Photographer, Picture Editor and Reviewer for @theweereview, Find me on Instagram at: https://t.co/8BhfXsv2ks
Dec 14, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
@SashaSagan It's just as well that there is no charge (I hope! 🙏🏻) for quoting someone, or I would have incurred significant debt by now, given how often I have quoted your father.

e.g.

I'm sure you already know his profound impact on so many of us.

My first "encounter" (via TV) with him was when he did the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures in 1977. I was a geeky schoolkid interested in science.

Your dad was inspirational.
Dec 14, 2021 24 tweets 7 min read
Humanity is a bewildering species. 🤔

Since Covid first manifested its ghastly presence on these shores, I think it fair to say that most of us have gained an understanding of the R number.

In simple terms:

R < 1.0 = Good! ✔️ 👍🏻
R > 1.0 = Bad! ✖️ 👎🏻 Obviously, it has ebbed and flowed in response to: lockdowns beginning; lockdowns ending; vaccine rollout; and social bubbles etc.

However, by this point, few can be in any doubt that R being significantly above 1.0, say around 1.5, is VERY bad indeed. 🤮
#ExponentialGrowth
Dec 14, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Ye Gods!

Who is briefing @NicolaSturgeon?

Once again, she quotes an #Omicron doubling time of 2-3 days. 🤬

It’s under 2 days, and certainly nowhere close to 3 days.

By all means, let’s see the working behind a calculation of 3 days?

I’ll wait and then point out the error. 🙄 You can get some variation in the calculation of doubling time.

It depends on which exponential curve you’re measuring.

For example, growth in Total #Omicron cases...OR growth in Daily Omicron cases.

Clearly they are related, but will result in (not very) different values.
Dec 13, 2021 7 tweets 2 min read
So, arguably there are two ways you could calculate the doubling time for #Omicron

1. Doubling Time of Total UK cases

and

2 Doubling Time of Daily UK case totals

I’ve just calculated both, using the latest data.

The values are 1.43 and 1.66 days respectively. 😬 Last week, there was much talk about a doubling time of 2-3 days.

I knew nothing about how to calculate this value until Saturday evening, but it’s a simple formula.

The 3 day estimate is (and was) nonsense, unsupported by the data.

It looks to have arisen from a basic error.
Dec 13, 2021 8 tweets 3 min read
Exponential growth, BUT you can still go to panto? 🤦🏻‍♂️

As a nation, we’re approaching the idyllic halcyon period between the moment the brakes get slammed on for an emergency stop, and the moment we fly through the windscreen (because, as you know, seatbelts are only for wimps). I just heard @SCrabbPembs on #DailyPolitics saying Plan B measures were already in effect in Wales and hadn’t curbed the spread of Delta (which is true).

Logic might then suggest, that FAR greater restrictions might be needed to curb the spread of a MORE transmissible virus? 🤔
Dec 13, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Remember those glorious days when @BBCNews could state (with confidence) how many children a certain politician had? 🤔

“If anyone says I was speeding, I want to see the evidence.” #SafetyFirst

As convincing statements of total innocence go... 🤦🏻‍♂️

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politi… “For a man who wants to be Prime Minister, Boris Johnson is in danger of developing a reputation for breaking the law.”

Rules (and safety) are for...lesser mortals, apparently.

dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3…
Dec 12, 2021 19 tweets 5 min read
Yesterday, I learned a new Covid-related skill, how to calculate the doubling time for an exponential growth curve (in this case related to #Omicron cases growth in the UK).

Yesterday, that value worked out at 2 days.

Adding in today's data, now makes it a value of 1.4 days! 😱 My instruction manual for learning how to do this calculation, was this amazingly helpful video by @pk_kent 🙏🏻

Feb 25, 2021 32 tweets 7 min read
In the USA (which started its vaccination program a week after the UK), Covid-19 related deaths in Care Homes are now declining at twice the rate they are in the general population.

How does the UK compare?

nytimes.com/interactive/20… Last week, I produced a thread compaing Covid-19 Care Home death stats across the UK, relative to their area, after @NicolaSturgeon had proclaimed the success of falling Scottish Care Home deaths was (allegedly) due to the vaccination program.

Feb 22, 2021 8 tweets 3 min read
@gordonchree The Edinburgh University data adds NO justification to the 12 week strategy for the Pfizer vaccine.

We know the 1st dose has an immediate effect that is measurable 12 days after vaccination.

We do NOT know for how long it is sustained. We do NOT know what effect a 2nd dose will have when given after 12 weeks, if the 1st dose has declined significantly.

Pfizer have opposed the UK strategy and Pfizer should know a thing or two about the vaccine they designed and tested.
Feb 20, 2021 22 tweets 7 min read
It's depressing that so many journalists (and some academics) are easily distracted by shiny objects (in the form of newly reported Pfizer efficacy "studies"), without (apparently) having read the source data and understanding the implications and limitations. 🙄 Last night @CNN reported (with almost breathless excitement), that a new Pfizer study in the @NEJM showed that a single dose of Pfizer vaccine is 92% effective.

Is that a fact?
Feb 18, 2021 34 tweets 6 min read
If one believes the official statistics (and the associated interpretation being made by politicians), there is currently dramatic evidence that vaccination is vastly reducing deaths in Scottish care homes.

Is this interpretation based on solid data?

bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotla… In both my training as a scientist and during my professional career in IT, I looked at a LOT of data.

A key requirement in both of these fields is the need for "interesting" results, to be reproducible.

If results can't be reproduced, that suggests a systemic error.
Feb 1, 2021 24 tweets 6 min read
A thread on how the UK strategy relating to Pfizer vaccine rollout (i.e. 12 weeks between doses, rather than the 3 weeks followed in the Phase 3 clinical trial), places the most vulnerable in society, at PARTICULAR risk.

#FAO @JDBakewell I was looking through the FDA website (as one does, for...um, FUN) for documents related to the Pfizer vaccine.

I found a briefing document, which has significant implications for the UK Pfizer strategy...and by "strategy", I mean, "reckless gamble". 🙄

fda.gov/media/144246/d…
Jan 12, 2021 68 tweets 17 min read
The "hope" that @krishgm mentions is forlorn, in this case.

A thread in which I prove (using ONLY published Pfizer trial data) that the UK CMOs and JCVI have not so much ignored the science, as left it bleeding at the roadside.

Intrigued?

Read on.

From the moment, the decision was announced to delay 2nd vaccine doses, I've felt uneasy.

This is not my field of expertise, but I trained as a scientist (two chemistry degrees), worked professionally in IT, and understand the importance of testing.
Jan 5, 2021 27 tweets 10 min read
Since the UK plan to delay the 2nd Covid vaccine from 3 weeks to 12 weeks was announced, I've felt VERY uneasy.

My concerns are principally related to the Pfizer vaccine.

Having now read the original paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, I'd like to set out my concerns. It has been suggested that there is unpublished data for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to support a 12 week gap between doses.

Accordingly, I reserve judgement on that vaccine until this data appears, but I do want to see that data.
Jan 5, 2021 14 tweets 3 min read
@patrickharvie I’ve read the Pfizer vaccine paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, which is here:

nejm.org/doi/full/10.10… The paper states:

“The study was not designed to assess the efficacy of a single-dose regimen.”

This is the key graph related to vaccine efficacy.