How concerned are you about the Coronavirus?

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Worrying reports across the news over recent days regarding the Caronavirus. How concerned are you?
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Domestic production is no guarantee of anything I am afraid. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is made in Belgium, and most of the work to develop it was done in Germany. Yet the UK has bought and deployed more of this vaccine than both of those two countries put together by several orders of magnitude.

The AZ vaccine is the one the EU has ordered the most of, yet as of last week the regulator (EMA) had not even started the approval process.

The vaccination is the one thing that the UK does seem to be doing very well, there any many things during the pandemic where we don't seem to have done so well compared to our near neighbours.
Had the UK remained in the EU I assume we would have been under the control of the EU regulators who seem to have been slow in their vaccine approval process, hence the poor rollout rate across much of Europe.

I also read that individual countries have their own domestic obstacles. In France for example a person must see a medical practitioner five days before receiving any vaccine to discuss the implications (there was talk of removing or speeding up this requirement but I don't know if anything has yet been done). Greater numbers of French people are also more anti-vaccine (not just for this coronavirus) than residents of many countries.
 
Had the UK remained in the EU I assume we would have been under the control of the EU regulators who seem to have been slow in their vaccine approval process, hence the poor rollout rate across much of Europe.

No so much EU regulations as such since we still operated under that when the two vaccines were approved last year. However, the centralised EU approval, procurement, and deployment process that was introduced for covid vaccine management across the members has been a complete disaster so far. Even the Germans have got fed up now and broken ranks to buy their own.
 
It seems, if recent well intentioned posts are anything to go by, that we are about to fall victim, once again, to Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics by mixing one set of figures with another (unrelated) set of circumstances. I am of course referring to a reported reduction of deaths coupled with higher Tier restrictions being put in place and the vaccine roll-out. We will never know I suspect which of these two is the most significant in reducing hospital isations/deaths but we are sure to hear from all and sundry that one or the other can be thanked for whatever they decide to attribute it to. Perfect ammunition for politicians of every colour! My theoryl assumes that any or all of the figures we are being quoted today are correct and in context to whatever is being said.

The problem that I have always experienced with stats is that anyone can make a relatively convincing case by using one set of figures and then somebody else appears with the same set of figures, presented in a slightly different way, and makes an equally convincing case that portrays the opposite to the initial case made.

Therefore, unsurprisingly, I don't trust stats but I do read them with interest.

Oh, and by the way, it comes a no surprise that Politicians, love stats.
 
As do journalists and those in my field of interest, the Law. I have tried and failed to distinguish Facts and Evidence as two domains never to meet on the same field of play. Statistics are a plaything for anyone with the skills of manipulation but I contend that they cannot be held in evidence due to the variable nature of the subject. One can submit them but proof is often harder to secure. An interesting post from airforced to whom I offer thanks!
 
The world has now seen over two million Covid-19 related deaths, although not all countries use the same methodology for compiling their figures.

The linked site* below maintains a daily diary of the figures for all countries which show that the UK has had 87,295 deaths to date, with only four other countries experiencing more. They are the USA, India, Brazil and Mexico all of which have larger populations than the UK.

Deaths per one million population might be a better measure of comparison but the UK at 1,282 is high in that list too.

Incidentally, China where it all started reckons it has had 4,635 virus deaths which works out at three per one million population. Back to the stats reliability discussion again?

* the site is regularly updated so figures might be different to those I've set out when read at a later time

 
Incidentally, China where it all started reckons it has had 4,635 virus deaths which works out at three per one million population. Back to the stats reliability discussion again?

China essentially did a very strict lockdown (stricter even than ours was last March) for several months which basically meant there was no domestic transmission of the virus. International borders have been either closed or strictly regulated since meaning no imported cases.

I doubt the 'public' figures for China are 100% truthful, but they are certainly closer to the New Zealand end of the scale than the UK end!
 
China essentially did a very strict lockdown (stricter even than ours was last March) for several months which basically meant there was no domestic transmission of the virus. International borders have been either closed or strictly regulated since meaning no imported cases.

I doubt the 'public' figures for China are 100% truthful, but they are certainly closer to the New Zealand end of the scale than the UK end!

If the images that were pumped out into Social Media and MSM back in March 2020 their figures are not truthful at all. I don't believe their figures are correct; I'd put them as having the highest rate of infection & deaths. But their corrupt communist government will always hide the truth.

It will be very interesting to see if anything comes out of the findings that the WHO are doing in China to find the root cause of the disease. Before they can get underway with their investigation they have to isolate for 2 weeks and in that time I wonder how much key evidence will suddenly disappear?
 
As do journalists and those in my field of interest, the Law. I have tried and failed to distinguish Facts and Evidence as two domains never to meet on the same field of play. Statistics are a plaything for anyone with the skills of manipulation but I contend that they cannot be held in evidence due to the variable nature of the subject. One can submit them but proof is often harder to secure. An interesting post from airforced to whom I offer thanks!
,You are quite right of course and I agree with every word you say. However, how many folk take ant sets of stats presented to them as gospel. This is the problem. The media and assorted politicians realise this and are quite happy to publish and repeatedly publish any set of stats they can get their hands on and however dodgy the stats people still believe them. I really do give up on how easily the public are taken in by such figures.
 
@airforced which stats posted in the thread are you suggesting may misrepresent what is happening? And the follow on question is what is the real situation instead with regard to those stats?

