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Yes, good points

However, up until a couple of years ago I would have shared your sentiment re Benidorm.

Her indoors and myself invited to a 50th in Benidorm. 

Actually it was bloody good!!!!

Not all of it but some decent venues!

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17 minutes ago, RoverDom said:

also, i wouldn't be seen dead in Benidorm. 

😂😂

I just knew you'd come back with that.

Needed somewhere well known that was land accessible. 😉

Maybe should have gone Monaco for you Bertie Big Balls. 😛

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9 minutes ago, Silas said:

😂😂

I just knew you'd come back with that.

Needed somewhere well known that was land accessible. 😉

Maybe should have gone Monaco for you Bertie Big Balls. 😛

Oooft too pricey. Should have plumped for a nice Austrian ski resort. 

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2 hours ago, RoverDom said:

Genuine question, particularly for those of you who have had discussions with me in the past suggesting I should be more fearful of covid despite being young, handsome and healthy. If you were under 30 relatively healthy and got offered the AZ jab tomorrow (ignoring the fact its just been halted) would you get it or turn it down? 

I would have it straight away (says he who has already had two doses of the Pfizer vaccine).

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21 minutes ago, Silas said:

We are conditioned to accept a certain amount of risk in almost everything we do in life. And we all wanted a cheap, quick way to get to a beach + San Miguel, so we hop on planes without giving it a 2nd thought. (I haven't even bothered going into additional risks such as terrorism, plane malfunction, catching various diseases from the recycled air in the cabin etc.)

It's weird how everyone thinks they have suddenly become a risk assessment expert, whilst completely unaware of their total lack of ability to calculate risk. 

It isn't about risk, it's about fear, and more specifically fear of the unknown. This vaccine is new, no-one knows what the implications of taking it are, especially as the advice keep changing from country to country. 

I've flown loads of times like everybody else (apart from Denis Bergkamp and Mr T) but if a plane crashes the day before I jet off to Benidorm I'll become anxious. Same after 9/11. The risk assessment hasn't changed, in fact the day after a crash is the best time to fly because everyone is ultra-careful, what has changed is my anxiety level.  

So when Van Tam or whoever talk about 2 blood clots out of a trillion doses (or whatever) he might as well be pissing in the wind. People aren't rational when they're anxious. And changing the guidance after saying it was completely safe does nothing to assuage that anxiety. 

 

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At the start of this thread, the emphasis was on the EU's doubts about the the British Astra-Zeneca vaccine which was taken to be further evidence of the hostility of the EU towards Britain.

Secondly that was regarded as further justification for us to have left the EU. If no-one actually said" they're a bunch of bastards" that was the sentiment from some.

Yet they weren't making it up were they? And their caution was perfectly reasonable wasn't it?

its a scientific miracle to get a vaccine out in under a year when the process normally takes around 8 years.

We should praise that effort and be grateful for it but without the jingoism. 

 

Edited by 47er
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So firstly, not everyone critical of Europe's vaccine programme is your pro brexit, flag shagging nationalist. Plenty of remain voters having been critical of it. Secondly, on the numbers available I'd say their cautious approach will cost more lives than it saves so to me, still not justified. 

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57 minutes ago, Hoochie Bloochie Mama said:

It isn't about risk, it's about fear, and more specifically fear of the unknown. This vaccine is new, no-one knows what the implications.....

Yeah, fair enough, I get that. Exact same could be said about Covid too, especially long Covid which could have scary long term implications for some people. I know which unknown I'm happier gambling my chips on. 

57 minutes ago, Hoochie Bloochie Mama said:

.. in fact the day after a crash is the best time to fly because everyone is ultra-careful....

You're speaking my language. 

Still to date, the best holiday I've ever had is 2 weeks in the Four Seasons at Sharm El-Sheikh, Sep 2005 after the hotel bombings in July.

We paid under half price, got upgraded to one of the deluxe rooms as hotel about a third full. It was amazing, no fights for sun loungers, could book any restaurant or excursion whenever you want. No queues at bar to get drinks, in fact a nice chap by the pool would spot when by beer was running low and come running with a refill pronto (obv the staff were keen for tips as they were probably running on hard times with no trade).

Really nice lad, we went to town smoking shisha pipes and met his Dad. 

It's the closest I've got to heaven. Snorkeling over those beautiful reefs on a half full boat trip where you can really spread out and lounge rather than being crammed in like sardines, and having to listen about how Bazza has "always been Millwall me".

