Tuesday 16 November 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 13th to 16th November 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 13th to 16th November 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 9,637,190 (+39,705)
In Hospital / Using A Ventilator aren't regularly updated over the weekend
Losses of Life: 143,159 (+47)
Tests: 916,832
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 50,614,550 (88% UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 46,045,964 (80.1%)
Boosters: 13,147,333 (22.9%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 507,413 (+4,395) cases and 5,566 losses of life

World: 254,873,337 reported cases and 5,126,745 losses of life

161121 Book online from next Monday extra jabs for 16 to 17 year olds

Soooooo, Boris must have known I was taking a long weekend off and yesterday we had a JCVI COVID Data Briefing, and then a UK Press Briefing. I'm proud to say I was in the pub having a birthday meal, so I missed them. The UK Press Briefing with Boris was mainly to pass on the latest figures from the Data Briefing, the advice offered by the JCVI, and decisions made based on that.

The JCVI Data Briefing was led by Jon Damme Van Tam, and actually Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid's response covers nicely what was said:
"...today I have accepted the advice from the independent experts at the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to extend the additional offer of a booster jab to people aged 40 and over and offer a second dose of a vaccine to all young people aged 16 to 17 as part of the primary vaccination schedule. All 4 parts of the UK intend to follow the JCVI’s advice."
He went on to say he's asked the NHS roll this out as soon as possible, and mentions the latest booster study results:
"We know immunity to COVID-19 begins to wane after 6 months and new data published today shows a third dose boosts protection against symptomatic infection to more than 90% – this highlights just how important it is that everyone eligible gets their top-up jabs as soon as possible.
The JCVI will keep under review whether the booster programme should be extended to all people under the age of 40 and I look forward to receiving their advice in due course.
This is a national mission – the vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones, and I urge everybody to get your jabs as soon as you can."
2nd jabs for young people aged 16-17 can be booked online from next Monday, and must be at least 12 weeks after the 1st dose. 

The Booster Jab efficacy data to which Sajid is referring is from the UK Health Security Agency (HSA) and it isn't yet peer-reviewed for errors, but has found that in the real world, using Pfizer as a booster:
"2 weeks after receiving a booster dose, protection against symptomatic infection in adults aged 50 years and over was 93.1% in those with AstraZeneca as their primary course and 94.0% for Pfizer-BioNTech."
Excellent stuff - although it is a guide because it doesn't give us actual data for younger age groups. 

151121 UK COVID Briefing slides Cases by date

The UK Briefing with Boris was to pass on the information that we'll add second vaccine doses for 16/17 year olds, and boosters for age 40+. He talked about what's happening in Europe as we all head into Winter:
"A new wave of COVID has steadily swept through central Europe and is now affecting our nearest neighbours in Western Europe.
Our friends on the continent have been forced to respond with various degrees of new restrictions, from full lockdowns, to lockdowns for the unvaccinated, to restrictions on business opening hours and restrictions on social gatherings. We don’t yet know the extent to which this new wave will wash up on our shores, but history shows we cannot afford to be complacent. Indeed in recent days cases have been rising here in the UK, so we must remain vigilant."
He reminds us you can have the booster from 6 months after your 2nd jab, and you can book it up to a month in advance.
75% of all people over 70 and 80% of eligible older people in care homes have had their boosters, and Boris ends his opener well. (I reckon he has a new speech writer.):
"But many more people who are eligible have not yet come forward.
And so if you are one of those people, please go and get that third jab.
Because it would be an utter tragedy if, after everything we have been through, people who had done the right thing by getting double vaccinated ended up becoming seriously ill or even losing their lives because they allowed their immunity to wane by not getting their booster.
And if you haven’t even had one dose, it’s not too late.
In fact there’s never been a better time to get that vital protection as we head into winter.
So please, please go and get vaccinated, to protect yourself and others, and in doing so we can help to ensure that we can continue in the way that we are, sticking to our plan of using vaccination to control this virus."
(The transcript ends with "Thank you very much", which I can't read in any voice other than fake Elvis.)
Media are reporting that Boris sounded ill, with a cough and congestion. Frankly he's never seemed 100% right since he had COVID. 

151121 UK COVID Briefing slides Hospitalisations by date

This very definitely IS a race against the virus. Hospitalisations have to stay down at a level where everyone is able to have the care they need, and (in the voice of Jon Snow) Winter is coming. Plus that new variant of Delta which is slightly more catchy, and can run a tiny bit faster than regular Delta. We have to keep pace if we really are determined not to have any restrictions.

Booster jabs seem likely to be added to the UK COVID passes very soon. To be honest this isn't just about the UK, other countries are discussing it too, and what would be the use of an international pass which didn't have the correct ticks for international travel? We know immunity wanes, and no-one ever suggested a single full vaccination was going to be a 'forever' thing. Still, a lot of people are unhappy at the idea of a 3rd jab. 

151121 UK COVID Briefing slides Daily Case Rates Across Europe

Austria has locked down all unvaccinated people over age 12. This affects about 2m people. They are not allowed to leave their homes except for essential purpose - which includes getting a COVID jab.
Austria is facing a huge surge in cases, which threatens to overwhelm hospitals. They were reporting 1,500 to 2,500 cases a day through September and early October, when suddenly it surged. 3,500 by 3rd week of October, 6,000 by the end of October, 8,000 beginning of November, and averaging around 12,000 a day now. The population of Austria is only around 9 million people. Best of luck to you all. 

