Global Vaccine Equity

Vaccines Without Borders
Vaccines are the most effective way out of the pandemic. However, there won’t be enough supply to vaccinate the world’s population until 2023 or 2024. That’s why I joined NOW! (@NOW4humanity) to pressure vaccine manufacturers such as Moderna, AstraZeneca, Pfizer to allow other companies to develop its COVID-19 vaccine and have #VaccinesWithoutBorders.

But this is not enough. All companies must follow suit.

Oxford, Valneva, Novavax and CureVac, are now working with the Government to produce the vaccines in the UK. Johnson & Johnson have applied to the World Health Organisation (WHO) for emergency use listing to deliver doses to poor and middle-income countries. A Sussex-based company has begun developing a coronavirus vaccine in pill form, and trials have already started.

The Government has stated that every adult in the UK should receive the first COVID-19 vaccine by 31 July 2021, a month earlier than its previous target. It is imperative that each nation vaccinates its population, but to eradicate COVID-19, it must be both a national and global effort.

WHO has suggested that controlling Covid-19 will require at least 70% of the global population to have immunity.

According to the UN, only ten countries have administered 75% of the world’s available COVID-19 vaccines, and more than 130 countries have not received their first doses. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said it’s unfair that so few countries should control the bulk of the world’s vaccine supplies: “The world’s leading economies have a special responsibility. Yet today, we are seeing a vaccine vacuum. Vaccines are reaching high-income countries quickly, while the worlds poorest have none at all.”

This situation has highlighted the huge divide between the world’s richest and poorest nations. Richer countries have been able to buy far more vaccines than poorer nations.

On the positive side, a scheme called COVAX, led by WHO, wants to ensure that vaccines are shared equitably among the world’s population. The UK is currently offering money and surplus vaccines, but it is still not enough. It supports the building of manufacturing capabilities and buying supplies ahead of time so that 2 billion doses can be distributed fairly by the end of this year.

In a pandemic, no one is safe unless everyone is safe. This is the reality of coronavirus. If we allow it to thrive in a remote community on the other side of the world, it will spread – as we have all seen firsthand – and take many more lives.

We cannot be lulled into a false sense of security, believing that because our nation is safe, then that is the end of the problem. The virus does not respect borders. History has taught us that this needs to be a collaborative effort, as in the case of other debilitating and fatal illnesses such as polio, Guinea worm disease and smallpox.

The UK has ordered more than 400 million doses of different CPVID-19 vaccines, meaning that many will be left over after all adults have been vaccinated. In contrast, the entire African continent has ordered just 270 million vaccine doses, which amounts to one shot per person for only 20% of its entire population.

Dr Angela K. Shen, the visiting scientist at the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said: “In order for a vaccine to work, you need most of society to be protected — and that protection happens when you get everyone vaccinated. So you want to roll this out to everyone because, inherently, that’s how you protect everyone collectively.”

We all have a moral duty to support vaccine equity because if we don’t get on top of it, the world will never function as it did pre-COVID.

More than 26 million people in the US have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and EU countries are in the “big league” of nations offering COVID-19 vaccines. However, data shows that African-Americans in the US are being vaccinated far more slowly than white people, despite being disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

To all manufacturers of the COVID-19 vaccine, please share it around the world.

* Rabina Khan is a councillor in Tower Hamlets and Special Advisor to Lib Dem peers. Her book, book My Hair is Pink Under This Veil (BiteBack Publishers) is due out in March 2021.

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61 Comments

  • Nonconformistradical 24th Feb '21 - 10:50am

    “The UK has ordered more than 400 million doses of different CPVID-19 vaccines, meaning that many will be left over after all adults have been vaccinated.”
    However…
    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/world-s-poorest-countries-could-be-charged-for-uk-s-surplus-vaccines-minister-admits/ar-BB1dW8F1?c=8436659145714066722%2c4573163938479657171&mkt=en-gb%2cen-us
    “The world’s poorest countries could be charged for the “surplus” vaccines the UK passes on, a government minister has admitted.

