If a journalist came to me and asked me to give a comment on the technicalities of heart surgery, the complexities of recovering patients from myocardial infarction, how to run an intensive care unit, or other such like medical doctor things, I would politely decline.
I'm sure the vast majority of virologists/immunologists/ID experts/people with a degree in biology would appreciate it if certain medical doctors/political commentators did the same when asked to give comments on SARS-CoV-2 variants and vaccine escape...
I guess the most obvious follow up is, why are 'journalists' going to general medical doctors for comments on variants/viral evolution/immunology anyway...?
Naa OK, we now have the actual 'Newspaper' arguing with an actual (distinguished) virologist about viral mutations and vaccine escape - @Twitter, I'm out! 😂

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More from @ScienceShared

29 Apr





























Read 4 tweets
27 Apr
A recent letter was widely criticised.

While I am no fan of *some* of the signatories & their stances during the pandemic, nefarious connections or not, and I don't personally agree with the letter in its entirety...
I'm unsure if the actual content of the letter was quite so controversial as many are making out.

See the link here (bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episod…) at 18 minutes in for @jackiecassell thoughts on why vaccination means we should at least re-consider *how* we are doing public health.
Consent and support are far more desirable (and imo optimal) than restrictions and police enforcement.

At some point we will go back to public health by consent, at least I very much hope so. Whether that time is today, June 21st, or next year is of course worthy of debate.
Read 8 tweets
14 Apr
"Implementation of staff and visitor care home LFD testing protocols was poorly adhered to and did not reduce the number or scale of COVID-19 outbreaks. More focus is needed on the contextual and behavioural factors that influence protocol adherence."

A very important (and quality imo) study, highlighting the complexities of LFD implementation, especially in vulnerable environments and when resources and time are tight, and work burden is already significant.
I stress the authors conclusions - "More focus is needed on the contextual and behavioural factors that influence protocol adherence."
Read 7 tweets
6 Apr
A pretty great thread summarising medical/public health interventions which sounded logical and like the obvious thing to do, but RCTs showed they weren't.

Nice @lancet article on screening linked here also.

And a short thread...
thelancet.com/journals/lanep… Image
"The history of screening is already replete with examples where at best more good could have been done, & at worst unnecessary harm was caused, because an overenthusiastic belief that more testing is always better led to unwillingness to allow critical appraisal of programmes."
We cannot be sure that mass testing is a net-positive PH intervention.

I believe it can be, but it is hugely complex - even a well-designed RCT would struggle to cover everything.

But, we are in a pandemic, & so acting without near-certain evidence is completely justified.
Read 10 tweets
5 Apr
However optimistic or pessimistic one is about mass testing, one thing is clear to me - Offering bi-weekly asymptomatic testing to the whole population without national communication on, and a testing stream for, the wider symptoms of COVID-19 is incoherent.

Secondly, offering mass asymptomatic testing without providing support to isolate is not only incoherent and ineffective, but it is also probably unethical.

Lack of support will significantly limit test uptake and general engagement with TTI.


The most disadvantaged communities, who have been hit hardest by the virus and the restrictions, continue to have the highest rates and the lowest test uptake and engagement with TTI.


Read 11 tweets
22 Feb
Re-opening schools & increasing wider social activity is going to increase transmission, & possibly may push R above 1.

This may lead to a surge in younger people (including in many over 50s), poss leading to great stress on NHS again.

We are not at all out of the woods yet.
Understandably, everyone is focussed on what date they can see their friends & family, get their kids back in school, or do x activity again.

But more important than lifting or imposing restrictions for sustainable pandemic control is proper Public Health policies & resources.
Rather than just asking about restrictions (or the lifting of them), it is important to continue asking about resources...

We can't just rely on vaccination alone - coverage is not nearly high enough to prevent a sig surge.

So what resources are government going to provide...?
Read 8 tweets

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