the UK.  The EU reckon they should get a share of UK factory output. AZ refuse because of their contract with the UK government.   It is the UK government enforcing this contract which prevents AZ supplying the EU and the UK government admit this and talk about when they might allow it.

Then the EU refuse to supply AZ vaccine to Australia due to their own pressing needs and Australia having next to no Covid infection.   Next thing the UK sends AZ vaccine to Australia to match what they were going to get from the EU in secret but gets caught when it is photographed coming off the plane.   Blatant Brexit politics trying to use vaccine to curry favour with Australia while ignoring the EU which has a legitimate legal demand on the vaccine under their contract with AZ and an ongoing Covid wave with many people dying.

You pull sh*t like that you can expect the other guy to retaliate.  If the other guy is 6x your size and your major vaccine supplier it is a very stupid move.

10
 CurlyStevo 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Jon Read:

> Just to be clear, it's people aged 40 or over (don't want any 40yos thinking they aren't eligible yet!)

I'm not eligible despite being 48 as in Scotland you have to wait for the blue letter!

 CurlyStevo 30 Apr 2021
In reply to mondite:

The thing is other countries have stopped export of vaccines produced by companies within their borders. USA, India to name a couple. TBH its actually pretty fair play of the EU to keep allowing exports. (Yes I know the EU isn't a country as such but I think the point is still applicable as they can just make some law which trumps any contracts / exports). I think its overly simplistic to think of this as some kind of global supply chain that will always keep functioning at times like this, as its quite clear it doesn't. USA are still currently blocking exports of components (although I think they may have opened them up to India again now)

If the EU blocked exports of Pfizer and Moderna to us we'd not be in a very happy place. Our special relationship best buddies the USA don't seem to be looking after us either, although I note they are sending AZ to Canada in fairly large volumes.

Imagine a virus that was 10 times more deadly and twice as transmissible, I can't see many countries that are self reliant exporting any components or vaccines until they are all vaccinated. Prior contracts just wouldn't mean a thing at that stage, emergency legislation would just override them all. Probably one of the reasons the EU hasn't completely blocked exports is they need the vaccine components supply chain to keep functioning. Next time around that may all be different ofc.

Post edited at 10:58
 mondite 30 Apr 2021
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> I think its overly simplistic to think of this as some kind of global supply chain that will always keep functioning at times like this, as its quite clear it doesn't.

And who is saying otherwise? Well aside from TIE but even then they seem to believe it is just the English who should be operating as normal whilst everyone else gets a free pass (thats deliberate use of English rather than the UK).

> Probably one of the reasons the EU hasn't completely blocked exports is they need the vaccine components supply chain to keep functioning.

Yes. As already mentioned Pfizer is dependant on the UK supply chain so it would be a rather risky move for the EU since Johnson is probably stupid enough to go for the MAD approach.

In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> I've heard that argument before.  It is still a nonsense argument over semantics

It's not. The eu doesn't own pharmaceutical companies, it doesn't own any of the goods produced within member nations. It's a glorified trading association. 

1
 CurlyStevo 30 Apr 2021
In reply to summo:

But they can just override contractual agreements in an emergency and they may well have done if they weren't reliant on other countries for components IMO. It really doesn't matter if they own the companies or not they can block export. This seems to be Tom's main point to me. If they can say what happens to a companies produce there isn't really a huge amount of difference to owning it, that just comes down to where the profits go etc.

Post edited at 12:49
2
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> But they can just override contractual agreements in an emergency and they may well have done if they weren't reliant on other countries for components IMO. It really doesn't matter if they own the companies or not they can block export. This seems to be Tom's main point to me. If they can say what happens to a companies produce there isn't really a huge amount of difference to owning it, that just comes down to where the profits go etc.

Maybe the reason the unelected commissioners decide to not block exports is because of the message it would send out globally? Who would want to invest or trade in the eu then? 

So they still don't own, distribute, or allow other nations to have 'eu' vaccine. 

2
 CurlyStevo 30 Apr 2021
In reply to summo:

Well the do allow it as they could block it. In fact they have blocked export of the AZ vax they make to some countries right. So they don't allow that. They still allow pfizer and moderna to be shipped out of EU as they haven't blocked it.

Post edited at 14:06
In reply to summo:

> Maybe the reason the unelected commissioners decide to not block exports is because of the message it would send out globally?

