Category Archives: Vaccine

‘Greed is good’ says Johnson over vaccine success. Downing Street rushes to contain the fallout

Not Michael Douglas: Boris Johnson’s attempt to emulate the infamous Gordon Gecko from the film Wall Street left him looking like a reptile.

He may have been trying to emulate Gordon Gecko but he ended up looking more like ‘Boris Dickfingergecko’* instead – a lizard you might find under a rock.

I make the comparison after Boris Johnson tried to tell a private meeting of Conservative MPs that the success of the UK’s vaccine programme was due to “capitalism” and “greed” – in emulation of the speech by the character played by Michael Douglas in the film Wall Street, “Greed is good”.

It seems that even Johnson himself doesn’t believe that mantra, as he immediately retracted his statement once it got into the public domain.

It seems Johnson had been referring to the profit motive that drives corporations to develop new products.

The implication is, of course, disgusting. He was saying that Pfizer and Astrazenica would not have bothered to develop their Covid-19 vaccines if they had not believed they could make a fat profit from doing so.

Such a comment denies that these firms could have rushed to develop a vaccine in order to prevent millions of deaths across the world, in favour of an unfounded claim that they would not have lifted a finger unless there was money in it.

The implication is potentially libellous and the companies should consider litigation against Johnson personally.

*With apologies to the Bibrons Dickfingergecko for associating it with Johnson just because of its name.

Source: ‘Greed’ and ‘capitalism’ helped UK’s vaccines success, says PM – BBC News

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No vaccination for teachers before schools go back – because it’s too much like hard work

The government has said it will not prioritise teachers (or police officers) in the next phase of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout because it will involve doing some work.

The government has been under pressure to give priority in phase two to key workers, such as teachers or police officers, irrespective of their age.

But the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has stated it is better to stick to vaccination in order of age groups (oldest to youngest).

The JCVI said targeting occupational groups by going through employee lists would be more complex to deliver than simply running through a list of age groups.

It said this could slow down the vaccine programme, leaving some more vulnerable people, at higher risk unvaccinated for longer.

If schools go back, who will be more vulnerable than teachers? The really high risk groups have already had their jabs.

Bizarrely,

Professor Wei Shen Lim, the Covid chair for the JCVI, said the the goal of vaccinations was to stop people from dying.

We’ll see how that looks a few weeks after schools reopen on March 8, shall we?

It seems incredible, that pupils, parents and teachers will all be put at risk – not to mention all their families, friends and colleagues – because the people behind the vaccination programme can’t be bothered to compile the necessary lists.

Source: Under-50s Will Be Vaccinated Based On Age Not Occupation | HuffPost UK

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People with learning disabilities in England are bumped up the Covid vaccine waiting list

This is because of the recent fuss over ‘do not revive’ orders that are still being applied to people with learning disabilities – for no reason other than to make sure they die if they catch Covid-19.

The idea, it seems, is to make people think the government is ensuring that all such people will be protected from Covid-19 as soon as possible.

But I don’t see any information that people with learning disabilities will no longer have DNR orders applied to them.

And of course while we’re now told the vaccine is 80 per cent effective after the first dose, that still means 50 per cent of people are likely to catch it.

And it is much harder to survive if there’s a doctor’s order hanging over you, saying you shouldn’t be put on a ventilator.

Source: All people on learning disabilities register in England to be invited for Covid vaccine | World news | The Guardian

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Minister for VACCINES in cock-up over vaccination dates while trying to justify reopening schools

Nadhim Zahawi: waving the flag and fuddling the dates.

Should we give Nadhim Zahawi the benefit of the doubt for this faux-pas? No!

If it was an honest mistake, we should remind ourselves that Diane Abbott was given no quarter for making one, even after it was revealed that she had been trying to cope with an illness at the time.

You can still see right-wing commenters on the social media referring to it at periodic intervals, and congratulating themselves on their (small) wit for doing it.

Zahawi appears to have no such excuse for this:

He quite clearly does assert that the Conservative government has calculated that it should be safe to open schools on March 8 because that is three weeks after mid-April, when everybody aged over 50 is expected to have been vaccinated.

Firstly, it is entirely arbitrary to use the vaccination of the over-50s as a trigger for the reopening of schools. Why not over-40s? Over-30s? Or indeed, over-20s? All are just as likely to be affected.

Secondly – and I come to this last because it’s a biggie! – March 8 is not three weeks after mid-April. That would be May 8. March 8 is around five weeks before mid-April.

So by his own calculations, the minister for Covid-19 vaccination is telling is that his government is planning to reopen schools an entire two months prematurely.

I look forward to hearing his justification for the deaths that will be triggered by this wrong-headed decision to open all schools, too early, rather than experiment with a phased reopening, increasing as evidence recommends – as the other countries of the UK are doing.

Although, no doubt, it will be equally incomprehensible.

