THREAD: Boris Johnson is basically talking bollocks about the 3rd wave in Europe inevitably coming here and he must know it.

It's cynical opportunism to blame any resurgence in England on the European wave. It is frankly absurd. Here's why: 1/6…
The Europe wave is not coming here *because we've already have it*.

Instead, it's taken two months for our "Kent" strain (B117) to spread across the EU and start a new wave there. OLD restrictions work on the OLD strain but NOT Kent. So cases go up as soon it is dominant. 2/6
If cases start steadily going up here it will be for one of two reasons (or both!):

1) As we found out in Dec, OLD mitigations don't work on B117. But opening up with OLD mitigations relying on vaccination to help keep cases down & chaotic mass testing (esp schools). 3/6
2) A new variant starts spreading here (e.g. S Africa or a new one) which can infect vaxxed people -> and so spreads quickly as it can infect way more people than B117 and so out-competes it.

This is real threat of the EU wave - but we CAN IMPOSE QUARANTINE on arrivals. 4/6
It is unbelievable to me that the govt has known for 8+ months that Covid is airborne and done almost nothing to support better ventilation in schools, workplaces, retail, hospitality. Or fixed test & trace & *supported* isolation properly so that we can open up MORE safely. 5/6
So basically, it is entirely on the Govt if we have another wave this summer - not the EU.

This line from Boris today makes me think that he knows his roadmap won't be enough & is preparing his scapegoat.

God forbid they take responsibility for anything ever. 6/6
PS It's on European governments that they ALSO failed to learn the basic pandemic lessons and sat around while B117 spread over the past few months.

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More from @chrischirp

24 Mar
I've been looking at latest English data by age.

Cases in school age children are definitely going up while other age groups are flat or falling (slowly).

Some of this increase is undoubtedly because of mass lateral flow device testing rolled out to schools. But NOT all. 1/7 Image
*Primary* school age kids are *not* getting routinely tested - tests are still symptom based. We see little change in cases week of 8th March but we start seeing quite rapid increase 14th March onwards.

This is consistent with increased spread since schools opened. 2/7
*Secondary* school age cases started going up around 8 March - when mass testing started.

But if it was *only* mass testing, then you'd expect cases to flatten the next week (15th March onwards), as similar number of LFDs done both weeks.

But cases keep going up. 3/7
Read 7 tweets
20 Mar
Many headlines today about Europe's third wave, what it means for us and, in particular, international travel.…

Some thoughts about what it means... 1/11
Firstly, the current increases in Europe are because B117 (the Kent strain) has become dominant there - move than 70% in Denmark, NL, 50-70% in France, Belgium, Itlay, Germany & Austria. 2/11
As with us in Dec, they didn't act decisively to stop its spread - instead they've been in semi-restrictions (similar to our tier 3) - enough to bring *down* cases of old variant but not enough to stop B117.

B117 was only 5-10% in EU early Feb 3/11
Read 12 tweets
20 Mar

It's now 4 weeks since Scotland & Wales started a phased return to primary schools (secondary schools went back last week) & 2 weeks since all schools in England went back.

What is happening? 1/15
First let's look at Wales. They started sending young kids back to nursery and primary schools 22nd Feb. Older primary school kids & secondary school went back last week.

Wales publish new Covid incidents in schools - and (unsurprisingly) incidents are increasing. 2/15
Secondly, Scotland. There we have case data by age.

Primary school kids only get a test if they get symptoms. School staff can get tested without symptoms if they want. All positive cases from lateral flow device tests (LFDs) are PCR confirmed.

Testing has stayed flat. 3/15
Read 18 tweets
20 Mar
THREAD on vaccine effectiveness:

Public Health England released its updated report on real world effectiveness of Pfizer & AZ in England this week.…

I thought would be helpful to explain what they found...

TLDR: pretty good! 1/9
Firstly, both vaccines work almost equally well, so going to treat them as one in below.

Secondly, will focus on effect of ONE dose in OVER 80 year olds (most data!).

Effectiveness is higher in younger people and after second dose. 2/9
Right, so let's consider two lots of over 80s - 100,000 people in each group.

One group is unvaccinated and the other is more than two weeks out from their first dose.

(There seems very little real world protection for first two weeks after vaccination!!) 3/9
Read 10 tweets
17 Mar
THREAD on vaccination slowdown story:

TLDR: Don't panic!

Tonight a reduction is vaccine supply is being widely reported leading to a pause in rolling out vaccination to the under 50's...… 1/5
Basically, we gave about 11 million people their first dose mid Jan - mid Feb. They need their 2nd dose by end April.

We've been vaxxing about 2.5m/wk last few weeks, but let's say vax supply drops to about 2m/wk for April. Then we need ALL those doses to honour 2nd doses. 2/5
Once most of those are done, we can start rolling out vaccination to new people again (adults under 50) in May.

Assuming we can ramp up to 3.5m/wk from May, we can still offer everyone a 1st dose by mid July. 3/5
Read 6 tweets
17 Mar
THREAD on schools in England so far & what next:

A few million people already do Lateral Flow Device tests (LFDs) for work each week.

On 8th March schools reopened and secondary school students were asked to 3 LFDs at school - 2 last week and 1 early this week.
People with symptoms of Covid continue to get a single PCR tests.

People who test positive after taking LFDs at *home* or for health & care work can also get a PCR test to confirm the result.

People taking LFDs at work, at school or in a test centre do NOT get confirmatory PCR
IMPORTANT: PCR test results take a while to come through, so we can only ever use positive results from 4 or more days ago.

LFD test results report immediately, and so, where there is no confirmatory PCR, we can use test results up to yesterday.
Read 12 tweets

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