Everyone thought we were crackers when we booked it, bearing in mind these tourist terrorist atrocities were still relatively new back then.

My view was that was probably going to be the safest resort in the whole of Europe and North Africa at that time. If they were going to coordinate a string of attacks, you ain't gonna hit the same place twice surely. 

Sure, travelling through heavily armed and enforced military checkpoints on trips could take the shine off your idyllic holiday for a brief moment, but that's probably the only single negative to my 2 weeks of bliss. 

Man, I had a full head of hair and everything, what a time. It's bringing a tear to my eye. 

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6 hours ago, den said:

Incidentally, add to the swollen leg that I told you about - the fact that I have low platelets. 😊

That doesn't sound good Den. Hope you are OK. If your platelets are low what are the medics doing for you if I may ask?

Surely not limited to "stay at home and put your feet up?"

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9 hours ago, 47er said:

That doesn't sound good Den. Hope you are OK. If your platelets are low what are the medics doing for you if I may ask?

Surely not limited to "stay at home and put your feet up?"

My platelets have been low for over 20 years 47er as a result of earlier treatment. The normal range is between 150 and 350-ish. Mine have been down to 12 at times, now they’re around 60.

Having had the AZ vaccine, a swollen calf and low platelets and due my second AZ vaccine in three days time just makes you think a bit 😊

Got an appointment with a consultant today, family want me to mention it. I’m sure there’s no problem, but thanks for asking. 

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17 minutes ago, den said:

My platelets have been low for over 20 years 47er as a result of earlier treatment. The normal range is between 150 and 350-ish. Mine have been down to 12 at times, now they’re around 60.

Having had the AZ vaccine, a swollen calf and low platelets and due my second AZ vaccine in three days time just makes you think a bit 😊

Got an appointment with a consultant today, family want me to mention it. I’m sure there’s no problem, but thanks for asking. 

Thanks Den, wish you well.

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11 hours ago, 47er said:

At the start of this thread, the emphasis was on the EU's doubts about the the British Astra-Zeneca vaccine which was taken to be further evidence of the hostility of the EU towards Britain.

Secondly that was regarded as further justification for us to have left the EU. If no-one actually said" they're a bunch of bastards" that was the sentiment from some.

Yet they weren't making it up were they? And their caution was perfectly reasonable wasn't it?

its a scientific miracle to get a vaccine out in under a year when the process normally takes around 8 years.

We should praise that effort and be grateful for it but without the jingoism. 

 

That might be the case had the EU been consistent with their “caution”. 
 

In actual fact, the guidance from them has changed numerous times. Germany and France began this by banning the vaccine in over 65s - which has been proven to be the exact opposite of what was required. There were no mentions of women being more susceptible at all.

In fact, had the EU not engaged in a totally unjustified attack on AZ and its contract, then the doubts surrounding individual member states’ “guidance” would not have existed. 
 

Lastly, and for the last time I hope, people’s anger was directed at the likes of Macron and the comments such as “quasi-ineffective” which sought clearly to undermine the vaccine and never once aimed to develop an understanding of the risks and balance them risks with reward as the excellent Van Tam and U.K. public health bodies have done. 
 

To date, no country other than the U.K. has made the same approach. You are acting like yesterday justified certain approaches but in actual fact it is the opposite. It proves they were acting in a hastily fashion, where spouting untrue and dangerous rhetoric and that the public health bodies of those nations did not adequately address the balance of risk between vaccine and side effects

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11 hours ago, RoverDom said:

So firstly, not everyone critical of Europe's vaccine programme is your pro brexit, flag shagging nationalist. Plenty of remain voters having been critical of it. Secondly, on the numbers available I'd say their cautious approach will cost more lives than it saves so to me, still not justified. 

Their caution was not appropriately placed. Many thousands of over 65s in Germany, France etc will not have received the AZ vaccine whilst many people under the age will have done.

This is another case of people not wanting to see the woods through the trees I’m afraid. Whilst accusing people of acting in a Union Jack bashing way they are inadvertently forgetting the facts and once again defending an indefensible position. 

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Today: Spain and Italy to restrict AstraZeneca’s Covid jab to over-60s

https://www.ft.com/content/3dd76041-d8ac-4465-99a5-4569e8b9706e

France and Germany have similar rules. Effectively most of the Europe's most populous countries are not using AZ vaccine or many of its citizens are refusing to take it if offered.

