Tag Archives: vaccine

Boris Johnson can’t even sort out vaccination in the right order

If Boris Johnson really wanted to put a stop to the Covid-19 crisis, why didn’t he order that children be the first to have vaccinations?

Schools are the most common vector for the disease – more people catch it at school or from people who have been to school than from any other cause – but children are among the last on Johnson’s list.

Top of the list are pensioners who either live in seclusion as a matter of course or have adhered very closely to lockdown restrictions, knowing that they are most likely to succumb to the disease if they catch it.

The priority list is ordered by age, meaning the oldest UK citizens get the jab first.

Clearly Johnson has got his priorities wrong.

First on the list should be teachers and pupils, as I’ve already mentioned; key workers; transport workers including bus and taxi drivers… anybody whose job brings them into contact with other people as a matter of course.

Some have said that this would needlessly – and divisively – complicate the process – creating a list that artificially elevates some over others.

But it’s not an artificial elevation; it would actually help cut Covid infections.

So Johnson won’t have it.

He is promising to open vaccination centres 24 hours a day, to speed up the process.

This Writer will believe it when they’re open. We all know Johnson’s promises are worth absolutely nothing.

Again, it is too little, and may possibly come too late.

But then, isn’t that the catchphrase of the Johnson government – “too little, too late”?

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BBC geography fail puts Bristol and Birmingham in Wales. And if you think THAT’s bad…

What were they thinking: how embarrassing for Mishal Husein.

This is the funniest howler I’ve seen today.

A BBC news bulletin providing details of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in England suffered what I can only describe as a massive geographical cock-up.

I don’t really need to describe the nature of the error because it’s right there on the image at the top of this article.

Further illumination is provided by the following tweets:

(These two actually go together very well.)

Of course, in recent years the BBC has become desperate to entertain all points of view – in politics, at least.

So the corporation has insisted on broadcasting statements that were not true, saying the intention was to provide a “balanced” story.

This leads me to ask:

Does the map in the image represent someone’s genuine belief about the locations of these places – and BBC News broadcast it in the name of balance?

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Why are devolved governments accused of failure after the Tories couldn’t roll out Covid vaccine properly?

Tory mouthpiece news media seem keen to blame the UK’s devolved governments for failing to roll out Covid-19 vaccines fast enough – but in fact the blame lies with the Conservative-led Westminster government.

Distribution of the vaccines is being carried out centrally from Westminster but has been hampered by delays in obtaining supplies of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines.

It seems that, as a result, the Tories have been restricting supplies to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – and then blaming the devolved governments in those other countries (none of which have Conservative-run administrations) for providing a smaller proportion of injections.

According to Nation.Cymru,

In the run up to Christmas Frontline NHS staff in Wales complained they were struggling to get access to the recently launched Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, and Len Richards, the chief executive of Cardiff and Vale University health board, warned of “an indisputable supply and demand constraint” in an email and said access to the jab was being rationed because “the supply is so low”.

What do you think of this?

Should the Tories get away with restricting vaccine supplies and then blaming their counterparts in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for failing to protect as many people?

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Johnson wants us to forget the £22 BILLION he wasted on ‘test, track and trace’. Why should we?

Not the NHS: Boris Johnson privatised the Covid-19 test and trace system, believing it would be a great advert for privatisation. Instead, it has become a millstone around his neck – so he is trying to forget about it, concentrating on his new project: messing up the vaccination programme.

Boris Johnson’s recent speeches make it clear that he is pinning all his hopes for the defeat of Covid-19 on the recently-approved vaccines. Some hope!

He seems to have a pathological urge to interfere. So after Pfizer made it clear that vaccination consists of two doses of the same drug, three weeks apart…

… Johnson had to stick his oar in and demand that the jabs must be three months apart. Then he said the second injection might be of a completely different vaccine that works in a completely different way (after Oxford/AstraZeneca was approved). Now he’s saying people might only get a single injection.

He’s chasing positive headlines and the approval ratings that he thinks will come with them if he’s able to show that large numbers of the population have been injected. Fat chance!

