March 9 2021

As people are now beginning to have their second Covid 19 immunisations, scientists have reminded us not to have a second dose of the same vaccine if you had a significant immediate reaction to the first one. If you had the typical reaction of fatigue, shivers, sore arm and muscle aches coming 12 hours or more after the jab, then its perfectly ok to have the second one. It is only the immediate acute allergic symptoms of hives, wheeziness and shortage of breath that mean you should not have the second dose. If a severe reaction has occurred from the Pfizer vaccine you should also avoid a Moderna vaccine.

Prof. Chris Whitty has warned that a third wave of infections would be almost inevitable if we tried to speed up coming out of lockdown. Downing St have made it very clear they want to follow the data not the dates. There is to be at least 5 weeks between changes so that the effects of a change can be carefully measured and assessed before moving to the next step. In a blunt answer he made it clear that 10,000 more deaths could occur. In a bad year there can be 20,000 excess deaths due to influenza.

I think there should be alarm bells ringing that in Greater London where vaccine uptake has been poor there are still well over 150.000 people over the age of 65 without a first jab given yet.

This year there has been virtually no seasonal influenza to cope with, perhaps because the lockdown measures have helped prevent its spread.

In this last week the number of excess deaths has fallen below the 5 year national average in two regions of the UK.

Just as we are being urged not to speed up the exit from lockdown, Scotland have brought forward by a few days their next steps out of lockdown. As from Friday 12 March, 4 people from 2 households can now meet outside for recreation or exercise. They can also meet in private gardens, and can go though a house to reach a back garden or to use a toilet in a house. I stress this applies only to Scotland not to the rest of the United Kingdom. Communal worship can resume in Scotland from 26 March with a maximum of 50 people being able to attend a service in person.

With devolved nations doing thigs differently it does not help the Great British Public to have Confidence in their leaders. We must heed Chris Witty’s warning and move slowly and preferably together along the exit path.

The Prime Minister has told the Irish Taoisearch, Michael Martin, that he cannot have any of our vaccine until we have immunised all our adults. He clearly understood the British position, I am sure we will help them out in due course. This seems to have arisen because of the bungling of ordering vaccine for the EU countries. Several other EU countries have gone it alone with help from China and Russia.

Statistics tonight, continue to reflect our steady progress, we await to see what will happen with the schools back. I understand a child was found positive on their first morning back yesterday forcing them all in that school to isolation.

The number of tests done yesterday were reported as 1,529,525. This figure I strongly suspect is an error as its about 1 million more than usual. Its possible some from previous days had not been counted. Positive tests were only 5,766. We are therefore still seeing over 5,000 cases a day, this is not over yet. It is a 24,8% drop in the last 7days and brings the infection rate down 62.2/100k of the population.

Deaths reported at 231 are encouragingly low. It is a 33.2% drop in the last 7 days and the death rate is now very low just 1.9/100k; this means in a hundred thousand cases just less than 2 will die.

There were 9,418 in hospital on the 7th March , 590 were admitted on the 5th March . There are still 1,356 on a ventilator. These figures need to come down a lot more before we can relax. The Nightingale hospitals are not required at the moment and work is being done to mothball them. Two will continue as mass vaccination centres. Let’s hope we heed the advice not to act too quickly and that we do not need them again.

Other issues continue to dominate the news, so Covid news is a bit sparse still. Do share any news you have about the pandemic. The stay at home policy is due to be reviewed on April 12th so, for at least another month, you will hear me remind you every day ‘just stay at home’.

Please do all you can to persuade people to get vaccinated, feel free to share this report with them. Every hesitant person who changes their mind helps to lessen a third wave.

Stay at Home, Stay Apart and above all Stay Safe.

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