BMJ: We must have raw data for Covid-19 vaccines and treatments now

“despite the global rollout of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments, the anonymised participant level data underlying the trials for these new products remain inaccessible to doctors, researchers, and the public—and are likely to remain that way for years to come. This is morally indefensible for all trials, but especially for those involving major public health interventions.”

British Medical Journal editorial: Covid-19 vaccines and treatments: we must have raw data, now

 

 

Science Magazine: Covid vaccines may cause Long Covid–like symptoms

 

 

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

UK: Omicron BA.2 declared a Variant under Investigation

The UK Health Security Agency has designated the Omicron variant sub-lineage known as BA.2 as a VUI, or Variant under Investigation*.

Just 53 sequences had been identified in the UK by 10 January, according to the UKHSA, but the variant is already at ~50% of cases in Denmark and has grown rapidly in January.

Sky News report

 

BA.2 is still at fairly low levels in the UK at present:

 

Although confirmed BA.2 numbers in the UK are currently very small, with just 72 cases identified by genome sequencing up to the 8th January 2022, that figure is a tenfold increase from the previous week when it was just 7 cases.

 

The latest estimate for BA.2, again up to 8th January 2022, is 1641.

 

In Denmark, BA.2 represents about 50% of new cases recently:

 

Infections are still increasing dramatically in Denmark, although Omicron waves are levelling off in many other countries.

 

 

Denmark have said that BA.2 in not causing an increase in hospitalizations, but Danish hospitalization numbers have been increasing recently:

 

UPDATE 1 – 21st January 2022: “The UKHSA announced that they had classed BA.2 as being a variant under investigation in a tweet, but this was later hastily deleted.” (Daily Mail)

 

 

Denmark: Omicron sub-variant BA.2 outcompetes BA.1

 

 

 

UK: 1,129 Covid deaths in three days

There have been 1,129 Covid deaths in the last 3 days in the UK. Coronavirus cases are now rising again. Does this sound like the final days of a two year-long pandemic, or the right time to remove ALL mitigations?

We can only think of four possible reasons why the UK government are removing all Covid mitigations in the middle of a winter wave:

1) It’s camouflage for Boris Johnson’s spectacular career implosion

2) There’s a party booked for 10 Downing Street this weekend

3) There’s been an outbreak of mass delusion in the entire ruling elite

4) The UK needs to raise more taxes in a hurry

 

Covid cases are back on the rise:

 

1,129 Covid deaths in 3 days:

 

1,125 Covid deaths in three days is over FOUR TIMES the number of British casualties during the ENTIRE Falklands war. 255 British servicemen were killed liberating the Falklands.

Sadly, you can’t just wish away a pandemic, no matter how hard you try.  There is absolutely no way this can end well.

 

 

 

 

 

UK: ALL Coronavirus restrictions to be scrapped including quarantine and WFH

The UK government have announced they are scrapping all coronavirus regulations as soon as possible in order to keep Boris Johnson in power.

Working from home (WFH) will end with immediate effect. Covid passports and compulsory face masks to be dropped from next Thursday.

On March 24, the regulations underpinning the current five-day self-isolation period expire and the UK Government ‘very much expect not to renew them’. 

Daily Mail report

 

 

 

UK: They partied whilst their citizens died in their thousands

 

 

Dr Steve James: I would rather go for a natural health approach than a vaccine

A TalkRadio interview with Dr. Steve James, the iCU doctor who stood up to UK Health Minister Sajid Javid recently when Javid insisted that mandatory vaccinations for health workers would go ahead in Britain.

The interview is well worth a listen, if only as an antidote to the increasingly toxic pro-vaccination campaign that is currently being promoted by almost every other media outlet and politician in the country. 

As booster vaccine doses become less potent at combating Covid in future, a natural health approach could become the primary (and perhaps even the only) weapon we have to fight the virus. Don’t knock it.

 

 

Israel: Fourth dose of vaccine gives limited protection against Omicron infection

 

France: B.1.640 declared a VOI after more than 500 cases found

Sars-CoV-2 variant B.1.640 has been reclassified as a Variant of Interest in France after a new risk assessment showed there have been more than 500 cases on the French mainland, with cases also discovered in the UK and Germany. Other countries in Europe, from Africa, Asia and North America, have also detected this variant, which could suggest an onset of diffusion.

