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1 hour ago, Van wink said:

Yeh a disturbingly low figure, as you say indicative of trends but as we know the randomised ONS figures are the ones to really watch out for.

The ONS always used to be factor of 2 or 3 higher if memory serves me but its now growing to a factor of 4. My guess is that with the OAPS largely vaccinated (hence not reporting positive) it's the younger working members of society who we now see that may not be able to afford the time  / costs of isolation following a positive test that hence ''skip' the test for milder symptoms. I suspect it's always been thus from the start.

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5 minutes ago, Tetteys Jig said:

the more staggering figure was that around half of those surveyed couldn't identify the 3 key symptoms... its been a year of them drilled into us and still people don't get it! Whatever side of the debate you're on, that's sheer ignorance

That's a shocker - but as the saying goes you can never underestimate the ignorance of the general public.

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Any expert advice on which vaccine to choose would be appreciated. It seems I can get vaccinated now with Moderna but will have to wait for Pfizer.

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3 minutes ago, PurpleCanary said:

Any expert advice on which vaccine to choose would be appreciated. It seems I can get vaccinated now with Moderna but will have to wait for Pfizer.

the first approved one that becomes available

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1 hour ago, Tetteys Jig said:

the first approved one that becomes available

Just to add what someone working on the moderna one has to say comparing Pfizer to Moderna:

"They’re essentially the same so yes. :3 The spike protein payload is identical between Moderna and Pfizer. The lipid packaging is different and Moderna’s dose is higher but that’s it! It would be highly unlikely their results would not be similar."

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Plain text copy here of a fairly general (and I think 'impressionist' )view on pandemics and how they end (from The Week). Copying for interest.

 

Agnes Arnold-Forster, a history of medicine and healthcare researcher at the University of Bristol, on the messy business of pandemics.

“After the pandemic is over” must be one of the most frequently uttered phrases of 2021. I am certainly guilty of this kind of optimism, longing for the day when I can get on a plane, have dinner with my friends, and cuddle all the new babies I know who have been born under the restrictive eye of COVID-19.

How many people need to be vaccinated to get life back to normal?

In February, the UK government unveiled a four-step plan to ease England’s lockdown restrictions by 21 June. While the prime minister has cautioned that the country’s path out of the pandemic will be driven by “data not dates”, his restraint has had little impact, it seems, on the population’s excitement levels. Memes and social media posts immediately proliferated, with people booking flights, planning parties, and taking time off work in anticipation of future freedom.

Looking ahead to the end of the pandemic is not confined to the UK, and as the vaccine rollout proceeds (albeit unevenly), people across the world are turning their attention to celebration and relief. However, history tells us that the end of pandemics are rarely – if ever – neat, uncomplicated, or even easy to date.

Past pandemics

The misleadingly named Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 was the deadliest in history. It infected around 500 million people worldwide and killed anywhere from 20 million to 50 million. Much like today, citizens were subjected to social restrictions and ordered to wear masks. The pandemic abated, but identifying its precise end is almost impossible.

In 1920, several newspapers reported the reappearance of influenza. Around 5,000 cases were reported in Chicago in the space of six days, and theatres were ordered to close. Later that year, “drastic measures” were implemented to check the spread of flu in New York City after an emergency meeting of the transportation authorities, theatre and cinema owners, and the representatives of department stores. At around the same time, 60 people died from influenza in Paris.

Subsequent waves of the virus ripped through European and North American cities for years after the pandemic’s supposed end. As late as 1925, and in the space of nine days, 201 people in Chicago died from what the newspapers called a “highly contagious influenza epidemic”. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that there is little evidence in the historical record of parties to commemorate the end of the terrible virus.

Today’s coronavirus pandemic is, of course, different to the march of influenza around the globe in 1918 – not least because we have several highly effective vaccines. The jab is a powerful tool and so many people’s hopes for COVID’s end hang on this marvellous technology. However, while vaccines have played a crucial role in past efforts to control infectious disease, their ability to bring pandemics to a rapid and definitive close is much more limited.

