Over the past two years, we have seen pensioners penalised for drinking cups of tea a bit too close to each other in their gardens, women fined for going for a walk in a reservoir slightly too far away from their homes, and we’ve seen more than 300 people charged by the police for being ‘potentially infectious’. Children were unable to visit their grandparents at care homes to share their last moments together. Families were separated from spending festive and religious periods together. I could go on. While the Government used the Public Health Act 1984 to implement many of the lockdown restrictions, the Coronavirus Act gave the Government similar extreme authoritarian powers.
From the very beginning of the pandemic, a public health emergency has been used to push through laws that bite at the very liberties we are so proud of here in the UK. I consistently warned against the risk to our civil liberties arising from the reams of guidance and regulations issued by the Government over the past two years and the powers in the Coronavirus Act.
Smart meters will reportedly undergo a massive change and automatically send suppliers updates every 30 minutes on customers’ power use starting from May, the Telegraph has revealed. In May, energy regulator Ofgem will be given the green light to change the way smart meters work, possibly paving the way for “time of use” tariffs.
This could see customers charged different rates for energy throughout the day depending on demand, industry experts have claimed.
Such a system could see households pay more to use electricity at peak times, however, energy bosses have insisted the move will be optional for customers and even stated it will save money.
ASTRAZENECA, now referred to as Vaxzevria by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has been associated with cases of transverse myelitis – i.e. inflammation of the spinal cord.
As of Wednesday, January 26, transverse myelitis has officially been added to the “warnings and precautions [of] neurological events” section given to healthcare professionals. The MHRA has assured that cases are “extremely rare” but the reaction can lead to: muscle weakness, localised or radiating back pain, and bladder issues. Furthermore, transverse myelitis can lead to bowel symptoms and changes in sensations.
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.”
A demonstration against mandatory vaccinations has been organised by “Take a Stand London”, “Save our Rights” and “The Great Reopening”, along with other protest groups from 12pm at Parliament Square in Westminster. The iconic location was said to be “rammed” with angry Britons on Saturday afternoon, with one witness saying on Twitter: “Parliament Square rammed with protestors!” The protest today saw people travel to the capital from across the UK and there are also rallies in Bournemouth, Blackburn, Gloucestershire, Bristol, Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast and the Isle of Wight.
GOVERNMENT transport ministers have backed calls to end private ownership of vehicles in a major overhaul.
Instead, they have asked for “greater flexibility” over vehicle use with experts believing “shared transport” is the way forward. Transport minister, Trudy Harrison, said any new proposals would be “fit for the future” of road travel. It could spark the beginning of the end of petrol and diesel car ownership as the pressure rises to meet pollution targets.
YOUNGSTERS at a school are in mourning after two pupils died in one week, it has been confirmed today.
Harry Towers and Mohammed Habib passed away during October half-term and were both remembered in prayers during an online assembly on Tuesday. St John Fisher Catholic College in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, has ensured support is available for its grieving students and staff.
TRIBUTES have poured in for a 12-year-old girl who has died suddenly after suffering with a brain haemorrhage.
A STUDENT has been found dead at a university halls of residence.
Emergency services dashed to Trinity View, privately owned accommodation, in Coventry city centre to reports of a responseless 19-year-old man. He was pronounced dead at the scene and police are not treating it as suspicious.
AN 11-YEAR-OLD girl has died after going into cardiac arrest at her school.
Pupils and staff are in mourning at Moat Community College in Highfields, Leicester, following the death, which was confirmed yesterday. The girl became ill there at around 11.30am last Tuesday and died a short time later, the school said.
Millions of Britons will be offered the Pfizer vaccine as a booster shot next month. As more jabs make their way into arms, researchers continue to carefully study their potential adverse effects – some of which have already become a source of concern. A new study has observed higher rates of deep vein thrombosis and thrombocytopenia – both conditions that affect the blood – among those who receive the Pfizer vaccine.
Prof Bhattacharya said: “If lockdown was a primary driver of good Covid outcomes Florida would have come out far worse. It is no good to say that it did not have variants – Florida had the Alpha and Delta variant. Lockdowns don’t protect against coronavirus. And they certainly have collateral harm. Children have suffered, especially poor children. Unemployment mental health all the harm is hard to ignore and it is very hard to find any benefit to lockdown measures.”
Lucy Taberer, 47, tragically died after suffering a rare reaction to the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine. After her vaccination, the mum-of-three from Leicester developed blood clots on the brain which is believed to have sparked a massive stroke. Her family said they did not want to put people off vaccinations but wanted to raise awareness so people can spot danger signs.
THE CENTERS for Disease Control and Prevention’s safety committee has provided an update on the association between Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines and heart inflammation.