Variant 20A/C – B.1.640 – is classified as a VOI from 05/01/2022, and continues to circulate in Metropolitan France: it represented 0.5% of interpretable sequences for Flash Surveys S48 and 49, and 0.6% for Flash S50.

B.1.640 was detected in 12 of the 13 regions of Metropolitan France since the beginning of October 2021. The regions with the most cases have identified are Hauts-de-France (N=189, in particular the Nord department), Île-de-France (N=185) and Normandy (n=152)

 

 

Variant B.1.640 is now classified VOI since the risk analysis of 05/01/2022, on the basis of the continuation of its circulation in France and preliminary in vitro data, indicating a decrease in the effectiveness of neutralization by vaccine or post-infection antibodies, and therefore a possible escape from the immune response. The circulation of B.1.640 continues at low levels in mainland France: 0.1% for the Flash S51 survey and 0.2% for the Flash survey S52.

A total of 437 sequences of VOI B.1.640 have been deposited in the international GISAID database in 05/01/2022, of which 72% come from France (315). The other countries that have identified this virus are the Republic Congo (N=40), United Kingdom (N=21) and Germany (N=19). However, other countries in Europe, from Africa, Asia and North America, some of which have limited sequencing capabilities, have detected this variant, which could suggest an onset of diffusion.

The identified B.1.640 sequences match mostly to the B.1.640.1 sub-lineage. Among these 437 sequences, 21 carry the E484K mutation, characteristic of sub-line B.1.640.2 (i.e. 4.8%, according to GISAID data). If the E484K mutation has an impact on immune response escape, too few cases have currently been detected to draw conclusions about the characteristics of B.1.640.2 compared to B.1.640.1. In this analysis of risk, no distinction will be made between these two sub-lineages.

VOI B.1.640 has also detected in Reunion, with three cases in total, including one case identified as part of the Flash S43 investigation (25-29/10/2021).

The circulation of the 20A/C variant (B.1.640) continues in France, despite the emergence of Omicron. From preliminary in vitro data produced by the National Reference Center for Respiratory Infection Viruses indicate a decrease in the effectiveness of neutralizing antibodies post-infection or post-vaccination, and therefore a possible escape from the immune response. Variant B.1.640 is therefore now classified as a VOI (variant to follow).

The recently discovered sub-lineage B.1.640.2 (aka IHU) now has 21 cases in France. 

Information for this report has been combined from Variant Risk Analysis dated 12th November 2021 and Variant Risk Analysis dated 5th January 2022 (they’re both in French)

 

UPDATE 1 – 17th January 2022

10th March 2021: International Journal of Infectious Diseases – Genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in the Republic of Congo

 

Czech Republic: B.1.640 family cluster identified in Hradec Kralove, East Bohemia

 

France: new coronavirus variant B.1.640 detected in Finistère, Brittany

 

 

 

 

Image by sollrox from Pixabay

Some people still infectious with Covid after 68 days

A UK study has found that 13 per cent of people still exhibited clinically-relevant levels of virus after 10 days. Some people retained these levels for up to 68 days. 

The study, led by the University of Exeter used a newly adapted test which can detect whether the virus was potentially still active. It was applied to samples from 176 people in Exeter who had tested positive on standard PCR tests.

The study, published in the international Journal of Infectious Diseases found that 13 per cent of people still exhibited clinically-relevant levels of virus after 10 days, meaning they could potentially still be infectious. Some people retained these levels for up to 68 days. The authors believe this new test should be applied in settings where people are vulnerable, to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Professor Lorna Harries, of the University of Exeter Medical School, oversaw the study. She said: “While this is a relatively small study, our results suggest that potentially active virus may sometimes persist beyond a 10 day period, and could pose a potential risk of onward transmission. Furthermore, there was nothing clinically remarkable about these people, which means we wouldn’t be able to predict who they are”.