    Lord Ahmad repeatedly refused to rule out making developing nations pay – triggering fresh criticism of the delays and uncertainty before any jabs are sent overseas.”

  • Is it too much trouble for the world to come together in it’s time of need to help solve a worldwide crisis,perhaps some of the Tories many offshore wealthy party donors could forego some of their tax-free millions and help save the lives of people less well off? I will not be holding my breath though.

  • A good article.

    Sorry to veer slightly off topic, but it’s disappointing that the party has yet to comment on the idea of vaccine passports. Liberty and Big Brother Watch have both already warned of the dangers of government overreach and the impact on the marginalised in society. Why aren’t we also?

  • Matt Wardman 24th Feb '21 - 12:36pm

    @Nonconformist

    That seem to make the mistake of assuming that all vaccines will be successful. The extra ordering was to ensure that a range of vaccines would be developed, and in hope that enough would succeed to make sure that there were sufficient doses. I think that it is normal for a significant % of vaccine projects to fail

    AIUI COVAX have a varied price list, which seems logical, depending on income status of countries as assessed by the UN (middle income, low to middle etc). I hope the UK Govt will follow that scale.

  • Matt Wardman 24th Feb '21 - 12:49pm

    One interesting point about the hybrid AZ model – non profit for the duration of the official pandemic designation, with a vaccine designed to be inexpensive, easy to distribute and store – is that that may have put skids under both the traditional Big-Pharma business model, and the campaigns by anti-corporate types to demand that patent be restricted and everything be made ‘open source’.

    Need to write about that.

  • I note the article is very ‘UK’ centric, missing the massive efforts of Russia and China to also deliver vaccines to other nations.

    It also takes a simplistic viewpoint. We do need to look in a little more detail and ask awkward questions like why has Saudi Arabia, a rich nation, only ordered sufficient vaccine for 4% of its population; a global solution will require all nations to step up.

    Resolving the global supply issue isn’t going to be easy…
    The EU spate nicely illustrates some key production problems:
    1. To scale up production, you have to effectively stop vaccine (finished product) production and use the materials to grow new production capacity.
    2. The production process is very sensitive, so there were problems with a process that was working in the UK wasn’t working in the EU, this has taken time to resolve, but the net effect has been to reduce vaccine production.

    Taken together we have a conundrum, given the scale of production needed, namely sufficient doses for 9+ billion people, should we delay administering vaccine until such time as we have hyperscale production (which seems we will achieve in 2022), or do we decant – as we are doing and start administering vaccines. Likewise, from the EU spate, we have also added another dimension to the vaccine priority and distribution list.

    We also have another problem, which is more to do with politics and that ephemeral thing called ‘sovereignty’, namely getting governments to vaccinate their populations, either themselves or through international agencies, and for those people to accept the vaccine.

    Given recent history over the various outbreaks of “bird flu”, we can expect one (or more) of the pockets of CoVid19 to be breeding grounds for new CoViD mutations, so whatever we put in place now for CoViD19 we should anticipate it being needed to deal with the mutations.

    All of the issues are solvable, just that time is very short if we wish to deliver a vaccine to 9 billion people before 2025.

  • Just to play devils advocate.

    Yes, it is important that in order to get on top of this virus, we need the whole population vaccinated, Viruses do not respect borders as the author says, and, the more virus in the communities, the more chance of mutations.

    And whilst it may seem unjust that richer nations are rolling out vaccines faster than some poorer nations who have not even started yet.
    The poorer nations of the world are reliant on the economies of richer nations to get back to “normal” as quickly as possible in order to meet foreign aid commitments. Reduced GDP, means reduced foreign aid spend.

    The poorer nations do not have the finances or the infrastructure in place to produce the vaccines themselves and are very much reliant on wealthier nations to do this, that requires the richer nations too have a healthier economy.

    It’s a catch22 situation.

    I am pleased that the UK is one of the leading contributors to covax, the problem is manufacturing vaccines at large enough scale.

    Thats why I believe we should have been looking at forced IP sharing for vaccine manufacturers ( with compensation) during pandemics.

