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Coronavirus (merged threads)

Mar 21, 2013
796
0
Instead of turning this into a depressing competition maybe it’d be best to wait & see how this all pans out in the coming months because things seem to be changing for the better/worse in a lot of areas. Mistakes are being made in a lot of countries & seemingly not learning anything from the past year...
 
Oct 9, 2003
3,543
25
Aberdeen
I must say this vaccination effort has been absolutely outstanding. Everyone deserves credit from the government, to central NHS bodies, the co-ordination teams and the people on the front line - practitioners and volunteers alike. My own experience was operational excellence in action.

There is no pleasure in seeing escalating death rates across mainland Europe, but it's fair to say that if the situation was reversed, this messageboard would be aflame (with all criticism aimed at the government of course ;) ). So on this occasion, acknowledging that mistakes have been made at great cost in the past, it's worth saying that this episode in the journey has been a resounding success.
 
Frank_Butcher":16fci0g6 said:
I must say this vaccination effort has been absolutely outstanding. Everyone deserves credit from the government, to central NHS bodies, the co-ordination teams and the people on the front line - practitioners and volunteers alike. My own experience was operational excellence in action.

There is no pleasure in seeing escalating death rates across mainland Europe, but it's fair to say that if the situation was reversed, this messageboard would be aflame (with all criticism aimed at the government of course ;) ). So on this occasion, acknowledging that mistakes have been made at great cost in the past, it's worth saying that this episode in the journey has been a resounding success.

Very true. Even as a committed remainer I have to acknowledge a truth that Rory Stewart has just mentioned on a radio 4 programme on the question of leadership during the pandemic. The EU dithered, spending precious weeks analysing vaccine costs, measuring the relative merits of each vaccine type: a great example of what, in my working days, I used to call the paralysis of analysis.

We did exactly the opposite. Whether by design or luck, we let a small competent team get on with the procurement process, and then left the NHS to manage the vaccination programme. One of those occasions where less government has made a difference.
 
Jul 15, 2006
3,844
35
Kenton, Devon
Frank_Butcher":256xjoj2 said:
I must say this vaccination effort has been absolutely outstanding. Everyone deserves credit from the government, to central NHS bodies, the co-ordination teams and the people on the front line - practitioners and volunteers alike. My own experience was operational excellence in action.

You get no argument from me there, Frank. I know that the NHS had several weeks "heads up" notice regarding when the MHRA was likely to give approval for the use of the Pfizer vaccine last year, but the speed which the vaccine hubs, the logistics framework, the vaccination centres (large and small down to local GP practices), recruiting volunteers... it has been breath-taking. And thanks should be given to the armed forces through to the likes of businesses like BT who have pulled out all the stops to help get this in place. It does show what can be done when there is the will to work together.

There is no pleasure in seeing escalating death rates across mainland Europe, but it's fair to say that if the situation was reversed, this messageboard would be aflame (with all criticism aimed at the government of course ;) ). So on this occasion, acknowledging that mistakes have been made at great cost in the past, it's worth saying that this episode in the journey has been a resounding success.

I do have a lot of sympathy for mainland Europe and the EU. The vaccine rollout has exposed one of the flaws of the EU (I never said the EU was perfect ;) ) being a rules-based system and a level of naivety in expecting other nations to act ... fairly. But the US and UK employed a "nation-first" approach in securing all vaccines produced (t)here - the US by using their Defense Production Act, and the UK by forcing the Oxford creators to work with AstraZenica rather than the US based Merck company (and adding a UK 1st clause in the AZ contract). So now we have the situation where all vaccines made in the US go to the US population, and all vaccines manufactured here stay in the UK. The EU are in a situation where all vaccines made there have to serve those in the EU, the UK, the US and the rest of the world (along with those produced by Russia and China). Hell, Canada can't get their hands on vaccines manufactured in Michigan: they have to get theirs from the EU.

I'm not blaming the Govt for this - there was a reason why Boris didn't want Oxford to team up with Merck because we knew the US would invoke something like the Defense Production Act, and I'm sure the EU would do things completely different if they knew then what they do now. But I am uncomfortable with this vaccine nationalism: we've vaccinated nearly all of our most "at risk" members of the population, the focus here now seems to be vaccinating as many as possible to protect the economy. We should accept a slow-down in the rollout so we can allow other countries - especially in developing parts of the world - to catch up.
 
