It is more than a rebuke to Medley and the modellers though. This pandemic began, for many, with an announcement from Imperial College, whose study predicted 500,000 deaths if we did nothing. We locked down and never tested the prediction.
This time, in the face of what the public saw as dire predictions, we didn’t lock down and the apocalypse never came. The unspoken — and sometimes spoken — implication is clear: are we all fools?
The South African GP who first raised the alarm about Omicron says she was pressured by governments “not to publicly state that it was a mild illness”.
Dr Angelique Coetzee told Germany’s Die Welt newspaper this week that European governments asked her to portray the new strain as just as serious as previous Covid-19 variants, including Delta.
“I was told not to publicly state that it was a mild illness,” she said. “I have been asked to refrain from making such statements and to say that it is a serious illness. I declined.”
Asked what she meant, Coetzee said “based on the clinical picture there are no indications that we are dealing with a very serious disease”.
A report from the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre suggests a collapse in the number of patients becoming very unwell. It put the number of admissions to ICU of patients with Covid at 19 on January 23. About 400 people were being admitted daily at the peak of the second wave in January last year.
Everything the government has got right on Covid-19 in the past 12 months has happened when it ignored ‘the science’. If the modellers hadn’t made such fools of themselves in the summer and autumn of 2021 they might have been taken more seriously by the government in the winter. As it was, their incompetence had seeded enough doubt in Johnson’s mind for him to resist going beyond ‘Plan B’ despite almost every ‘scenario’ modelled telling him that hospitalisations and deaths from the virus would exceed anything England had ever seen before.
Covid was not the underlying cause of death in nearly a quarter of virus-related fatalities last week, official figures suggest.
The most up-to-date Office for National Statistics figures showed there were 922 deaths registered in England and Wales mentioned coronavirus on the death certificate in the week to January 7. Of them, Covid was not ruled to be the primary reason for the death in 210 cases, or 23 per cent — although it may have been a contributing factor.
For comparison, the share of deaths not primarily due to the virus stood at around 16 per cent when Omicron first arrived in the UK. With the Alpha wave last January, before the country embarked on its historic vaccination drive, the proportion was about 10 per cent.
The rise of the milder strain has led to a similar pattern emerging in hospitals, where nearly half of virus inpatients are not primarily needing treatment for the infection — compared to about 25 per cent with Delta.
Cross-reactive immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 have been observed in pre-pandemic cohorts and proposed to contribute to host protection. Here we assess 52 COVID-19 household contacts to capture immune responses at the earliest timepoints after SARS-CoV-2 exposure. Using a dual cytokine FLISpot assay on peripheral blood mononuclear cells, we enumerate the frequency of T cells specific for spike, nucleocapsid, membrane, envelope and ORF1 SARS-CoV-2 epitopes that cross-react with human endemic coronaviruses. We observe higher frequencies of cross-reactive (p = 0.0139), and nucleocapsid-specific (p = 0.0355) IL-2-secreting memory T cells in contacts who remained PCR-negative despite exposure (n = 26), when compared with those who convert to PCR-positive (n = 26); no significant difference in the frequency of responses to spike is observed, hinting at a limited protective function of spike-cross-reactive T cells. Our results are thus consistent with pre-existing non-spike cross-reactive memory T cells protecting SARS-CoV-2-naïve contacts from infection, thereby supporting the inclusion of non-spike antigens in second-generation vaccines.
People with high levels of T cells from common colds are less likely to catch COVID, according to a new peer-reviewed study.
Researchers said the findings could help provide the blueprint for the production of new vaccines which give longer-lasting immunity and would protect against current and future coronavirus variants such as Omicron and Delta.
More than thirty doctors, scientists and MP’s have signed a joint letter to the government’s vaccine watchdog urging it to “reassess” the Covid vaccine rollout for healthy 12-15 year olds following new data showing potentially serious harms of the jab are likely to outweigh any potential benefits.
It argues the risk benefit calculations made by the JCVI and the Chief Medical Officer were based on “less than complete data on both the harms and the benefits of vaccinating children compared to the evidence now available.”