Take polio, for example. A vaccine was developed for the disease in the 1950s. Its inventor Jonas Salk became an almost immediate American hero, but it took almost three decades for polio to be brought under control in Britain and there were no celebratory holidays marking the last naturally acquired infection in 1984.

The end of fear

Historians of medicine know that pandemics and epidemics are social phenomena. As a result, their endings happen in two ways. There is the medical conclusion of a pandemic, when disease incidence goes down and death rates plummet. But there is also the social end, when fear of the infection decreases and social restrictions ease.

Crucially, you can have one without the other. The rates of coronavirus might go down, fewer people will be hospitalised and die, people’s anxieties could ease, and life could return to normal – in that order. Or rates could stay the same, but people just get sick and tired of restrictions and launch themselves into the parties they had planned, regardless. Or rates could go down, but people remain fearful – anxious about returning to “normal life” and unable to let go of some of the precautions we have become accustomed to.

We also have to remember that coronavirus is a global disease and that different places will have varying social and medical conclusions to their respective versions of the pandemic.

Uneven geography

HIV/AIDS swept through Europe and North America in the 1980s and 90s. Infection rates have since dropped dramatically, and many HIV-positive people live long and healthy lives in developing countries. And yet, as of 2019, almost 40 million people are infected with HIV worldwide and we are still experiencing what the World Health Organization calls a “global epidemic”, it is just that the geographical scope of the disease has shifted.

As wealthier nations continue to vaccinate themselves out of restrictions, the ending of their pandemics might come relatively quickly. But what about the rest of the world? When will developing countries see a similar conclusion?

Wherever you look, there is unlikely to be a precise end date for the pandemic. We have only managed to successfully eradicate one disease (smallpox), and for every other epidemic or pandemic in history, their endings have been messy, protracted and uneven. While we all might need a dose of optimism, rather than planning parties or holidays, perhaps our time now would be better spent thinking about what kind of future we want to look forward to and how we put the lessons we have learned this past year into practice.

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3 hours ago, PurpleCanary said:

Any expert advice on which vaccine to choose would be appreciated. It seems I can get vaccinated now with Moderna but will have to wait for Pfizer.

"The Pfizer vaccine produces an "off the scale" immune response that is likely to protect against the Brazilian variant of Covid-19, researchers say.

The biggest study on antibody and cellular immune factors to date suggests people are likely to be protected against the Wuhan, Kent and Brazilian types of coronavirus following two doses of the vaccine.

The research, led by the University of Birmingham and including Public Health England's Porton Down laboratory, found 98 per cent of people aged 80 or over who had two doses of the Pfizer jab had a strong antibody immune response.

Professor Paul Moss, from the University of Birmingham and leader of the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium, told a briefing: "We've certainly seen in this paper that the antibody levels are so good, really after the first two weeks, that we are pretty confident that this should be very helpful against the Brazilian variant."

Pfizer looks like a good bet.....presuming you're over 80 😀

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National

4479 - 51

Local

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Almost 650k today including over 400k second doses.

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The Tsunami that hit us in January is now sweeping Eastern Europe.

 

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1 hour ago, ricardo said:

National

4479 - 51

Local

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Almost 650k today including over 400k second doses.

Just had notification that my second jab has been brought forward, dont know if this is related to supply issues 

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18 minutes ago, ricardo said:

The Tsunami that hit us in January is now sweeping Eastern Europe.

 

Problems with a lack of ventilators in Poland as well. Friends in Warsaw have been telling me this and are gravely concerned. Seems - just like the UK - to be a hefty dose of government nepotism involved in some of the measures for combatting it.

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5 minutes ago, Van wink said:

Just had notification that my second jab has been brought forward, dont know if this is related to supply issues 

Still haven't  had my notification yet. Will be 10 weeks Saturday. 

Mrs R had the AZ and had notification today and appt on April 17th.

