📍Worrisome new data—new B117 variant is not only more infectious, it’s potentially more infectious in children 0-9 (+24%) and 10-19 (+14%), and less among 60-79, compared to common strains. More sobering—the R estimate is much higher.

THREAD🧵 #COVID19 imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial…
2) For R, various estimates range from 0.36 to 0.68 (higher R via more accurate sequenced virus samples, lower R estimate via shortcut PCR test w/ more data). This means every person infected w/ B.1.1.7 variant **infects additional +0.36 to +0.68 persons** than old strain. Wow.
3) To be clear, the graph shows the relative proportion of each age group for the B117 strain versus the *same age group* of the other strain, adjusted for geography & week. Thus its not just “school open” effect. It’s versus the common strain’s same age group, adjusted for time.
4) Given this evidence, I think we need to rethink school reopenings until we get this new B117 variant strain under control. We need every teacher and school worker (bus drivers, cafeteria staff, custodians) vaccinated before we got back to school. It pains me to say it though.
5) To be clear, there is a concern there is a school effect, but the Imperial team adjusted for time (what week it was). And this isn’t saying kids are more infectious than adults—likely now on par with adults (kids were lower risk with older strain).
6) if schools were open, then shouldn’t common strain also infect a lot more kids during the school-open-weeks too w/ equal opportunity? And again, adjusted for week timing effect.

Again, kids not higher risk than adults. But question is new vs old strains for kids of same age.
7) Let me rephrase here—if you passionate believe it’s school-open effect alone, with more kids exposed—then think hard—shouldn’t the other common strains have **equal opportunity to infect** and be on par with new B117 strain if all strains are equal in transmission potential?
8) But that is not the case here. When given the chance to infect more kids, the variant dominated within each age group. But it didn’t dominate among adults as much.
9) Someone else said, “oh the data is old in Nov during the first lockdown”. Not entirely—data came from 2020 weeks 46-51 which spans mid Nov to mid Dec. 🇬🇧softer lockdown was Nov-Dec 2nd, harder lockdown was after Dec 19th. So adults were not lockdown (soft or hard) Dec 2-18th.
10) Latest hospital admissions data in England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 — children 5 years old and under is surging. Children 6-17 also elevated. And the pediatric hospitalization curves are increasing faster than adults. Maybe school reopening effect, but kids 0-5 are typically not in formal schools.
11) here is the link to the UK data for England hospitalizations by age above^. HT to @Datagraver for the graph and @adamhamdy for the referral to the data. Data transparency is just as key.
Correction - England (not all of UK) did have a tier 3 restriction from Dec 2nd.
12) To be clear, I did not say it’s precisely “24% more infectious”. I’m saying it could be more infectious—here look at 24% higher numbers [incidence].”

Other experts indeed acknowledge it may turn out to be more infectious in children. Let’s look for more confirmation.

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More from @DrEricDing

4 Jan
BREAKING—UK health minister gives new warning—that the other new South Africa 🇿🇦 #SARSCoV2 strain could be more infectious than even the new UK B117 strain.

🇬🇧 advisor says scientists not fully confident #COVID19 vaccines would work on new 🇿🇦 variant.🧵
aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/4/… Image
2) “I’m incredibly worried about the South African variant, and that’s why we took the action that we did to restrict all flights from South Africa,” Hancock told BBC Radio on Monday.”

“This is a very, very significant problem... it’s even more of a problem than UK new variant.”
3) “ITV network’s political editor, citing an unidentified scientific adviser to the British government, said scientists were not fully confident that COVID-19 vaccines would work on the new South African variant...”
Read 9 tweets
4 Jan
Concerning—Top pandemic expert group @IndependentSage just came out with chilling stern warning:🧵

📍”It is now clear that new variant is substantially more transmissible than earlier variants, by 40-80%.”

📍”Pandemic is now out of control”. #COVID19 independentsage.org/wp-content/upl… Image
2) “This increases the R number by between 0.4 & 0.8– current Tier 4 restrictions are unable to contain its spread, even w/ closure of schools & universities. The pandemic is now out of control, and the NHS is struggling, with some hospitals having to stop non-COVID activities.”
3) “The NHS is no longer being protected. For these reasons, there is a strong argument for maximising the coverage of the population with at least one dose of vaccine, even though this requires a change to the dosage schedule.”
Read 6 tweets
4 Jan
🏫SCHOOLS: 2 critical points:

Question: Are primary schools safe?

➡️Dr Gurdansani:

📌No, they contribute significantly to community transmission.

📌Overwhelming evidence that schools do drive community transmission.

📌Cases in schools are woefully underestimated. #COVID19 🧵 ImageImage
2) Why? Here is what UK’s top expert group @IndependentSage says about kids and transmission risk. Click and open the nested thread 🧵 below 👇
3) if you read the thread 🧵above, you would realize the serious evidence that makes UK govt expert panel say this:

➡️ “Increased transmission occur amongst school children when schools are open, particularly in children of secondary school age.”
Read 4 tweets
4 Jan
NEW YEARS PARTIES—We all all know they broke out, and especially bars and nightclubs in unrestricted states.

➡️This is not going to end well. I’m extremely worried. We know the B117 variant is here in FL.

Let’s take a look at 🇬🇧 & where we are heading. 🧵tampabay.com/news/health/20… Image
2) here are UK cases. It’s almost vertical now. Image
3) here is England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 hospitalizations. Also vertical. Image
Read 6 tweets
4 Jan
BREAKING—U.S. govt is considering giving some people half-dose of Moderna's #COVID19 vaccine in order to speed vaccinations, says Moncef Slaoui, head of Operation Warp Speed, in talks w/ FDA. Bold, but maybe possible—let’s walkthrough the trial data. 🧵
reuters.com/article/us-hea… Image
2) "We know that for the Moderna vaccine, giving half of the dose to people between the ages of 18 and 55, two doses, half the dose, which means exactly achieving the objective of immunizing double the number of people with the doses we have," Slaoui said.
3) “We know it induces identical immune response” to the full dose, he added.

...well, it is true that the full dose and half doses yielded roughly similar immune responses in Phase 1&2 trial/ of the vaccine. Though there are slight caveats. So let’s walk thru that data...
Read 13 tweets
3 Jan
Children & #COVID19—UK 🇬🇧 SAGE expert report speaks for itself.

📌Kids more likely to bring the virus into household than aged 17+

📌Young people 2-16 more likely to be first case in household—age 12-16 are 7x more likely.

📌2-16 year olds more >2x as likely to pass on virus. Image
2) This 🇬🇧 report was done on Dec 17th, released on Dec 31, based on data before Dec 2nd. In other words, before new variant has dominated UK 🇬🇧 in Dec.

Good news is that kids are less susceptible—less likely to contract virus in the household. #COVID19
gov.uk/government/pub… Image
3) As for teachers, it seems positivity % is similar between teachers and other professions. This is neither good, nor bad. It just means teachers are no worse or safer as an occupation. Image
Read 9 tweets

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