Coupled with yesterday's UK news on the under-30s, the AZ fiasco rolls on. 

So many comments in the UK media of young people who are prepared to wait for the Pfizer jab and Moderna jab, or not be vaccinated at all, than taking a chance with AZ, which is understandable seeing as they have close to zero risk of being harmed by Covid and the risks of the (rare) blood clots outweigh the (almost zero) benefit of the vaccine.

The problem with the AZ vaccine now is lack of confidence among the public.

Once the UK economy opens up, we will see another wave of the virus. How big it is will depend on how many are vaccinated. In particular, if vaccine confidence is low in younger age groups, and fewer of them go for their jabs, then that wave will be worse and more people across the more vulnerable age groups will die.

Even more significant to the UK's under-30s move is that the AZ vaccine is set to be a pillar of the Covax scheme to supply developing and middle income countries. Finding that the AZ vaccine isn't suitable for the young is a real blow. 

 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, jim mk2 said:

So many comments in the UK media of young people who are prepared to wait for the Pfizer jab and Moderna jab, or not be vaccinated at all, than taking a chance with AZ, which is understandable seeing as they have close to zero risk of being harmed by Covid and the risks of the (rare) blood clots outweigh the (almost zero) benefit of the vaccine.

I think on this I'd refer back to the post by Silas about people not being able to effectively calculate risk. How many of those young people refusing the AZ vaccine will also, for example, be on the Contraceptive pill? As you say there is now a lack of confidence in the vaccine, needlessly I may add, fear and anxiety has caused this not logic and reason. 

The risk of blood clots (which as far as I'm aware, the link hasn't been proven yet?) is lower than the risk of covid even in younger people. I'd be really disappointed if young people decided not to get vaccinated because of this as mass vaccination is our route back to normality.

 

 

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To change the subject to a slightly more positive note.... We might be on the verge of seeing a real collapse of the infection rates in the UK as we hit herd immunity. 

I predicted back in March that we would reach herd immunity by mid-April and that seems about to be achieved based on an analysis by UCL (although Imperial disagree) : https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/britain-herd-immunity-coronavirus-ucl-b928417.html

This is backed up to some extent by a really dramatic falling of infection rates on the most up to date view of infections which is the King College/Zoe Symptom Study. 

UK has dropped off from R1.0 to R0.7 in the last week. 

Screenshot_20210408-131339.jpg

If you look more regionally West Midlands and North East have dropped from 1.0/0.9 to 0.5/0.4. That is HUGE.Screenshot_20210408-131430.jpgScreenshot_20210408-131612.jpg

It's a really dramatic drop. If UCL (and me!) are right we could see a really massive drop of the rates over the next few weeks which could (but probably won't through a quite understandable desire to be cautious) lead to a bringing forward of unlocking dates on the roadmap.

Edited by joey_big_nose
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5 minutes ago, RoverDom said:

The risk of blood clots (which as far as I'm aware, the link hasn't been proven yet?

Come on, we know it will be. In normal circumstances it would have been discovered in trials over several years.

Nobody believes there isn't a link do they? We had to wait for decades before the link between cancer and smoking was established but we all knew.

 

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2 minutes ago, 47er said:

Come on, we know it will be. In normal circumstances it would have been discovered in trials over several years.

Nobody believes there isn't a link do they? We had to wait for decades before the link between cancer and smoking was established but we all knew.

 

Yes there's definitely a link. I think as soon as it occurred in multiple different countries that was clear. There's no incentive for anyone to make it up (bizarre nationalistic conspiracy theories put to one side).

That said I don't think the debate is about whether there is a link, it's what is the balance of risk between the blood clot issue and not being vaccinated. This is what is so crazy about the whole circumstance. The risks of the blood clots are so low and the risks from COVID so high for vulnerable groups. It just defies rational understanding.

I am a pro-EU Remainer, but the way the EU member constituent health authorities have managed this is absolutely crackers.

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13 minutes ago, joey_big_nose said:

That said I don't think the debate is about whether there is a link, it's what is the balance of risk between the blood clot issue and not being vaccinated. This is what is so crazy about the whole circumstance. The risks of the blood clots are so low and the risks from COVID so high for vulnerable groups. It just defies rational understanding.

