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News

Warring scientists fight on as Omicron retreats – The Sunday Times

“There are some scientists who have absolutely loved being media stars for the first time and they don’t want to stop. We don’t hear as much from the paediatricians, disease physicians, academic virologists and the immunologists who really know about these things.” (says Professor Allyson Pollock.)

Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said many prominent Covid voices have never written papers on infectious diseases. “It’s like me deciding, ‘I did a course on health and economics a year ago: maybe I should set up a group advising the chancellor on how to manage the tax system.’”

http://archive.today/2022.01.23-170611/https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/warring-scientists-fight-on-as-omicron-retreats-hq2dz6kjd

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News

Omicron Has 80% Lower Risk of Hospitalization in South Africa – Bloomberg

South Africans contracting Covid-19 in the current fourth wave of infections are 80% less likely to be hospitalized if they catch the omicron variant, compared with other strains, according to a study released by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

Once admitted to the hospital, the risk of severe disease doesn’t differ from other variants, the authors led by scientists Nicole Walter and Cheryl Cohen said.

Compared to delta infections in South Africa between April and November, omicron infections are associated with a 70% lower risk of severe disease, they said. The omicron data was collected for the two months through November.

http://archive.today/2021.12.23-041330/https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-12-22/omicron-has-80-lower-risk-of-hospitalization-new-study-shows

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Opinion

Experts warn UK against ‘blindly’ following US in jabbing healthy five-year-olds against Covid because the reasons are ‘scientifically weak’ — as FDA panel approves Pfizer’s vaccine for primary school-aged children – Daily Mail

Arguments to vaccinate children as young as five against Covid are ‘scientifically weak’, British experts claimed today after the US moved closer to jabbing infants.

…Professor David Livermore, a medical microbiologist at the University of East Anglia told MailOnline: ‘Vaccinating children to protect adults via herd immunity is ethically dubious and is scientifically weak.’

…Professor Russell Viner, a pediatrician and member of the UK Government’s scientific advisory group SAGE, said it was crucial the UK does not ‘rush to a decision’ in the wake of the announcement in the US. 

http://archive.today/2021.10.27-181525/https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10135699/Experts-urge-UK-steer-clear-vaccinating-children-moves-closer-jabbing-FIVE-year-olds.html

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Opinion

My manifesto to beat coronavirus crisis: Protect the elderly and vulnerable, let the rest live their lives, and throw Britain open again – Prof. David Livermore, Daily Mail

In fact, it is now becoming clear [Lockdown] is simply the wrong policy. Those who dissented from the Government’s Covid-19 strategy have been dismissed as mavericks on the fringes of the scientific establishment. However, this is no longer the case. I am afraid that the broadcast media has been particularly slow to reflect a shift in outlook among international scientists.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8816651/PROF-DAVID-LIVERMORE-manifesto-beat-coronavirus-crisis.html

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News

Thousands of coronavirus deaths ‘will be wiped off the government’s official toll’ after urgent review into counting fiasco – Daily Mail

  • Public Health England was miscounting coronavirus death, official review found.
  • Could see up to 4,000 deaths removed  from England’s official toll of 41,749, or 10 per cent.
  • Ministers count victims as anyone who died after ever testing positive for Covid-19 — even if they were hit by a bus after beating the disease months later.
  • The statistical flaw was uncovered by Oxford University’s Professor Carl Heneghan and Dr Yoon Loke, from the University of East Anglia.
  • The Office for National Statistics, another Government agency, also records Covid-19 deaths, and is considered the most reliable source.
  • The ONS — which is not affected by the counting method — has confirmed at least 51,596 people have died in England and Wales up to July 24.
  • Around 58 Brits are now succumbing to the life-threatening infection each day, on average.
  • The deaths data does not represent how many Covid-19 patients died within the last 24 hours — it is only how many fatalities have been reported and registered with the authorities.
  • Department of Health bosses say 820 Britons are now being struck down with the life-threatening virus every day, on average. The rate has been rising since dropping to a four-month low of 546 on July 8.
  • The number of patients being admitted to hospital has yet to spike, bolstering claims from top scientists that the outbreak is not getting worse and cases are only rising because more patients are being tested.
  • Just 109 coronavirus patients were admitted for NHS care across the UK on August 2 — a figure which has barely changed throughout July. During the darkest days of Britain’s crisis in April, around 3,500 patients were needing hospital treatment every day.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8599213/Thousands-Covid-19-deaths-wiped-governments-official-toll-counting-fiasco.html

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Publications

New study reveals blueprint for getting out of Covid-19 lockdown – University of East Anglia

Relaxing stay-at-home orders and allowing some types of non-essential businesses such as shops to reopen are the lowest risk measures to get the UK and other European countries out of lockdown – according to research from the University of East Anglia.

  • Stay-home policies were not associated with a decline in incidence, and actually showed a positive association with cases. As the number of lock-down days increased, so did the number of cases.
  • Face coverings may even be associated with increased risk, but the data quality for this is very uncertain.

https://www.uea.ac.uk/about/-/new-study-reveals-blueprint-for-getting-out-of-covid-19-lockdown