Jeremy Farrar Profile picture
Director of the Wellcome Trust (@WellcomeTrust).
LittleGravitas 🇪🇺 💙 #FBPE, #FBPA, #FBPR Profile picture Dr Giridhara R Babu Profile picture Debora MacKenzie Profile picture maartengruijters Profile picture Mark Kenny Profile picture 8 added to My Authors
1 May
Two pandemics: as we ease up, virus sweeps the world…
While in some parts of the world it is easy to hope the worst is almost over, Covid-19 is now charting a catastrophic course globally. The world ignores the unfolding disaster at its peril.
“No-one,either individual country or through collective global leadership, is acting on scale needed right now. Public health & humanitarian crises are escalating not only in India but many part of South Asia,Central & South America & Middle East & at grave risk spreading further
Read 18 tweets
29 Apr
Time for the unfolding global crisis to be discussed & immediate collective action at the @UN Security Council. The public health & humanitarian crisis in India will not stop at the borders & risks a regional & global wider catastrophe.…
The pandemic is increasing in scale & impact in multiple regions, very fragile health systems, recent conflict, millions of displaced people - we are watching a regional & potential global public health & humanitarian disaster unfold.…
The situation in many regions is worse than awful, the health system has collapsed or is in imminent danger of collapse and with it sectors of society, the situation in parts of middle east are heading in the same direction.
Read 8 tweets
21 Apr
News reports are chilling as the pandemic continues to expand globally. This may seem far away, almost abstract in countries where transmission is now lower & vaccine available & equitably accessible. Reality is very different in many parts of the world.…
This very personal experience was shared by a friend today. It brings home the reality of the global situation and the impact of continued transmission and an inequitable access to vaccines.
“My dad told me that in our village - 12 people died Covid related deaths over the weekend. Those are the ones we know of. Today my uncle died - my dad’s brother. He is the 5th member of my immediate and extended family to die in the last few months."
Read 9 tweets
12 Apr
A chilling headline but realistic and honest assessment from @WHO. The only way to change this is to combine all the tools - Public Health, Diagnostics, Treatment, O2, PPE & Vaccines. But will only work if these tools are equitably available everywhere.…
Very small group countries can make this happen globally. Pandemic will continue if those countries who can do not share all tools. New variants will arise-it is enlightened self-interest,needs political leadership, an economic imperative as well as scientific, public health wise
History will not be kind on those who chose not to share, who created a world of have & have nots, of growing inequality - and a protracted pandemic in which new variants arise and spread. We face a choice. What sort of world do we want?
Read 6 tweets
9 Apr
Clinical syndrome rare blood clots temporally associated vaccination but not proven to be causally related must be taken seriously & investigated with an open mind.…
Meanwhile follow guidance of independent regulators @MHRAgovuk @EMA_News @WHO who in my view rightly recommend continued vaccine use in all adults
A hypothesis to be tested with studies & data. The rare clinical syndrome temporally related to vaccination is remarkably similar to a clinical syndrome of central venous thrombosis seen after SARS-COV2 infection reported in multiple case reports & series…
Read 7 tweets
18 Feb
Audio Interview: Viral Variants and Covid-19 | NEJM…
During the discussion I was reminded of another podcast from May 2019 @NEJM - Haunting to listen to now "Emergence & spread of new infectious diseases and ensuring swift, coordinated action in the face of threats."…
And the accompanying editorial "Stopping the Gaps in Epidemic Preparedness"…
Read 4 tweets
31 Jan
Until we are all safe, no one is safe. Covid is a global problem ⁦…
It is reasonable & understandable for countries to roll out vaccines to vulnerable people & #HCW within country. But at the same time ensure that vaccines are made available urgently & equitably globally through ACT-A, @WHO, @GAVI & @CEPIvaccines
That needs intense planning, manufacturing at scale, trust, communication, logistics, people & teams, regulation, approvals, cold chains. That does not happen overnight. Urgent planning now for when vaccines are available is crucial.
Read 8 tweets
29 Jan
An honour to give opening remarks & join ⁦@UN⁩ Govt ⁦@Canada⁩ ⁦@CIHR_IRSC⁩ & colleagues around world on launch of Research Roadmap & Science for Development in Context COVID19. Remarks from inspirational ⁦@AminaJMohammed⁩ DSG @UN… Image
COVID-19 has exposed stark global inequities, fragilities & unsustainable practices that pre-date this pandemic & have intensified its impact. Please see full report…
This @UN Research Roadmap for COVID-19 Recovery provides a framework for leveraging the power of science in support of a better socio-economic recovery and a more equitable, resilient and sustainable future.
