Great questions on #thedrum put to Prof Lewin. She confirms that once we are at 70-80% vaccination, whether we start off with 30 cases, or 100's of cases, we're in essentially the same situation. 'We're catching the same curve, just getting to the peak quicker', to paraphrase.
She's pretty clear on this. @bairdjulia asked the question a few times to confirm.
Re kids: Prof states modelling examined benefits of targeting different population w/vaccinations, and impact on transmission/hosp/deaths. 20-29, big pay off. 12-15's not as much. Affirms they SHOULD be vaccinated. But modelling says it shouldn't impact opening up plans.
'shouldn't' isn't an opinion of Prof Lewin, she's implying that the modelling suggests vaccinating kids wouldn't make a substantial difference to broader transmission/hosp/deaths. (this is not a statement re: harms/benefits to kids though, the discussion continues..)
Sorry, end of thread. Counterbalancing this against harms to kids from opening up is a whole other discussion that they touched on.
Worth mentioning, this contradicts what epidemiologist Tony Blakely said today, saying if you start off with high numbers, contact tracing will be overwhelmed. (ok thread continues)
Nah changed my mind thread over
Worth noting, whether vaccinating kids prior to opening up changes transmission/hosp/deaths is totally seperate to something else - how many kids will get #covid19aus due to opening up at 70-80%. A few factors to consider (yes, thread back on)
Yes, the chances of kids getting severely ill or dying is far, far smaller than that of adults.
But also, law of big numbers - the number of kids getting seriously ill/dying in total could still make many of us all deeply uncomfortable, even if 'small'.
Also, severe illness and death isn't the only thing to be concerned about. Moderate illness can be pretty bad, and require hospitalisation. Number of unvaccinated kids who get mod illness will be much bigger than those severely ill.
As for long covid in kids, another issue that is brought up. Does long covid correlate with the severity of illness? If it's mostly experienced by kids who had severe infection, and very few have severe infection, that's one thing. But is it experienced by kids with mod covid?
I actually don't know the answer for this. I've seen people post links from sources with different views. I don't know because I haven't actually done any reading on this.
Apart from modelling, we should also look at Israel, Singapore and UK. They're all in the ballpark of 65-80% of the entire population being immunised. What's life, death, hospitalisations looking like there? What's the trend? How are kids faring there with covid and life?
No doubt our decisions should be informed by modelling/overseas experience. But it should also be informed by our reality as it unfolds. No point sticking to the plan rigidly if the modelling is contradicted by the situation on the ground.
And yet, it will be hard for leaders to change the targets already set, if things aren't going our way. It won't be popular with a rightly tired and frustrated people.
Bloody hell, this isn't easy, is it? Goodnight.

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More from @drvyom

23 Aug
This is a big claim, right? I'm assuming optimal public health measures here is referring to Test/Trace/Isolate/Quarantine.

If so, it'd be pretty incredible if with 70% vaccination of adults, and no lockdowns, TTIQ holds up well enough to limit infections to 2.7K in 6 months.
I appreciate though that the Reff drops significantly when 70% of people are vaccinated, even though vaccines don't guarantee sterilising immunity.
For real though, if this happens - holy hell, that'd be amazing. I'm just wondering if 'optimal' TTIQ is what we'll see. Which is fine because the modelling gives scenarios for partially effective TTIQ as well
Read 4 tweets
21 Aug
Christian is one of the doctors who looks after people on ventilators 2 km away. This stuff triggers medicos in a way that a lot of people can’t understand.
I’ve told hundreds of people now that they’ve tested positive for Covid. I’ve had to decide when they were tipping over from being mildly unwell, to requiring oxygen in hospital. I’ve had to tell their family members that they’ve gone from being unwell to being critically ill.
Many time when I have these conversations, I witness people experience vulnerability, fear and uncertainty that is well founded.

Seeing maskless protesters spout lies that minimise the harms of this disease feels like a massive insult to the suffering I have witnessed.
Read 4 tweets
21 Jul
Holy fuck. If Vic waited, it would have been game over.
We must hold it together for 3 months. If, I stress, if, we get the outbreaks around Aus under control, we can't risk another. That's playing russian roulette with 5 full chambers. Bolster quarantine chain. Strategically vaccinate, including contacts of quarantine workers
Currently household members of quarantine workers are eligible - not enough. we must reach out to them, incentivise it. Include their social contacts too. Pay them a grand each. Who the fuck cares? Do you know how much we've spent on submarines that don't submarine very well?
Read 9 tweets
21 Jul
If NSW is the only place with numerous unidentified chains of transmission, surely its in the interest of all states to divert majority of vaccines to NSW to end this outbreak? 1-2 mil doses of Pfizer in next month of lockdown could radically change transmission dynamics.
Vic is getting this outbreak under control- what’s the biggest risk after its sorted and lockdowns end? Probably the reservoir of 100s of covid cases across the border. Same for QLD. Same for any state that literally doesn’t have Resident Evil style laser beams at the borders.
There probably is a mathematically optimal point to that balances the benefits of vaccinating nsw to control outbreak vs the benefits to other states from vaccinating their own populations to protect against leaks. point is - the 2 SHOULD be balanced, wherever the sweet spot is.
Read 4 tweets
20 Jul
Lockdown with couple of cases- this is delta life. It’s obvious now- tracing alone can’t RELIABLY control outbreaks. If we somehow avoid permanent seeding of Covid, there’s one way to avoid future lockdowns.

Bolster the shit out of quarantine chain till Aus is highly vaccinated.
Mandate, enforce, audit airborne precautions and vaccination for workers.
Incentivise contacts of quarantine chain workers to get vaccinated with Pfizer. Their families. Their mates.
Big difference between making people eligible, vs actually reaching out and getting it done.
The travel cap has been cut in half and that may help. In the meantime ventilation should be audited regularly with air purifiers to be used widely.
spending a few hundred million means nothing when we are trying to save many lives and billions of dollars per week.
Read 9 tweets
21 Feb
So a few weeks ago, I met someone (not a patient) who said 'Hmm I don't think I'll get the vaccine, I heard it may cause infertility' - (a comprehensively debunked piece of misinformation).

Well, yesterday I overheard him saying something that made me laugh with joy.
That first time we spoke, I asked him where he'd heard this claim of infertility (he couldn't remember). I told him I'd heard something similar too, and looked into it. I told him where the claim originated, and why I didn't believe it. He went 'huh'.
I didn't know for sure if he was persuaded by this. In a way I was too late - two other people I know were now also repeating this false claim. Where did they hear it from? From him. Misinformation was miles in front of truth.
But I also had time - I knew I'd see him frequently.
Read 10 tweets

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