Covid - Plan B & Omicron

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Chippy_Tea

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Covid booster jabs should be offered to all over-18s to help stop a potential wave driven by the new variant Omicron, UK government advisers say.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said the minimum gap between the second dose and booster should also be reduced to three months.
The experts said boosters should be prioritised in order of vulnerability.
And they recommended children aged 12 to 15 should be invited for a second jab three months after their first.
The JCVI also recommended severely immunosuppressed people should be offered a fourth dose of the vaccine as a booster. They are currently receiving three jabs.
England's deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam told a Downing Street briefing that Omicron was the "new kid on the block" "and it has "always been the case that, at some point, we are going to get a variant that gives us heightened concern".
Prof Wei Shen Lim, chair of the JCVI, said he was not predicting the new variant would take hold in the UK but the experts wanted to be in the best possible position if there was an increase in infection.
He said: "With any vaccine during a pandemic, we get the greatest benefit for individuals and society if the vaccine is deployed before the wave starts. We want to provide boosters early enough... before any possible wave."
The advice has been given to ministers in all parts of the UK. The JCVI only gives recommendations and the final decision on measures to combat Covid lies with the politicians.
In its advice, the JCVI, also said it would continue to review data on the potential benefits and risks of offering the Covid vaccine to children aged 5 to 11.
Early evidence suggests the new Omicron variant - initially reported to the World Health Organization from South Africa on Wednesday - has a higher re-infection risk.
Eleven cases of the Omicron variant have now been detected in the UK. The UK Health Security Agency said the latest two found have links to travel in southern Africa. They were detected in the Camden and Wandsworth areas of London.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled new rules on face masks and isolation to contain the spread of the new variant that are due to come in to force in England on Tuesday.
Addressing MPs in the House of Commons on the government response to the Omicron variant, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the JCVI's latest advice on boosters and vaccinations would be adopted for people in England.

 

Flat Foot

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My eldest's school emailed thanking most students for turning up with face coverings today, before the 'official' rule kicks in tomorrow. They're pretty battle hardened now, I think most people forget what kids have been putting up with in all this. It's been pretty disruptive, and cold too with all the windows open (have kids in school plus my wife is a teaching assistant so I have plenty of reports of conditions)

It does confuse me that it's for communal areas only, not in class. Clearly the disease acts differently in a classroom setting..... sarcasm aside, I get they'd argue that a class cohort is a controlled group, but having experienced a mini wave in one of my kid's classes I know it can knock out most of a year group without too much effort.
 

Irishwizard

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Well, Im just getting over the worst cold Ive had in years. Naturally my Dr Wife said it was covid. Naturally I told her to get lost, because I knew it wasn't, and testing proved this (if you believe tests). Now she's got this lurgi, she feels awful, and told me it was just a bad cold, without a test!
 

Chippy_Tea

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If i am reading this right you can go into a pub, restaurant etc without a mask but you cannot go into a supermarket or on public transport, how is that going to stop the spread?


What have shops said about the rule change?

  • Co-op says it will follow official guidelines, but adds "it's not our place to enforce face coverings or to refuse to serve a customer who chooses not to wear one"
  • Aldi says wearing a face covering will be mandatory, except for customers with a medical exemption
  • Sainsbury's says it's reviewing the latest guidance and will keep customers updated
  • Morrisons will follow all updated government guidelines
  • Asda says it has always followed government guidance
Retailers will tell customers about the rule change with signs and in-store announcements, says the the British Retail Consortium - which represents shops across the UK.
It says enforcement is for the police, but customers should respect the rules and be considerate to other shoppers and staff.
The Association of Convenience Stores - which represents 33,500 local shops - says it does not expect shops to challenge customers who refuse to wear a masks as it can be "a major trigger for abuse".

Do I have to wear a mask in pubs and restaurants?
The rules won't be extended to hospitality venues in England for practical reasons, Health Minister Edward Argar told the BBC.
"It's partly in the nature of pubs and restaurants and hospitality venues where people are eating, drinking... (they) may go to a bar to order a drink, but will often then sip the drink on their way back to their table where they will be seated."
This contrasts with previous face-covering rules. Earlier this year customers in England were required to wear coverings when they weren't seated - for example, when they were being shown to a table or going to the toilet.

 

Chippy_Tea

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How many people have died of the new variant?
I cannot find figures, i don't think the worry is so much about how many it has killed so far its how many it could kill -



The Omicron coronavirus variant that emerged in southern Africa has sparked global alarm owing to its unprecedented set of genetic mutations.