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Nice positive weekly report from Tim Spectre of the Zoe App. A man worth listening to.

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6 minutes ago, ricardo said:

Still haven't  had my notification yet. Will be 10 weeks Saturday. 

Mrs R had the AZ and had notification today and appt on April 17th.

Brought forward today by my GP surgery

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Thanks to all for the advice and views. I took the Moderna in the hand, as it were, rather than the Pfizer in the bush.

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25 minutes ago, PurpleCanary said:

Thanks to all for the advice and views. I took the Moderna in the hand, as it were, rather than the Pfizer in the bush.

Beware the Brazilian

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2 hours ago, Van wink said:

Just had notification that my second jab has been brought forward, dont know if this is related to supply issues 

interesting... I believe we were in a similar boat. How far forward has it been brought? Did you have a 2nd appointment already?

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50k positives in France today.

If only they'd  had some warning.

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14 minutes ago, Tetteys Jig said:

interesting... I believe we were in a similar boat. How far forward has it been brought? Did you have a 2nd appointment already?

Yes I did, which was made at the time of my first jab, its been brought forward by a couple of weeks AZ

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8 minutes ago, ricardo said:

50k positives in France today.

If only they'd  had some warning.

only 64k tests, worrying stats

 

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Van wink said:

Yes I did, which was made at the time of my first jab, its been brought forward by a couple of weeks AZ

I had mine the same day as yous as I recall Jan 23rd, but wasnt given a second date, just told to await instructions from NHS. Mine was Pfizer.

Edited by ricardo

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, ricardo said:

I had mine the same day as yous as I recall Jan 23rd, but wasnt given a second date, just told to await instructions from NHS. Mine was Pfizer.

Yep 23rd, I'm getting my second one next Friday now. Oddly I hadn't been made aware the date had changed, I happened to log on to my GP online account this morning and noticed there was a new forthcoming appointment for my second jab, so I rang them and they said it had been changed. Good job I looked but they did say they were in the process of notifying people.

Edited by Van wink

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7 minutes ago, Van wink said:

Yep 23rd, I'm getting my second one next Friday now. Oddly I hadn't been made aware the date had changed, I happened to log on to my GP online account this morning and noticed there was a new forthcoming appointment for my second jab, so I rang them and they said it had been changed. Good job I looked but they did say they were in the process of notifying people.

Mrs R had the AZ at our surgery and her appt will make it 11 weeks so that has been brought forward.

Our surgery doesn't  do Pfizer so I had mine at one of the designated health centres in Norwich. I guess they will eventually contact me as promised. 

 

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23 minutes ago, Van wink said:

Yes I did, which was made at the time of my first jab, its been brought forward by a couple of weeks AZ

ah, I'm pfizer but no 2nd appointment given... got another 7 weeks until its 12 though

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9 minutes ago, ricardo said:

Mrs R had the AZ at our surgery and her appt will make it 11 weeks so that has been brought forward.

Our surgery doesn't  do Pfizer so I had mine at one of the designated health centres in Norwich. I guess they will eventually contact me as promised. 

 

I'm reading that GP's have been advised to stop administering first doses this month and focus on second doses, also reading that the UK put £21 million into the Dutch Helix factory where AZ is being produced!

 

 

"British taxpayers have invested millions of pounds into a Dutch vaccine factory at the centre of a threatened blockade by the European Commission, The Telegraph can disclose.

The Halix factory in Leiden was equipped to produce doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine after Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, approved a major investment last April.

The money – reported to be in the region of £21 million – was meant to secure vital shipments to the UK. But Brussels has threatened to ban exports and on Thursday vowed there would be "no negotiation" with Downing Street, insisting that the doses should be diverted to European nations. 

A leaked letter revealed that Oxford scientists urged a major EU nation to invest in the Halix factory alongside the UK last April, but the deal was never signed. 

The European Union would have been likely to have secured millions of AstraZeneca doses had the Dutch government acted more decisively, sources suggested. An EU official admitted the bloc had yet to contribute a single euro towards the Halix plant.