I'm pretty sure it's not the unelected commissioners who make the decisions, it's the MEPs that do. The commissioners make up the proposals, but it's the MEPs that decide if they want to implement them or not. The whole 'EU is run by unelected beaurocrats' line is untrue.

 jimtitt 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Toerag:

Summo knows full well the "unelected Comissioner" thing is a complete lie but keeps repeating it so the gullible will believe it.

 neilh 30 Apr 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

It comes down to the fact that Katie Bingham and her team got their acts together better and faster in terms of nailing the issues to the floor during the first few months of Covid.

Bleating about the EU this and that just does not stack up when compared with the holistic procurement approach( as I call it)  to the vaccine strategy that the KB  team put together.Buying 8 vaccines across 4 vaccine manufacturing processes..simple but very effective.

Most of us on here are pro EU.

Too much like sour grapes on your part.

Post edited at 15:10
In reply to Toerag:

> I'm pretty sure it's not the unelected commissioners who make the decisions, it's the MEPs that do. The commissioners make up the proposals, but it's the MEPs that decide if they want to implement them or not. The whole 'EU is run by unelected beaurocrats' line is untrue.

Of course in normal times, but it was Ursula Von Lying who threatened to close the Irish borders, it wasn't a decision voted on by elected MEPs.

In reply to jimtitt:

> Summo knows full well the "unelected Comissioner" thing is a complete lie but keeps repeating it so the gullible will believe it.

Of course. But it hasn't been the MEPs making the calls, all the anti vax, anti uk rhetoric, big public speeches etc.  It has been the commissioners, trying to save their jobs. 

1
 jimtitt 30 Apr 2021
In reply to summo:

> Of course in normal times, but it was Ursula Von Lying who threatened to close the Irish borders, it wasn't a decision voted on by elected MEPs.

It was a power delegated to her by the Prime Minister and duly elected Parliament of the UK, they signed the provisional agreement.

In reply to jimtitt:

> It was a power delegated to her by the Prime Minister and duly elected Parliament of the UK, they signed the provisional agreement.

I don't think that clause in the trade deal was is designed so she could go against the good Friday agreement to block vaccines entering the uk! The fact she made the announcement without even speaking to the Irish PM first says a lot too about just where she thinks she sits in terms of power. 

Post edited at 15:56
1
 elsewhere 30 Apr 2021
In reply to summo:

> Of course in normal times, but it was Ursula Von Lying who threatened to close the Irish borders, it wasn't a decision voted on by elected MEPs.

And slapped down within hours by Ireland and other nation states. Ultimately power is not with commissioners.

 jimtitt 30 Apr 2021
In reply to summo:

> I don't think that clause in the trade deal was is designed so she could go against the good Friday agreement to block vaccines entering the uk! The fact she made the announcement without even speaking to the Irish PM first says a lot too about just where she thinks she sits in terms of power. 


What you think is hardly relevant, we know you repeatedly lie to justify your opinion of the EU so your opinion is worthless. Boris gave the EU the power to close the border because the the UK needed to protect themselves from the inevitable VAT rise they need to replace the financial shortfall due to Brexit and thus also needed the power to close the border. He screwed you.

2
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

No vaccine shortages this week from my experience. I've done hundreds of AZ and Pfizer jabs this week. Moderna vaccine due in 10 days. Great community effort in my neck of the woods. Plenty of retired Doctors and Nurses covering the sessions leaving most of the primary healthcare teams to get on with the day job.

Post edited at 16:46
 elsewhere 30 Apr 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

Total number of jabs has fluctuated but gradually crept up from 300,000 per day in late Jan to 500,000 per day now.

No clear signs to indicate a significant failure of supply or a significant additional supply (eg Moderna).

In reply to Deleated bagger:

Hats off to you and everyone else. Had my second Pfizer at Wigan Veterans Hub. As you can imagine, their volunteers help things run like clockwork. 

 elsewhere 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Deleated bagger:

Excellent! 

I wonder if arrival of Moderna will kick off vaccination of under 30s with AZ for over 30s and Pfizer used only for 2nd jabs or under 30s.

Somebody I know at local hospital said they're back to normal capacity but with a big (huge?) backlog so surgery for benign conditions at the back of the queue to be done nobody knows when.

Post edited at 17:26
In reply to jimtitt:

> What you think is hardly relevant, we know you repeatedly lie to justify your opinion of the EU so your opinion is worthless. Boris gave the EU the power to close the border because the the UK needed to protect themselves from the inevitable VAT rise they need to replace the financial shortfall due to Brexit and thus also needed the power to close the border. He screwed you.