Read 6 tweets
2 Jan
World needs to know. A text this evening from colleague in middle income country. "We have a disaster here. Hospitals overwhelmed, critical oxygen shortages, soaring COVID numbers. New variant SARS- COV-2 highly transmissible"
"Know vaccines not magic bullet but are critical part of pandemic response. We need them now. #HCW exhausted, on their knees. Need vaccine urgently & are watching in despair as vaccines rolled out across parts of world. Need global access for vaccines."
"We are facing a humanitarian disaster. Please do what you can to change this now"
Read 4 tweets
29 Dec 20
Heartbreaking - two reports.
NHS could face 'horrendous choices' over coronavirus care…
Decisions & actions matter, in summer, Sept,Nov, early Dec. Data is in rear view mirror,hospitalisations,severe illness & tragic deaths lag behind community transmission & cases. Data,messages & messengers questioned/not believed in Sept, decisions delayed, these are consequences
Read 4 tweets
28 Dec 20
Finland detects UK & SA variants. As immune pressure on virus grows, evolution will speed up & any variants that escape that immunity will have selective advantage. Both variants huge worry, variant described SA, may already evade mAbs, variant UK more transmissible
We have to reduce transmission through physical distancing, public health measure, masks, handwashing, behaviour, infection control, plus T-T-I, treatments & vaccines. And these tools available globally.…
Making Tests,Treatments,Vaccines available globally is a moral imperative. It is a scientific imperative.If not variants that may escape immune control via infection/vaccination that arise in one part world will reverberate everywhere. Truly no one is safe until we are all safe
Read 8 tweets
28 Nov 20
Agree with most of this article “issue with Covid19 is that when you should act, you appear mad & when you have to act, it is too late, as fatalities are sky-high & gross damage has already been done to healthcare system” hospitalisations and deaths…
“This is because of the in-built delays in infections leading to hospitalisations and deaths.”
Statement I don’t agree with is “This makes Covid a guessing game: working out how today’s infections translate into tomorrow’s hospitalisations & deaths”. It’s not a guessing game. Mid-predictions based on data & lessons Feb/March made impact autumn/winter entirely predictable
Read 7 tweets
17 Nov 20
Such pleasure join ⁦@louiseckenny⁩ ⁦@LivUni⁩ Prof Dame Janet Beer & colleagues this evening & a great title for series “Science & Society”. Thank you invitation Q&A. Hope did not offend but think it will by points difference end of season ⁦⁦⁦⁦@Everton
Quick summary - A: Thoughts on COVID & 2020. Drivers epidemics: Ecological & environment change, changes human:animal interface, urbanisation, travel & trade, neglect of public health, undermining of institutions & geopolitics. All features which will define 21stC.
B: Multiple warnings - Nipah, SARS-1, H5N1, H1N1, Zika, MERS, Ebola, Dengue, Chik, & many others. Epidemics becoming more frequent and more complex. Epidemics invariably have an inequitable impact, amplify & increase existing fault lines in societies.
Read 14 tweets
1 Nov 20
"This has been such a tough year already. Tough beyond belief for millions across the country & across the world. My experience from other virus outbreaks is that the second wave is always harder." @wellcometrust statements #COVID19 since 10 January 2020…
This isn’t decision any government would want to make. The sooner we act, sooner we start to recover. A very difficult few weeks now & no one can underestimate toll on people. But consequences of sticking with the current insufficient restrictions would have been much worse.
"I’d like nothing more than to have a normal family Christmas. If we can steel ourselves now for a few weeks of greater restrictions, there’s a chance we could ease up a little between Xmas-NY. But if we’d let it continue to multiply, we’d be in a terrible situation in December.
Read 12 tweets
30 Oct 20
There is lots of high-quality data on COVID-19, but we haven’t always done a good job of explaining what it really means, or put the data in context of a fast moving dynamic epidemic, when days matter. So I am going to have a go.
