March 15 2021

Coronaviruses like Covid 19 seem to evolve more slowly, it’s quite a sluggish virus compared with the influenza virus which can mutate much more frequently. This is why we have to tweak the seasonal influenza virus vaccine every year to cover the new variants and mutations. On the other hand the measles vaccine has been going strong for over 60 years without any tweaks.

Pfizer are confident their vaccine is effective against a mutation that is seen both in the Kent variant and the South African variant.

The longer a virus spreads the more it infects and the more it can mutate. We deal with this by developing annual boosters which have been tweaked to deal with any mutations. We do not really know yet just how long the effectiveness of the vaccine is. If we are lucky it will be more than a year. Once enough of us are protected the virus is likely to be less virulent and behave more like a seasonal flu or common cold. Society would be able to live with that. Needing a booster every two years will be better, but if its only every six months that will be much more tiresome. We need to be patient for the ongoing research to give us the data. Top priority is to get everybody immunised twice and to reduce spread by social distancing.

Spontaneous bleeding, low platelets and blood clots are unusual symptoms to occur together. Usually, blood clots are associated with too “sticky” blood and then low platelets with “blood that’s not sticky enough” so it bleeds.

The anxiety about this as a side effect of covid 19 vaccine seems to be spreading, despite the reassurance of the manufacturers and the regulators. Germany France, Spain and Italy have joined the countries who as a precaution have paused its use. The UK continues to use it. I discussed this in detail last night. I do remember from my time in practice, that if a blood sample produced an unexplained low platelet count the first thing to do was repeat it. If a blood sample is not adequately agitated and mixed after being taken, platelets tend to clump out at the bottom of the tube. This could be worse if the samples were kept waiting for several hours before being analysed. The result is then falsely low platelet counts.

As I explained last night, the longer we pause immunisations the more likely we are to lose people with covid. Detailed study about this is critical to find the truth behind the very few cases reported. I realise this is causing lots of anxiety amongst people we do need quickly to resolve it. I am sure the benefits outweigh any possible risks. I just hope this is not part of a bigger issue about vaccine use in general. France is facing the possibility of a third wave developing and, in an attempt to control the crisis 100 patients from ITUs in Paris are to be airlifted out to provincial hospitals with more capacity.

There is no new health data today , but we should have figures bang up to date tomorrow.

Sunday 14th March saw 965,127 Covid tests processed ( lower than during the week as school children not tested). 5,089 proved positive . This is still falling over the 7day average but only just. The rate is 68.9/100k of the population. I remain concerned this is not falling as quickly as it should be. if we do get a third wave it will be down to our lack of social distancing and refusal to wear masks. There have been 64 deaths in the last 24 hours. This is still falling well, thanks to immunisation of the older part of society. The figure is down 29.6% and the rate is only 1.4 deaths per 100k of the population

Vaccination remains on track with 24.45 million 1st doses have been given and 1.61 million 2nd doses It’s nowhere near over yet. We have not seen the rate of decline in cases we need. It may be due to children going back to school, and finding more asymptomatic cases. Please do not relax your guard., If there is doubt about vaccine safety, all the more reason to maintaining our social distancing and wearing masks in public. If people will not comply with guidelines and recommended measures our government have proposed, will have no option but to enforce much tighter restrictions. Look how some countries have been hit with tight curfews and shops and services all closed. Civil liberties and personal freedoms cease to be options when committed to save lives. The saving of life is a top priority for our police forces and for our Government. Let’s help them do their job.

Today I had a very kind message forwarded to me from someone who had commented on my report after it has been shared. It would seem I cannot see any comments made to my shared posts and it relies on someone to forward them to me. I am looking in to how to find a way round this. Meanwhile if you would like to comment on any post and are not already a friend please just ask to be a friend telling me you wish to seen the daily reports. I will make you a friend and you will see them and be able to reply. I am keen this is a two-way learning process so do not be shy in commenting.

Stay at Home and stay apart.

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