It was just coincidence that Germany's version of failing Grayling was being destroyed by the press across Europe,  because the eu vaccine procurement team had failed to deliver on time. 

1
 neilh 30 Apr 2021
In reply to jimtitt:

Impressive in germany 1.1 million vaccines in 1 day. Nice to read some good news.

In reply to neilh:

> Impressive in germany 1.1 million vaccines in 1 day. Nice to read some good news.

Lucky them for having that many vaccines to issue! Sweden has only first dosed 2.5m in total. 

In reply to summo:

Germany has about eight times the population of Sweden, though.

2.5m is almost a third of all Swedes, so assuming they're doing the higher risk people first, that's actually pretty good.

In reply to elsewhere:

> Somebody I know at local hospital said they're back to normal capacity but with a big (huge?) backlog so surgery for benign conditions at the back of the queue to be done nobody knows when.

UK hospital waiting lists are the longest they've ever been now.  The ramifications of this will be a significant addition to the covid death & harm toll, and for a lot of people otherwise not affected by the virus.

 RobAJones 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Toerag:

> UK hospital waiting lists are the longest they've ever been now.  The ramifications of this will be a significant addition to the covid death & harm toll, and for a lot of people otherwise not affected by the virus.

I have three friend who were all scheduled ops. last April (two knees, one hip). They were all rescheduled in November for the new year before being cancelled again.They are all now having them in the next week or so. I suppose this fits with the waiting lists being over a year long than they were before covid.   I'm also guessing, at the moment, there is as much capacity in the health service to "catch up" as there is in education.

Post edited at 18:49
In reply to skog:

> Germany has about eight times the population of Sweden, though.

> 2.5m is almost a third of all Swedes, so assuming they're doing the higher risk people first, that's actually pretty good.

29%. As I'm sure you'll be aware sweden would have been happy to pay slightly more for the vaccine, than waste 3 months pi$$ing around chatting between 27 nations and chasing a bargain. It's not lost on most people that Astra was swedish  and AZ has several facilities in sweden, just not vaccine related. The problem is politically the only anti eu party are a bunch of racist nazi loving nutters, it's not good for them to gain even a single vote out of this. 

Will be curious how this plays out, there is no desire for sputnik either, they'd rather wait than go to Russia for help. 

That's the vibe I'm getting locally, you might be getting a different one from your family's connection?

In reply to summo:

Yeah, some of the in-laws are a bit too SD-sympathetic for our liking, unfortunately.

I hadn't realised Sweden was that far on already, it's great news - the death and serious illness rate should be plummeting shortly.

The parents-in-law are all first-dose-Pfizered now, with second doses scheduled for soonish - but nobody younger is. I'm not sure what their thoughts are on Sputnik as an option.

In reply to skog:

> I hadn't realised Sweden was that far on already, it's great news - the death and serious illness rate should be plummeting shortly.

Yeah deaths are less, but infection rate is still roaring away. Cold spring weather isn't likely helping. Too many folk inside, door and windows shut tight. 

 fred99 30 Apr 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> However I am not a flag shagging Tory fanboy.

What kind of "flag shagging fanboy" do you think many of us would describe you as then ?????

1
 wintertree 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Eric9Points:

> My suspicion is that at least some of those who have died were extremely frail and would probably have died of even a common cold. I doubt we'll ever get to zero Covid deaths.

Thats a reasonable suspicion IMO.  I’d hoped that by now we’d have seen some summarised data on this sort of thing, but I can also see the sensitivities of it being open to deliberate misrepresentation by the anti vaccine brigade.

Long term: Perhaps we’ll see zero reported covid deaths at some point because it won’t be routinely tested for as it transitions to “just another cold” once immunity is widespread and updated by natural circulation.  

Short term: It might not be long until the UK sees it’s first zero covid deaths day.  I imagine it’ll be back up in some numbers during the winter.

I’m hopeful that we keep the diagnostic capacity built up including sequencing, and swing the pendulum the other way and sequence a lot more of the viruses tied up in deaths.  

In reply to fred99:

> What kind of "flag shagging fanboy" do you think many of us would describe you as then ?????

I don't even own a Saltire.  I own one flag: an EU flag which I bought at a demo.

