Quick mini-thread on the Seychelles:

There has been a surge in cases in the last few days, but as we’ve often seen lately, when you dig beneath the surface this is consistent with the vaccines working as advertised.
• More than half of people in the Seychelles are fully vaccinated. The rest are mostly unvaccinated (very few with just one dose)
• But only one-third of active cases there have been vaccinated
• So that means the unvaccinated are roughly twice as likely as the vaccinated to have been infected, which is completely in-line with the 50% efficacy reported for Sinovac (the main vaccine in use in the Seychelles)
• Good news is, those same Sinovac trials found 84% efficacy at preventing cases that went on to require medical intervention, and for preventing severe Covid efficacy was even higher
• So among the ~333 cases who’ve had both doses, the vaccine should keep most out of hospital
All of which is to say:
• Yes, the virus can still come back even where most have been vaxxed
• But it comes back stronger among those who haven’t
• High-efficacy vaccines work even better in this regard
• But even Sinovac still offers good protection against severe disease
*edit: Sinopharm, not Sinovac

• • •

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More from @jburnmurdoch

7 May
NEW: time for a proper thread on B.1.617.2, the subtype of the Indian variant that has been moved to "variant of concern" today by Public Health England.

First, it’s clear case numbers from this lineage are growing faster than other imported variants have done in the UK. Image
Here’s the same thing on a logit scale (HT @trvrb), which makes it easier to compare growth rates.

As we can see, B.1.617.2 is on a fairly steady upward trajectory, which other variants failed to achieve. Image
So we know its trajectory looks different to the other imported variants, but that doesn’t tell us enough. We need a better benchmark: how does its growth compare to B.1.1.7 at the same stage of its emergence?

Remarkably similar, it turns out: Image
Read 19 tweets
4 May
Brief thread on vaccines vs variants (vaccines are winning 💉💪):

[Some] people keep pointing to rising cases in places like Chile and Canada as evidence that the vaccines aren’t working.

That’s completely contradicted by the data coming out of those countries
First, an update from Chile, where cases, ICU admissions and deaths are now all falling among the elderly, who were prioritised for vaccination (while still rising or stable among younger, less-vaccinated groups).
Chile is one of the clearest examples worldwide:
• Rates were on exactly the same path among young & old before vaccines
• They then diverged, with the elderly (💉) faring better
• If deaths among 70+ had stayed on the same path as the 0-59s, 1,500 more people would have died
Read 15 tweets
1 May
Brief interlude from Covid content today

I recently decided work wasn't busy enough (lol) and set out to build a garden table from scratch. Easily one of the most rewarding things I've done.

Here's a step-by-step, starting with ~60m of wood arriving, too big to bring indoors 😅
So the race was on to cut the wood small enough to bring inside before any rain.

Lots of sawing, some with a circular saw until neighbours complained (not unreasonably), and then hand-saw for the rest.

Super useful tool here for calculating cuts: kurraglenindustries.com.au/linear-cutting…
With everything cut to size, next step was sanding down all edges to make sure nobody would sit on a splinter.

Unfortunately the electric sander also proved unpopular with neighbours, so I hand-sanded 40-odd planks 😅

Then it was a case of waiting for optimal painting weather.
Read 12 tweets
21 Apr
NEW thread: here’s the latest data on how vaccines are fighting Covid.

My India tweets earlier were grim, but these are more optimistic

Vaccines are working in the UK ✅, working in the US ✅, and contrary to alarmist reports, they’re working in Chile ✅ ft.com/content/d71729…
First, some more detail on the UK.

Cases, hospital admissions and deaths have fallen steeply among all groups (the 'restrictions effect'), but have fallen furthest and fastest among the older, most-vaccinated groups (vaccine effect).
(For anyone wondering why the UK deaths lines are getting bumpy, that’s a good thing:

The numbers are now so small — 20 Covid deaths per day — that random variation starts making things look noisy)
Read 17 tweets
21 Apr
NEW: a deep-dive into the situation in India, where a devastating second wave is overwhelming hospitals and crematoriums, eclipsing global records as it goes ft.com/content/683914…

250,000 new cases every day, and test positivity is soaring suggesting many are still missed
To put this into a global context, much has been made of the resurgences in Europe and North America over recent weeks, but India’s wave has accelerated straight past all of them.

The situation there really is beyond what we’re seeing anywhere else worldwide.
In many parts of the country including the capital Delhi, cases are doubling every five days. Compared to the steady rise seen in the first wave last year, the current climbs are almost vertical.
Read 10 tweets
16 Apr
NEW: the variant thought to be responsible for fuelling India’s grim second wave (B.1.617) has been found in the UK, and numbers are rising relatively quickly in Britain.

Story from @AnnaSophieGross & @JasmineCC_95 ft.com/content/a55eb7…

Quick thread on caveats:
1) Numbers are very small (<100 sequenced cases so far), which means random variation and patterns in testing can play an outsized role in driving the overall trajectory.

We can see this with the Brazilian and South African variants, whose trends are anything but established.
2) We have vaccines now, so key question is not just "is B.1.617 spreading fast?", it’s also "do the vaccines work as well on B.1.617 as they do on B.1.1.7?"

We don’t know the answer to that yet, but with vaccinations rolling out in India, I suspect we’ll start to find out soon.
Read 7 tweets

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