The @ONS have provided outstanding data & I'm proud @wellcometrust are a partner along with @OfficialUoM, @UniofOxford, @PHE_uk - @Join_ZOE, Pillars 1-4, Test-Trace-Isolate, @ISARIC1 CO-Cin, Public Health in Scotland, NI, Wales, #NHS, COG-UK, in Schools, Care Homes & many more
But looking at figures released today is like looking back in a rear-view mirror. When look at data on number of deaths today, we're seeing how prevalent infections were & state of the epidemic up or more than a mth ago.The data doesn't show you the state of the epidemic today
Read 14 tweets
27 Oct 20
Honoured to join ⁦@WorldHealthSmt⁩ final panel with ⁦@DrTedros⁩ ⁦@IlonaKickbusch⁩ ⁦@UNITAID⁩ ⁦@GlobalFund⁩ ⁦@WorldBank⁩ ⁦@UNICEF⁩ ⁦@wellcometrust⁩ - Partnerships together & with many others to make a difference now and in future
Quick summary of comments - 1) Research is crucial, but not on its own without working with partners to make sure the benefits are equitably available & accessible.
2)Recent years some countries have taken more insular approach. The world has stared into the abyss of nationalism. COVID like all great challenges of 21stC has shown how dangerous that can be. Pandemics like global heating, access water, inequality etc do not respect borders.
Read 10 tweets
24 Oct 20
Thanks many people for Swiss (& Austrian) Cheese @MackayIM & colleagues. The mouse nibbling away via trust,communication & (mis)information.COVID can be controlled & impact reduced but needs combination clear consistent interventions & policies, personal & shared responsibilities Image
Last 24hrs UK 1056 people admitted hospital COVID19. 868 people admitted hospital COVID 24 March-1103 people admitted 25 March. In October we have better care & much better data. But we are watching a rerun of March-April but with winter fast approaching
If the objective is to reduce community transmission, hospitalisations & deaths, pressure on NHS, illness COVID & non-COVID whilst protecting jobs, livelihoods, businesses then we will need to change the interventions currently in place & quickly.…
Read 4 tweets
21 Oct 20
Pleasure to join #GrandChallengesAnnualMeeting2020 thank you @drpennyheaton for the introduction. Quick summary.
People will be writing,discussing,considering COVID19 in 100yrs as we discuss pandemic 1918 now. We are living through history as it is being made. When read history books can seem romantic. It never is. It is tragic, confused,trade offs,painful,difficult & frightening. As now.
This is the reality of COVID19 & will continue to be so. Focus on the drivers and perspective from the last 20 years.
Read 17 tweets
21 Oct 20
Honoured to join ⁦@WorldBank⁩ ⁦@WHO⁩, countries & partners in support of @ACT-A for: Health Systems, PPE, Oxygen, HCW, Diagnostics, Treatment & Vaccines. We need all of these, we need them all globally. Equitable & Fair Access.
Summary comments: Credit @WorldBank @WHO for leadership. At a time when some questioned value,impact & contribution of multilateral approach ACT-A can be example of benefit such an approach to equitable & fair access to essential tools. Concrete actions not just in the abstract.
Must remember that there is no magic bullet, we need all the tools in ACT-A. A broad holistic approach, through @ACT-A for: Health Systems, PPE, Oxygen, HCW, Diagnostics, Treatment & Vaccines.
Read 5 tweets
13 Oct 20
Thanks for invitation @BBCRadio4 World Tonight.
No easy choices in the UK now, every choice has very significant negative consequences. But delay before implementation is a decisions in itself & will make later interventions harder & need to be deeper & in place for longer.
Naively would be great if can avoid turning this into party political issue - this is a national crisis & will need a national solution.Every country that has managed well so far has done so on the basis of a national approach & consensus, trust, local ownership & broad agreement
The latest government plans are an attempt to compromise between health and the economy but may end up damaging both.
Read 13 tweets
10 Oct 20
Plan Continuation bias (PCB) - playing a role in COVID19? Lessons from aviation industry. A fancy name for “get-there-itis”. PCB which is an unconscious cognitive bias to continue the original plan in spite of changing conditions — & it can be deadly for general aviation pilots
Plan continuation bias was identified in a NASA Ames human factors study from 2004 which analyzed 19 airline accidents from 1991 to 2000 that were attributed to crew error. Out of those, almost half involved plan continuation bias.…
Problem is in how it manifests. Study offered it becomes stronger as you near completion of the activity (e.g., approach your destination). It essentially impedes pilots from recognizing that they need to change course of action & because it’s unconscious,it often goes undetected
Read 10 tweets