Europe suddenly ablaze with Covid – it could be the biggest wave yet

We predicted here and here that we would see a fresh Covid wave after October 19th, but even we didn’t expect Europe to ignite into a raging inferno within a couple of days. It is beginning to look like Europe may be the epicentre of the biggest global Covid wave yet this coming winter. 

So much for an ‘endemic’ phase of Covid – large parts of Europe are seeing sudden huge increases in infections:

 

Morocco today banned flights to the UK, Germany and the Netherlands in response to the growing infection numbers.

What will happen with North America? It’s just coming out of a fairly major wave that peaked in September 2021. We should know within two weeks whether it has been spared a full-blown winter wave, but we doubt it. Relaxations in international travel over the summer will almost certainly mean a spillover from Europe to the US and Canada, which is exactly what happened in March 2020.

 

 

Winter is here. Three European nations see their highest ever Covid case rates

UK ONS: Natural infection by Covid provides a similar level of protection to two vaccine doses

UK Office of National Statistics: “Two vaccination doses provided a similar level of protection to previous natural infection during the Delta-dominant period”

Modelled risk ratios of testing positive for COVID-19 by COVID-19 vaccine exposure, when the Delta variant was dominant, UK, 17 May to 14 August 2021

 

  • there was no evidence that the reduction in risk of infection from two doses of either vaccine differed from that of previous natural infection
  • two doses (14 days or more previously) of Pfizer-BioNTech reduced the risk of testing positive by 73% (95% confidence interval: 70% to 76%) in the Delta period, compared with 80% (95% confidence interval: 74% to 85%) in the Alpha period​
  • two doses (14 days or more previously) of Oxford-AstraZeneca reduced the risk of testing positive by 62% (95% confidence interval: 58% to 66%) in the Delta period, compared with 76% (95% confidence interval: 62% to 85%) in the Alpha period
  • the reduction in risk 14 days or more after second dose was significantly higher with Pfizer-BioNTech compared with Oxford-AstraZeneca​
  • the risk reduction from two doses of either vaccine was greater than from one dose (21 days or more previously)

 

UK ONS report:  Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey Technical Article: Impact of vaccination on testing positive in the UK: October 2021

 

 

Israel: 7% of serious Covid cases have had three vaccine shots

Some 7% of Israel’s serious and critical COVID-19 cases were vaccinated with three shots of the coronavirus vaccine, according to data released Friday morning by the Israeli Health Ministry. Another 17% were vaccinated with two shots more than six months ago, according to the data.

“I cannot say that 7% is a lot,” Health Minister Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash told The Jerusalem Post. “The vaccine, even the third shot, does not work at 100%.” He said that there are always a small percentage of people who do not develop full immunity, such as those who are immunosuppressed.”

Jerusalem Post article

 

Nearly 44% of eligible Israelis have been vaccinated with a third “booster” dose of Covid-19 vaccine

 

Preprint: Breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infections in 620,000 U.S. Veterans – protection decreased from 92% to 54%

We compared SARS CoV-2 infection by vaccination status from February 1, 2021 to August 13, 2021 in the Veterans Health Administration, covering 2.7% of the U.S. population. Vaccine protection declined by mid-August 2021, decreasing from 91.9% in March to 53.9%. Declines were greatest for the Janssen vaccine followed by PfizerBioNTech and Moderna. Patterns of breakthrough infection over time were consistent by age, despite rolling vaccine eligibility, implicating the Delta variant as the primary determinant of infection.

Preprint: Breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infections in 620,000 U.S. Veterans, February 1, 2021 to August 13, 2021

UK: start to pandemic “worst public health failure ever” – a failure that is still ongoing

The UK government approach – backed by its scientists – was to try to manage the situation and in effect achieve herd immunity by infection, it said. This led to a delay in introducing the first lockdown, costing lives.

BBC report

Full Parliamentary report here

 

Coronaheadsup Twitter feed, 15th March 2020 – the UK promotes herd immunity and our prediction of the outcome of the policy

Coronaheadsup Twitter feed, 15th March 2020 – the UK promotes herd immunity and ignores warnings from Italian doctors about the severity of the coronavirus

 

Coronaheadsup Twitter feed, March 13th 2020 – warning of a catastrophe in UK schools if they are left open. This is another lesson still not learned. Millions of British schoolchildren have been infected by Covid-19 in UK schools in 2021, with no mitigations allowed.
In an ongoing attempt to impose herd immunity, defenceless British kids are being told to fight a BSL4 pathogen in classrooms with no protection, mitigations, bubbles or vaccines. It’s homicidal insanity, and by far the biggest scandal of this pandemic.

What we don’t want or need is another government apology or a public inquiry in a year’s time after millions more lives have been wrecked by this virus. We need preventative action, and we need it NOW.

 

Sars-CoV-2 – checkmate to the virus in four moves

32% of world’s population is fully vaccinated, but the global case fatality rate is increasing again

32 percent of the population of the globe has now been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, but the global case fatality rate has started increasing again – for the first time in four months.

Note the four monthly CFR cycle, giving three global Covid waves a year.

 

 

WHO: the first substantial decline in global Covid cases in more than two months

Thailand authorizes Covid vaccine injections under the skin

“One vaccine dose can be used for five intradermal injections,” a Thai doctor said.

Doctors in Thailand have been given the go-ahead to start giving Covid-19 booster shots under the skin, rather than injecting them into muscles, officials said on Monday (Sept 20), in an effort to strengthen immunity and stretch vaccine supplies.

Dr Chalermpong Sukonthaphon, director of the Vachira Hospital in Phuket, said his hospital had been given the green light to use the technique from Friday as trials had shown that it triggered a similar immune response to the regular method.

Straitstimes.com report

 

Denmark’s SSI recommends changes to syringe injection method for #coronavirus vaccines

 

 

 

Image by v-a-n-3-ss-a from Pixabay

Italy: ALL workers must have a Covid vaccination or negative test

The Italian government has today made it obligatory for ALL workers either to show proof of vaccination, a negative test or recent recovery from infection.

The new rules will come into force on Oct 15 in the latest effort by Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s broad coalition to persuade people to get inoculated and blunt contagion in one of the countries worst-hit by the virus.

Any worker who fails to present a valid health certificate will be suspended on no pay, but cannot be sacked, according to a draft of the decree seen by Reuters. The full details are due to be published later in the day.

Straits Times report

 

Sonia Battaglia dead: she went into a coma a few days after the AstraZeneca #coronavirus vaccine

UK: Despite a 65% vaccination rate, the Covid situation is far worse than September 2020

The UK announced its plan to deal with Covid this coming winter in a marathon one hour press conference in Downing Street this afternoon. The main image pretty much sums it up. Despite 65% of the UK population having been vaccinated, the current Covid situation is far worse than at the same point last year.

 

At 24:25 in the conference:

 

Oh, and the vaccines have been so successful you will need to have a third dose to top up that incredible success. 

 

65% of the population have been vaccinated in the UK:

 

Whilst the Downing Street press conference was being held, today’s UK Covid figures were released. Another 185 people have died and more than 1,000 have gone into hospital since yesterday.

 

If you have an hour to spare, here’s that Downing Street press conference in full

 

**UPDATE **

UK SAGE: Between 2,000 and 7,000 people a day could be hospitalised with Covid in England next month (The Guardian)

SAGE DOCUMENT: SPI-M-O: Consensus statement on COVID-19, 8 September 2021

 

The UK announces its winter Covid plans

 

84% reduction in humoral immunity among healthcare workers and nursing home residents after 6 months

We report on humoral immunity from 2 weeks to 6-months post-vaccination in 120 nursing home residents and 92 ambulatory healthcare worker controls with and without pre-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection. Anti-spike, anti-RBD and neutralization levels dropped more than 84% over 6 months’ time in all groups irrespective of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. At 6 months post-vaccine, 70% of the infection-naive NH residents had neutralization titers at or below the lower limit of detection compared to 16% at 2 weeks after full vaccination.

Anti-spike and anti-receptor binding domain (RBD) IgG, and serum neutralization titers, were assessed using a bead-based ELISA method and pseudovirus neutralization assay.

 

Medrxiv Preprint: Significant reduction in humoral immunity among healthcare workers and nursing home residents 6 months after COVID-19 BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination 

 

Image by Gundula Vogel from Pixabay

UK: it’s an epidemic of the partially vaccinated

The latest UK ZOE Covid app data from 12th August 2021 shows that you are now more likely to catch Covid-19 if you are partially vaccinated than if you are unvaccinated.

 

Partially vaccinated cases are 6,733, or about 120 cases per 100,000 people
Unvaccinated cases are 22,671, or about 87 cases per 100,000 people
Fully vaccinated cases are 12,662, or about 35 cases per 100,000 people

A rough estimate would suggest that, by late September, the number of new Covid-19 cases in partially vaccinated and fully vaccinated people will outnumber those in unvaccinated people. This is despite the UK vaccination figures only increasing modestly for weeks.

If you combine the case numbers for the vaccinated and the partially vaccinated, the vaccine breakthrough rate has now risen to 45% in one month, despite the change in methodology.

 

Below: the previous ZOE chart published by us on the 17th July 2021 after the “methodology was changed

 

The latest ZOE report is available here

 

Turkey: 4th vaccination offered to health workers

Turkey’s Health Ministry has announced that health workers and priority groups are now eligible to receive a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the country’s efforts to combat the resurgence of the disease.

The individuals in these groups who have previously had two doses of the Chinese-produced CoronaVac followed by one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine as a booster shot will be able to get one more dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

On July 1 the Health Ministry started to offer a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines for people aged 50 and above and health workers who previously had two doses as part of its vaccination drive.

TurkishMinute.com report

 

280 cases of Delta variant with N501Y, some with E484K too

 

 

 

 

mage by Кирилл Соболев from Pixabay

Israel: Covid-19 severely ill cases and deaths by vaccination status

Some of the charts from Israel’s official Covid-19 dashboard make interesting reading and seem to tell a rather different story to the current vaccination narrative.

Firstly, let’s recall that the number of people that are fully vaccinated in Israel is about 63% of the population.

The chart below shows the number of severely ill Covid-19 patients of all age groups and their vaccination status.

278 of the severely ill patients are fully vaccinated
163 of the severely ill patients are unvaccinated
10 of the severely ill patients are partially vaccinated

 

If you break down the severely ill Covid-19 patients by age group

251 of the severely ill patients over 60s are fully vaccinated
97 of the severely ill patients over 60s are unvaccinated
10 of the severely ill patients over 60s are partially vaccinated

You can see why booster vaccine shots are being administered to the over 60s with these numbers. The vaccinations already administered seemed to have largely waned after a few months.

 

It’s a different story for the severely ill aged under 60 at the moment. Relatively few people under 60 are severely ill in Israel, but of those that are, a larger proportion are unvaccinated.

26 of the severely ill patients under 60s are fully vaccinated
66 of the severely ill patients under 60s are unvaccinated
0 of the severely ill patients under 60s are partially vaccinated

 

Covid-19 deaths have been steadily rising in all age groups, despite the vaccination campaign.

 

 

In conclusion then, we now know that:

The Covid-19 vaccines don’t prevent infection from Covid-19

The Covid-19 vaccines don’t prevent transmission of Covid-19

The Covid-19 vaccines don’t prevent severe illness from Covid-19

The Covid-19 vaccines don’t prevent death from Covid-19

So what exactly have we paid for?

The Israeli Covid-19 data charts are were all reproducible here **.

 

** UPDATE ** The Israeli Dashboard has been redesigned since these screenshots were taken. It’s now impossible to replicate this data! **

 

** Update 2:  The Israeli Covid infection figures seem to have flipped since we originally wrote this post. There are now far more unvaccinated people becoming infected with Covid and ending up in hospital. The post below probably goes a long way to explaining why that is the case.

Israel: 40% of new Covid cases are in children under 11yrs

 

Israel: “85-90% of the hospitalizations are in fully vaccinated people”

mRNA vaccine booster dose antibodies – quantity not quality

“These results suggest that boosting vaccinated individuals with currently available mRNA vaccines would produce a quantitative increase in plasma neutralizing activity but not the qualitative advantage against variants obtained by vaccinating convalescent individuals.”

Biorxiv preprint: Antibody Evolution after SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccination

 

Image by Johaehn from Pixabay