 

Isn't the point that people see no need to take the risk with AZ when they know there are vaccines available with much less risk and greater efficacy?

Personally, despite what I've read today in the media, I think many people in the UK will continue to happily take the AZ vaccine, as some are doing in European countries. 

But I'm not sure that the "nothing to look at, let's move on" attitude by the flag wavers has been helpful.  Externally, it makes the UK look a bit like Russia or China with the "our vaccine" language.  I don't get the impression the BioNTech vaccine is so totemic for Germany.

 

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20 hours ago, Hoochie Bloochie Mama said:

Van-Tam says risk/benefit balance for AZ vaccine for younger people could be finely balanced

Van-Tam says we have now heard from the regulators.

He is now presenting slides what illustrate the potential benefits and the potential risks.

He says the figures behind this slide assume that Covid cases are at a lower rate than they are now.

He says the figures also assume the vaccine benefit lasts for 16 weeks. But in practice the vaccines are expected to offer protection beyond that.

He says the chart shows that, in younger age groups, the risk/benefit balance is finely balanced. For older people, it is very clear, he says.

(2) UK Covid live news: medicines regulator to hold briefing on safety review into AstraZeneca vaccine | Politics | The Guardian

The chart is at 3.39pm on the above live blog

 

 

Just now, joey_big_nose said:

That said I don't think the debate is about whether there is a link, it's what is the balance of risk between the blood clot issue and not being vaccinated. This is what is so crazy about the whole circumstance. The risks of the blood clots are so low and the risks from COVID so high for vulnerable groups. It just defies rational understanding.

I am a pro-EU Remainer, but the way the EU member constituent health authorities have managed this is absolutely crackers.

See the link above and the chart at 3.39pm. The issue is that for the under 30's the risk of serious harm is GREATER from the AZ vaccine than from Covid. From the age of 30 and above the risk from Covid versus the AZ vaccine rises exponentially. 

As for the EU, they were barking up the wrong tree by the looks of it when they said the AZ vaccine was ineffective in the age groups 60+ (although we'll only really know how good the vaccines are when lockdown ends). However, individual govts in the EU were right, by the looks of it, to say it could cause blood clots. 

It's hard to really blame anyone (apart from the dickheads in the EU playing politics and the dickheads over here screaming it was safe when in fact nobody really knew), but hopefully lessons have been learned about being transparent and not letting national interests get in the way. They won't be though. 

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1 hour ago, 47er said:

Come on, we know it will be. In normal circumstances it would have been discovered in trials over several years.

It would be quite unlikely that a link that causes one death in a million vaccines would have been found in standard drug trials before approval. The fact that the trials were done in record time was more about the collective will to get it done and almost limitless funds available. The reason why other vaccines often take 8-10 years is not that trials are done endlessly but that it takes most of that time to get funding in place and trial volunteers found.

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26 minutes ago, Hoochie Bloochie Mama said:

 

See the link above and the chart at 3.39pm. The issue is that for the under 30's the risk of serious harm is GREATER from the AZ vaccine than from Covid. From the age of 30 and above the risk from Covid versus the AZ vaccine rises exponentially. 

As for the EU, they were barking up the wrong tree by the looks of it when they said the AZ vaccine was ineffective in the age groups 60+ (although we'll only really know how good the vaccines are when lockdown ends). However, individual govts in the EU were right, by the looks of it, to say it could cause blood clots. 

It's hard to really blame anyone (apart from the dickheads in the EU playing politics and the dickheads over here screaming it was safe when in fact nobody really knew), but hopefully lessons have been learned about being transparent and not letting national interests get in the way. They won't be though. 

Oh I agree on the younger people, it is much more contentious there. I was referring to vulnerable groups who the EU have excluded in various guises from taking AZ.

Edited by joey_big_nose
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9 hours ago, only2garners said:

It would be quite unlikely that a link that causes one death in a million vaccines would have been found in standard drug trials before approval. The fact that the trials were done in record time was more about the collective will to get it done and almost limitless funds available. The reason why other vaccines often take 8-10 years is not that trials are done endlessly but that it takes most of that time to get funding in place and trial volunteers found.

Well its your area of  expertise and you're telling me something I didn't know there. I always assumed that the long lead-in for new drugs was more about about quality assurance and safety issues than funding.

However Jim and others are right to say that ,now there are several options open to people, many will look to avoid Astra Zeneca.

Edited by 47er
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