Nov 15, 2011
1,712
133
Agree with all of that Quinny, I think there was a combination of naivety and lack of joined up thinking in Brussels which resulted in a massive cock-up. You can understand how angry the French Germans and Belgians (where the Pfizer vaccine is produced) must feel knowing they have exported 41 million doses, including 10 million to the UK, and not received 1 in return despite having contracts with AZ which haven't been honoured.

Any vaccine nationalism is of course wrong and we're not safe until we're all safe. It also looks like European travel will not be allowed for some time as even if we are vaccinated in the UK, and countries like Greece open up, the Government won't want to have holidaymakers bringing covid back to the UK.

One of the most worrying aspects of continued lockdowns in Europe, which seems to have gone under the radar was a report from the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) which showed massive drops in UK food exports to Europe, the hardest hit were salmon, which saw a 98% dip from the year earlier; beef, which fell by 91.5%; and cheese which also declined 85.1%. There was no stockpiling with fresh foodstuffs. There may be some uplift when economies fully reopen, but the economic devastation of Covid plus Brexit which will crystalise when furlough ends and Customs procedures are implemented on the UK side in July, is inevitable.
 
Apr 15, 2004
2,845
86
East Devon
Breaking News! ……. The successful roll-out the vaccine in the UK and the scientific ingenuity that will finally release the grip Covid has on humanity is all down to just two things. Greed and Capitalism. That’s right GREED and CAPITALISM have saved the day.

The dull-witted Gordon Gecko wannabe that came out with this pearl of wisdom is none other than our own glorious leader. “The reason we have vaccine success is because of capitalism, because of greed, my friends” boasted charming Boris to his own MPs. What a an utter c0ck!

True, he and his sidekicks are now trying to row back on his words but his prompt U-turn is more to do with image management than genuine contrition. Rather , his instinctive advocacy of greed represents a fundamental belief that can’t be glossed over as a bit of idle, macho boasting to his peers. No - he has form for this sort of offensive b0ll0x. The man who proudly claimed that “nobody stuck up for the bankers as much as I did” during the leadership contest, previously declared that inequality was essential to nurture “the spirit of envy” and that greed was a “valuable spur to economic activity”.

But surely this latest gem takes things to another level. It is demonstrably b0ll0x. In fact the two biggest factors in the remarkable success story of the vaccine are a) state aid and b) altruism. State aid? Well as the British medical Journal notes : “the AstraZeneca vaccine was discovered by the Oxford Jenner Institute and has received more than a billion pounds of public money”. AstraZeneca was involved in trials and manufacture but it took no financial risks and said itself in its financial report that “expenses to progress the vaccine are anticipated to be offset by funding by governments”. Then the resounding success of the roll out is down to the superb, state-run NHS and its put-upon staff not to mention the army of volunteers & former staff who came out of retirement just to ‘do their bit'. When I got my jab I found it quite moving to see such thing in action. Greed and capitalism? Is that what he thinks they are all motivated by? Compare that to the test-and-trace system that has made “no clear impact” despite private consultants charging up to £6,250 a day and Serco’s profits surging thanks to the £37 billion programme. Greed and capitalism? ….. What a total ar$e!
 
Jul 15, 2006
3,844
35
Kenton, Devon
Funny you mentioned the greed and capitalism bit, because hearing that - plus something else I heard on t'wireless last night got me thinking down another tangent.

Now I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but I was always struck at the negative press levelled at the AZ vaccine, and there's been a fair whack since last December. Sure, its efficacy levels might not be quite as high as the other main players, but it's not-for-profit. Swings and roundabouts and all that.

But the point being discussed on the radio last night was whether AZ had underplayed their hand and maybe, like the other manufacturers, they should have lumped a bit of profit on the list price: after all, Pfizer and the rest are reckoning to be making billions out of their jabs.