    Pharmaceuticals the likes of Pfizer and Moderna are going to be making a fortune now in other areas of medicines and vaccines given the advancement in MRNA technology that has now been trialled in Millions of people world wide during this pandemic.
    They could afford to take a hit with the Covid-Vaccine

  • Little Jackie Paper 24th Feb '21 - 2:48pm

    Matt – It’s not devil’s advocacy at all. Right now we in the west are demanding (some might say strong-arming) Africa into a mass vaccination, with all the cost and risk that entails. We are doing this effectively to protect ourselves. There’s nothing as such unreasonable about that but let’s at least be honest enough to say where the priorities are coming from.

    The average age in Africa now is 19. I read somewhere that in some countries it is closer to 14. Compared to covid things like natal death, HIV and malaria are far greater health concerns in much of Africa. Let’s at least be honest enough to acknowledge that it is the Africans doing us a favour by prioritising this when they probably don’t have to.

    And, of course whilst all this drags on all the immigration routes, remittances and the like which support Africa have dried up. The way we have destroyed our economies will hobble Africa for years. The pandemic shows, again, that globalisation is a very brittle way of running the world. And all that is left for me is the gnawing, gnawing feeling that we in the west had to do exactly none of it.

  • Nonconformistradical 24th Feb '21 - 3:04pm

    @Matt Wardman ref. 24th Feb ’21 – 12:36pm
    The issue is not the UK over-ordering resulting in a surplus to its genuine need. The issue is the possibility that developing nations in need of vaccine supplies might have to pay to get any of the UK’s surplus.

    The idea that any supposedly civilised and wealthy nation should do that is appalling.

  • Matt Wardman 25th Feb '21 - 7:30am

    @nonconformist

    I disagree with you on quite a bit of that. Let me explain 🙂 .

    I think the article overeggs its pudding rather and is slightly alarmist, and focuses on second order political questions a little too much. The ‘rich countries hoarding vaccines’ thing has always been rhetorical imo; commissions by industrial countries have already worked to create a diversity of vaccines and far more turn out to work than was expected.

    I’ve highlighted COVAX rules – ie international bodies – and they already have standards in place for what contributions would be made by various categories of country, including I think 92 countries that will receive vaccines at no cost. Some richer countries (eg Canada, South Africa already) are making contributions. That seems an appropriate model and is a model to which the UK is already committed, and does involve countries that can afford it paying. That seems to be where we are, so I do not really understand the claims from the likes of GJN (aka WDM):
    https://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=2021-02-22b.617.0&s=medicines

    I don’t think manufacturing capacity is problematic. Even with just the existing approved vaccines (and ignoring Sputnik) manufacturing capacity is already towards 6bn doses this year, and we have only seen the first wave of vaccines. There are another 50 coming down the trials track just in the next several months. Those alone will give the world enough capacity by perhaps the end of 2022, and probably well before then. So I think “oh no 2025” is also rhetoric.

    IMO Finance is a little more of an issue. COVAX has raised $6n from its $8bn target already for 2021. The UK and the USA have contributed approx. $10 per UK or US citizen. When that is matched across the EU then the budget target will be smashed. I have not run the numbers here for the other multinational initiatives.
    bbc.co.uk/news/world-55795297

    If they need a bigger target, then bring it on and that will get met too.

    I think the bigger challenges are likely to be in distribution, refusal to consent, and probably politics / corruption. I think that @Little Jackie Paper has some very good points. That is where I would direct the work.

  • Matt Wardman 25th Feb '21 - 7:39am

    On your last comment.

    >@Matt Wardman ref. 24th Feb ’21 – 12:36pm
    The issue is not the UK over-ordering resulting in a surplus to its genuine need. The issue is the possibility that developing nations in need of vaccine supplies might have to pay to get any of the UK’s surplus.

    >The idea that any supposedly civilised and wealthy nation should do that is appalling.

    I think that is not an issue at all. Given the rate of failure of vaccine development projects, ordering a portfolio and supporting their development was simply necessary; that is how it is done effectively. It is also worth noting that this country went out of our way to help develop vaccines suitable for the whole world, and pioneered a non-profit model. Now that that phase is done, the surplus will be used elsewhere

    I suggest that that is something to be proud of, not ‘appalling’.

    There are various good interviews around with Kate Bingham, explaining the strategy, for example:
    https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2021/02/07/news/kate_bingham_interview_vaccines_covid_astrazeneca_uk_coronavirus_johnson-286384093/

  • Matt Wardman 25th Feb '21 - 7:44am

    Sorry – I replied to the wrong half of your last comment. Let me correct.

    I think the “who pays” and “who receives for free” questions are a Covax policy matter, and developing countries will in fact receive for free – based on UN classification.

  • Nonconformistradical 25th Feb '21 - 10:18am

    @Matt Wardman
    “Sorry – I replied to the wrong half of your last comment.”
    Yes you did – thanks for paying so much attention – NOT!

    On the who pays and who receives for free issue – my point is the admission by a UK government minister that ‘The world’s poorest countries could be charged for the “surplus” vaccines the UK passes on’ is appalling.

    The UK is supposedly still a wealthy country. We are not at war (or at least that’s what I thought) – we are trying to control this pandemic on a global basis and need to co-operate. The idea that the UK even might charge poor nations for vaccines needed by those poor nations is what is appalling.

    Please do not try to hide behind Covax policy. The UK could and should be doing better. I suggest charging poor nations for our surplus vaccines is just another form of exploitation of the poor.

  • @Nonconformistradical
    On the who pays and who receives for free issue – my point is the admission by a UK government minister that ‘The world’s poorest countries could be charged for the “surplus” vaccines the UK passes on’ is appalling.

    Please do not try to hide behind Covax policy. The UK could and should be doing better. I suggest charging poor nations for our surplus vaccines is just another form of exploitation of the poor.

    However, the minister might have just been honest. If the intention was to pass the surplus vaccines over to Covax (simple solution) then the UK would probably have little or no control over who does and doesn’t pay Covax.
    As for the UK could and should be doing better, I suggest the opposition needs to get better at encouraging good behaviour rather than constantly whinge that whatever is done isn’t good enough.

  • Paul Barker 25th Feb '21 - 9:24pm

    Slightly Off Topic
    but can I urge everyone to sign the Petition against “Vaccination Passports”, currently running at 200,000 +.
    I dont know what Our Party Policy is on this issue but it seems a fundamentally Illiberal idea to me & a possible Trojan Horse for ID Cards.

  • @ Alexander and Paul Barker

    You may not have received the memo, but the Lib Dem’s have officially abandoned liberalism for the duration of the pandemic which will end no earlier than June and no later than the year 2171 when Zero Covid is achieved.

    If they have nothing to say about people being fined £200 for drinking coffee outdoors without a reasonable excuse then it is unlikely they will offer much resistance to vaccine passports.

    This position is apparently justified if you take John Stuart Mill’s thesis that people should be allowed to risk harm to themselves (which incidentally is very popular among libertarians) and twist it around a bit.

    It’s all very unfortunate for two reasons. One is the fact that whilst vaccines are one of the greatest achievements of medical science, vaccine passports are one of the worst products of the authoritarian mindset.

    Secondly the Liberal Democrat’s still have the power to influence the way an issue is perceived. If it wasn’t for the courage of Charles Kennedy, opposition to the Iraq War would have been seen as the preserve of cranks, loonies and far-lefties but the Lib Dem’s made it that bit more respectable. How times have changed.

  • @Paul Barker – I’ve tweeted the party and some our MPs asking if we’re going to say anything about vaccine passports but haven’t had a response. Liberty and Big Brother Watch have been very vocal on their concerns. Even aside from any liberal argument against them, some very nuanced reservations could be raised about how they’d even be practical on a domestic level. So for the party to have nothing at all to say is pretty poor really.

  • @ Marco – hadn’t seen your post before my last one. I can’t argue with your final paragraph. We no longer seem to want to even try and persuade voters of anything. Our default position seems to be ‘cowardly’. It’s frustrating.

