Friday 10 September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 10th September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 10th September 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 7,168,806 (+37,622)
In Hospital on Wednesday 9th: 8,098
Using A Ventilator on Wednesday 9th: 1,060
Losses of Life: 133,988 (+147)
Tests: 1,241,334
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,370,340 (89% of UK aged 16+)
Vaccinations Fully Vaxxed: 43,805,608 (80.6%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 362,228 cases and 5,155 losses of life.

World: 224,269,097 reported cases and 4,624,307 losses of life.

100921 UK indieSAGe vaccination status of those hospitalised

The UK's JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) are due to make a final decision on Booster Jabs any day now.
Although the UK seems to be swimming in vaccines, we are limited. We have to ensure we have enough for everyone who is entitled, and it has to be fair.
We recently signed a deal for 35m Pfizer, which could offer boosters in a different flavour to everyone over 50, or vaccinate schoolchildren, and boosters for more vulnerable people could be AstraZeneca. These sort of decisions go on behind closed doors all the time - which is exactly why the independent SAGE collective started - they wanted to discuss options and plans openly in front of the public. Don't forget the indieSAGE group contains members of the UK Government's actual SAGE panel. 

Talking of which, The Times is now reporting that Chris Whitty is about to announce that the decision on vaccinations for young people 12-15 is that they WILL go ahead.
The JCVI decision was no, based on it being a massive undertaking, using up vaccines, and only offering a very tiny advantage. Basically they could save more lives by using those vaccines on more vulnerable people.
The 4 Chief Medical Officers' final decision has not yet been announced, and will look at impacts due to missing education, how much kids are passing the virus on to other people outside school, anxiety among unvaccinated children (mine were really quite scared to go to their Grandparent's house) and lots of other social and personal medical-related stuff.
It also has to be said, we know around 75% population with antibodies is a magic figure around which transmission really drops. We are going to struggle to reach 75% without the help of our kids, and letting them all catch COVID isn't most people's preferred option at all.

For reference, in UK trials, and from evidence we are seeing around the world, vaccinating children 12+ is equally as safe as vaccinating young adults 18-24.
Most countries are doing it, or plan to when vaccine supply allows. Many tens of millions of young people under 16 have already been vaccinated. 

100921 SPIMO Modelled trends guesstimate of hospitalisations over the coming weeks

The UK Government's SPIMO panel are the people who make forecasts about how many people will catch COVID, then end up in hospital or succumb. Their latest forecasts have such a huge confidence interval (see above), they obviously haven't got a clue.

Over 177m Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID, but around 80m aren't vaccinated, and Delta Variant appears to be looking for all of them. In the last few weeks new daily cases have risen to around 140,000 per day. They are losing around 1,000 people a day too.
Joe Biden seems as bored as we are that vaccination has become a political battle rather than a matter of personal health, and he's getting tough on the COVID deniers.
- Vaccination or weekly testing is mandated for all employers with more than 100 workers. This will affect around 80m people.
- All of the approximately 17m people who work at health facilities which receive federal Medicare or Medicaid will have to be fully vaccinated.
- Employees and contractors who do business with the federal government must be fully vaccinated.
- Employers must offer paid time off for vaccination
“We are in the tough stretch and it could last for a while.”
Today, when threatened by legal action by the South Carolina and Arizona Governors, he replied "Have at it". 

It is World Suicide Prevention Day, and you might think "yeah, yeah, I'm okay. I'll skim this bit", but just give me a second.
Reach out and check in on someone - and pay proper attention to their reply. Not "You okay?", "Yeah, you?" - save that for the bloke who you always pass on the way to the bus. An actual "Checking in because its been a while. How are you doing? Are you back to some sort of normal now? Cope okay with the  lockdowns?"
You could change someone's week. Or more. 

100921 UK indieSAGe vaccination status of those hospitalised

The Los Angeles Board of Education has voted to require all students aged 12+ to be fully vaccinated.
This is not new in the USA. All 50 states mandate vaccines for school attendance, these include things like polio, measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox.

Booster jabs should be available in the USA from the end of next week, for people who were fully vaccinated at least 8 months ago. 

Today's indieSAGE looked at the return to universities - and they have written a report on how they feel it's safest to return.
This week's figures show uptake of vaccination in younger groups has been pretty swift, but we still have over 25% of the whole population unvaccinated because of children (Eng 28%/ Scot 24%/ Wales 25%/ NI 32%).
Younger people under 40 who are being admitted to hospital are more likely to be unvaccinated. Once you get to the over 50's, fully vaccinated people make up the larger percentage. This is partly because of the order everyone was vaccinated in, and who is fully vaccinated. Well over 90% of people over 60 are fully vaccinated.
They have a brilliant graph which really shows vaccination works, with the Public Health England figures from earlier this week. It shows the relative risk, depending on your age, of being hospitalised by COVID, depending on vaccination status. If you are over 80, your risk is approximately 1/3 if you're fully vaccinated. If you are under 80, the difference is even bigger, somewhere around a 1/5th of the risk of someone who is unvaccinated.

indieSAGE PHE asset vaccination status by age of hospitalised people relative risk