But, capitalism and greed - maybe they're a tad jealous that AZ have taken a bigger cut of the market because they're so much cheaper. What if there was an intended effort to bad-mouth how good or bad the AZ vaccine is so that potential buyers might consider one of the more expensive alternatives instead? So they could make more billions of profit?

Maybe I overthink things, but I wouldn't put anything past international manufacturers who primarily answer to shareholders.
 

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Aug 17, 2005
1,301
17
Quinny":3m1197ur said:
Funny you mentioned the greed and capitalism bit, because hearing that - plus something else I heard on t'wireless last night got me thinking down another tangent.

Now I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but I was always struck at the negative press levelled at the AZ vaccine, and there's been a fair whack since last December. Sure, its efficacy levels might not be quite as high as the other main players, but it's not-for-profit. Swings and roundabouts and all that.

But the point being discussed on the radio last night was whether AZ had underplayed their hand and maybe, like the other manufacturers, they should have lumped a bit of profit on the list price: after all, Pfizer and the rest are reckoning to be making billions out of their jabs.

But, capitalism and greed - maybe they're a tad jealous that AZ have taken a bigger cut of the market because they're so much cheaper. What if there was an intended effort to bad-mouth how good or bad the AZ vaccine is so that potential buyers might consider one of the more expensive alternatives instead? So they could make more billions of profit?

Maybe I overthink things, but I wouldn't put anything past international manufacturers who primarily answer to shareholders.

In the meantime novavax has held off signing a contract with the EU since December and now stating it will be June before one looks like being signed. UK has contract signed for 60 million doses..
 
Sep 6, 2006
11,334
277
Frank_Butcher":3d2gj755 said:
I must say this vaccination effort has been absolutely outstanding. Everyone deserves credit from the government, to central NHS bodies, the co-ordination teams and the people on the front line - practitioners and volunteers alike. My own experience was operational excellence in action.

There is no pleasure in seeing escalating death rates across mainland Europe, but it's fair to say that if the situation was reversed, this messageboard would be aflame (with all criticism aimed at the government of course ;) ). So on this occasion, acknowledging that mistakes have been made at great cost in the past, it's worth saying that this episode in the journey has been a resounding success.

When we really need to this country is capable of great things. The Olympics is another example. Just a pity we can't reach those standards in normal times.
 
Sep 6, 2006
11,334
277
We really should now focus on getting the vaccine roll out to other parts of the world rather than our healthy under 50s. Both for altruistic reasons and
because the virus will otherwise rage on and no doubt hit us again.
 
Oct 9, 2003
3,543
25
Aberdeen
themightykeithfear":3icm2rco said:
That’s utter garbage. With the vulnerable fully vaccinated in a few weeks time it would mean those countries having tens of thousands of deaths more than the U.K. in the next month and even now daily numbers are similar.
I’ll make a note to come back in a month and we’ll see who can count.
pS if you’re not including Germany in your 4 out of 5 then you’re including France who currently have 35,000 less deaths than the U.K. and deaths per million of 1,374 to U.K. 1,839. Today france had 84 more deaths. More cases but if 90% of vulnerable people are vaccinated in a months time deaths should be v law.
We’ll see, but you’re going to need a pretty bleddy big ballpark Frank.

You must have accidentally deleted your note ;) , so let's take stock.

Firstly, there was this:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-56456312

So the UK's excess death is no longer the worst in Europe. So having downgrade your statements from 'worst in the world' to 'worst in Europe', this is no longer valid either.

But we don't have data since the New Year, and hence this doesn't account for our own post-Xmas wave and the current problems being seen across Western and Central Europe in particular. So the next best measure is Deaths/m. We have:

1892 Italy (7 day average daily rate 460)
1864 UK (7 day average daily rate 36)
1632 Spain (7 day average daily rate 84)
1510 France (7 day average daily rate 296)

So Italy has shot past the UK and continues to rise alarmingly. Spain's number has closed and with a population that is two thirds that of the UK will also rise more quickly. France's numbers have closed significantly - check out the differences with the numbers in your post above, and are still to deal with the delay from a big rise in cases recently (averaging 33000 as of yesterday).

Starting to look very much like a ballpark to me.

