March 4 2021

An unusually high number of Covid tests were done yesterday, 863,658 and of these 6,573 were positive. The positive rate has now dropped to 84.4/100k of the population. The number testing positive is 34.4% less than 7 days ago.

As of 2nd March there were 12,136 patients in hospital with 1,647 were being treated on a ventilator. There were only 757 new admissions on 28th February which is a 29% drop in the daily admission rate.

Deaths amounted to 242, which is a significant drop of 33.6% in the last 7days. The death rate at present is now only 2.6/100k.

All these figures remain encouraging but it would be good to see a faster drop in the number of cases in hospital, especially if we are going to be able to stick to the timetable of relaxations in the pathway to recovery already announced by the PM.

In California a very elementary mistake was made in drawing up the vaccine in a different make of syringe. The new syringe had more dead space by about 0.1ml and in drawing up the correct dose this was not allowed for. The correct amount to be injected is 0.3ml, but patients only received 0.2ml as a further 0.1ml remained in the dead space of the syringe and needle. This apparently affected 4,300 patients before it was noticed. There is no evidence about the effects of only giving 2/3rds of the planned dose. I personally think this is unlikely to do any harm at all, but it has given the media something to get excited about.

Plans are underway for the world’s first human challenge study involving live Covid 19 virus. A study of 90 people all fit and healthy, between the ages of 18 and 30 are to be recruited. They would be given the Covid 19 virus by squirting it up their nose and after 14 days in quarantine in hospital be followed up with regular tests for the next year or so. Would you be prepared to take part in the trial? It should give us the answers to some very important questions such as just how much virus is required to cause an infection. How does the immune system first respond when it meets a virus. If you are interested you could earn up to £4,500 over about a year. If you are interest contact the trial at Imperial College London.

Poor Northern Ireland does not often get a mention here, but today they have released some figures of their own. There were 566 new infections found in the last 24 hours. 489 patients are in a hospital bed and 114 in an ITU. Twenty-five new patients admitted to hospital and 25 deaths recorded.

The First Minister in Wales, Mark Drakeford is self -isolating having been in contact with an infected person. He has apparently converted some out houses at the bottom of his garden to live in leaving his wife and mother- in- law in the house. They have both been shielding because they were vulnerable.

Today a league table of Local Authorities in England has been published which show the success in immunising all those over 65 in their area. I have picked some at random. It easy to check your area if you want to.

Westminster 61.6%

City of London 62.8%

Tower Hamlets 69.7%

Newham 74%

Waltham Forest 79.8%

Barking and Dagenham 80.4%

Croydon 85%

Hartlepool 86.6 %

Redbridge 86%

Manchester 89.9%

Southend 90.2%

Boston 92.5%

Co Durham 92.8%

Reigate 94%

Guildford 97%

Strood 100.7%

Rushmoor 102.4%

Apparently with the last two being greater than 100% this is because the population estimates did not match the number eligible for a first dose.

As you can see there is a 40% difference between best and worst performing boroughs. It is essential to get the highest possible numbers done and in order to achieve good herd immunity it has to be at least 90%. What are your views on the wide variations in these figures?

The Italian Government have, it seems, blocked the export of 250,000 OAZ vaccine from leaving the EU bloc. It was bound for Australia. This is the latest twist in the UK row with the EU about the shortfall in the vaccine promised to the EU. Despite the EU repeatedly saying they would not do this, they have. Australia has an order for 53 million doses and OAZ are about 10-15% short on their delivery to the EU. OAZ have a production factory in Italy as well as several other factories in EU countries.

Please encourage everyone to get vaccinated. An excellent idea from one of you was to find more and more celebrities especially those who are from black or ethnic minority backgrounds to allow themselves to be seen baring their arms for the jab on TV.

Please share your thoughts and concerns, we need another good discussion.

Meanwhile still stay at home, stay apart, take pressure of the NHS and most importantly stay safe.

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