It is the Tories that feel the need for massive flags everywhere.  Look at them every time they are on TV with flags in their living rooms or BJs TV studio that looks like something out a Nuremburg rally.   Thinking about saws requiring union jacks on all civic buildings. Tory MPs counting the number of union jacks in the BBC annual report and asking the Director General how many there were.  Oh - and BJ saying he is going to cover Scotland in Union Jacks and have them all over Glasgow during the climate conference.  And the amount of union jacks that are getting onto just about everything you can buy in the shops because the English get off on it.    Flag shagging has increased exponentially since Brexit.

10
 CurlyStevo 01 May 2021
In reply to willgriggsonfire:

The massive elephant in the room is long covid. The most effected are not the old and even the +35s (ish) are only fractionally different. from a decade older. Many long covid never had anything but mild symptoms. how many are forever covid now? How much does the VAX help?

1
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> Imagine a virus that was 10 times more deadly and twice as transmissible, I can't see many countries that are self reliant exporting any components or vaccines until they are all vaccinated. Prior contracts just wouldn't mean a thing at that stage, emergency legislation would just override them all. Probably one of the reasons the EU hasn't completely blocked exports is they need the vaccine components supply chain to keep functioning. Next time around that may all be different ofc.

This ties in with the other thread I started about national infrastructure. Paying to maintain key component production, even at a loss, might be worth it.

1
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> The only reason a strain would be resistant to the AZ vaccine and no others would be if it simultaneously evolved a kilt and a set of bagpipes, painted its face with a saltire and started making infected people shout "freeeeedooooooommmmm", and we'd notice that at the airport so I'm not too worried.

The South African variant has more resistance to AZ than to Pfizer which is why the South Africans dropped AZ.

The AZ/Janssen vaccines have completely different technology from the Pfizer/Moderna ones.  So there is no reason to think a Covid strain couldn't develop which was more resistant to one than the others.  

6
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I think the reality is any port in a storm. Countries can argue over which was best afterwards. Vaccines, will change many times over the next few years, but just now the priority is anything that improves immunity. 

 elsewhere 01 May 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The South African variant has more resistance to AZ than to Pfizer which is why the South Africans dropped AZ.

> The AZ/Janssen vaccines have completely different technology from the Pfizer/Moderna ones.  So there is no reason to think a Covid strain couldn't develop which was more resistant to one than the others.  

So far the approved vaccines have succeeded together by targeting the same spike. They may weaken together for the same reason.

Post edited at 07:41
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Excelling yourself, again........  

1
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> The first doses in Scotland in the last week are running at around 3 times less than the rest of the UK

> I'm 48 in Edinburgh no sign of the blue letter yet!

Don't wait to receive a letter instead anyone aged 40 or over should be going here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/

and booking online

1
 CurlyStevo 01 May 2021
In reply to CantClimbTom:

That's not for Scotland, I wish it was that easy. Oddly NHS.UK is not actually a website for the whole UK

When I try and enter my details I get

"

We may be unable to find your details because:

you have changed your address or surname – contact your GP surgery to update your details

you are not registered with a GP surgery in England – find out how to register with a GP"

Note ENGLAND

Post edited at 13:55
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The South African variant has more resistance to AZ than to Pfizer which is why the South Africans dropped AZ... ... ...

The ZA variant is over here and in the wild. The high vis vested "COVID marshalls" are doing/offering daily doorstep testing (PCR) in my street and surrounding. If it's positive they are sequencing it to see which variant, as we have a cluster of ZA. (IG6 post code). I've had my first dose, AZ, only 16 days ago, so quite plausible for me to catch it

 CurlyStevo 01 May 2021
In reply to CantClimbTom:

Scotland you have to wait for a letter unless you are a carer, in which case you can do it online. I hear a lot of people are blaging that they are carers but I wouldn't stoop that low. The actual vaccinated percentages of total population are very similar between England and Scotland, however Scotland is being more efficient at vaccinating the older people first than England.

Post edited at 13:58
In reply to CurlyStevo:

FFS!!! The ****** disorganised numpties.

It's a UK website covering all of UK only for those in England?? <insert torrent of expletives here>

 CurlyStevo 01 May 2021
In reply to CantClimbTom:

Yeah I'm not sure if wales or NI are on that website but Scotland is here https://www.scot.nhs.uk/ . You know in scotland we have a CHI number not an NHS number and the records often are quite problematic to tally up. I've lived a lot in both countries and I have two sets of records. Oddly down south most the NHS staff seem quite confused with the fact I wouldn't have an NHS number in Scotland

In reply to CantClimbTom:

> It's a UK website covering all of UK only for those in England??

England is the UK, to a reasonable level of approximation, so they haven't bothered getting their own devolved parliament or services. I'm not sure why they haven't wanted regional devolution.

As the NHS is a separate organisation in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, devolved out from the UK service, England's one is just the 'remnant' core of the UK one, so they are the 'UK' site; this simply reflects the asymmetric nature of the UK union - one big country, with a few small ones stuck on. To be fair, the website doesn't actually claim to be for the whole of the UK, as far as I can see!

In reply to elsewhere:

> So far the approved vaccines have succeeded together by targeting the same spike. They may weaken together for the same reason.

Yes, they may weaken together for the same reason.  They may weaken to a different degree because they are radically different technologies.  The studies to date seem to be saying that both vaccines are weaker but AZ is weaker to the point of being pretty much ineffective .

Look at the section on the South African variant with Pfizer and AZ.

https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/news/coronavirus-and-your-health/covid-variant#SApfizer

3
In reply to elsewhere:

> So far the approved vaccines have succeeded together by targeting the same spike. They may weaken together for the same reason.

Yes, they may weaken together for the same reason.  They may weaken to a different degree because they are radically different technologies.  The studies to date seem to be saying that both vaccines are weaker but AZ is weaker to the point of being pretty much ineffective .

Look at the section on the South African variant with Pfizer and AZ.

https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/news/coronavirus-and-your-health/covid-variant#SApfizer

4
 elsewhere 01 May 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Despite SA study, no signs that SA or any other variant ripping through large number of people vaccinated with AZ or any other vaccine (billion doses all vaccines administered).

Most or all variants present in different countries in continental Europe, large number of infections, large number vaccinated. Not perfect but no sign of any UK/EU approved vaccine failing.

Post edited at 17:51
 kirsten 01 May 2021
In reply to elsewhere: back to vaccine shortages: there seems to be a lack of Pfizer locally (west London) with some second doses being pushed out to an as yet unknown period beyond 12 weeks. 

In reply to elsewhere:

> Despite SA study, no signs that SA or any other variant ripping through large number of people vaccinated with AZ or any other vaccine (billion doses all vaccines administered).

South Africa stopped using the AZ vaccine and travel bans were imposed.   It's a bit presumptuous to say it is all good and AZ is effective against the SA variant.   The vaccine companies seem concerned enough about the SA variant to be working on new versions of their products,

Unless somebody does a study with a larger sample size or some other improvement in methodology which says different the sensible thing is to assume the South African study is accurate.

4
 elsewhere 01 May 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Sample sizes 2,000 vs 1,000,000,000+

Also so far the vaccines work imperfectly but incredibly well.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/isaric4c-hospitalised-vaccinated-patients-during-the-second-wave-11-march-2021

There are valid concerns but thankfully they are concerns rather than hospital admissions.

Post edited at 23:36
In reply to elsewhere:

> Sample sizes 2,000 vs 1,000,000,000+

What absolute nonsense.

The experiment was about whether the AZ vaccine produced antibodies which were effective against the South African strain of Covid.

Your 1 billion number has nothing to do with either AZ vaccine or the SA strain of Covid. 

> Also so far the vaccines work imperfectly but incredibly well.

Nobody is saying different, but it is totally irrelevant to the question under discussion which is whether the AZ and Pfizer vaccines have significantly different effectiveness against SA strain Covid.

There are multiple vaccines with substantially different characteristics and it is stupid to pretend otherwise.

What has that got to do with AZ vaccine effectiveness against SA strain Covid?    There is hardly any SA strain Covid in the UK and there was pretty much zero during the second wave.

4
 elsewhere 02 May 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> What absolute nonsense.

We disagree that real world rather than scientific study is nonsense.

> The experiment was about whether the AZ vaccine produced antibodies which were effective against the South African strain of Covid.

> Your 1 billion number has nothing to do with either AZ vaccine or the SA strain of Covid. 

I find it inconceivable that a billion vaccinated people including AZ have not encountered the SA variant present in some/most countries.

> Nobody is saying different, but it is totally irrelevant to the question under discussion which is whether the AZ and Pfizer vaccines have significantly different effectiveness against SA strain Covid.

> There are multiple vaccines with substantially different characteristics and it is stupid to pretend otherwise.

One characteristic the share is few hospitalisations or worse wherever they are used in the world. Everything else is mere detail. Almost.

> What has that got to do with AZ vaccine effectiveness against SA strain Covid?    There is hardly any SA strain Covid in the UK and there was pretty much zero during the second wave.

The same is not true in other countries.


This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Loading Notifications...