The issue here is immunisation, not injection. The people who have had the vaccine might as well have been injecting heroin for all the good it will do them if they don’t get the booster shot of the same vaccine three weeks later.

They certainly won’t be immune to Covid-19 – in any of its forms – if Johnson gets his way.

His obsession with the vaccine indicates that he has turned his back on what was formerly the Great White Hope of his anti-Covid campaign: test, track and trace.

No doubt he hopes we will all do the same. Again, fat chance:

In fact, Johnson has now spaffed £22 billion on the scheme which was handed to private companies including the discredited Serco under the government’s emergency procurement system (meaning there was no process to find the best possible choice), to be run by former jockey and failed businesswoman Dido Harding (who is ironically married to the Tories’ anti-corruption chief).

Johnson’s hope that this would be swept under the carpet is forlorn. We already know that the system has been a catastrophic failure. According to The Guardian,

The government’s test-and-trace programme to combat Covid-19 in England has repeatedly failed to meet targets for delivering test results and contacting infected people despite costs escalating to £22bn, a damning official report has revealed.

The National Audit Office (NAO) has found that the centralised programme is contacting two out of every three people who have been close to someone who has tested positive, with about 40% of test results delivered within 24 hours, well below the government’s targets.

The report said a target to provide results within 24 hours of in-person testing deteriorated to a low of 14% in mid-October before rising to 38% in early November.

Call handler contracts for those working on test and trace were worth up to £720m but many staff had very little to do, auditors said.

By 17 June, the utilisation rate – the proportion of time that someone actively worked during their paid hours – was 4% for health professionals and 1% for call handler staff, the report shows.

Utilisation rates remained well below a target of 50% throughout September and for much of October. This means substantial public resources have been spent on staff who provided minimal services in return.

Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak went on the record to say public borrowing has to be reined in after the huge amount of expenditure related to Covid-19. This was before Johnson announced the so-called “Lockdown 3” and he had to shake the Magic Money Tree for another £4.6 billion to help businesses survive the next seven weeks.

Perhaps he should take steps to claw back the UK public’s £22 billion that was thrown away on a “test, track and trace” system that not only did not work but, it seems, was never serious in even trying?

Perhaps he should claw back the hundreds of billions that he and Johnson spaffed on other contracts, using their now-notorious “fast-track” procurement system to hand huge contracts to relatives of Tory donors or personal friends running cowboy operations, while ignoring bids by people with genuine expertise?

But no. There’s no hope of that happening!

It would require common sense – and there’s no sign of that in the Johnson government.

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‘Out of touch’ Tory minister describes £170 Champagne as ‘alternative vaccine’ (Vox Political Scrapbook)

A Conservative minister has been branded “out of touch” after suggesting people … drown the sorrows of 2020 with a £170 bottle of champagne.

Amidst an economic recession and global pandemic, minister for housing Christopher Pincher … described Krug Grand Cru Cuvée as an “alternative vaccine” against the “memory of last year”.

In an article for conservative culture magazine The Critic, the minister wrote that a bottle of the wine was “ideal for lifting the spirit and lighting up a darkening winter afternoon,” noting its flavours of “tart satsuma” and “light, tight, nutty effervescence”.

Labour’s Mike Amesbury, shadow minister for housing, described Mr Pincher as “truly out of touch and breathtakingly arrogant.”

Source: ‘Truly out of touch’: Tory minister suggests drowning coronavirus sorrows with £170 Champagne

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Now we have a vaccine, Boris Johnson is messing with it. Hasn’t he done enough harm?

Only in Tory Britain would a government approve a vaccine, then ensure that people don’t get the doses they need.

The makers of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine have issued a warning about “alternative dosing” after the UK’s chief medical officers approved a change in guidance.

Now, instead of providing the second – booster – dose of the vaccine three weeks after the first injection, the jabs may be delivered up to 12 weeks later (nearly three months).