It cites new evidence showing the risk of myocarditis in young men and boys is up to 14 times higher after vaccination than after infection.
And it states that given the high level of naturally acquired immunity from infection as well as the replacement of the Delta variant by milder Omicron, “it’s crucial that, if we are to proceed with the mass double vaccination of healthy children, we are absolutely certain this policy will do more good than harm.”
It states that the justification for vaccinating children was to provide “marginal benefits” of reducing time spent out of school due to covid infection but it cites new data showing that vaccines are no longer effective at preventing infection with Omicron.
It states: “Furthermore, the negligible risks of Covid infection to children have become even more nugatory if, as it appears, Omicron is associated with less severe disease, whereas the benefits of natural infection (rather than vaccination) in terms of longer lasting immunity are becoming more clear.”
It is very hard to tell the difference between Covid and a cold without testing
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, if you got a sniffle and a headache, you might dismiss it as an ordinary cold and carry on as normal, even if you felt a little rough around the edges. But during cold and flu season, how can you be sure it’s a cold and not the coronavirus?
The common cold is caused by a different strain of virus to Covid-19. But with the rapidly-spreading Omicron variant often causing mild symptoms, such as stuffy nose, sore head and sore throat, it is very hard to tell the difference without testing.
Britain’s omicron wave may be no worse than a flu pandemic, an expert has said, as the first major study into the new variant suggests it is less severe than delta.
The first real-world study looking at 78,000 omicron cases in South Africa found the risk of hospitalisation is 29 per cent lower compared with the Wuhan strain, and 23 per cent lower than delta, with vaccines holding up well.
Far fewer people have also needed intensive care from omicron, with just five per cent of cases admitted to ICU compared to 22 per cent of delta patients, the study shows.
Dec 10 (Reuters) – Most of the 43 COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant identified in the United States so far were in people who were fully vaccinated, and a third of them had received a booster dose, according to a U.S. report published on Friday.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that of the 43 cases attributed to Omicron variant, 34 people had been fully vaccinated. Fourteen of them had also received a booster, although five of those cases occurred less than 14 days after the additional shot before full protection kicks in.
While the numbers are very small, they add to growing concerns that current COVID-19 vaccines may offer less protection against the highly transmissible new variant.
The boss of the drugmaker Moderna has warned that Covid-19 vaccines are unlikely to be as effective against the Omicron variant in comments that have added to uncertainty about its impact and unsettled financial markets.
“There is no world, I think, where [the effectiveness] is the same level we had with Delta,” Stéphane Bancel told the Financial Times. “I think it’s going to be a material drop. I just don’t know how much because we need to wait for the data. But all the scientists I’ve talked to … are like, ‘this is not going to be good’.”
Conclusions As this field continues to develop, clinicians and public health practitioners should consider vaccinated persons who become infected with SARS-CoV-2 to be no less infectious than unvaccinated persons. These findings are critically important, especially in congregate settings where viral transmission can lead to large outbreaks.
Researchers who scoured the records of nearly 800,000 U.S. veterans found that in early March, just as the Delta variant was gaining a toehold across American communities, the three vaccines were roughly equal in their ability to prevent infections.
But over the next six months, that changed dramatically.
By the end of September, Moderna’s two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, measured as 89% effective in March, was only 58% effective.
Dr. McCullough speaks about vaccine safety, efficacy, and the continued need for early treatment.
Why haven’t lockdowns worked? There are broadly two types of respiratory virus. There are those that spread person to person – like measles – in a continuous chain of transmission, uninterrupted by season and with every susceptible contact falling ill. Then there are those we do not understand so well, like influenza, which are much more complex. Instead of the simplistic close contact model, which assumes Covid spreads like measles, we should perhaps consider an alternative more sophisticated model based on influenza. The influenza virus model is unusual – it is predicated on the majority being exposed to a particular airborne virus but, oddly, only a minority appear to be susceptible to each year’s variant. To complicate matters further, influenza can also spread person to person.
