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Doc Hines - Covid News & Views - 22nd November 2021

One of the starkest warnings yet came over the weekend from a German Minister who declared Germans “Will be immunised, recovered or dead by the spring”. In the UK there are still 4 million adults who have had one but not had a second jab and a further 5 million who have not even had a first jab. It would seem the same fate awaits them unless we have a change of direction with our thinking.

The weekend showed just under a million tests done each day and just over a million tests today, Monday. All three days produced over 40,000 positive tests with 44,915 positives today. The positivity rate a few days ago was down below 400, and is now is 422/100k.

As you know deaths are difficult to report over the weekend. There were 157 on Saturday and 45 today. The death rate remains at 1.4 /100k of the population, but it may well not be significant that there were 56 less deaths recorded in the last 7 days compared with the week before.

The hospital data remains broadly stable but with a 5% day to day variations. There were 886 admissions on 16th November compared with 827 the day before. The numbers currently in hospital issued today for 19th November were 824. This compares with 8,079 reported on last Friday. The number on a ventilator was recorded as 911 on 19th November having fallen from 923. The difference is not significant.

Vaccine data for today shows 88.3% first vaccines given, a total of 50.77 million. For 2nd jabs it is still only 80.3% or 46.18 million given. For the boosters or 3rd jabs 15,33 million are now done that’s 26.7%.

The categories have been changed today with 16-17 year olds now eligible for second doses, and the age for booster doses has been lowered to 40. If this makes you eligible, please books yours quickly and get it done whilst in your mind.

An immunisation centre working from a brothel in Vienna has come up with a novel approach. They are offering a free 30 minute ticket for the brothel for every immunisation done. Business is booming there but quiet at other centres. I do not suggest we should use this approach in the UK, but I do admire the resourcefulness of vaccinators in Austria. They have one of the lowest vaccination rates in Europe. Austrians have until 1st February to get two jabs, or face very hard lockdown if still not immunised.

Germany have threatened mandatory immunisations already and has also today banned all Christmas markets in two of their states of Saxony and Bavaria as well as tight other restrictions. The area includes the large city of Munich.

The deteriorating situation in much of Europe has led to widespread unrest and rioting. We are used to this behaviour in the UK as a means of demonstrating disapproval of Government action. In Europe we see much tougher responses from the Authorities with water canon being used in Brussels and live ammunition being used in Belgium. Vienna has been badly affected . French troops have been deployed in Guadeloupe to control yet more riots.

In a first for African countries, Kenya has given its people just a month to be immunised by mandate or risk being banned from restaurants , bars and public transport from the 21st December. At the moment, it is thought only 10% of the population are double immunised. and it requires 6 weeks between the two doses, it is clearly impossible to reach this target. It remains to be seen what will happen. Kenya seems confident it has enough vaccine to achieve this tough target. It has a population of some 50 million but a very high 40% of the population are children.

Judging by the questions and correspondence I have been having recently it would seem a lot of you are bothered by a family member or friend who is an antivaccer or who believes in the various conspiracy theories. I have come to the conclusion that if they have a closed mind to discussion or explanation it is better not to waste your time or energy trying to change a fixed mind. If on the other-hand they are receptive to explanation and discussion the following might be helpful.

Always use reliable referenced sources such as the Gov.UK web site or the Office for National Statistics. The BBC news web sites are reliable but be cautious of some of the national newspaper sites. You may find the BBC News Questions and Answer section about Covid very useful.

If you are shown statistics which do not look right, they are almost certainly false. It is very easy to manipulate statistics to show almost anything. Remember the quote about lies, dammed lies and statistics, Remember the limitations when dealing with small numbers for example if your town had one death from Covid last week and then had two this week. You will most likely see headlines like “ deaths double in a week” and “100% rise in fatalities from Covid”, It is not newsworthy to say the death rate remains very low in x town but two deaths were reported this week.

Some with a more malicious intent will report “ death rate doubles in x town despite 80% immunisation rate”.

In discussions it can be worth turning some statistics round Saying 80% of people are immunised sounds good. But if I say “20% remain unvaccinated and at risk” it shows a very different picture.

One article sent to me argued about untested experimental vaccine. I assure you that this is now the most studied vaccine the world has ever seen. It has been though all the standard safety checks and efficacy checks. The big difference is that instead of doing the tests one after another, there were sufficient numbers to run several tests at once. All were passed in all aspects so the process was speeded up.

Just to be clear, The Covid vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Astro Zenica do not contain any covid virus. They do not contain pork gelatine or any other animal products.

The British Islamic Medical association say there is a negligible amount of alcohol in it, - no more than is found in bread for example.

We have been very fortunate that since the delta variant appeared followed by its variant, we have been very fortunate. A new resistant strain could change the who situation very dramatically.

The personal precautions and the highest possible immunisation rates give us the best chance this winter. Please share your comments and concerns. Put all your efforts into staying safe.

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