Exeter.ac.uk report

 

 

 

 

 

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

UK SAGE: New Omicron wave predicted for April 2022

“These projections are extended to the end of July 2022. These show an ‘exit’ wave due to increased mixing and waning vaccine immunity. Precise timing and magnitude of this exit wave is highly dependent on both population behaviour and the scale of the current wave and cannot be predicted with any certainty. “

UK SAGE Document: University of Warwick: Omicron modelling, 6 January 2022 

 

Will Omicron break the 120-day Sars-CoV-2 global wave cycle?

 

 

 

 

 

 

EMA: Transverse Myelitis listed as potential side effect of AstraZeneca and Janssen Covid vaccines

The Europe Medicines Agency has recommended adding a rare spinal inflammation called transverse myelitis as a side effect of AstraZeneca’s and Janssen’s (Johnson and Johnson) COVID-19 vaccines.

The committee, after reviewing data, concluded that a causal relationship between these two vaccines and transverse myelitis is at least a reasonable possibility.

Reuters report

Transverse myelitis is a rare neurological condition in which the spinal cord is inflamed. Transverse implies that the inflammation extends horizontally across the spinal cord. Partial transverse myelitis and partial myelitis are terms sometimes used to specify inflammation that only affects part of the width of the spinal cord.

Transverse myelitis is characterized by weakness and numbness of the limbs, deficits in sensation and motor skills, dysfunctional urethral and anal sphincter activities, and dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system that can lead to episodes of high blood pressure. Signs and symptoms vary according to the affected level of the spinal cord.

Wikipedia: Transverse Myelitis

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

UK: Covid-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status for week 2, 2022

A new report out today by the UK Health and Security Agency gives figures for Covid infections, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status for the period in which Omicron became dominant in Britain.

UK Covid Infections:

 

UK Hospitalizations:

UK Covid Deaths:

 

UKHSA Covid-19 vaccine surveillance report for week 2, 2022

 

 

 

Image by truthseeker08 from Pixabay

ICU doctor to UK Health Secretary: “I do not want to have a vaccination” *3 UPDATES*

Steve James, a consultant anaesthetist at King’s College Hospital in London who has worked in the ICU since early 2020 treating Covid patients, told UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid why he did not believe in vaccination.

Mr James told the PA news agency he did not believe Covid-19 was causing “very significant problems” for young people, adding that his patients in the ICU had been “extremely overweight” with multiple other co-morbidities.

Independent.co.uk report



UPDATE 1 – 8th January 2022

There is a video of the encounter between Dr Steve Smith and Sajid Javid on Sky News here

Steve James, a consultant anaesthetist who has been treating coronavirus patients since the start of the pandemic, told the health secretary about his displeasure on mandatory vaccinations.

“I’m not happy about that,” he said. “I had COVID at some point, I’ve got antibodies, and I’ve been working on COVID ICU since the beginning.

“I have not had a vaccination, I do not want to have a vaccination. The vaccines are reducing transmission only for about eight weeks for Delta, with Omicron it’s probably less.

“And for that, I would be dismissed if I don’t have a vaccine? The science isn’t strong enough.”

Mr James also revealed another of his colleagues held the same position.

Sky News report



UPDATE 2 -8th January 2022

There is more on this story in a Daily Mail report.

The story was headline news in the Mail for a few hours overnight on the 7th/8th January 2022. By the morning, it had disappeared from the front page completely.



UPDATE 3 – 9th January 2022

The Head of King’s College NHS trust says he may lose 1,000 staff over Covid vaccine mandate. He’s concerned that 10% of 14,000 workers are not fully vaccinated.

Guardian report

 



* * A bureaucrat’s worst nightmare – someone who disagrees with them using facts and personal experience **



 

UK ONS: 1.3 million long COVID cases in Britain – 2% of the population

ONS: An estimated 1.3 million people living in private households in the UK were experiencing self-reported long COVID as of 6 December 2021. That represents 2.0% of the population.

An estimated 1.3 million people living in private households in the UK (2.0% of the population) were experiencing self-reported long COVID (symptoms persisting for more than four weeks after the first suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) infection that were not explained by something else) as of 6 December 2021.