MPs suggested on Thursday night that Downing Street should ask for its money back. Steve Baker, the deputy chairman of the Covid Recovery Group, said: "We invested in this plant. We have contractual entitlements to vaccines. If the EU disagrees with those entitlements, they have the option of going to court.

"Even in my worst Eurosceptic moments, I would never have dreamt the EU would behave like this." 

The news that Britain funded the very vaccine factory now at the centre of the EU blockade comes as a major shortfall in AstraZeneca supplies threatens to disrupt the successful UK rollout.

GPs have been told to stop administering first doses this month and focus their vaccine resources primarily on those awaiting their second jabs. Downing Street says the UK remains on target to vaccinate all adults by July."

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Van wink said:

I'm reading that GP's have been advised to stop administering first doses this month and focus on second doses, also reading that the UK put £21 million into the Dutch Helix factory where AZ is being produced!

 

 

"British taxpayers have invested millions of pounds into a Dutch vaccine factory at the centre of a threatened blockade by the European Commission, The Telegraph can disclose.

The Halix factory in Leiden was equipped to produce doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine after Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, approved a major investment last April.

The money – reported to be in the region of £21 million – was meant to secure vital shipments to the UK. But Brussels has threatened to ban exports and on Thursday vowed there would be "no negotiation" with Downing Street, insisting that the doses should be diverted to European nations. 

A leaked letter revealed that Oxford scientists urged a major EU nation to invest in the Halix factory alongside the UK last April, but the deal was never signed. 

The European Union would have been likely to have secured millions of AstraZeneca doses had the Dutch government acted more decisively, sources suggested. An EU official admitted the bloc had yet to contribute a single euro towards the Halix plant.

MPs suggested on Thursday night that Downing Street should ask for its money back. Steve Baker, the deputy chairman of the Covid Recovery Group, said: "We invested in this plant. We have contractual entitlements to vaccines. If the EU disagrees with those entitlements, they have the option of going to court.

"Even in my worst Eurosceptic moments, I would never have dreamt the EU would behave like this." 

The news that Britain funded the very vaccine factory now at the centre of the EU blockade comes as a major shortfall in AstraZeneca supplies threatens to disrupt the successful UK rollout.

GPs have been told to stop administering first doses this month and focus their vaccine resources primarily on those awaiting their second jabs. Downing Street says the UK remains on target to vaccinate all adults by July."

 

 

If only they had put their money where their mouth is.

Anyone remember all the gloating about how they got it cheaper while we paid through the nose?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ricardo said:

If only they had put their money where their mouth is.

Anyone remember all the gloating about how they got it cheaper while we paid through the nose?

We still haven't got to the bottom of what was actually paid.   As far as I know no one  outside of AZ has actually seen the two rates.

Regardless of the politics though looking at recent figures I cannot help but think the humane thing to do is to give up some for the greater good ( if anyone still wants the AZ vaccine )

Edited by Barbe bleu

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Posted (edited)

More good news from ONS

"Covid infections have fallen again despite the return of millions of pupils to the classroom, raising hopes for a smooth easing of restrictions.

Random sampling of the population by the Office for National Statistics estimated that 148,100 people in England had the virus in the last week of March, down from 162,500 the week before, with no signs that cases were taking off in teenagers."

Also good to see cases drop below 4000 on the Zoe survey today, first time I have seen that for many months.

Edited by Van wink

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14 hours ago, TheGunnShow said:

Problems with a lack of ventilators in Poland as well. Friends in Warsaw have been telling me this and are gravely concerned. Seems - just like the UK - to be a hefty dose of government nepotism involved in some of the measures for combatting it.

If they have a lack of ventilators I sincerely hope we can supply them with some. We have a lot standing idle now and I would much rather they find a way to use them in a country that needs them.

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14 hours ago, Van wink said:

Beware the Brazilian

I will, and I will feel happier after my second dose, in four weeks' time.

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