We need to start living with this virus before it wrecks even more young people’s lives, further devastates the economy and continues to pour fuel on the fire of the non-Covid health crisis.
Don’t get me wrong – flu is no joke. Familiarity has meant people assume it’s a runny nose or feeling under the weather, but it’s not.
A bad flu year produces a significant death toll. In the 2017/18 winter, 22,087 flu-associated deaths were recorded in England. The year before it was 15,047. These are over a few months only, so the daily death rate is very high. Those numbers could also be an underestimate as testing for flu is minuscule compared with our Covid effort.
Daily reported Covid death figures are too high because people are dying from conditions unrelated to the virus after testing positive, Sajid Javid has admitted.
On Wednesday, there were 359 deaths reported in Britain, but the Health Secretary said that “many” people were being included in the count who “would not have necessarily died of Covid”.
His comments came after death data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show a large discrepancy in weekly death registrations compared to the figures released on the Government dashboard.
For the week ending Jan 7, the UK Health Security Agency reported 1,282 deaths of people who had died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus.
However, ONS data show there were just 992 death registrations with Covid mentioned on the death certificate in that week.
How did we listen to that bonkers, ahem, advice with a straight face? I thought it was worth compiling a list of the 50 craziest measures
EXCLUSIVE: UKHSA data shows infections are dropping in 96% of the country’s nearly 7,000 neighbourhoods
Parts of Castle Point, Shropshire and Bexley have seen infections fall by more than 70% week-on-week
And MailOnline analysis shows Omicron wave deaths were seven times lower than the peak last winter
Official figures show half as many Covid patients were in hospital at one time compared to the Alpha peak
And 4.5 times fewer patients were moved to critical care beds during the latest wave compared to last winter
Coronavirus cases are now falling in virtually every area of England, official figures show as the Omicron wave continues to collapse with deaths six times lower than in the second wave.
Some 6,519 out of 6,790 neighbourhoods (96 per cent) around the country recorded a fall in infections in the week to January 11, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
Ocado has announced it is cutting sick pay for unvaccinated staff who must self-isolate due to exposure to Covid-19.
According to the BBC, the online grocer will continue to offer full sick pay if unvaccinated workers test positive for the virus but will reduce sick pay for exposure related isolation.
‘I remember 20 May 2020 vividly, I spent hours on the phone to a man who was in the hospital car park, utterly desperate to see his wife. He begged, wept, shouted to be let in, but we said no – for the greater good of everyone else. She died unexpectedly and alone, as the government had a party.’
…We let people die alone. Just think about that. We let desperate, terrified men howl in car parks. We kept husband from wife, wife from husband. We let people give birth alone. We deprived the elderly of visits from their loved ones. We left dementia sufferers to believe, in their rare moments of lucidity, that their sons and daughters and grandchildren had abandoned them. We let people die alone.
DOUBLE-JABBED Scots are now more likely to be admitted to hospital with Covid than the unvaccinated amid an increase in elderly people falling ill due to waning immunity.
It comes amid “weird” data showing that case rates have been lower in unvaccinated individuals than the single, double, or even triple-jabbed since Omicron became the dominant variant in Scotland.
The counterintuitive data from Public Health Scotland (PHS) contradicts previous pandemic trends which have consistently shown infection, hospitalisation and death rates to be highest among the unvaccinated.
Downing Street staff were invited to a drinks party in the Number 10 garden during the height of nationwide lockdown to “make the most of the lovely weather”.
An email shared exclusively with ITV News provides the first evidence of a party on May 20, 2020, when the rest of the country was banned from meeting more than one other person outdoors.
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 100,000 doctors, nurses and other vital NHS staff will disappear under Boris Johnson’s “folly” of sacking unjabbed workers, the Prime Minister was warned.
The cross-party alert comes after troops were drafted into hospitals with thousands of employees on sick leave through Covid or stress. Trade union bosses urged Health Secretary Sajid Javid to delay making Covid jabs mandatory by the end of March “with immediate effect”.
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.”
Covid should now be treated as an endemic virus similar to flu, and ministers should end mass-vaccination after the booster campaign, the former chairman of the UK’s vaccine taskforce has said.
With health chiefs and senior Tories also lobbying for a post-pandemic plan for a straining NHS, Dr Clive Dix called for a major rethink of the UK’s Covid strategy, in effect reversing the approach of the last two years and returning to a “new normality”.
“We need to analyse whether we use the current booster campaign to ensure the vulnerable are protected, if this is seen to be necessary,” he said. “Mass population-based vaccination in the UK should now end.”
here was a distinctive moment, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, that neatly encapsulated the mistakes and confusion of Britain’s early efforts to tackle the disease, says Mark Woolhouse. At a No 10 briefing in March 2020, cabinet minister Michael Gove warned the virus did not discriminate. “Everyone is at risk,” he announced.
And nothing could be further from the truth, argues Professor Woolhouse, an expert on infectious diseases at Edinburgh University. “I am afraid Gove’s statement was simply not true,” he says. “In fact, this is a very discriminatory virus. Some people are much more at risk from it than others. People over 75 are an astonishing 10,000 times more at risk than those who are under 15.”
And it was this failure to understand the wide variations in individual responses to Covid-19 that led to Britain’s flawed responses to the disease’s appearance, he argues – errors that included the imposition of a long-lasting, national lockdown. This is a strategy that Woolhouse – one of the country’s leading epidemiologists – describes as morally wrong and highly damaging in his forthcoming book, The Year the World Went Mad: A Scientific Memoir.
Corona Investigative Committee discusses the clear signal in the data showing that the pharmaceutical industry is experimenting with different vaccine batches in different locations. Dr. Fuellmich says that we can only conclude this is intentional harm.
Children with learning disabilities were offered “do not resuscitate” orders during the pandemic, The Telegraph can disclose.
GP surgeries asked if teenagers with autism and Down’s syndrome wanted not to be resuscitated, amid concerns about the pressure on the NHS.
The Telegraph has spoken to two families who were asked about the controversial orders – known as DNACPRs – during routine appointments.
One of Britain’s most senior health advisers has been accused of disseminating “dodgy data” that inflated the potential risk of omicron.
Dr Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), is understood to have been the source of a contested claim by Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, that there is typically a 17-day lag between patients becoming infected and requiring hospitalisation.
However, independent experts pointed to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, which suggested an average delay of nine or 10 days.
More than half of new ‘Omicron patients’ are actually people being treated in hospital for a different reason
These people are in hospital for physical injuries such as broken bones, heart attacks, or even routine care
Ministers are keeping a close eye on Covid hospital admissions as they weigh up imposing more restrictions
Two-thirds of new Covid hospital patients in England were actually admitted for a different ailment, MailOnline’s analysis of NHS data suggests – as a growing number of studies show Omicron is much milder than Delta.
In the two weeks to December 21, hospitals in England recorded 563 new coronavirus inpatients — the majority of which are believed to be Omicron now that the variant is the country’s dominant stain.
But just 197 (35 per cent) were being primarily treated for Covid, with the remaining 366 (65 per cent) only testing positive after being admitted for something else.
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.
The Zoe Covid study team has been tracking the pandemic using feedback from the general public, and estimates half of people with cold-like symptoms actually have Covid.
They describe an “explosion” of Covid cases over the last week, driven by the new Omicron variant.