The Covid-19 Actuaries Response Group have recently issued a report on Covid-19 hospitalizations by age and vaccine status, based on data from the UK government’s own reports.
The news is relatively good for fully vaccinated under 50’s, they are far less likely to be hospitalized than older age groups or the unvaccinated, but it’s a very different story for fully vaccinated over-50’s who now make up 52% of all Covid-19 hospitalizations.
Although the over-50s age group has seen a high take-up of the various vaccines available in the UK, they have been hit surprisingly hard by vaccine waning, and a third vaccination in just eight months is now being rolled out for this age group, a measure also introduced in Israel recently.
Scenario One: A variant that causes severe disease in a greater proportion of the population than has occurred to date. Scenario Two: A variant that evades current vaccines. Scenario Three: Emergence of a drug resistant variant after anti-viral strategies. Scenario Four: SARS-CoV-2 follows an evolutionary trajectory with decreased virulence.
Scenario One: A variant that causes severe disease in a greater proportion of the population than has occurred to date. For example, with similar morbidity/mortality to other zoonotic coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV (~10% case fatality) or MERS-CoV (~35% case fatality).
Likelihood of increased severity phenotype: Realistic possibility.
Scenario Two: A variant that evades current vaccines. This could be caused by: Antigenic ‘shift’: Natural recombination events that insert a different spike gene sequence (or partial sequence) from human CoVs MERS-CoV (highly unlikely due to the low frequency of MERS-CoV infections), or from currently circulating endemic human CoVs (more likely due to the prevalence of these viruses). This would recombine into the ‘body’ of SARS-CoV-2 that is capable of high replication in human cells. The consequence could be a virus that causes disease at a level similar to COVID-19 when it first emerged but against which our current battery of spike glycoprotein-based vaccines would not work.
Likelihood: Realistic possibility.
Scenario Three: Emergence of a drug resistant variant after anti-viral strategies. This could be caused by: Emergence of new variants following the administration of directly acting antiviral therapies. As we begin to use directly acting antiviral drugs it is highly likely a variant will be selected that had resistance to individual agents. For example, drugs that target the viral 3C protease, drugs that target the polymerase, monoclonal antibodies that target the spike glycoprotein. If the drugs are used as a mono therapy, then resistant variants have a high probability of emerging. This may render all drugs in that category unusable.
Likelihood: Likely – unless the drugs are used correctly.
Scenario Four: SARS-CoV-2 follows an evolutionary trajectory with decreased virulence. This could be caused by: Variants arising with increased transmissibility but decreased pathogenesis/virulence as the virus becomes fully adapted to the human host becoming an endemic infection. Coupled with the likelihood of eventual high populations immunity the infection produces less disease. In other words, this virus will become like other human CoV that causes common colds, but with much less severe disease predominantly in the old or clinically vulnerable.
Likelihood: Unlikely in the short term, realistic possibility in the long term.
The UK government have been trumpeting lower daily Covid-19 infection numbers on their dedicated coronavirus portal (below) for a week, but the UK Covid-19 app Zoe is showing that the number of active cases is still rising sharply. The number of patients being admitted to hospitals for Covid-19 is still above 800 a day, and deaths are nearly 100 a day.
Latest Care Home (CH) COVID death data (to last Friday) unfortunately shows a significant increase (doubled in a fortnight) after several low weeks.
This is a population that is ~99% fully vax'd, although staff are only around 77% fully vax'd.
— John Roberts (@john_actuary) July 27, 2021
Please check your care home lockdown plans now, this could escalate quite quickly.
The number of people who, very clearly, do not want this drop in the number of Covid cases to be true is quite staggering. What is wrong with people? Is that they like the control/the drama/the restrictions and know that they will lose all this as we learn to live with Covid?
— Kirstie Allsopp (@KirstieMAllsopp) July 26, 2021
Learn to live with Covid?
- Over 4 million dead in 18 months
- Nearly 200 million infections
- 5%, 10% or even 30% of Covid-19 infections become Long Covid cases – that’s between 10 million and 60 million Long Covid cases so far
- An estimated 1,134,000 children experienced the death of primary caregivers from Covid-19, including at least one parent or custodial grandparent.