Boris Johnson may have an opportunity to correct this cock-up when he officially announces his “roadmap out of lockdown” later today (if that is still going ahead).

That’s if our complicit Tory media remember they have a responsibility to grill him about it.

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Covid-19 – don’t be fooled: 15 million ‘first jabs’ do not mean 15 million people have been vaccinated

The disinformation is strong in the government’s story.

The Tory government has been making a huge song and dance about having vaccinated a quarter of the UK’s population against Covid-19 – even though they haven’t.

They had an opportunity to vaccinate large numbers of the population – but with both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines, that would involve giving people two injections, with the second preferably happening after a three-week interval.

That hasn’t happened. Instead – in an attempt to grab headlines by publicising a large number of people getting the vaccine – the Tories ruled that nobody would receive their second jab earlier than 12 weeks after the first.

(That’s nobody apart from super-rich people like Boris Johnson’s father Stanley who could afford to pay for it, of course).

By then, the effects of the first injection are likely to have worn off.

The 15 million people mentioned in the headline are, in fact, unlikely to have any protection at all.

Still, it’s nice that they think they’re protected, isn’t it?

I wonder what will happen if (when?) somebody who’s had the injection then contracts the disease, or even – God forbid! – dies of it.

Who will Johnson try to blame then?

I’m not saying this will definitely happen.

But by ignoring scientific advice – from the manufacturers of these vaccines, for crying out loud! – Johnson and his government have made it much more likely.

Source: Covid: UK vaccinates 15 million people | The Independent

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Top-priority groups for vaccination set to have had their jabs by next week – but not all nurses. WHY?

This is insanity.

I’ve raised it before – and had some very strange responses: there is no sense in vaccinating millions of people against Covid-19 if NHS workers like nurses – who are more likely to meet the infected than anyone – don’t get their jabs.

I can only hope that somebody made sure the people actually administering the injections have had their own but even that can’t be guaranteed with the Tory lunatics in charge.

The Tories had promised to immunise all 15 million people in the top four priority groups by next Monday (February 15). The media are reporting that they are in danger of missing that deadline – but Tory decisions already mean it is well and truly missed.

The decision to concentrate on giving only one jab and then making people wait 12 weeks means people simply aren’t being immunised; Pfizer is on the record as saying waiting longer than six weeks renders the first injection void.

And now we find that up to 75,000 nurses have been overlooked, meaning they could contract the virus themselves or – worse – infect patients.

Here’s The Guardian:

A Royal College of Nursing (RCN) survey of 24,370 nurses found that 85% had had at least one dose, with the remaining 15% unvaccinated.

The RCN said scaling that 15% up to its 450,000-strong membership suggested an estimated 75,000 nurses had still not had their initial jab.

“It is extremely worrying that, as our survey suggests, many thousands of nursing staff have yet to be given their Covid-19 vaccine less than a week before the government’s deadline,” said Dame Donna Kinnair, the RCN’s chief executive and general secretary.

“With only days to go, every effort must be made to reach all nursing staff to ensure their protection and that of the patients and vulnerable people they care for.”

The college said it was critical that all nurses had a Covid vaccine so that they, their families and patients were protected, adding that any nurse left unvaccinated was “a risk to themselves and those they care for”.

Absolutely correct.

The Tories are, of course, extremely relaxed about the system. Well, why shouldn’t they be? They’ve already killed off more than 100,000 of us so they’re unlikely to be worried about many more, even if they are much-needed medical professionals.

The government spokesperson didn’t even mention nurses in response to the Guardian‘s request for a comment:

The Department of Health and Social Care said it was following the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation’s advice and would have offered everyone in the top four priority groups a vaccine by next week.

A spokesperson said: “This includes temporary, agency and voluntary workers who are at an increased risk of contracting or transmitting the virus to other people particularly vulnerable to Covid-19, as well as to other staff in a healthcare environment.

“The NHS is working at pace to vaccinate these groups and we are on track to offer a vaccination to everyone in these first four priority groups by mid-February.”

If they can’t even refer to nurses directly, it gives This Writer no confidence at all that they’ll actually do any of the things they claim. And you?

Source: Covid vaccine: tens of thousands of UK nurses yet to receive first dose | Society | The Guardian

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Double-talking Desmond: is Swayne an anti-vaxxer or isn’t he?

Desmond Swayne.

This is confusing.

Sir Desmond Swayne, a former International Development Secretary, has suddenly become controversial over comments he has made about Covid-19 vaccination.

Angela Rayner took to our TV sets today to complain about him as follows:

Swayne says it isn’t true (apologies for the presence of Julia Hartley-Brewer in this clip; I know many people find her offensive in any capacity):

Well, what did he say?

According to Sky News, he

urged anti-vaccination campaigners to keep going with their fight against coronavirus restrictions and told them NHS capacity figures were being “manipulated”.