  • It would surely be irresponsible of the government to not even be researching for the use of vaccine passports ( not for domestic use) but international.

    Some countries will be insisting on it as a condition of entry as is any countries right to have their own rules and conditions of entry, it is no different to some countries requirements to see a Yellow Fever certificate as condition of entry.

    Some airlines have also said it would be a condition of travel ( Qantas) for one.

    As somebody who travels to Australia often to see in-laws, I would be pretty furious with our government If I was unable to get back over there because our government did not implement the technology required ( assuming a doctors letter is not going to suffice ) as proof of vaccination.

    I can understand Liberal concerns of vaccine passports being used domestically as condition of entry to bars and clubs and sporting events.

    But when it comes to International travel, our Government needs to ensure that its citizens and businessmen are able to travel and if that means vaccine passports are a internationally recognised Government proof, then we have to have them.

    I will still never understand the parties objections to ID Cards in this day and age, All this worry about Data when you only need to look at your credit file to see how much Data Credit reference agencies hold you.
    Or just how much info your phone is tracking your movements and what shops your a frequenting.
    ID Cards would have prevented the windrush scandal, it would have made it easier for EU citizens to prove established status in the UK. There are many countries around Europe where ID cards are the Norm

    I really do not get British Liberal Paranoia over them

  • Little Jackie Paper 26th Feb '21 - 7:22am

    Matt – the problem is the slippery slope. For international travel it’s not a problem provided that there’s no big database behind it.

    However overall far, far, far too much has been brought in under three weeks to flatten the curve. We are now in week 49 of those three weeks.

  • @matt – “I can understand Liberal concerns of vaccine passports being used domestically as condition of entry to bars and clubs and sporting events.”

    Interestingly, from what I’m seeing it seems all new employment contracts in the health and social care sectors will mandate certain vaccines such as CoViD19. With existing staff being given a simple offer: have the vaccine or be moved into roles that don’t involve service user interaction, ie. limit your career. I anticipate Universities will also mandate CoViD19 vaccines for their 2021 student intake.
    I also anticipate other businesses that rely on social interaction will likewise as part of their Health & Safety and insurance liability mitigation require vaccinations.
    So some form of official document that can be checked like the driving licence, does seem to be required and is going to happen.

  • @Roland

    I am not actually against Vaccine Passports “domestically” but I can understand why some Liberals would be.

    I do think especially in the health and care sector it should be mandatory and as you say “have the vaccine or be moved into roles that don’t involve service user interaction”
    When you’re dealing with clinically vulnerable people, you have a responsibility, if you don’t like it, don’t work in that field.

    I do not have a problem whatsoever with ID Cards and Data sharing, so much of our personal information is out there now already. I think those who are staunchly apposed to the idea need to move on, technology has moved on significantly since the 90’s, we no longer like in era where these ideological views are practical.

  • Little Jackie Paper 26th Feb '21 - 1:39pm

    Matt – does the slippery slope not concern you?

    Serious question by the way – not having a dig.

    To be clear I don’t see any issue with a passport for international travel along the lines of the WHO record already in place. My wife had to show her vaccine record when she came to the UK. But domestic use I’m much more worried about. Something like Government Gateway makes a lot of sense with current tech. But what you are talking about (I think) goes way beyond Government Gateway.

    Let’s at least be forthright enough to say that a coerced medical procedure isn’t just a problem of ideology. Is there anything else you you would extend ‘coerced or exclued’ to? This is the building blocks for CCP social credit and I don’t think that can just be glossed over.

  • @Little Jackie Pape

    “Serious question by the way – not having a dig.”
    I am not taking it as a dig and I am really interested in having a really constructive debate with people on here in relation to this matter and more broadly ID Cards as I dont have an issue with either and still proudly calling myself a Lib-Dem.

    I would be interested to hear and try to understand more what peoples objections to ID cards actually are, what are the fears based on? I have never really understood it.

