One thing that we have been keeping on eye on recently is the possible successor variant to Delta B.1.617.2 in the UK. The Alpha B.1.1.7 variant had a shelf life of about 5 months before it was displaced by Delta. Will Delta have a similar shelf life?
Delta seems to have been on the wane in the UK over the couple of weeks, so is it already making way for a stronger, fitter variant? If it is, it won’t be long before that successor variant becomes apparent, and the removal of all Covid mitigations on UK “Freedom Day” has given it plenty of opportunity to spread quickly.
Below, Alpha had a shelf life of about 5 months in the UK. Delta already seems to be waning. What will take its place?
Below, Delta may have peaked worldwide, but there is no clear successor variant yet.
Below, It doesn’t look like the successor variant will be Delta AY.3 in the UK from this chart, but it’s too early to tell….
Below, Delta peaked in early May 2021 in India, but hasn’t immediately been followed by another stronger variant. The next variant could be waiting for a fall in the population’s antibody levels from the Delta wave which could take 3-6 months, creating an opportunity from August 2021 onwards. The shelf life for Delta in India, in a largely unvaccinated population, was just three months.
The problem for the UK government, though, is that by dropping all mitigations on 19th July 2021, they may have encouraged Delta to peak early and, as a consequence, left enough time for a second larger, and perhaps far worse, autumn or winter wave to form.
As we said in this post in on 16th July:
“According to the UK’s Chief Medical Officer, the idea is that a Covid-19 wave in the summer will prevent an even worse wave in the winter. Our prediction is that Johnson will simply get two waves for the price of one – the wave he is promoting now, by removing all mitigations, and an even worse winter wave caused by yet another new variant.”
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.
“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.
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
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
Blood tests on hundreds of British people revealed that protective antibodies can wane substantially within weeks of second vaccine shots being given.
The UCL Virus Watch study found that antibodies generated by two doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines started to wane as early as six weeks after the second shot, in some cases falling more than 50% over 10 weeks.
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 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:
The US State Department and the CDC have both warned against travel to the UK because of high Covid-19 levels.
Sir Patrick Vallance has said in the latest 10 Downing Street press conference that 60% of people hospitalized with Covid-19 have had two vaccine jabs.
In the video below, at 18 minutes:
Q: Out of all the daily announced Covid cases what percentage of these have had none, one or both of their vaccination injections?
Patrick Vallance: Well, in terms of the number of people in hospital, who have been double vaccinated, we know it’s around 60% of the people being admitted to hospital with Covid have been double vaccinated, and that is not surprising, because the vaccines are not 100% effective, they’re very, very effective, but not 100%, and as a higher proportion of the population is double vaccinated, it’s inevitable that those 10% of that very large number remain at risk and therefore will be amongst the people who both catch the infection and end up in hospital.
UPDATE: Patrick Vallance has since issued a statement saying that his remarks at the press conference were incorrect. Apparently only 40% of Covid-19 hospital cases are vaccine breakthroughs at the moment!
An absolutely bizarre "error" considering that you went on to explain exactly why the 60% figure was so high. This is all very odd and suspicious 🤔
— Jon Chalk (@Jon_Chalk1) July 19, 2021
** BREAKING NEWS **
Last week, the UK vaccine breakthrough figure was 47% and that included people with just one vaccine jab:
Current estimates of the vaccination efficacy are: preventing infection: 1.5%, preventing transmission when infected: 85.5%, preventing serious illness when symptomatic: 60.7%, preventing fatality when seriously ill: 93.6%. This means being vaccinated offers very little protection against becoming infected and potentially symptomatic; however, it reduces the subsequent probability becoming infectious or developing serious illness.
Current estimates of the vaccination efficacy are:
- preventing infection: 1.5% (CI -4.6 to 7.3)
- preventing transmission when infected: 85.5% (CI 83.3 to 87.4)
- preventing serious illness when symptomatic: 60.7% (CI 58.5 to 62.9)
- preventing fatality when seriously ill: 93.6% (CI 92.1 to 94.9)
- This means being vaccinated offers very little protection against becoming infected and potentially symptomatic; however, it reduces the subsequent probability becoming infectious or developing serious illness.
The list of councils includes almost all local authority areas in north-east England, close to a half in south-west England and nearly a third in Yorkshire and the Humber. Data also shows that every local area in England is now recording coronavirus rates above the symbolic level of 100 cases per 100,000 people – the first time this has happened since early January, at the peak of the second wave.
Some 50 of the 315 local authority areas in England (16%) are currently recording Covid-19 case rates that are higher than any point since mass testing began, PA analysis shows. Eight of these are in north-east England: Redcar & Cleveland (1,268.0 cases per 100,000 people – the highest anywhere in England); Middlesbrough (1,178.9); Hartlepool (1,061.3); Sunderland (1,036.7); Stockton-on-Tees (944.5); Darlington (863.3); County Durham (783.3); and Northumberland (674.6). In neighbouring Yorkshire & the Humber, six areas currently have record rates: Doncaster (729.1), Wakefield (667.2), Leeds (599.4), Richmondshire (575.1), Hambleton (552.4) and East Riding of Yorkshire (517.9).
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.