1/ It's hard to know the real reason for the decision to give 12-15-year-olds only a single dose of because the details of the discussion are not available. Hence the campaign for greater JCVI transparency.
What an appalling interview from Sajid Javid starting a few minutes ago on @BBCr4today.
He is clearly incompetent, way out of his depth. I've seldom heard a minister say so many stupid things in a single interview.
@BBCr4today health inequalities are NOT caused by an unequal distribution of GPs.
@BBCr4today How, exactly, are you fighting the virus? Why are mask mandates not in place and rigorously enforced on public transport, in shops and other places, and in schools? Why is health and safety in schools and workplaces not ensuring good ventilation / air filtration?
"When [SARS-CoV-2 and the Covid-19 pandemic] arrived, we knew nothing about it."
We knew a lot about Coronaviruses.
2/ We knew a lot about the immune system, how it interacts with pathogens, and how it can overreact to cause an acute (short term) overreaction (cytokine storms…); and about long-term autoimmune disease.
We knew a lot about treatments for autoimmune diseases.
3/ We knew a lot about vaccines and how they work. (Objections to sensible decisions - like extending the prime-boost interval - were based on the fallacy that "we know nothing…", and ignored decades of work on vaccination.)
1/ Regarding infections in schools, a colleague has pointed out that it is Department for Education directives that require schools to stay open, not PHE advice.
I am aware of this.
2/ Before I retired in January a complaint was made against me by the education sector for refusing to change my advice that a school or section of a school should close because of an outbreak of Covid-19 that was putting staff, other students, and their families at risk.
3/ The complaint went nowhere - I was giving the right public health advice, no matter how awkward it was.
1/ Like so many of us, I have been watching, aghast, as evil forces take over Afghanistan, and wondering "how can this be happening?"
It's not my area of expertise.
I think it's a proxy war.
2/ I think many of the Taliban fighters (and financial backers) are not Afghans, but extremists from other countries, who want to impose a misogynistic, illiberal culture on Afghanistan (initially). Probably ultimately on the world; but Afghanistan is weak and susceptible.
3/ But what do I know?
I hear people saying - "we cannot, indefinitely, hold the line with our military - eventually the local government must do this, and we must withdraw. We cannot continue to lose our own people's lives, and pay the vast costs."
1/ Are we still at the point [genuine question] where a dose of Covid vaccine given in eg UK or USA deprives somebody in a poorer country from a dose?
And if so - is that because we haven't done enough to ramp up production?
What should be our priority now?
2/ Should we be boosting production in Africa, Asia, South America, and elsewhere?
3/ Will there come a point where the argument that we shouldn't vaccinate [lower risk groups] in rich countries until higher risk groups in poorer countries have been vaccinated becomes irrelevant, because there's enough manufacturing capacity everywhere?
They dismiss PIMS-TS/MIS-C as uncommon and not proven to be caused by Covid-19. (I am comfortable with this.) 7/
They then, similarly, dismiss "Long Covid" in children. Given (the clue's in the name) that it will take time for sequelae, and their duration, to become apparent; and the increasing evidence base on this, this seems an extremely brave decision (as Sir Humphrey would say). 8/
They then briefly mention "indirect health benefits" (not infecting your parents and becoming an orphan etc) and dismiss them as not significant.
Another very brave decision. Where is the modelling? 9/
It has been announced that JCVI has recommended, or likely to recommend, that only at-risk adolescents be offered the vaccine. I suspect that they considered in their modelling only the direct costs to the health service of acute disease.
I would be particularly interested to see their workings on:
* The benefits to children of ending the pandemic and inevitable restrictions sooner;
* The harms from the secondary cases from the children, especially if teachers, parents or carers are infected;
* The effect of Covid-19 (directly or through self-isolation etc) on loss of school;
* And , crucially, given the growing evidence, the long term consequences on the children and adolescents of “Long Covid”.
Doing trace and isolate properly is hugely resource intensive. Ideally you work out where they caught it and identify others potentially infected by the same source, and identify all the contacts that could become secondary cases and try to persuade them to isolate…
It took all of our resources in Surrey and Sussex for over a week to cope with one case in Feb 2020 There are few shortcuts, despite all we've learned (although there are a few more people to do the work).
It might be manageable if the number of new cases per day (in England) were in the very low hundreds - ideally less than 100.
I just referred to this #LBD film in an LBC interview.
I compared the Delta variant to the Spanish Armada gathering on the horizon; and said the PM, far from channelling Churchill, channelled Nelson, turning the blind eye to the telescope and declaring "I see no ships". 1/9
They have to rely on others to protect them. The most effective and least intrusive measure is mask wearing in enclosed public spaces, where ventilation is poor. (The less volume of air per person, the greater the risk.) Such as public transport.
Unless it reveals details of plans to counter bioterrorism or warfare that potential attackers would not guess and would help them, how could publishing reports on pandemic / epidemic preparedness exercises possibly damage national security?
This seems completely implausible.
Just like the identical claims that delayed (until protests forced publication ofthe reports on the impact of Covid-19 on BAME people last year.