Its 50 mutations include more than 30 on the spike protein, the exposed part of the virus that binds with human cells. These could make it more transmissible than the dominant Delta variant and more likely to evade the immune protection conferred by vaccines or previous infection.

Why is Omicron causing such concern? Scientists are worried for two main reasons. One is epidemiological and relates to the speed with which the variant first detected this month is spreading in South Africa, particularly in Gauteng province that includes the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria. Omicron’s distinctive mutation pattern means that conventional PCR tests can distinguish it from Delta and other variants, without the need for full genome sequencing.

Testing has showed it is responsible for more than 90 per cent of infections in Gauteng. At the same time analysis of wastewater in Pretoria for traces of the Sars-Cov-2 virus — an indicator of outbreak size — suggested that infections had surged close to levels last seen during the Delta wave six months ago.

 

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I cannot find figures, i don't think the worry is so much about how many it has killed so far its how many it could kill -



The Omicron coronavirus variant that emerged in southern Africa has sparked global alarm owing to its unprecedented set of genetic mutations.

Its 50 mutations include more than 30 on the spike protein, the exposed part of the virus that binds with human cells. These could make it more transmissible than the dominant Delta variant and more likely to evade the immune protection conferred by vaccines or previous infection.

Why is Omicron causing such concern? Scientists are worried for two main reasons. One is epidemiological and relates to the speed with which the variant first detected this month is spreading in South Africa, particularly in Gauteng province that includes the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria. Omicron’s distinctive mutation pattern means that conventional PCR tests can distinguish it from Delta and other variants, without the need for full genome sequencing.

Testing has showed it is responsible for more than 90 per cent of infections in Gauteng. At the same time analysis of wastewater in Pretoria for traces of the Sars-Cov-2 virus — an indicator of outbreak size — suggested that infections had surged close to levels last seen during the Delta wave six months ago.

So we have infections as high as ever and few deaths.
 
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Countries tell people they must get vaccinated, if not jobs are lost etc. People riot and then a new variant appears.....
 

Bernie

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Testing has showed it is responsible for more than 90 per cent of infections in Gauteng. At the same time analysis of wastewater in Pretoria for traces of the Sars-Cov-2 virus — an indicator of outbreak size — suggested that infections had surged close to levels last seen during the Delta wave six months ago.
Is a high death count being reported in South Africa corresponding to this high infection rate?
 

Irishwizard

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The article I read said there were no deaths in SA, some sources are more reliable than others. Dont ask the Chinese for an opinion!
 

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I was in London at the weekend and people just don't seem to care at all anymore. TFLs "You must wear a mask on public transport" seems to have zero enforcement, I'd say I was actually in the minority wearing one on the trains. It's kind of shocking how little is too much to ask of people :(
 
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People have gotten numb here which is ironic since Michigan is getting spanked (again). Our lovely conservative brothers and sisters insist upon refusing to be part of the solution and have created a sub-group of "You can't tell me what to do even if it's logical!"
I'd buy the anti-vax argument from folks who refuse all vaccines, but no one else. The vaccine test-group is in the tens of millions and the shots have been proven safe and effective.
What happened to those Americans who were proud that 45 backed the vaccines and was vaccinated himself?
 

Chippy_Tea

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. TFLs "You must wear a mask on public transport" seems to have zero enforcement
Did they insisted on mask wearing after everyone else outside of London was allowed not to wear them on public transport?
 

franana

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Yeah, they never rescinded the requirement to wear a mask on TFL. I think the Mayor kept it in force and there's signs plastered literally everywhere. I think you'd have a hard time having a field of view that didn't include one of those signs.
 

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Did they insisted on mask wearing after everyone else outside of London was allowed not to wear them on public transport?
Its what Mr Khan has decreed for London and TFL - he has complete overall control. Nothing to do with whats happening elsewhere
 

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I hope everyone sticks to it tomorrow even though I think not wearing them in bars and restaurants etc probably makes it a little pointless as it is bound to spread.
 
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I hope everyone sticks to it tomorrow even though I think not wearing them in bars and restaurants etc probably makes it a little pointless as it is bound to spread.
Haven't heard of any outbreaks in pubs and clubs for a number of months, saying that I haven't heard of any in shops either.

It all seems to be linked to younger children and then into their families
 
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