- Vaccine breakthrough cases already account for more than 50% of new Covid-19 infections in some countries
We’ll be adding more reasons why it’s impossible to learn to live with Covid here as more and more people become fascinated by this glib solution to a raging pandemic.
An utterly contemptible message from UK’s Health Minister today, dismissing as cowards the 150,000 people who have lost their lives to Covid-19 in Britain and taunting tens of millions who were ORDERED TO STAY AT HOME by HIS GOVERNMENT.
Loose talk costs lives, and this crass comment will certainly cost many more lives to the virus in future.
Full recovery from Covid a week after testing positive.
Symptoms were very mild, thanks to amazing vaccines.
Please – if you haven’t yet – get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus. https://t.co/OmuaUGp173
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) July 24, 2021
“Learning to live with Covid” will be coming to your country soon. Be prepared.
The peak of the second Alpha wave was the 9th January 2021. Interactive maps produced by the UK government show infections in the third Delta wave are clearly worse than the peak of the second wave despite the “wall of protection” supposedly offered by the vaccines.
The official Covid-19 figures, the hospitalizations and the deaths have yet to catch up with what is happening on the ground.
The latest ONS survey of UK Covid-19 infection has confirmed our suspicion that the Covid-19 epidemic has spiralled out of control in Britain, with more than 800,000 estimated to have been infected in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland last week.
Northern Ireland: 10,900
Yet more pictures that say a thousand words about the UK’s abysmal response to Covid-19. This is not government in any recognizable sense, this is cold, calculated, mass murder through neglect.
The ZOE UK Covid-19 app is showing that nearly ¾ of a million people currently have symptomatic Covid-19. Around 30% of Covid-19 cases tend to be asymptomatic, which means the total number of people with the virus in Britain could be around 1 million at present. No wonder the app is pinging!
On the 22nd July 2021, the UK Zoe Covid-19 app is showing new daily cases in Britain at more than 60,000 a day, whereas the official UK.gov website is showing new daily cases at less than 40,000…..
The UK Zoe Covid-19 study has changed its methodology for counting new Covid-19 cases and vaccine breakthroughs, possibly following the reaction to this article last week which showed vaccine breakthroughs in the UK at nearly 50%.
The new Zoe methodology shows that vaccine breakthroughs are now at 40% of new Covid-19 cases – see the chart at the top of this post. The chart also shows that there are now more Covid-19 cases in the fully vaccinated than in the partially vaccinated.
Meanwhile, the Zoe study have said that they will stop counting new unvaccinated Covid-19 cases soon as “the numbers of unvaccinated people of all age groups are so low“.
“As you see in the graph below, when we overlay our previous estimate (red line) and new adjusted estimate (orange line) in a single graph, we can see our updated methods align more closely to trends observed in government confirmed cases (blue line)”
The Israeli Director General of the Ministry of Health, Prof. Nachman Ash, does not rule out return to school capsules or bubbles. Nachman Ash told Ynet that “we are preparing for a situation where there will be no choice but to reduce the size of the classrooms in red areas.” That the number of patients will rise sharply, not to follow the dangerous path of Britain.
On the preparations for the start of the school year, Prof. Ash said: “We are working very closely with the Ministry of Education to formulate a plan that includes both tests and a plan to prepare for situations where there are more infections and there are more contagious areas.” With the professional factors, and we are moving forward to agree on the matter” When asked if it was for example capsules in a red area, he answered in the affirmative.
Israel is also considering introducing a new quarantine system for inbound travellers and has banned fully vaccinated tourists from entry.
Ynet.co.il report (in Hebrew)
The coronavirus outbreak in the UK is worsening with deaths almost doubling to 100 a day and hospitalizations increasing to 750 a day on 20th July 2021.
The UK “Freedom Day”, when all Covid restrictions were lifted, came into force on 19th July 2021.
The images below show the outbreak in January 2021, the peak of the last wave.
And, despite a massive vaccination campaign which has seen most British adults vaccinated, this is the most recent outbreak map for 15th July 2021: