Deepti Gurdasani: “This is a virus that we need to eliminate”, condemns “herd immunity” policies

“There’s no country that has attained herd immunity to SARS-CoV-2. And, certainly, there are countries with different levels of vaccination. I mean, some countries have over 60 percent of their population fully vaccinated. There are also countries that have had natural exposure to the infection at very high rates. But it hasn’t extinguished the pandemic. We’ve always seen surges even after that. And I think that reflects several factors.

One, I think natural immunity can wane over time. And I think the durability of that immunity does depend on the severity of original infection. When infections are mild and asymptomatic, we can have at least weighting of neutralizing antibodies and how that correlates with waning immunity. We don’t know yet, but we know that re-infection, or the getting infected again with the virus, either the same variant or another variant, are far more common than we originally thought. Although there is protection, even over longer duration of time, it’s not absolute.” interview with Dr. Deepti Gurdasani **


** One of just a handful of people on Earth who seems to understand the existential threat that Sars-CoV-2  poses


Dominic Minghella on “Learning to live with Covid”

This  👆  👆  👆


Kit Yates on “We have to learn to live with the virus”

Over to you Kirsty….

Kirsty Allsopp: We have to learn to live with Covid

Israel: booster vaccine jab rollout begins – third vaccination in 8 months for some

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Thursday the world’s first vaccination drive to inoculate people over 60 with a third Covid vaccine dose, starting Sunday. Speaking at a press conference at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, where 60-year-old Herzog received the jab, Bennett said: “We are launching our third jab campaign to protect seniors in Israel. From today there is a new mitzvah: to vaccinate your fathers and mothers.” report


Israel: 60% of severely ill Covid patients are fully vaccinated


Kirsty Allsopp: We have to learn to live with Covid

Learn to live with Covid?

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.



Covid-19 Map courtesy of JHU


Brazil: previously infected and fully vaccinated subjects with high anti-S IgG titers are susceptible to infection by VOC

Here we show that even previously infected and fully vaccinated subjects with high anti-S IgG titers are susceptible to infection by VOC, highlighting that immune responses induced by either natural infection or vaccination may not be sufficient to prevent infection by SARS-CoV-2 variants.

For this study we selected 72 SARS-CoV-2 recently tested positive individuals with nasopharyngeal swabs collected between mid-January and March 2021 with SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR Ct values <30. These include both cancer patients and healthcare workers (HCW) from the Brazilian National Cancer Institute (INCA), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Of those 72 subjects, six were vaccinated prior the current infection and two out of those six were also reinfection cases. Another three subjects also represented reinfections, showing a previous infection during the first wave of the pandemic in Brazil.

Six HCW included in this study have been fully or partially vaccinated with one of the vaccines available in Brazil, either CoronaVac (Sinovac/Butantã) or ChAdOx1-S/nCoV-19 (AstraZeneca/Oxford/Fiocruz). All six tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR after at least one vaccine dose and reported mild symptoms during infection. preprint: New infections by SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern after natural infections and post-vaccination in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil




Image by Rafael Moura Sb. from Pixabay

Israel: We have to learn to live with Covid

“We all need to change our thinking and draw a road map for living with Covid,” says Dr. Manfred Green.   We disagree, and we will be explaining why we disagree in a post later.

Editors note: This report comes just 48 hours after our warning that Boris Johnson’s government was proposing to his countrymen that they should also “learn to live with Covid” (see original post below).

Have you ever wondered what happens when you search for “We have to learn to live with Ebola”? Try it.

It’s an idea so insane that only one person in recorded history has actually written it down.


We have to learn to live with Covid.

Portugal: coronavirus infection rates rising fastest amongst the 80+ age group

In another sign that the effectiveness of the various coronavirus vaccines is waning quickly, Covid-19 infection rates are now rising fastest amongst the over 80s age group, with a rise of 54% in two weeks in that cohort in Portugal. The over 80s, of course, were the first group to be vaccinated against Covid-19 earlier this year as they were deemed to be the most vulnerable to the disease. report (in Portuguese)

Portugal: 75% of Covid-19 deaths are now in the over-70s


Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccine antibodies start to wane after six weeks


Image by Philipp Weber from Pixabay

We have to learn to live with Covid.

“Learning to live with Covid” will be coming to your country soon. Be prepared.


Boris Johnson tells Britons to “learn to live with Covid


UK: Third Covid-19 wave is the worst yet

Israel: 5,770 vaccine breakthrough infections, 495 hospitalized, 123 died

The Israeli Health Ministry reported Thursday the efficacy of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine in preventing infection has dropped to 39% but the effectiveness in preventing severe illness still remains relatively high.

The report adds the efficacy of the vaccine in preventing serious illness has also dropped and now stands at 91%. The efficacy in preventing hospitalizations among vaccinated now stands at 88%.

5,770 people diagnosed with Covid-19 were fully vaccinated, 495 patients were hospitalized, 334 were hospitalized in a serious condition, and 123 died.

Ynet news report


Update 1:

Israel has already begun administering a third dose of Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine to adults with compromised immune systems.


Update 2:

In a separate surprising development, Israel has said it is moving away from the Pfizer vaccine and over to the Moderna vaccine


Update 3:

This Jerusalem Post article gives a credible explanation as to why Israel is reporting vaccine efficacy numbers that are different to those published by recent British studies:

“It is beginning to become clear that vaccine immunity begins to wane after about six months. The Israeli study showed that for people vaccinated more than six months ago, the effectiveness of the vaccine at stopping coronavirus dropped to as low as 16%.”


Israel: Pfizer vaccine effectiveness waning


So what is Plan B if the vaccines fail with a new #coronavirus super-variant?



Image by jorono from Pixabay

Israel: Previous Covid-19 infection may offer more protection than vaccination

People who have recovered from Covid-19 are around 9% of Israel’s population, but they’re less than 1% of current cases. That has led to speculation that recovery from past Covid is more protective against infection from the Delta Variant than vaccination. Known recovered people in Israel are mostly not vaccinated, though some chose to get a single booster dose

“There could be other explanations for this result. The Delta wave is, for now at least, not affecting the communities hardest hit by Israel’s previous Covid waves: Ultra Orthodox Jews and Israeli Arabs. So perhaps recovered people aren’t being exposed to the virus yet.

But I’m not sure that’s enough to explain the sharp difference. From data I was passed last week, recovered people were testing at only 0.1% positivity, compared to more than 1% for vaccinated people.

It’s clear that Delta is spreading in Israel’s vaccinated population. Vaccinated people are getting Delta, and — critically — vaccinated people are giving Delta to other vaccinated people.”

Report by Arieh Kovler


Israel: 56% of serious coronavirus cases in hospitals are fully vaccinated


UK: 60% of UK Covid-19 hospital cases are double vaccinated




Image by Tom Gordon from Pixabay

English Freedom Day: Lions led by Zombies

A short reminder of what happened after “Freedom Day” was announced in the Czech Republic on July 2nd 2020:


 Covid-19 cases after “Freedom Day” in the Czech Republic in 2020:

 Covid-19 deaths after “Freedom Day” in the Czech Republic in July 2020:

English Freedom Day – Lions led by Zombies.


Gupta Lab: Delta variant emergence, replication and immune evasion

Bad news from the Gupta Lab who have been looking at the Delta variant.

“Taking replication we originally showed increased growth of Delta virus in vitro using airway organoids compared to Alpha. Now we show increased virus production in two other systems: Calu-3 epithelial lung cell lines (shown here) and airway epithelial cells”

We now further define Delta immune evasion using a panel of 38 monoclonal antibodies, showing significant loss of potency of NTD and RBD targeting antibodies. Imdevimab, part of the REGN2 dual monoclonal antibody cocktail is compromised by Delta.”

“We also show loss of activity for casivirimab, part of the Lily dual therapy cocktail. These dual therapies could be less effective against Delta particularly in the setting of immune compromise could lead to escape variants emerging/ transmitting.”

“We also found that the Delta virus appears to be in a predominantly cleaved form as compared to Alpha. This may suggest that each virus particle is more infectious in addition to more virus particles being produced

Twitter: @GuptaR_Lab

BiorXiv Preprint: SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 Delta variant emergence, replication and immune evasion




Photo by British Library on Unsplash

UK Chief Medical Officer – lockdown in 5 weeks

“I don’t think we should underestimate the fact that we could get into trouble again surprisingly fast”

The UK Government’s top medic has warned the number of people in hospital with coronavirus could reach “quite scary” levels within weeks and new coronavirus restrictions in England could be needed in just five weeks.

Chris Whitty’s stark warning came just days before has warned just days before Boris Johnsons’ ‘Freedom Day’ on Monday (July 19). The Chief Medical Officer sounded the alarm over a potential “scary” growth in hospitalisations which could leave the NHS “in trouble again surprisingly fast” once restrictions are lifted. report