Hard to think of a better argument against England’s *Plan B* than Ireland’s situation.
They have had vax passports for months, v high vax rates & never-ending mask laws.
This has done nothing to stop case rates rising hugely over the past few weeks, now well above England* …

Using % positivity to control for higher UK testing makes for an even starker comparison.

Rather than questioning whether vaccine passports & mask laws are actually effective, there are suggestions ROI may go for even stricter vax passports. You really couldn’t make it up ...
As always, cases will come down in Ireland irrespective of whether or not they go for tighter restrictions, just as they have recently in England.

Politicians everywhere seem remarkably resistant to learning lessons from the past 18 months.
*Note: the graphs compare Ireland to the whole of the UK. England-only positive test rates & % are even lower.
Also note: to their credit & unlike England, Ireland have not (yet at least) sunk so low as to sack unvaccinated care or health workers.

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More from @cricketwyvern

11 Nov
The latest @UKHSA Vaccine Surveillance shows 78% of infections in working age adults (18-59) occurred in the fully vaccinated.

Estimated take up for this age group is between 70% (using NIMS population estimates) & 81% (using ONS) ...
Remember NIMS probably understates take up overall whilst ONS probably overstates (may be different for some ages).

So at best, vaccinated are currently testing positive at only a slightly lower rate than unvaccinated, but quite possibly higher ...
Remember also that care home workers manage risks to residents by isolating when symptomatic and regular testing.

How on earth can Govt continue to claim that sacking unvaccinated carers makes things safer for residents?
Read 4 tweets
3 Nov
A reminder why there will be little or no benefit on infection from sacking unvaccinated carers.

89% of care workers in elderly care homes are already double vaccinated. Many of remaining 11% will have been previously infected so high level of immunity …england.nhs.uk/statistics/sta…

Even if the small % who are unvaxed & not previously infected have a higher risk of infection, they still take other control measures, e.g. isolating if symptomatic & regular testing. Any marginal additional risk reduction from sacking unvaccinated will be tiny.
But …

whether vaccinated are actually at less risk of getting infected unclear. We know there is significant waning of effectiveness against infection. Results vary, but some studies conclude VE goes to zero after as little as 4 months for AZ, 7 for Pfizer …
Read 6 tweets
27 Oct
About this article by @whippletom on HSA surveillance data:
Using the NIMS population may underestimate unvaccinated case rates, but the data still raise serious questions about real world vaccine effectiveness which need investigating not dismissing …thetimes.co.uk/article/corona…

If we look at age 18-59 (most affected by vaccine mandates), HSA data suggest vaccinated case rate is 58% higher than unvaccinated.

Using the alternative ONS population estimates, rate amongst vaccinated is lower but only by 27%.
The true value will be somewhere in between …

On the face of it, those data are devastating for the case for vaccine mandates.

Rather than criticising @UKHSA for publishing data, far better to try to work out what is going on.

And rather than lobbying for the info to be suppressed, why not push for even more data? …
Read 5 tweets
22 Oct
The latest Public Health England Vaccine Surveillance report is very striking.

They report 80% of adult *cases* in past 4 weeks were fully vaccinated, up from 56% in 9 Sept report.

That doesn’t necessarily mean vaccinated are testing positive at a higher *rate* ...

PHE report adult rates are 40% higher amongst vaccinated overall: higher for all ages >29 & more than double for 40-79 year olds.

But PHE use NIMS population estimates which probably overestimate population meaning PHE unvaccinated case rate may be too low ...

The alternative is ONS population which has the opposite problem (i.e. unvaccinated rates using this may be too high). The true rate is probably somewhere in between.

Here are the case rates & implied vaccine effectiveness (VE) using NIMS & ONS population denominators …
Read 13 tweets
21 Oct
It’s not libertarian to think that a Govt forcing people to do something like wear masks for everyday activities under threat of criminal sanction should have strong evidence that:
a. there will be significant benefits
b. those benefits are large enough to outweigh costs

the evidence on the effectiveness of mask mandates is weak & conflicting whilst the real world experience of countries/states introducing mandates makes clear that, if there is some marginal benefit, it is not big enough to be observed in the raw data @ianmSC

On the other side, cost of mask mandates is not zero.
Masks are not free, but we can't look only at economic costs. Also:
• environmental costs of disposal
• discomfort (& for a minority, serious distress)
• barriers to communication
• impact on child development
Read 4 tweets
19 Oct
Lots of people that, as our case numbers & deaths are particularly high relative to the rest of Europe, England needs to reimpose restrictions & compulsory masks & start vaccine passports.
It’s a strange take …

Confirmed positive tests are currently relatively high in England but they are by no means the highest in Europe.

Further, high cases are partly explained by mass testing. Testing rates in England currently 9 x Spain, 8 x Germany, 2 x France or Italy.

And crucially …

deaths are actually about half the European average & just below the EU average

(note graph is from Our World in Data graph which shows the UK as a whole. Rates in England currently even lower) …
Read 7 tweets

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