    “Let’s at least be forthright enough to say that a coerced medical procedure isn’t just a problem of ideology”
    I do not see it as “Coerced” but then I also do not believe going on holidays or going to a festival or sporting event as a divine right.
    I think people need to understand that the Damage that Covid has done to economies Globally means that we have a societal obligation to do all that we can to protect our communities and economies, and whilst there must always be a “choice” I think people should accept there would be limitations on what they can do, should they chose not to as a result of that choice.
    Surgeons have to have Hepatitis vaccinations in order to protect patients they are operating on, do we object to that?
    I see this as no different for people working in the health and social care sector, they have an obligation to be vaccinated or chose a different career

    Now I know we do not agree on the coronavirus severity and you believe that governments have been damaging economies unnecessarily (I don’t)
    But lets just say that the next virus or heaven forbids this virus mutates to become more deadly like Ebola with an 80% Fatality Rate but there was a vaccine that could either prevent disease or substantially reduce death rates to stop health services and economies from collapsing, would you still be making the same arguments about “vaccine passports” ?

  • An interesting discussion.

    A good reason to be generous on providing covid vaccines is that it helps us a lot as providing less of a reservoir of the disease. But if it helps us – it also helps less developed nations as one of the major problems that developing nations face is the global slowdown due to lockdowns particularly in developed nations – it’ll be good for them if the global economy can rebound virtually covid-free.

    It is though interesting that Africa has had “only” around 100,000 confirmed covid deaths (less than the UK) in a population of c. 1.6 bn with half in South Africa.

    Its difficult to know why. But as pointed out it is very much younger – and sadly if you’re older there you may already have been killed by something else.

    There’s also much greater under-reporting of Covid in these countries – how much less is difficult to say. We’ve also seen that Covid can flare up from relatively low levels.

    However HIV/AIDS has become quite a problem in Africa – particularly in but not limited to South Africa. And it may have been that greater prevention measures earlier would’ve helped eve& n if deaths aren’t (that) great from HIV/AIDS it is quite a burden on African health systems. And if you nip covid in the bud potentially prevent that.

    Prompted by this thread I was looking up causes of death. Staggeringly dysentery and diarrhoeal diseases cause 1.6 million deaths globally – mainly in developing countries. You can vaccinate a leading cause of this – rotavirus – there’s quite a lot of vaccination but a further 65,000 child deaths a year could be prevented with more. (Oral Rehydration Therapy is also a very effective and cheap cure).

    Malaria also kills 400,000 a year – 2/3rds in children (mainly under-5s) – most of which could be prevented with better mosquito nets and elimination of the malaria bearing mosquitos.

    Clearly if we get worried about covid vaccination in poorer countries (and we should), we should get even more worried about these things. And particularly those things that kill children which covid (at least at the moment) doesn’t. If fewer children die, people tend to have fewer children – may be after a lag – and that is a virtuous circle – more can be invested in each child in terms of education by parents and the state, women’s well-being and economic prosperity improves etc.

    —-

    Apologies for any inaccurate facts as this is from memory!

  • Little Jackie Paper 26th Feb '21 - 3:03pm

    Matt – just to be clear, you are saying that you see this is a slippery slope to a two tier society and you are welcoming that? Or have I misunderstood?

  • @Little Jackie Paper

    If we are going to engage with one another, can we please try to give each other the courtesy to answer each others questions.

    Do I see it as a 2 tier society? Not really, as I said, I see it as a social responsibility to your community, economy and as Michael 1 points out above, globally to poorer nations. Without a healthy economy we are unable to fund and protect 3rd world countries from a whole host of diseases including coronaviruses

    I see it as a choice, if you wish to opt out from a vaccine, then you must accept that this come with certain consequences.

    You talk of a 2 tier society, but were you not in the same group of people who said that the elderly and vulnerable should be shielded from coronavirus ( if that’s was what they chose) and then allow everyone else to go about business as normal, would that not have created a 2 tier society where elderly and vulnerable had to chose between locking themselves away indefinitely or risk running a gauntlet?

