🧵The line from Boris Johnson that Europe's Covid wave might come here is *arrant nonsense* - just convenient cover if cases climb this winter.

We've been having this wave ever since end of June.

It's driven here - as elsewhere in Europe - by local context not importation 1/5
National Covid trajectory is determined by combo of:
1. public health measures (masks, ventilation, which venues are open, vax passports, testing, isolation etc) & behaviours,
2. vax rates (inc boosters)
3. levels of prev immunity

If it's spreading, combo not enough. 2/5
England relied basically on 2 since June and it's not been enough. We've now got 2 and (sadly!) 3 & it's still not bring cases down.

E Europe has nowhere near enough 2 (hence high deaths too).

Germany & Austria are lower on 2 and 3. NL, Belgium stopped 1 (esp in schools). 3/5
Spain & Portugal have 1 and v high 2. Spain has high 3 too - Only Spain still doing OK.

But as weather & behaviour changes, you will need to tweak 1 (measures) and increase 2 (vax inc booster) to keep on top of cases. 4/5
We still have among highest covid rates in Europe. Their "wave" is individual to each country's combo of measures, vax & prev immunity.

Assuming no new variant, our winter Covid path depends on us & what WE choose to do as a country.

Do not let the govt pretend otherwise. 5/5

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More from @chrischirp

15 Nov
Quick THREAD on cases & admissions in England & schools...

Cases fell in England for about 2 weeks but started going up again last week.

Some of this increase will reflect more testing again since half term (and positivity rates have fallen a little). 1/9
Reductions were driven by steep drops in school age kids (esp 10-14 yrs), which started week before half term.

Apart from less testing, chains of transmission were broken with continued fall week after half term.

Recent uptick tho, esp 5-9 unvaxxed.

60+ fall, boosters? 2/9
Plausible that 10 days is approx the time it takes for new chains of transmission in school to take hold & drive cases up again. Despite high prev infections.

Leicestershire schools had term & half term week earlier & they are seeing sustained increases in school kids again 3/9
Read 11 tweets
14 Nov
THREAD on child deaths from Covid:

Last week a paper came out reporting 25 deaths in 0-17 yr olds in England from Mar 2020 - Feb 2021.

19 had an underlying health condition prompting headlines like these...

This is my view on child deaths & covid 1/10
Firstly I don't doubt the numbers.

We can compare them directly to ONS weekly death registrations with Covid on death certificate, which come in 5 yr age increments.

Drs doing death certs consider v carefully what are the contributing factors. 2/10

The directly comparable age ranges we have are 0-14 years from ONS and from the paper.

The authors found 16 deaths in 0-14 yr olds from 1 March 2020 - 28 Feb 2021.

For same period, ONS reported 12 deaths. Note that all ONS child deaths in that year were in England. 3/10
Read 12 tweets
8 Nov
THREAD on school learning lost during the pandemic in England:

Summarising this govt report from October - very depressing...
assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/upl… 1/11
The report looked at learning loss in Primary (yrs 4-6) and Secondary (yrs 7-9) school students during pandemic in Reading and Maths (Primary only) using the standardised Star Assessment method which accounts for age.

What did it find? 2/11
Firstly, they assessed loss in Oct 2020 after initial long lockdown & again in July 2021. There was a lot of lost learning initially - and some catch up since so things are better by summer 2021 than they were, but kids have *not* caught up (which would be zero lost months). 3/11
Read 12 tweets
5 Nov
LONG THREAD on UK Covid situation...

cases, hospitals, deaths, long covid, variants, global - all dealing with consistent themes.

TLDR: "living with" with high cases is bad idea. Especially while boosters and teen vax is slow and new viral treatments are on the horizon! 1/25
There was a reduction in both LFD and PCR tests over half term, so take drop in reported cases with a grain of salt over half term.

Cases were flat or dropping in each nation, but apart from NI, PCR positivity was flat or increasing. 2/25
Two weeks ago I said we should see rates in kids fall over half term & that teen vax might put a brake on it too.

So cases started dropping the week *before* half term and accelerated over half term. 3/25
Read 27 tweets
2 Nov
In the JCVI minutes from 29 June, the committe had modelling evidence from TWO groups showing significant benefit in vaccinating teens - including preventing deaths.

They dismissed it.
Two models from Warwick and PHE showed "substantial reduction in hospitalisations of 12-17 year olds". Both models estimated vax would prevent 3 deaths per million kids vaxxed. (2/million in prev healthy children).

Warwick also showed LARGE REDUCTION in INFECTIONS.
The JCVI remained unmoved. They thought opportunity costs (affecting school vax progs) & potential harms from vax (although they earlier acknowledged vax myocarditis was q mild) outweighed benefit (but no numbers to support).

They also touted natural infection as better *again*
Read 9 tweets
29 Oct

TLDR: cases dropping (partly but not wholly a half term effect), but hospital admissions & deaths rising (in England). Vax still not fast enough.

Vaccination: NI v behind on boosters *and* highest rate of unvaxxed.

England v behind still on 12-15 yrs compared to Scotland & Wales. Disappointing. 2/13
In terms of speed, boosters are getting quicker but first jabs (teens) are not (in England).

Projecting forward *current* rates, the teen and priority group booster programme won't be done till Feb.

We need to increase availability *and* demand. 3/13
Read 13 tweets

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