Test positivity rates in Northern Ireland are falling like a stone, down to around 15%, which is still very high, and is where Scotland's rate is now too. England's rate is currently doing the best, with around 8% of tests coming back positive (still a little high, but not bad). Wales.... oh Wales, what's happening? In the last 6 weeks Wales' positivity rate has gone up from 10% to 20%. This means the situation there is worse than it looks - test more.
No surprises that we are seeing steep increases in cases in children.
We have a really high level of COVID, and indieSAGE are still concerned about Long COVID. Since 17th May, 53,000 people have been admitted to hospital with COVID in England alone.
The North East has never had chance to recover from their increase in cases over Summer, and still has far more people in hospital than any other region.
Regarding deaths "there are consequences in having the number of cases we're having".
They had a closer look at how the return to school in Scotland has affected case rates in children. It's grim and I've included the chart. Jenny Harries would call it an 'uptick', I'd call it a wall. It goes from 300 to 1,800 in 2 weeks. Bear in mind a lot of these kids won't have been tested over Summer, and schools are mass testing, but by crikey. Scottish hospital admissions for children are obviously also increasing, from around 30 to 70 a week. Around 7% of children are absent from school for COVID-related reasons.
It's not all bad news. The last few days data shows a drop, especially in 15-19 year olds. Maybe it will just be a fairly nasty 2 week blip, let's hope so, but it's not looking fabulous for the rest of the UK over the next month.
We do have a rise over the last few days, especially in 15-19 year olds, be pleasantly surprised if it doesn't get notably bigger. Fingers crossed.
indieSAGE looked at the advice offered by the US CDC, and the situation over there. The number of children in American ICUs has doubled in the last month, and they are very concerned that it shows no signs of slowing. Then they had Anthony Fauci on to talk about it. You can find it easily on YouTube - independent SAGE.

100921 UK indieSAGe confirmed cases in children in scotland with the return to school

Tomorrow it will be 20 years since the 9-11 attacks on regular citizens in America. It was a day that changed the world forever. It's firmly etched in my mind, and a heartbreaking 2,996 people are known to have died.
COVID is slower, and more insidious. In the UK we have lost 2,996 people to COVID since August 5th. In the USA, they have lost 2,996 people to COVID since Tuesday. 

Disaster for the Test Cricket. It was announced a couple of days ago that support staff for the Indian team had tested positive, and 2 hours before the match at Old Trafford was due to start today, they cancelled. Officially India are "unable to field a team"because of the risk of COVID spreading.
This was the 5th and final match in the series, which India were winning 2-1 (one match drew).
The Indian domestic league cricket is due to start next week, so rescheduling is out of the question, and the superstar players are worth millions over there, which I guess might have something to do with today's events. The match has been called a draw.

When people began being vaccinated, there appeared to be a lot of women saying their periods had altered.
Stress can change your periods, as can travel, bad sleep, where you are in the moon's cycle, sleeping with an iron key under your pillow, what you eat etc etc. Did being vaccinated against COVID actually change anyone's periods?
The question was asked loudly enough that the US National Institutes of Health has awarded $1.67 million to researchers at five institutions - to look at potential links between coronavirus vaccinations and menstruation.
This is groundbreaking because, let's be entirely honest here, if men bled each month in such an unreliable way, it would have been researched years ago.
This is 2021. Women are regularly scientists now, and women's problems equal to men's.
Long overdue - hopefully they'll find some answers and we can all benefit.

The recipients of the Ig-Nobel awards have been named. Much like the Nobel awards, these are given to scientists and thinkers who find out and do terrifically interesting things. Unlike the Nobel award winners, these people are probably not going to become famous or make their fortune, but they really are all winners. They include:
Dr. Elena Bodnar with a bra that can quickly convert into a pair of protective face masks
Sweden's Susanne Schötz for her work in cat / human communication
A team from Iran and Spain for their work on the bacteria found in discarded chewing gum
A team from the USA, who researched how effective a beard was at protecting a face from a punch
My personal favourite, Pavlo Blavatskyy, for discovering that the obesity of a country’s politicians may be a good indicator of that country’s corruption

It IS the weekend! Hurrah! Well done for completing a week of school/work or a mix of both. Have a treat - you've earnt it! Something for YOU, not for them. Let's hope Scotland's drop continues, and the rest of the UK follows suit. We expect a rise in cases from the end of next week across the UK, an answer on Booster jabs from the JCVI, and an answer from the 4 x Chief Medical Officers on vaccinating children. Who knows, Boris may even decide it's worth a UK Briefing?...

Be Sensible, Use What You've Learnt, Save The NHS.

Some numbers. All people on this rock we call home:

Countries / Cases / Losses of life (since midnight GMT. In larger countries,  such as the USA and India, some states /provinces have yet to report today):

UK 7,168,806 (+37,622) 133,988 (+147)

India 33,188,995 (+25,991) 442,238 (+192)

Iran 5,258,913 (+21,114) 113,380 (+445)

Russia 7,102,625 (+18,341) 191,165 (+789)

Philippines 2,179,770 (+17,964) 34,899 (+168)

Mexico 3,479,999 (+14,828) 266,150 (+730)

Thailand 1,352,953 (+14,403) 13,920 (+189)

Vietnam 589,417 (+13,321) 14,745 (+275)

USA 41,573,258 (+12,102) 674,689 (+142)

Japan 1,613,841 (+10,397) 16,603 (+78)

Serbia 806,448 (+6,089) 7,493 (+25)

Indonesia 4,158,731 (+5,376) 138,431 (+315)

Iraq 1,944,125 (+4,717) 21,394 (+61)

Kazakhstan 832,248 (+4,024) 10,154 (+78)




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