Public health officials and the medical establishment with the help of the politicized media are misleading the public with assertions that the COVID-19 shots provide greater protection than natural immunity. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, for example, was deceptive in her October 2020 published LANCET statement that “there is no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection” and that “the consequence of waning immunity would present a risk to vulnerable populations for the indefinite future.”
Covid may no longer be the most “significant” threat to health, Dr Jenny Harries has said.
The chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency said today that Covid was possibly no more dangerous than flu, as she warned that there would be a lower immunity to the illness this year.
She said: “It is important to remember that for an average flu season it’s about 11,000 deaths a year, it’s somewhere between four (thousand) to 22,000 over the last four to five years.
Peter McCullough, MD, MPH speaks at the 78th Annual Meeting of AAPS on October 2, 2021.
- 1min: Something was going very wrong very early in 2019.
- 2m: The threshold for shutting down a new biologic product is just a few cases.
- 3m: Covid-19 was going to be the showcase of what we could do for biotech.
- 5m: The spike protein created by the new Covid-19 is a deadly protein.
- 11m: Our institutions are all culpable in medical malfeasance.
- 13m: We have the biggest biological catastrophe on our hands with a medicinal product in human history…and no-one knows how to stop it.
- List of risk
- 14m: 86% of deaths have no other explanation other than the vaccines.
- 20m: We are in freefall into a lawless state. The Vaccines are not safe for use on either side of the Atlantic. It’s clear that this first generation of [Covid-19] vaccines is not safe.
- 22m: The FDA did not approve Pfizer. The gave a continuation of the emergency use authorization and then conditionally approved Comirnaty with BioNTech which is legally and potentially medicinally distinct. The Pfizer approval is a false talking point.
- 23m: When Pfizer came up for boosters, McCullough and his team presented at the FDA showing that death with the vaccine is greater than death just taking your chances with the infection. The vaccines aren’t safe across the board and the panel agreed 16:2 against the booster.
- 26m: Data for the efficacy of the vaccines do not take into account the Delta variant. These vaccines have failed against Delta and other variants. Two-thirds who get sick with Delta are fully vaccinated. Data shows that the vaccines can’t stop transmission.
- 27m: Effectiveness for Pfizer is at 42%. A vaccine that falls below 50% protection and can’t last a year is not a viable product. Pfizer has failed as a commercial product.
- 29m: The CDC was telling us in May 2021 that the vaccines were failing. They started to do asymmetric reporting to craft a narrative that this was going to be a crisis of the unvaccinated but the CDC data showed the opposite. The ineptitude and willful misconduct of the people running our public health agencies is astounding.
- 32m: The ‘99% of hospitalized were unvaccinated’ message was a propagandized false talking point because the data is not there.
- 33m: The vaccines have had zero impact on the epidemic curve. Mortality is a function of treatment.
- 34m: Many experts have been warning that we shouldn’t vaccinate into a pandemic because it creates resistance. As soon as we started vaccinating, the number of strains starting falling. The virus was figuring out how to thrive in the vaccinated.
- 36m: The Delta variant has achieved antigenic escape. The data shows that the vaccinated is an equal threat to the unvaccinated.
- 38m: Early home treatment is the only thing that makes sense. That’s what it should have always been.
- 40m: Doctors at my institution cannot look me in the eye because they are so ashamed of what they’ve done during the course of this pandemic.
- 44m: If you look through the clinical records [of those who have died] and I will tell you they were all inadequately treated.
- 50m: Natural immunity is superior to vaccine immunity. If we vaccinate people who are covid-recovered, we harm them considerably. The only backstop is natural immunity.
This nosocomial outbreak exemplifies the high transmissibility of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant among twice vaccinated and masked individuals. This suggests some waning of immunity, albeit still providing protection for individuals without comorbidities. However, a third vaccine dose may be needed, particularly in individuals with risk factors for severe COVID-19. Appropriate use of masks, especially in high-risk settings is advised.