A spokesperson said: “There are no data to demonstrate that protection after the first dose is sustained after 21 days.”

The diffference has sparked something of a war of words between the chemists and Chris Whitty. His organisation said:

In terms of protecting priority groups, a model where we can vaccinate twice the number of people in the next 2-3 months is obviously much more preferable in public health terms than one where we vaccinate half the number but with only slightly greater protection.

But that’s not what Pfizer is saying.

The claim is that providing the booster jab so late means there will be no protection from Covid-19 at all.

It seems Boris Johnson is offering people the illusion of protection, while in fact making us more vulnerable to infection (because people who’ve had one jab will think they are safe when in fact – according to Pfizer – they aren’t).

And there is even a suggestion that doctors will be asked to mix vaccines, so that people who have had the first Pfizer/BioNTech dose might get the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab as their second. What possible good will that do? They aren’t the same.

Doctors are complaining because they have been told to mess the most vulnerable people in the UK around – contacting them to say their booster shots have been delayed.

The move has prompted criticisms that this is a public relations con by the Conservative government. The reasoning is clear and obvious:

It looks much better to say a million people have been vaccinated (albeit with one shot) than that half a million people have had the full protection of the initial injection and the booster.

And here’s Matt Hancock:

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock said one million people have been given the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine in the UK.

It’s clear that the critics have a good point.

And what will Boris Johnson say if a person who’s had the inoculation catches Covid and dies? “Bah!” isn’t going to impress anybody.

Source: COVID-19: Chief medical officer Chris Whitty warns coronavirus vaccine shortages will last months | UK News | Sky News

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Government buys 100 million doses of vaccine by firm that ‘procurement tsar’ part-owns

Interesting display of priorities by the Conservative government here.

It has bought 100 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, enough to vaccinate 50 million people, having approved its supply with the first doses to be given on Monday.

This compares with just 40 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that was approved in early December – enough for 20 million people, with doses already supplied to nearly 700,000.

Is it a coincidence that – as revealed by the New York Times – Lord Deighton, the Tory procurement tsar whose attempts to get personal protective equipment went so badly wrong, is a shareholder in AstraZeneca?

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for use in the UK, with the first doses due to be given on Monday amid rising coronavirus cases.

The UK has ordered 100 million doses – enough to vaccinate 50 million people.

This will cover the entire population, when combined with the full order of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.

Meanwhile, the number of new Covid-19 cases has soared again, to 53,135 on December 29. This is due to the Tories’ failure to make any real effort to control the spread of the virus.

Even in the current lockdown, schools will reopen when term begins in January – and schools are now recognised as the principle vector for the spread of the disease.

It’s almost as though someone had created an urgent need for a vaccine, in order to supply that demand.

I know.

It’s just paranoia. And I shouldn’t mind that somebody is getting very rich indeed from the suffering of millions of people.

Source: Covid-19: Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine approved for use in UK – BBC News

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Covid-19 hasn’t gone away just because we have a vaccine – the death toll is as high as ever

 

The English lockdown turned out to be no good at all – didn’t it?

Daily Covid-19 statistics show another 16,578 cases today (December 10), with 533 deaths.

That means the number of deaths is higher than when England went into its second lockdown at the beginning of November.

The number of cases has fallen, but while it is half the peak (33,470, November 12), the number of deaths is comparable.

Much of the problem is the rampant corruption in Boris Johnson’s government, that has handed appointments to the unqualified and contracts to the incapable:

Meanwhile it has been revealed that a doctor who had studied coronaviruses like Covid-19 for 30 years was not contacted by the government when the pandemic began.

Dr David Matthews was part of the only UK team working on human coronaviruses when Covid-19 first surfaced in China.

Despite his expertise, the virologist said his advice was not sought – and he wasn’t invited to join the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

The response to the pandemic remains a national scandal. That won’t change, just because there’s a vaccine now.

And the British public – those who’ve had it so far – has been markedly underwhelmed by the jab.

After all the fuss about vaccinations starting, a 91-year-old man became a sudden celebrity – for being completely unimpressed.