But the story goes on to quote Swayne:

“My remarks … on those subjects mirror what I’ve said in the House of Commons. I was completely unaware that any of them had any traction on anti-vaxx and no anti-vaxx entered into the conversation I had.”

Is he just talking us down the garden path?

Something clearly seems to be wrong. I’m glad he is to attend a meeting with scientific advisers. Hopefully they can straighten out just what this Tory is trying to say.

Or perhaps they’ll just send him for psychiatric help.

Source: COVID-19: Michael Gove says Tory MP ‘out of order’ to tell anti-vaxxers to ‘persist’ against restrictions | Politics News | Sky News

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Beware of this fake ‘NHS vaccination’ scam

I just received the above-imaged message in an email.

Does it look plausible to you? It isn’t.

Oh, the logo is nicely copied, I’m sure, as is the white-on-blue colour scheme.

But then we get to the text:

“This is a public health message from NHS.” Really? No “Dear Mike”?

“As part of the government’s coordinated response to Coronavirus,” – not Covid-19? – “NHS” – not “the NHS”? Not “NHS Wales” (in my case)? – “is performing selections for coronavirus” – note not “Coronavirus”; any official organisation would have had a set style regarding capital letters – “vaccination on the basis of family genetics and medical history.”

Hogwash. The vaccination programme is being carried out on the basis of a priority list that has been well-publicised. Family genetics and medical history are not part of that list.

“You have been selected to receive a coronavirus vaccination.” I don’t think so. I am a member of the very last priority group and here in Wales, the health service is nowhere near getting to me.

“Use this service to confirm/reject your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination:”

And then there’s a couple of links to a website run by an organisation called “shloker.com”. Strangely enough, both links lead to the same page. I haven’t clicked on either, for obvious reasons.

“NOTE: The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus.”

What is this? Some attempt to persuade us to click on the links because the vaccine is “safe and effective”? Which vaccine? There are several in circulation now. And we all know there are arguments about both the safety and effectiveness of all of them.

There’s another section of text that is notable for its spelling and grammatical errors, among other things:

“Who can use this service
“You can only use this service if you have received an email/SMS regarding this invitation. You can not use this service for anyone other than yourself.
“You are also free to reject this invitation, your appointment will be issued to the next person in line in that case.”

Notice the last sentence – a threat that I will lose my place in the queue if I don’t click on the link.

“NHS National Health Service GOV.UK”

I am concerned that some people might be taken in by this scam, even though it is rather an obvious one. Please share this article to raise awareness of it.

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Tory hypocrisy exposed again as Brandon Lewis won’t explain why the UK has worst Covid-19 death rate in the world

Caught out: Brandon Lewis was happy to trumpet the UK having the highest vaccination rate in the world but could only say it was “too early” to compare Covid-19 death rates.

Tory minister Brandon Lewis was left struggling to find words after his government’s hypocrisy was exposed (again) on live television.

Interviewed on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Lewis was challenged to explain why the UK has the worst Covid-19-related death rate in the world. He said it was “too early” to make comparisons.

But, Piers Morgan pointed out, this government is happy to compare itself with the rest of the world when it suits – such as its claim that the UK is leading the world in vaccinating the population.

Lewis had nowhere to go. He and his government were exposed; their attempt to hoodwink us marked out – for all the world to see:

And the world did see:

For clarity and completeness, you’ve seen Lewis failing to explain why the UK has the worst Covid-related death rate, so here’s the Conservative boast about vaccination:

It is typical Tory policy and, yes, it is an attempt to mislead the public.

There is no point in crowing about a large number of injections if the UK still has more people dying of Covid-19 than any other nation in the world.

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Tory vaccinations will provide only LIMITED protection for a SHORT time

Complacent flag-waver: Dominic Raab seems to think that a display of patriotism and an inane half-grin will excuse him for leaving the UK’s population unprotected while lying to them that they’ll be safe against Covid-19.

First we were told everybody would be fully vaccinated. That didn’t last long!

It required people to receive two doses – of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine, three weeks apart.

Then the Tories sniffed a public relations opportunity and decided to go for numbers, so they said they would concentrate on getting the first jab into as many people as possible, meaning the second would have to be delayed until three months later.

Pfizer has already stated that this is likely to make the vaccine ineffective, the first shot long having worn off by then.

Now it seems the Tories are not sure they can even deliver this delayed service:

Cabinet minister Dominic Raab has refused to guarantee that all people who have received a first dose of coronavirus vaccine will get a second jab within 12 weeks.

The foreign secretary was repeatedly pressed in an interview on Sky News to give a firm guarantee that supplies of the vaccines would be sufficient to deliver the second injection within the target time.

But he declined to do so, instead saying: “We absolutely are aiming for that We should be able to deliver it… We’re quietly confident”.

The meaning is clear but for those who need it spelled out, here it is:

Source: Covid vaccine: Raab refuses to guarantee everyone will receive second dose | The Independent