Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Vaccine hesitancy etc.

'They' did a great job getting the vaccinations up and running in this country. When I say 'they', it is a heck of a lot of people. Think of the supply chain, from the people making the glass vials, the scientists brewing up and testing the stuff, the packaging, the lorry drivers, people running spreadsheets of what batches go where, renting (or requisitioning) suitable buildings and car parks, the nurses on rota, the car park attendants etc.

On the subject of batches, my first one was one of these. I actually vaguely remembered the batch number on the back of the card they gave me and recognised it straight away (funny how your memory works).

But they are now winding things up. The centre where Her Indoors and I got our jabs shut at the end of last week, and nationally, numbers are tailing off, from a peak average of 600,000 per day down to less than 200,000 now:

All of which puzzles me a bit, if they really want to open up on 19 July, they should be exhorting people to get their jabs ASAP. If they did a massive push and powered on at 600,000 jabs a day, we'd be up to 90% of adults double-jabbed within a month, which is probably as high as they are ever going to get. But they genuinely are leaving it up to people to decide for themselves and letting the whole thing grind to a halt.

With the benefit of hindsight, 'they' didn't actually put much pressure on people to get jabbed, it just sort of happened. If Covid-19 had happened under New Labour, they would have been prime time TV adverts, hoardings, leaflets etc. When they were in charge, each advertising break on telly used to have at least one item of government propaganda (eat your five a day, renew your tax credits, shop an illegal immigrant, give up smoking, whatever). It also wouldn't have been called Covid-19, obviously.

Final thoughts... in the UK (assuming Birmingham to be fairly representative of the UK), 'white' people and those in wealthier areas have a far higher uptake than non-white people (am I allowed to say that?) in poorer areas. Which makes no sense to me at all, the vaccines are 'free', for God's sake, and people in poorer areas are more likely to catch it and/or become seriously ill.

Conversely, in the USA, the split seems to be between Republican voters (low uptake) and Democrat voters (high uptake). Unlike the UK, that does make a bit more sense; Republican voters don't trust 'the government' and live in more rural areas; Democrat voters like bigger governments and tend to live in cities, where the infection risk is much higher because you are surrounded by people.

To sum up, there's nowt queer as folk.


Sobers said...

"Conversely, in the USA, the split seems to be between Republican voters (low uptake) and Democrat voters (high uptake)."

That isn't actually the case. Thats the just MSM's ever present anti-Republican bias. The CDC figures show that the biggest amount of anti-vax sentiment lies among the young, up to 50% are either not going to have it or are undecided.


mombers said...

What I find disappointing but not surprising is most 'hesitant' people won't make any accommodations to their lifestyle while they 'wait'. By all means don't get the vaccine (should not be compulsory for anything except international travel in my opinion), but stay away from other people. A friend's 6 month old son almost died from measles caught from an anti-vaxer's child, another had fertility problems from a mumps numpty. Shouldn't these people make adjustments to their lives like only send their kids to schools for the uninoculated?

Mark Wadsworth said...

Sobers, interesting. Your article says

"The CDC doesn’t even mention political affiliation as a factor. Among the 18 to 39-year-olds, the rates were lowest for those who were younger, black, poorer, less educated, uninsured and living outside metropolitan areas."

OK, that is similar to the UK, so seems plausible. And as they don't record political affiliation, shouldn't really be used to counter the original claim.

But it's still possible that both are true - if you control for age etc.

Let's say, for example, that older people are more likely Republican and younger people (who aren't too fussed about covid) are more likely Democrat.

It would be unfair to say that Democrat voters are less likely to get the jab (even though true, on the face of it).

You have to take a sample of the same number of young Dem's and of young Rep's and compare vaccination rates. In this case, it is quite possible that 90% of young Rep's are refuseniks and only 50% of young Dem's are refusnicks.

It's all about doing fair comparisons, not diagonal ones.

Mark Wadsworth said...

M, fair point. I'm not sure whether I'd go as far as separate schools - that would be segregation for the children of weirdo parents and punishing them for something beyond their control.

mombers said...

