Wednesday 25 August 2021

COVID Quick Update 21st to 25th Aug 2021

COVID Quick Update 21st to 25th Aug 2021

Today's UK Summary:
New Cases: 35,847
Losses of Life: 149 people
In Hospital: 6,172
Using a Ventilator: 957

There has been trouble in New Zealand at anti-lockdown protests.
Sometimes it's hard to see the big picture and appreciate what you have - and how much worse it could be. They might be under lockdown every now and again, but nothing compared to a lot of countries - and without the accompanying loss of life.

"You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y'all. Stop it,"
That's the exasperated US FDA, warning people not to take super concentrated veterinary drugs to treat COVID.
Specifically they are referring to Ivermectin, which is generally used for parasites and fleas. There is NO accepted evidence it helps anyone with COVID - but if you take enough of it, you'll have no headlice and a glossy coat for your hospital photos.

Remember the other day we had a study that found everyone has a similar level of virus when they're at their most infectious? But I said it is anticipated vaccinated people will be at their most infectious for s shorter period of time? We've got data!
A new study from Singapore (Not yet peer-reviewed) has found that, among 218 patients hospitalised with the Delta strain, it takes 'eight to nine days for vaccinated people to clear their viral load to a point where it could not be picked up, compared to two weeks in those not vaccinated.'
The infection rises, peaks and then falls once your body overpowers it. If that whole event takes 8-9 days rather than 14, you'll have a far, far smaller chance of infecting anyone - hopefully just a small window (as opposed to a barn door).

The US FDA has granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Until now, all COVID vaccines just about everywhere are working on emergency use authorisation.
Normally it takes forever and a day to get everything written up and rubber stamped by all the correct departments, and because it all costs a fortune, money often has to be raised to pay for your new wonder drug too. Maybe a few people would request emergency use authorisation on compassionate grounds while this happens (such as with promising new Cancer drugs), but with COVID it has been a whole new game. It's amazing what can be done, especially when money, overtime and government pressure are thrown at something.

The Zoe Symptom app. has data on reinfection and waning protection from vaccination, and it matches pretty closely with other data we've already had.
It looked at positive Covid PCR tests from May to July this year, repirted by over a million people who had received two doses of Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine.
Pfizer decreased from 88% at one month to 74% at 4-5 months.
AstraZeneca dropped from 77% to 67% at 4-5 months.
Both are still really very effective, and we always knew it was likely immunity would wane over time - Coronavirus are not so good at that as things like Measles or Chicken Pox.
Tim Spector, the guy behind the COVID app. points out that distribution of booster doses should definitely be targeted because, for example, people with 2 doses and prior infection won't get much benefit, and those vaccines are going to save far more lives elsewhere.
You can read the results on the Zoe app. or the BBC have an excellent article with scientific comments.

Nicola Sturgeon has announced the Scottish inquiry into handling of the COVID response will take place before the end of this year. The English inquiry won't begin until Spring next year.

Johnson&Johnson (single dose vaccine) have issued a press release saying that early signs are that a second 'booster dose' generates a much stronger immune reaction - potentially up to 9 times higher than after a single dose.

Over 9,000 COVID cases can be linked directly to the EURO 2020 football matches.
Best quote of the report has to be that England's success at getting through to the final "generated a significant risk to public health across the UK".
So, as a reminder, that "Mass Event Trial" was a FAIL. Oh no, my error, official word is it was a success. Awesome.

The UK have announced a huge new COVID19 antibody testing survey.
From 24 August, up to 8,000 people per day who opt-in & test positive with a PCR test will receive two antibody tests - they want to try and understand how protected you are/will be, how that changes, and how it affects whether you become severely ill.

Business Insider are reporting that a prominent anti-vaxxer, who in June this year told a court that the COVID vaccine could make people magnetic and connect them to the 5G network, is making $$$,$$$s from people watching her videos.
I wonder if I can sue her and claim my life is ruined by disappointment because I'm not magnetic?

Rumour is that Dominic Raab, the UK Foreign Secretary, was told to come home from Greece on the Friday, but ignored it, had his weekend and came back on Monday - the day AFTER the Taliban took power.
Turns out the UK's Minister For Afghanistan was also on holiday that weekend. At least Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon was in the UK..
I can imagine these factors are especially important if you are among the UK nationals or Government staff still over there.

On Monday Taiwan began administering their first domestically manufactured COVID19 vaccine, made by Medigen. Several politicians, including President Tsai Ing-wen were among the first in the queue.

The UK have signed a deal for another 35m doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, to be delivered in the 2nd half of 2022.
That's a booster dose for everyone who wants one I reckon.
Sajid Javid, Health secretary:
“The UK’s phenomenal vaccination programme is providing tens of millions of people with protection from Covid-19, saving 95,200 lives and preventing 82,100 hospitalisations in the over 65s in England alone."
Vaccines are like magic, but they work so well, we forget just how clever they are.

The Paralympics have started - best of luck to all of the competitors, and host country Japan.

Dozens of UK anti-vaccine protesters on Monday forced their way into the headquarters of ITN (who make ITV and Channel 4 News), and then went to protest outside the Google headquarters afterwards.
After they messed up their BBC protest last week, I'm not sure whether the point was to protest against vaccines (which aren't mandatory), or just to prove they could use modern maps.

I'm still on holiday - and didn't have much chance to find WiFi signal over the past couple of days, so if I've missed anything important - please feel free to add it into the comments. Sometimes the things you guys tell us are far more interesting than any of the big news stories - you are, after all, all experts at your own COVID situation.

Use Sunscreen, Play Outdoors, Save The NHS....


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