THREAD on Child Vax:
Interviewed on @BBCNews about the JCVI decision not to vaccinate 12-15 year olds.
This was my initial reaction - that it was out of step with most other similar countries. And that they do not seem to have considered long covid at all. 1/6
@BBCNews I explained that many more kids would now get covid who didn't need to, causing more education disruption, more illness and more transmission. 2/6
I also said that it just wasn't good enough to say things were finely balanced - we needed to see evidence behind their decision. 3/6
At about the same time, JCVI did publish their reasoning. It is very very sparse. BUT they *do* find overall benefit in averted hospitalisations & ICU admissions!
(even if they don't show the working behind their calculations) 4/6

gov.uk/government/pub…
Myocarditis impact from covid is not considered BUT they assume 93 hospitalisations/million averted compared to between 12-34 cases of myocarditis from vaccines.

Long covid *isn't even mentioned*. Long term impacts of covid on the brain and other organs *are not mentioned*. 5/6
Finally, I don't think this is transparent enough to support such an outlier decision. They published / cited far more careful analysis in determining their original vaccine priority groups and delaying the 2nd dose (both decisions I supported). They must do that now too. 6/6
PS Please listen to Meir Ruben who advises Israeli government talking today about the really high number of infections in kids there right now. And *pleading* with govts to vaccinate their children.

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More from @chrischirp

15 Sep
THREAD: Was on @BBCNews earlier discussing yesterday's SAGE consensus statement particularly their advice that relatively minor measures could prevent a big autumn surge

assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/upl… 1/4 Image
Almost a year ago SAGE advised a 2 week circuit break - we don't need that now with vax BUT we do need *something* in addition to the vaccines.
Alongside masks & some continued homeworking, there are clear things we could do that will help that are NOT RESTRICTIVE AT ALL 2/4
The government plan B does not say what "unsustainable pressure" on the NHS is... but the NHS is already extremely stretched and understaffed - and people are exhausted.

25% of current ICU beds are already Covid patients. We need to protect our NHS not keep piling more on. 3/4
Read 4 tweets
14 Sep
THREAD on latest PHE report on vaccine waning (and need for boosters):

Important new report from @PHE_uk on vaccine waning by age and at risk status - basically yes there's waning, but still good protection against severe disease for most people. 1/9
Firstly, protection against symptomatic infection starts waning against Delta (orange) about 10 weeks after 2nd dose (70 days).

Waning with both vax, but AZ starts and ends with lower protection. 2/9
Protection against hospitalisation is much higher and stays stronger - particularly for Pfizer. Some waning in AZ from about 20 weeks (5 months/140 days) after dose 2 but even so efficacy remains at about 80% for AZ after 20 weeks 3/9
Read 10 tweets
10 Sep
QUICK THREAD on UK covid situation...

Cases in the UK are going up. We've had high cases for several months now - over 2.7 million confirmed cases since Delta took over in mid May. And no sign of coming down any time soon. 1/9
By nation, Scotland has by far highest rates right now (800/100K people/week). Then come NI & Wales - but NI is decreasing & Wales increasing. Plus Wales has v high positivity rates - that's bad.
England is flattest & lowest right now. Everywhere way higher than year ago. 2/9
Geographically we can see the high numbers in Scotland, NI and Wales. In England cases are highest in the North and parts of Midlands (again), and the SW. English cases flat in adults but rising steeply in under 20s... 3/9
Read 9 tweets
9 Sep
THREAD on Scotland, cases, schools and hospitals:

TLDR: cases *and* hospitalisations in kids are much much higher than they've ever been.

13% of children are off school (for any reason).

England likely to follow suit... Protect schools. 1/7
Schools in Scotland were back by 19 Aug. Scotland moved to its final level of opening on 9 Aug.

Cases in 15-19 year olds shot up week after 9th & carried on increasing after 19th. Most recent week has seen a fall.

Cases 2x previous peak in July and 6x high than Jan peak. 2/7
Of course, many 15-19 year olds are not in school tho.
Looking at Under 15s, we see rise in cases in summer term, drop over holidays and then they have shot up this term. 5x higher than July peak. Last week plateaued... 3/7
Read 11 tweets
8 Sep
THREAD on what other countries are doing in terms of vaccinating 12-17 children... who's doing it and why?

TLDR: UK one one of the v few high income countries left that isn't 1/20
Almost first off the block in vaccinating 12-17 yr olds were USA and Canada in May.

Canada emphasises the importance of vax to protect kids from acute Covid, prevent long term impacts from covid (eg long covid) and reduce transmission to others.

canada.ca/en/public-heal… 2/20
US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published a risk benefit analysis, projecting forwards for 120 days using May case rates & estimating how many infections, hospitalisations, deaths were prevented vs new harms from myocarditis. 3/20
Read 21 tweets
4 Sep
THREAD on how to make schools and workplaces safer - inc *three* @IndependentSage reports!

1. late November, cases in school age children were high and rising and we released an urgent plan for safer schools with the Eagle Group for Education.
2. Almost a year later and cases in school age children are much higher than they were then. End of last term, they were higher than ever. Currently rising again and school has just started.
3. Most of the suggestions were never implemented. We believe they are still highly relevant and incredibly important with the rise of Delta and minimal Child vax.

Here are the key principle. The actual document has much more detail!
Read 13 tweets

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