The proportion of people with self-reported long COVID who reported that it reduced their ability to carry out daily activities remained stable compared with previous months; symptoms adversely affected the day-to-day activities of 809,000 people (64% of those with self-reported long COVID), with 247,000 (20%) reporting that their ability to undertake their day-to-day activities had been “limited a lot”.

Fatigue continued to be the most common symptom reported as part of individuals’ experience of long COVID (51% of those with self-reported long COVID), followed by loss of smell (37%), shortness of breath (36%), and difficulty concentrating (28%).

As a proportion of the UK population, prevalence of self-reported long COVID was greatest in people aged 35 to 69 years, females, people living in more deprived areas, those working in health care, social care, or teaching and education (which saw the biggest month-on-month increase out of all employment sectors), and those with another activity-limiting health condition or disability.

ONS: Prevalence of ongoing symptoms following coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in the UK : 6 January 2022

 

Boris Johnson: We can ‘ride out’ the Omicron wave with no more curbs

 

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

UK: First human case of H5N1 bird flu found in Buckfastleigh, Devon *3 UPDATES*

A person in the Buckfastleigh, Devon, in the south west of England has been confirmed as having contracted H5N1 bird flu, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said. In a statement, the agency said it is “extremely rare” for strains of avian influenza to pass from birds to humans.

They added: “The person acquired the infection from very close, regular contact with a large number of infected birds, which they kept in and around their home over a prolonged period of time.

Laboratory analysis seems to have confirmed a H5N1 infection – the strain bird flu currently circulating in birds in the UK.

Sky News report


UPDATE 1 – 6th January 2022

The first man in Britain to catch the H5N1 strain of bird flu is a 79-year-old former railway worker who kept 20 Muscovy ducks INSIDE his home after befriending a flock of 160 which lived in nearby Devon river

Britain’s ‘patient zero’, Alan Gosling, a 79-year-old grandfather living in Devon, caught the virus from 20 Muscovy ducks living in his home in Buckfastleigh. He befriended them over a number of years, his family say.

The former railway worker is the first ever human case of H5N1 recorded in the UK.  The H5N1 virus can kill up to half of the people it infects.

Daily Mail report


UPDATE 2  – 9th January 2022

Alan Gosling’s family have set up a GOFUNDME campaign to help Alan disinfect his property

Alan Gosling GoFundMe page


UPDATE 3 – 9th January 2022

Family’s hell as Buckfastleigh ‘duck man’ infected with H5N1 strain.

Alan, 79, was known as ‘the duck man’ of Buckfastleigh where he created a bird sanctuary at his home beside the River Dart over the last 24 years to care for and heal injured, sick and dying Muscovy ducks.

Devonlive report


** What a sad story. What a kind soul Alan must be to befriend so many ducks. He must be a very lonely fellow now that all of his duck friends have gone. **

Vegetarian diet may provide more protection against severe Covid than triple vaccination

*

 

Photo by Jari Hytönen on Unsplash

Boris Johnson: We can ‘ride out’ the Omicron wave with no more curbs

London, 1940. The city is being heavily bombed in the Blitz. Hundreds of civilians are dying daily. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has taken to the airwaves to reassure the public, and to urge them to go outside and enjoy the bombing.

Johnson’s Conservative party are staunchly against any further blackouts being imposed. Pubs, cinemas and theatres remain open, football stadiums are packed, and planes are still flying. Business, it seems, must go on, even at the expense of large loss of life and serious injury.  No one gives a hoot, least of all the clearly deranged Prime Minister or his supine, boot-licking cabinet.

WW2 – “Londoners take to shelters”

 

BBC: Boris Johnson plans to ‘ride out’ Omicron wave with no more curbs

 

** The number of casualties of the Covid-19 pandemic in Britain already far outweighs those killed in the Blitz. In the eight months of Blitz attacks, some 43,000 civilians were killed. This amounted to nearly half of Britain’s total civilian deaths for the whole war.

 

UK Covid case rates have been running at astronomical levels since “Freedom Day” was announced in July 2021:

 

UK ONS: 1.3 million long COVID cases in Britain – 2% of the population