Sir John Redwood, a well-known Conservative MP has expressed his anger at the EU over the way they have treated Astra Zenica. He branded the impending court action as ‘gross misjudgement’. Why on earth start a legal challenge in the middle of the pandemic despite its obvious effectiveness? There is demand for as much as can be produced still. He went on to say ‘How about saying thank you to the Anglo Swedish company’?
Prof. Anthony Harden of Astra Zenica has been discussing the OAZ vaccine and its use in the under 30s age group. He said that those under the age of 30 who are completely well with no co-morbidities should probably have an alternative vaccine, the risk of catching severe Covid and or dying was approximately the same as the risk of the blood clot/low platelets syndrome which is affecting about 1 in 250,000 people. In those under 30 who have chronic health issues or co- morbidities the risk of death or serious disease is considerably higher than those who are well. The balance changes for this group and the risk of Covid becomes much greater than the risk of a blood clot. This group should still have the OAZ vaccine.
If you did not do so, have a look at David Spigelhalter’s paper of risk comparison and micromorts from 2 days ago.
Allegedly the first Covid error has resulted in a woman being given the wrong vaccine when she attended for her second jab at a hospital in the UK; she was given Pfizer rather than OAZ. This is not officially recommended in the UK yet. It is believed to be quite safe but the regulator has required trials to be absolutely sure. These trials are currently running in the UK and another trial is looking at mixing the Moderna and Novevax vaccines. France and Germany have already approved the mixing of vaccines without trials. We will never eradicate the human error aspect. Every safeguard you can think of can collapse if someone acts stupidly, deliberately or just has a moment’s inattention. I very much doubt this is the first case, it will not be the last and is fortunately very unlikely to do harm. The UK economy is predicted to bounce back at the fastest growth rate since the end of World War 2. The Covid pandemic has caused the biggest annual decline for 3 centuries, a full 13%. The last fall greater than this was in 1709, the year of the great frosts. It was nearly as bad in 1921 due to the coal strikes and the depression post First World War. Goldman Sachs predict a growth rate of 7.8% in the first year after the pandemic finishes. This is actually better than their prediction for the USA.
A friend in Turkey has written to tell me of a planned lockdown in the country to start on Thursday and last till 17th May. The President has given in and accepted the scientists’ call for a lockdown. There is no sign of any improvement as things were.
The New York Times is carrying an article which says the EU is to welcome all fully immunised Americans to ‘visit the EU starting this summer’. The vaccines must be approved. There was no indication as to when in the summer. No such message has yet been sent to the UK.The imbalance of vaccine distribution we have seen in the poorer areas of the UK have been replicated clearly from these figures from Miami in the USA. Many of the most affluent and prestigious area have 100% of the population immunised. In nearby poorer areas with overcrowding many are totally unprotected. They are often black or Hispanic workers. The UK passed the 25% marker today to give all adults 2 doses.
An oxygen express has arrived in New Delhi , one of several trains on their way carrying 70 tonnes of oxygen in large tanks. These are to be distributed to hospitals by officials of the Government. There are also 21 ready to use oxygen plants coming from France. It does look now that the international community have responded to the cries for help. Today’s statistics continue to reflect the rapidly improving conditions for the UK, but remember other parts of the world still have no vaccine.
There were 1,034,181 tests done in the last 24 hours which revealed 2,685 new cases. This represents a fall of 6.8% in the new cases and the rate is 25.3/100k of the population.
Only 17 deaths today (India 2,771!) in the UK that’s a 20% drop in the last week and the death rate is 0.2/100k. In the hospitals there are now only 1,608 Covid patients in hospital. 227 are needing a ventilator and in the last 24 hours counted only 169 more were admitted. Vaccines number continue to climb; 33.84 million first jabs and 13.20 million second jabs done. The news is still very good from the UK, it is still dreadful in India and serious in many other counties. The risks of a third wave from a mutation remains very real. We must not relax our guard. Let’s get everyone vaccinated as quickly as possible, lets reduce the cases by careful use of hand washing, wearing masks and staying apart.
Keep all your friends and loved ones safe.