"South Africa and Botswana’s efficient surveillance, early detection, and warning, and sharing of information have granted the world precious time. Time to implement containment measures and time to prepare”, @DrRHatchett just told the special session of the World Health Assembly
@DrRHatchett "Our industry partners are now intensively investigating whether our current vaccines have been compromised and consulting with regulators and @WHO as they develop new ones just in case."
@DrRHatchett @WHO Hatchett also talked about the origins of #omicron:
"the emergence of the Omicron variant has fulfilled, in a precise way, the predictions of the scientists who warned that the elevated transmission of the virus in areas with limited access to vaccine would speed its evolution."
@DrRHatchett @WHO "Having fully vaccinated less than a quarter of their populations, Botswana and South Africa provided a fertile environment for such evolution. The virus is a ruthless opportunist; and the inequity that has characterized the global response has now come home to roost."
@DrRHatchett @WHO I agree with the point in the first two tweets, but have issues with the last two:
1. It suggests a certainty about #omicron and how it evolved that we just don’t have.
2. For instance, we cannot be sure where it actually emerged yet.
3. And we don’t know yet how/why it emerged.
@DrRHatchett @WHO 4. If we’re going to be careful about stating clearly what we know and don’t know, we should also be careful about not blaming vaccine inequity. A variant could well arise in Germany now given high virus circulation in a partially vaccinated population.
@DrRHatchett @WHO 5. Vaccine inequity is wrong! But that does not depend on whether it ends up leading to variants that come back to haunt us or not.
It is wrong because it is morally wrong. It is unfair, it is unjust and yes, it is stupid because it will prolong this pandemic.
@DrRHatchett @WHO My larger point is this:
We have to communicate honestly and clearly what we know and what we don’t know. And we can’t just set that aside when something presents an easy way to make an argument for something we know to eb right for different reasons.

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More from @kakape

29 Nov
"Aus unterschiedlichen, unabhängigen Modellen zeigt sich, dass bei Impf- und Boosterraten von 1-2 % der Bevölkerung pro Tag die Spitzenwerte der 7-Tages-Inzidenz der aktuellen Welle im Dezember erreicht werden”, schreiben @ViolaPriesemann und andere in einer neuen Stellungnahme.
@ViolaPriesemann "Aus der Prognose der Spitzenwerte folgt, dass die Spitzenbelastung in der Intensivmedizin für Ende Dezember-Mitte Januar erwartet wird. Für diese vulnerable Phase müssen die Krankenhäuser maximale Unterstützung erfahren."
@ViolaPriesemann Die Autoren legen dar, welche Maßnahmen aus ihrer Sicht jetzt in allen Bundesländern nötig sind:
- Impfen
- Homeoffice und 3G am Arbeitsplatz konsequent umsetzen
- Große Veranstaltungen aussetzen oder reduzieren
- 2G+ in Bars, Restaurants etc
- Testen und Lüften in Schulen...
Read 9 tweets
28 Nov
Update from @WHO on #omicron:

Transmissibility: “It is not yet clear…”

Severity of disease: “It is not yet clear…”

Immunity: “Preliminary evidence suggests there may be an increased risk of reinfection…

vaccines: “WHO is working … to understand the potential impact"
@WHO Entire update is here:

@WHO "There is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with #Omicron are different from those from other variants. Initial reported infections were among university studies—younger individuals who tend to have more mild disease…"
Read 4 tweets
27 Nov
I think what many people do not appreciate is just how uncertain even scientists are right now. I’ve talked to more than a dozen researchers in the last 24 hours about #omicron, many of them several times.
And their assessment is shifting too as new bits of information come in.
Imagine you’re doing a puzzle not knowing what the final picture will be and all you have are a few pieces. In the beginning every new piece can change your mind: It’s a picture of the sky. No, wait the sea. Oh, a ship…
And some pieces may not even belong to this puzzle...
As Kristian Andersen told me today: “You get sort of like little little bits and pieces of data, right? But you know that you can't trust any of it with any sort of confidence. So it's like: Well, do you trust this more or do you trust that more?”
Read 4 tweets
27 Nov
Die @Leopoldina hat gerade eine Stellungnahme veröffentlicht. Sie fordert:
- die Einführung einer Impfpflicht
- neue Maßnahmen, um Kontakte zu reduzieren (eine Art Lockdown light oder strikte, sanktionierte 2G-Regelung)
- Maskenpflicht und Tests an Schulen
@Leopoldina Die Stellungnahme ist kurz und ich würde mir wünschen, dass jeder (besonders jeder Politiker) sie liest.

Geht schon bei der Vorbemerkung los:
"Es ist zu befürchten, dass Teile der Politik und Öffentlichkeit die Dramatik der Situation nicht in ihrem vollen Ausmaß erfassen.”
@Leopoldina Zum Impfen:
- Mehr Berufsgruppen mit impfen lassen
- Impfzentren wieder auf (mit langen Öffnungszeiten)
- mehr “aufsuchende Impfangebote”
- Impfpflicht für Ärzte, Pfleger, etc
- Vorbereitung einer allgemeinen Impfpflicht
Read 8 tweets
27 Nov
The uncertainty around #omicron is stressful and uncomfortable.

But one reason we have so little to go on, is that this variant was identified very early. The earlier we find new variants, the less time they have had to show us what they do in the real world - and that’s good.
This is why we need to make sure that the tools for early detection and sequencing of variants are available everywhere around the globe.
And it is why we should be thankful for the stellar work scientists in South Africa have done in the last days, weeks and months.
Announcing something like this very early also carries a risk and scientists have to be willing to take that risk. I chatted with @Tuliodna last night and he said: "One thing that this pandemic taught us is that acting fast is key."
Read 8 tweets
26 Nov
“The overall level of risk for the EU/EEA associated with the SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron is assessed as HIGH to VERY HIGH”, says new @ECDC_EU
risk assessment of #Omicron.

It’s here:
@ECDC_EU "There is considerable uncertainty related to the transmissibility, vaccine effectiveness, risk for reinfections and other properties of the Omicron variant...
@ECDC_EU "However, given its immune escape potential and potentially increased transmissibility advantage compared to Delta, we assess the probability of further introduction and community spread in the EU/EEA as HIGH..
Read 6 tweets

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