I wonder if the German health authorities will now reassess their decision to not give AZ vaccine to under 65s, thus sending a signal to their citizens that the AZ vaccine was less effective. A signal which has depressed take up. This was presented as "prudent" at the time.
Illustrates how default bureaucratic patterns of risk assessment can go horribly wrong in a high uncertainty pandemic environment. Yes, it probably is "prudent" to wait for more data in normal circs.
But if, with a pandemic raging, you signal to citizens that something is less effective and safe, and they respond (understandably) with greater vaccine hesitatancy/refusal, then you put lots of extra people at risk, for longer. That is the *less* prudent choice.
Should read "not give AZ to over 65s" or "only give AZ to undewr 65s" in first tweet. Sorry!
I remember when this decision was made a lot of people defended it by saying if subsequent data on AZ showed low efficacy this would be bad for public acceptance of the vaccine.

What they neglected was to consider the effect of their "prudent" restrictions on the same outcome.
If you say to your populace "oh, this is safe and effective, but only if you're under 65" - and regardless of caveats, that's what they'll hear - you should not be surprised when 60 or 50 or 40 year olds go "no thanks I'll wait for the other one".
In addition, I hope President Macron will now make a public statement fully retracting his previous nonsense re: this vaccine, nonsense which may end up needlessly increasing French deaths from COVID when all is said and done.
For example, this report on Germans rejecting AZ vaccine. Their government's "prudent" public health messaging has increased the risk they all face, by encouraging this behaviour:

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More from @robfordmancs

23 Feb
What's remarkable about this "banned list" - much cited by those claiming a free speech crisis - is how most of the events on the list either (a) do not involve a ban and/or (b) do not involve activities/decisions of unis or other academics:

This is why the detail matters - this list is cited in the Policy Exchange report now used by the govt as a "list of no-platforming and other academic controversies", with the claim it shows a rising trend of such instances. So it matters if many are nothing of the sort.
And many aren't:
Clark, Feb 2021 - not banned, and critics not academics or institutional
Phelps, Feb 2021 - not banned, cancelled due to a controversy not relating to fellow academics or the institution
Todd, Feb 2021 - not banned, and critics not academics or institutional
Read 22 tweets
21 Feb
“Unless you criticise everyone your motives for criticising anyone are suspect” is really not a v strong argument on its merits. Even less so from a self-appointed “academic free speech champion” seeking to marginalise critics seeking to hold someone to act for making things up
I anticipated yesterday that Kaufmann and Goodwin would behave like this - it is unfortunately a long established pattern of behaviour with both of them.
I previously responded to the libel of which I am again one of the evident targets a few days ago. Readers should be aware that when others behaves to Goodwin as he behaves to them, the result is angry emails invoking legal threats. “Do as I say not as I do”
Read 7 tweets
18 Feb
Two things can be true at once:
1. There is an issue with hostility some academics have faced on some issues
2. Another academic who himself uses threats of legal action to bully colleagues into silence is not a good faith champion of the free speech cause
I have kept quiet about Matthew's recent outpourings on here but as my estwhile co-author has now seen fit to portray me as an enabler of oppression I think I have a right to reply. So I will.
I consider Matthew to be a colleague and a friend, and we had a longstanding agreement not to engage in disputes on twitter. I disagree with much in the article @UOzkirimli wrote on his research in @openDemocracy but I strongly support his right to express such critical views
Read 15 tweets
18 Feb
One of the authors of the Policy Exchange report on academic free speech thinks it is "ridiculous" to expect him to accurately portray an incident at Cardiff University in his study, both in the reporting and in a question put to a student sample.
Here is the incident Kaufmann incorporated into his study, as told by a Cardiff professor who was there. As you can see, the incident involved the university intervening to *uphold* free speech principles:
Here is the first mention of the Greer at Cardiff incident in Kaufmann's report. It refers to the "concrete case" of the "no-platforming of Germaine Greer". Any reasonable reader would assume that refers to an incident of no-platforming instead of its opposite.
Read 18 tweets
16 Feb
So much of this is just name recognition. Top 3 are "guy who was universally argued over President until one month ago, whose impeachment trial literally just finished" "guy who was vice President until one month ago" and "guy whose name is 99% same as former President".
All the others are people most respondents will have little/no opinion on, if they've even heard of them at all. And even the opinions they *have* will primarily be seen through the lens of their views about the recently departed President.
tl;dr WTF is the point of polls like this, and even more so WTF is the point of articles claiming polls like this tell us something
Read 4 tweets
15 Feb
It is a truth universally acknowledged that once people are home owners preventing other people moving in or building houses near them shoots to the top of their hierarchy of political priorities
Be interested to know how many political abs economic outcomes can be explained by the degree to which political institutions are captured by the Universal NIMBY impulse
Read 4 tweets

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