On 23 June the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s safety committee said there was a “likely association” between the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines and myocarditis (the medical term for heart inflammation) and pericarditis (inflammation of the tissue that surrounds the heart) in some young adults. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said there was a higher than expected number of reports of heart inflammation in people aged 16-24 who had received the mRNA vaccines but that the benefits of vaccination still clearly outweighed the risks.
The open letter states that “a good society cannot be created by an obsessive focus on a single cause of ill-health” and states all restrictions should be lifted in June on the final date in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown. Masks should no longer be worn by schoolchildren after May 17, say the scientists – and they warn the damage to society will be too great if the current Covid control measures continue beyond the June roadmap date.
Vaccine passports should also be scrapped along with mass community testing, they say.
Instead, the government should focus on targeted testing, creating better incentives for staying home if ill and basic hygiene measures, such as handwashing and surface cleaning.
Signatories (in alphabetical order)
Professor Ryan Anderson, Translational Science, Medicines Discovery Catapult
Dr Colin Axon, Mechanical Engineering, Brunel University
Professor Anthony Brookes, Genomics and Bioinformatics, University of Leicester
Professor Jackie Cassell, FFPH, Deputy Dean, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Professor Angus Dalgleish, FRCP, FRCPath, FMedSci, Oncology, St George’s, University of London
Professor Robert Dingwall, FAcSS, HonMFPH, Sociology, Nottingham Trent University
Professor Sunetra Gupta, Theoretical Epidemiology, University of Oxford
Professor Carl Heneghan, MRCGP, Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, University of Oxford
Professor Mike Hulme, Human Geography, University of Cambridge.
Dr John Lee – formerly Pathology, Hull York Medical School
Professor David Livermore, Medical Microbiology, University of East Anglia.
Professor Paul McKeigue Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics, University of Edinburgh
Professor David Paton, Industrial Economics, University of Nottingham
Emeritus Professor Hugh Pennington, CBE, FRCPath, FRCP (Edin), FMedSci, FRSE, Bacteriology, University of Aberdeen
Dr Gerry Quinn, Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster
Dr Roland Salmon, MRCGP, FFPH, former Director of the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (Wales).
Emeritus Professor John Scott, CBE, FRSA, FBA, FAcSS, Sociology, University of Essex
Professor Karol Sikora, FRCR, FRCP, FFPM, Medicine, University of Buckingham
Professor Ellen Townsend, Psychology, University of Nottingham
Dr Chao Wang, Health & Social Care Statistics, Kingston University and St George’s, University of London,
Professor John Watkins, Epidemiology, Cardiff University
Professor Lisa White, Modelling and Epidemiology, University of Oxford.
Many of the vaccines developed to protect against COVID-19 are forms of messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines.
The Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines are forms of mRNA vaccine.
Unlike the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus vaccines, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is not an mRNA vaccine.
Instead, the AstraZeneca vaccine is a viral vector vaccine made from a weakened form of a common cold virus from chimpanzees.
THE Government has been accused of over-relying on pandemic modelling and risking “catastrophe by computer”. Last week Boris Johnson published a cautious ‘roadmap‘ to normality after scientists warned him there could be 91,000 extra deaths if he scrapped curbs completely at the end of April.
These figures were based on Imperial College modelling that has since been challenged by Mark Harper, deputy chair of the Covid Recovery Group of MPs. He argued the model did not account for key factors shown to change the course of the pandemic such as the most up to date evidence on the protective effect of the vaccines as well as the “seasonal effect” as the country moves into summer. Modelling has driven much of the pandemic response. The initial reaction in the UK, the US and other European countries was shaped by the dramatic headlines in March last year, suggesting 550,000 deaths in the UK and 2.2 million in the US if mitigation measures were not put in place.
EXPERTS have called for urgent action to protect children from the harm of lockdown, saying youngsters are being used in “an unethical mass experiment” and warning we are on the brink of a “national emergency”.
They are urging the Government to take urgent steps to examine and address the collateral damage that has been caused to children from issues such as school closures, lockdowns and social isolation as a result of the pandemic. One specialist is calling for a task force to be launched immediately and to remain in place for10 years, which would include experts in child abuse and neglect, childhood depression, suicide and anxiety, as well as physical, educational and developmental health.
BELGIUM has advised against giving the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to over-55s because of a lack of data about its efficacy.
It became the latest European Union country to recommend that the Covid jab should not be given to older people. Health minister Frank Vandenbroucke said the country’s advisory health council, had suggested the doses of the Oxford-produced vaccine should only be administered to people younger than 55. He said Belgium was reviewing its vaccination strategy because AstraZeneca’s jab was seen as a key part of the government’s plan to prioritise vulnerable groups.