Londoner Martin Kenyon said it was “very unexciting”.

He added: “I hope I’m not going to get the bloody bug now. I don’t intend to have it because I’ve got granddaughters. I intend to live a long time to enjoy their lives.”

And he said: “There’s no point in dying now when I’ve lived this long,”

Like a true Brit, he complained about the food, which he described as “a rather nasty lunch”.

One group that may be delighted to get the jab – but may have to wait a while to receive it – is students.

The question is: will they all have lost their minds by the time they get their freedom back?

Students have been talking about the mental health impact of the pandemic and you can read their stories here.

When they get out, they won’t be able to go far: Covid has collided with Brexit with the announcement that, from January 1, UK holidaymakers will be subject to the same travel rules as anybody else outside the European Union – meaning we won’t be allowed into the EU on holiday under current pandemic-related travel restrictions.

Non-essential travel is allowed from a small group of countries with lower levels of Covid cases including Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. There are no plans to allow the UK – whose infection rates have been a national embarrassment, if not disaster, since March.

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Care home residents told they can’t have vaccine unless they get on a bus

Frail residents of care homes across the UK are being told they can’t have the new Covid-19 vaccine unless they get on a bus to the hospitals where the jabs are being administered.

Apparently storage conditions mean they can’t have the injections in their care homes – but their physical condition means they can’t take the trip to hospital either.

Isn’t this going to cause yet another Covid care home scandal?

Covid vaccine plans for frail care home residents were in chaos tonight after they were told: Get on the bus.

The Government says they will have to travel to hospital hubs for the jab but angry care bosses said: “There’s no way they can do that.”

Care homes fear vaccines won’t be delivered to them until next year despite Government promises they would be a priority.

The vaccine must be transported at minus 70C, and can only be kept outside ultra-cold storage for a few days.

This means 50 hospital hubs in England will receive the first batch before GPs start delivering the vaccine in the community from December 14.

The complex logistical issues mean there are fears some of the most vulnerable in care homes will miss out if they can’t be safely taken to hospital.

Yet again, the Tories fail to think out their stratagy properly.

Yet again, it seems the most vulnerable will pay the price for bull-in-a-china-shop Boris Johnson’s stupidity.

Source: Covid vaccine plans for care home in chaos after frail residents told to ‘get on bus’ – Mirror Online

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‘Bill Gates is microchipping you’: Vaccine roll-out prompts return of anti-vaxxer conspiracy flapdoodle

The BBC debunked this hoax months ago but you can expect more, now we have a Covid-19 vaccine.

Don’t be surprised if your Facebook and Twitter feeds start filling up with nonsense about the new Covid-19 vaccines being used to exert sinister control over you.

Mrs Mike read one out to me today. It claimed that Bill Gates is putting a trackable microchip into each dose of the vaccine so he can see what we’re all doing.

It’s an old hoax, folks. The BBC debunked it in May:

The head of the Russian Communist party … said that so-called “globalists” supported “a covert mass chip implantation which they may in time resort to under the pretext of a mandatory vaccination against coronavirus”.

He didn’t mention Mr Gates by name but in the US, Roger Stone, a former adviser to Donald Trump, said Bill Gates and others were using the virus for “microchipping people so we can tell ‘whether you’ve been tested’.”

A YouGov poll of 1,640 people suggest[ed] that 28% of Americans believe[d] that Bill Gates want[ed] to use vaccines to implant microchips in people – with the figure rising to 44% among Republicans.

Rumours took hold in March when Mr Gates said in an interview that eventually “we will have some digital certificates” which would be used to show who’d recovered, been tested and ultimately who received a vaccine. He made no mention of microchips.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation says: “The reference to ‘digital certificates’ relates to efforts to create an open-source digital platform with the goal of expanding access to safe, home-based testing.”

Don’t be fished in by these nonsense stories.

They are attempts to harm you, by people who do not have your well-being at heart.

And you can be sure that they are dreaming up more trash as I type this.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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