@MW to quote someone, “My right to swing my arms ends just where the other man’s nose begins.” I would not want a vaccine refusnik to be forced to have one. But I don't want them in my home and preferrably not in an enclosed space where vulnerable people are. I'm fully vaxed and have more than likely had it before that when my son got it. But potentially cultivating a variant and passing it on is not a fair risk to impose on others

Sobers said...

". But I don't want them in my home and preferrably not in an enclosed space where vulnerable people are. I'm fully vaxed and have more than likely had it before that when my son got it. But potentially cultivating a variant and passing it on is not a fair risk to impose on others"

You do realise that you as a vaxxed person can still catch the virus, cultivate a new variant and pass it on to other people?

These vaccines are 'leaky' they don't prevent infection, just ameliorate the effects you suffer. Indeed its entirely possible for mass vaccination using leaky vaccines to allow more severe variants to start circulating - in nature viruses tend towards more infectious but weaker strains, but by providing a large vaccinated population who can still catch the virus you allow stronger strains to circulate more - the vaccinated getting out and about are more likely to spread a virulent strain than the non-vaccinated, as they (the non-vaccinated) will be laid up in bed, or hospital, or dead. Whereas the vaccinated will not be too affected by the stronger strain, and continue to spread it.

If anything the non-vaccinated hould be afraid of the vaccinated, not the other way around.

mombers said...

Sobers I guess that explains why we're all dead from turbo smallpox

Mark Wadsworth said...

M, it's your house and your rules.

Sobers does make some fair points, you know. Some diseases like Smallpox don't mutate much so you can vaccinate them more or less out of existence. I think the same goes for polio and measles.

Some diseases mutate like crazy and there is no point vaccinating (cold and flu).

These SARS type viruses are borderline, they mutate slowly enough to be worth vaccinating against.

And again, quoting Sobers "in nature viruses tend towards more infectious but weaker strains" i.e. Covid will (or might) end up like cold or flu, nigh harmless for most people.

mombers said...

@MW/@L nobody in the vaccine business or scientific community believes or says that vaccines are 100% safe or 100% effective. I despair though if someone thinks that COVID vaccines are making things worse. There are all sorts of lame conspiracy theories flying around and it's quite typical for folk to double down and say it's actually making things worse as opposed to having hidden flaws or microchips. We had to fire our dentist when he started spouting nonsense about it saying on gov.uk that the vaccine WILL make young girls infertile.

James Higham said...

Insanity writ large.

Mark Wadsworth said...

M, my point was that your 'smallpox' example is missing the valid point which Sobers was making.

JH, I love a good conspiracy theory, but by and large, the vaccines seem to 'work'.

Dinero said...

Would Anyone here care to put forward a guess about the government info and the policy on the testing. There seems to be no particularly heavy information campaign that I have seen to encourage people to take a home test and that result is given at home, when anyone can go to any public library and collect 14 of the tests.

L fairfax said...

I know why some poorer people have not been vaccinated.
I know someone who doesn't earn very much because they are very very disorganized and not motivated to get a better job. For the same reason they have not been vaccinated.

Why people are not white are more likely to refuse the vaccine is something I can't explain.

Sobers said...

I really don't understand the mindset that says 'I've taken a vaccine that will protect me from the worst symptoms if I catch disease X, so I am therefore terrified of catching disease X from someone who isn't vaccinated'.

Presumably if they catch it from an already vaccinated person thats perfectly OK......

Mark Wadsworth said...

Din, it is compulsory for school kids to do a home test twice a week. I don't know about anywhere else.

LF, that's one explanation for one thing, but it seems we're both just as puzzled why non-whites are more likely to be refuseniks..

S, I agree with you on this. But it's Mombers' house and he can make his own rules.

mombers said...

@S I am not terrified of COVID - I'm in good health and very low risk. My hygiene in general is poor to average so I would say I have a strong immune system.

I am however in contact with vulnerable people, some of whom I know and many I don't know. It's not fair to expose them to unnecessary risk by not getting vaccinated, and vaccinated people can pick up the virus and pass it on to others. Being vaccinated reduces transmission enormously, your body will fight it off a lot more quickly than without a vaccine, all things being equal. Anyway, I suspect I'm raising to the bait here