Tesco won't need to worry so much about unvaccinated shoppers in future, as for the next five minutes, or until they need something and it's easiest to pop in, the anti-vaccine mandate / anti-COVID pass people are threatening to boycott because of the latest Christmas advert... sigh.
In the advert, shockingly, Santa has a COVID pass. Hey newsflash, so does most of the world. We don't always like things, but sometimes you really do have to just suck it up, and every world Government is not going to decide against COVID passes for a few thousand people who object. They really aren't. There isn't going to be a way around this one if you want to travel internationally.
This advert is funny. It takes a look at what we are going through, some of the minor problems COVID has caused us over the past 2 years, and says 'STUFF YOU COVID, WE WILL STILL HAVE FUN'. It's a fabulous message. Christmas sparkle is, after all, mainly created within the grins of grown adults.
Any children watching the ad will probably be delighted to find out Santa is fully vaccinated, especially at his age, and he won't be delayed by international quarantines while travelling.
I find it sad some people are so angry inside that they find no joy in this advert, just something to be shouty about. You really are missing out...

The US CDC has released a load of minutes and notes from earlier in the pandemic, and it reads no better than anything from the UK, and potentially actually worse. It was a dark period in CDC history. We knew the CDC were quietened. Several CDC employees left, and when the Biden administration took over, practically all of the COVID pages were edited to be more honest and realistic. Politico sums it up:
"The emails and transcripts detail how in the early days of 2020 Trump and his allies in the White House blocked media briefings and interviews with CDC officials, attempted to alter public safety guidance normally cleared by the agency and instructed agency officials to destroy evidence that might be construed as political interference."

Hoax Of The Day:
This one's astounding. Apparently there are human beings alive who believe they can get vaccinated for COVID, then clean themselves with Borax to remove it. Err, nope. No. Just no.
Borax burns the skin and airways. A couple of teaspoons can be fatal. Washing yourself in a solution of borax is insanity, and how did anyone think it was going to work? For saying they won't believe in a vaccine, why on Earth would they believe this?

I think Alok Sharma had a bit of a revelation at COP26. His previous voting record isn't all climate-friendly, but he cried while he was closing the ceremony and apologising to the delegates that the Coal agreement was amended from 'phase out' to 'phase down' unabated coal power (unabated means the smoke just escapes into the air, rather than being trapped and filtered). Both India and China backed away from 'phase out', with India saying it wouldn't be possible at the same time as trying to pull people out of poverty.
Boris also had a closing speech. He didn't cry. 

151121 UK COVID Briefing slides Deaths by date

Online hate speech has increased by around 20% during the pandemic, and no surprises, against Asian people it has increased 1662%. Yeah, because every Asian person on Earth personally decided to (on purpose) introduce a virus that would cause havoc in your world? No. No, they didn't.
It's the equivalent of shooting at the sky because it's raining. 

TV standby-list-celebrity poo-sniffer Gillian 'was never a Doctor' McKeith seems to have branched out. At 7pm last night she did appear to be offering to purchase the sperm of unvaccinated humans for a sum of your choice. I would imagine she's had plenty of offers by now, and is probably very much regretting that early sherry... 

If you thought you'd heard it all regarding vaccination incentives (4 dozen eggs, alcohol, weed, $1m lottery tickets etc) then Austria has a new one. A Vienna brothel is offering a voucher for 30 minutes in the 'sauna club' with the lady of your choice.
(Personally I'm so jealous about the 48 eggs. I didn't even get a sticker...)

I had a fabulous birthday, a huge thank you to all of you for the messages - and all those cute little card gifs. I can confirm I didn't wake up a different person, and 3 days in, so far my 50's are great. Sadly I'm still not any taller, but I do now quality for a flu jab and a COVID booster...

I hope you had a good weekend too. If I missed something important, please feel free to tell me! Back Friday...

Some numbers. They are all people:

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):

USA 48,072,898 not yet reported today 784,779

India 34,456,401 not yet reported today 463,852

Brazil 21,960,766 not yet reported today 611,384

UK 9,637,190 (+37,243) 143,159 (+214)

Russia 9,145,912 (+36,818) 257,837 (+1,240)

France 7,290,886 not yet reported today 118,224

Germany 5,088,019 (+19,100) 98,506 (+145)

Spain 5,056,954 not yet reported today 87,716

Italy 4,873,075 (+7,698) 132,893 (+58)

Ukraine 3,244,749 (+16,308) 77,985 (+838)

Poland 3,230,634 (+16,590) 79,161 (+282)

Netherlands 2,334,472 (+20,168) 18,785 (+35)

Czechia 1,907,629 (+11,514) 31,636 (+45)

Romania 1,748,568 (+4,128) 53,661 (+343)

Belgium 1,512,474 (+9,229) 26,403 (+27)

Serbia 1,218,423 (+3,773) 10,951 (+55)

Sweden 1,185,093 not yet reported today 15,063

Portugal 1,110,155 (+1,693) 18,274 (+9)

Austria 981,904 (+10,363) 11,807 (+61) 





Tesco Christmas Ad - https://youtu.be/0P7QSCLtRwI
















"A person cannot remove a vaccine from their body once they have been injected, doctors and fact checkers report" https://twitter.com/i/events/1459312748081205248?t=DOfNz_bjcs6LurksMK-rrA&s=09


Travel boosters










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