It may be more useful to understand what you mean rather than just vague assertions I think.
 
You can say anything with statistics and turn the figures in your favour.
I remember many years ago when I was working at Aston University, there was a Welsh lad in the group. The 5 Nations Rugby tournament (as it was then) had just finished with England winning and Wales in fourth place.
The Welsh lad came out with the statement 'Wales finished fourth whilst all England could manage was fifth from bottom'. Factually correct, but you can see how the stats can be twisted.

Kevin
 
A few positives to report today.

"Yorkshire Post" headline for tomorrow morning paper reporting that everyone over age 70 and clinically extremely vulnerable people will start to be invited to have there COVID vaccine starting this week.

"Sky News" are this evening reporting that All UK adults (18+) will be offered COVID vaccine by September, according to the foreign secretary say

More people have now been vaccinated in the UK then have tested positive in the UK since the pandemic started.

Breakdown:
1st dose: 3,559,179
2nd dose: 447,261

Total UK positive tests: 3,357,361
 
Does the over 70s apply just to the Yorkshire Post area or part of it? The first groups to be vaccinated are shown below in order of priority set out by the government.

All people in groups 1 to 4 (which number around 14 million people according to the BBC) should be offered a vaccine by mid-February if the government's timetable runs true. In most areas they haven't finished group 2 yet, let alone beginning group 3 or group 4.

  1. Residents in care homes for older adults and their carers
  2. 80-year-olds and over and frontline health and social care workers
  3. 75-year-olds and over
  4. 70-year-olds and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  5. 65-year-olds and over
  6. 16- to 64-year-olds with serious underlying health conditions
  7. 60-year-olds and over
  8. 55-year-olds and over
  9. 50-year-olds and over
 
The offer of a jab is for all over 70s in England only, Scotland and Wales get to make their own decision as and when. No doubt Ms Sturgeon will be on the telly pronto.

The number of vaccinations carries out is just under one million over the last three days and if maintained would give a weekly rate of around 2.3million a week and given that another nine super centres open today and pharmacies coming on line the figures should continue to rise obviously subject to supply of the vaccine.

There has been some talk of unevenness of supply around the country and on an extremely local note our next door neighbours were jabbed on Friday both are in there early 70s so level 4.
 
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In most areas they haven't finished group 2 yet, let alone beginning group 3 or group 4.

I think those in groups 1 and 2 will still get priority, but the plan is also to move to 24/7 vaccinations, so assuming the supply is there, capacity will be doubled at the existing sites. Add in the new sites being opened each week and that adds even more capacity, so it makes sense to use it by adding more groups.
 
From the news this morning It looks as though groups 3 and 4 are being treated as one and it follows that some people in group 4 might receive their jabs before others in group 3. The aim still seems to be an offer of a vaccination to all those in groups 1 to 4 by the middle of next month.
 
I iimagine that the next 'problem' we are going to hear about is supply difficulties. This is something that is already surfacing and be touched on, quietly at the moment though.
 
You might be forgiven for thinking that Government could match procurement of supply to patient numbers in NHS systems but this assuming those tasked to the job are intelligent and are proficient rather than blanket promises to the BBC and others under pressure from journalists. For me, the take up rate is the number to watch, how many refusals as a percentage of offers of vaccination and what the media do with such information.
 
You might be forgiven for thinking that Government could match procurement of supply to patient numbers in NHS systems but this assuming those tasked to the job are intelligent and are proficient rather than blanket promises to the BBC and others under pressure from journalists. For me, the take up rate is the number to watch, how many refusals as a percentage of offers of vaccination and what the media do with such information.
I think part of the problem is the rate tat which producers are able to supply the vaccine. In the UK each batch apparently has to be tested by the MHRA before approval can be given, a process that can take up to nearly three weeks, which can be another source of delay. Complaints about delayed supply (for various reasons) are becoming quite common around the 'developed' world.

It's also something of a post code lottery because some areas are little more than half way though the over 80s (group 2) whilst other areas have all but completed their group 2 and started on group 3 (over 75s) and group 4 (over 70s and clinically extremely vulnerable).

The World Health Organisation stated today that it is concerned that wealthy countries are buying up supplies of vaccine to the detriment of the less wealthy ones which, says the WHO, will prolong the pandemic around the world.
 
The World Health Organisation stated today that it is concerned that wealthy countries are buying up supplies of vaccine to the detriment of the less wealthy ones which, says the WHO, will prolong the pandemic around the world.

It's no secret that the UK (and many other developed countries) have bought enough vaccines to vaccinated everyone multiple times, so once everyone is this country has been vaccinated there will be left over supplies. By the end of the year, when most of the developed world is largely vaccinated, it wouldn't surprise me if countries donate some of their supply to those poorer countries that have had limited access to vaccines.
 
It's no secret that the UK (and many other developed countries) have bought enough vaccines to vaccinated everyone multiple times, so once everyone is this country has been vaccinated there will be left over supplies. By the end of the year, when most of the developed world is largely vaccinated, it wouldn't surprise me if countries donate some of their supply to those poorer countries that have had limited access to vaccines.
There seems to be some expert opinion that the vaccine protection (albeit not expected to be 100% of course) might only last for 5-9 months with the possibility of boosters being given as next winter approaches, at least to the more vulnerable groups along the lines of the annual flu vaccine.

Whether any booster will be in the same form and in the same amount as the current vaccinations I am in no way qualified to even guess.
 
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