Yes, the UK has the most deaths in Europe but this is statistically irrelevant when creating comparisons due to population size and demographic.

The aim here is not to say how wonderfully we've done (we haven't), or argue that mistakes haven't been made (they have), or to rejoice in the problems that other countries are suffering (it's appalling wherever it happens). But in that conversation of a month ago you proudly and repeatedly ridiculed my projections, so given you wanted to review after a month and unfortunately seem to have forgotten, I thought I'd oblige.
 
Sep 2, 2008
1,792
22
Frank_Butcher":15u0wdc5 said:
themightykeithfear":15u0wdc5 said:
That’s utter garbage. With the vulnerable fully vaccinated in a few weeks time it would mean those countries having tens of thousands of deaths more than the U.K. in the next month and even now daily numbers are similar.
I’ll make a note to come back in a month and we’ll see who can count.
pS if you’re not including Germany in your 4 out of 5 then you’re including France who currently have 35,000 less deaths than the U.K. and deaths per million of 1,374 to U.K. 1,839. Today france had 84 more deaths. More cases but if 90% of vulnerable people are vaccinated in a months time deaths should be v law.
We’ll see, but you’re going to need a pretty bleddy big ballpark Frank.

You must have accidentally deleted your note ;) , so let's take stock.

Firstly, there was this:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-56456312

So the UK's excess death is no longer the worst in Europe. So having downgrade your statements from 'worst in the world' to 'worst in Europe', this is no longer valid either.

But we don't have data since the New Year, and hence this doesn't account for our own post-Xmas wave and the current problems being seen across Western and Central Europe in particular. So the next best measure is Deaths/m. We have:

1892 Italy (7 day average daily rate 460)
1864 UK (7 day average daily rate 36)
1632 Spain (7 day average daily rate 84)
1510 France (7 day average daily rate 296)

So Italy has shot past the UK and continues to rise alarmingly. Spain's number has closed and with a population that is two thirds that of the UK will also rise more quickly. France's numbers have closed significantly - check out the differences with the numbers in your post above, and are still to deal with the delay from a big rise in cases recently (averaging 33000 as of yesterday).

Starting to look very much like a ballpark to me.

Yes, the UK has the most deaths in Europe but this is statistically irrelevant when creating comparisons due to population size and demographic.

The aim here is not to say how wonderfully we've done (we haven't), or argue that mistakes haven't been made (they have), or to rejoice in the problems that other countries are suffering (it's appalling wherever it happens). But in that conversation of a month ago you proudly and repeatedly ridiculed my projections, so given you wanted to review after a month and unfortunately seem to have forgotten, I thought I'd oblige.

Shock, horror, hold the front page! TMKF talks out of his backside? Who would have thought that :shock:
 
Nov 15, 2011
1,712
133
The UK still has the highest deaths in europe by 13,000 despite having a lower population than Germany and similar to France, who have 30,000 less deaths. 2nd highest deaths per million after Italy of the 5 countries you referred to.

You said you were "quite sure 4/5 countries would be in the same ballpark", no they wont, as the vaccine rollout accelerates in Europe numbers are now falling, Italy will be near the UK no other of these countries will. I was correct in every respect though I can see you were very excited that you thought you had got just one thing right, try again lads
 
Oct 9, 2003
3,543
25
Aberdeen
Lol. Predictable. And still you can't understand the pointless use of absolute numbers and the absurd conflation in your argument.

Ah well, 'none so blind ...' as the saying goes.

Perhaps pay heed to your own words on another thread 'or its a step too far to admit you were wrong' I think it was.

Pertinent.
 
Nov 15, 2011
1,712
133
But Franky mate I'm not going to admit I'm wrong when so far I'm right in every respect. All I did was quote figures from worldometers and oxford university. You then predicted the future that you were certain that 4/5 of Italy, Spain, UK, France and Germany would end up in the same ballpark. So far only Italy are near on any measure - all the others have much less total deaths, much lower excess deaths and much lower deaths per million. You've gone to a lot of effort and got very excited for I'm not sure what.

And the UK still has the worst economic outcome of any developed country with a 9.9% drop in GDP.