    It would be helpful if you would be so good to tell me what your objections and fears of ID cards and Vaccine Passports are to help me better understand your view point.
    And also at what point does health and social responsibility trump civil liberties? Like I asked if the virus mutated to have a fatality rate similar to Ebola of 80% would your views remain the same?

  • Little Jackie Paper 26th Feb '21 - 3:50pm

    Matt – apologies. I perhaps expressed myself badly.

    What I asked was not whether or not you see a two tier society but whether you WELCOME the implications of that.

    How I respond to you otherwise rather depends on your response on that point.

  • @matt – national ID cards seem to be unproblematic in the European countries you cite as using them. But what happens if the governments of those countries stop being benign? Just look at China as an example of how citizens’ personal data can be used for social control.

    Modern technology may mean that more of our personal information is publicly available. And in many cases given away willingly. That doesn’t mean it’s right.

    I already have various bits of ID that work just fine for certain things that I either want or need to do. National ID cards were once described by Peter Lilley MP as ‘a solution in search of a problem’ and it’s a sentiment I agree with.

  • @Little Jackie Paper

    As I said, I do not see it as a 2 tier society, I see it as allowing people to still have a choice on whether they want to get vaccinated, but in doing so with that choice they have to accept some consequences of those choices. I do not see travel, attending mass public events as a Divine right, especially when it comes to matters of health and security.
    So you’re asking me whether I accept the slippery slope and implications, but you have thus far not told me what you believe those are.

    I apply the first laws of principles when it comes to Liberty, that your freedom to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.

  • Little Jackie Paper 26th Feb '21 - 4:20pm

    matt – I guess that on some of this we have to agree to disagree. I certainly don’t agree with your comparison between some health workers being compulsorily vaccinated and coerced vaccination of wider society. Large scale social exclusion is not the same thing as some people not being able to work in certain roles in the health service. Put at its simplest I believe in greater freedom and an innate right to participate in society and you do not. There’s nothing wrong with either just I will politically disagree with you to the last.

    This by the way is why my point about welcoming authoritarian control matters. I felt shielding was the least bad option, I would have hated it with every fibre of my being and would have ended it not one second later than necessary. What you seem to be talking about is a permanent and irreversible surveillance state with serious social control as a good thing.

    You mention ebola several times – looking at the internet I can’t see that African countries have ever gone down the route of compulsory vaccination for ebola. It is exactly this sort of working in hypotheticals that worries me. This is not ebola. Indeed the way that governments and the expertocracy have just glibly binned years of pandemic practice to follow the CCP is deeply worrying to me. Is there nothing about the way that we are in week 49 of three weeks to flatten the curve that you find alarming? The hotels-cum-prisons for example that look ripe for mission creep?

    Indeed when I was at school we had measles outbreaks (measles has an R of about 16) and no one batted an eyelid.

    Vaccine passports for international travel are, I think, a red-herring here. There is already a WHO system that could easily be used where governments wish to make vaccination a condition of entry (https://www.who.int/ihr/ports_airports/icvp/en/).

    My problem with ID cards is that EXACTLY I can’t tell you where this ends up. We get some idea of one possibility which is social credits in China. Tell me where the limits are. Will covid status suddenly start becoming lots of other statuses for example? Will my carbon budget or meat consumption ration be linked to my techno ID?

    Perhaps this is a discussion better had in a pub!

    Good luck to you and yours. I will leave the last word to you if you want it.

  • Little Jackie Paper 26th Feb '21 - 4:26pm

    Alexander – ‘ National ID cards were once described by Peter Lilley MP as ‘a solution in search of a problem’ and it’s a sentiment I agree with.’

    Yes, and the danger is that once we go down this route people will start attaching their problems to the ID database and see in the ID database a means of resolution.

    Social credits in China should give everyone pause for thought about what we are doing. I truly dread the milque toast CCP society that is likely coming our way – it’s far more worrying than covid.

  • @little jakie paper

    “I felt shielding was the least bad option,”

    yet those apposed to lockdowns ( before we even knew vaccinations were possible) were prepared for elderly and vulnerable people to be shielded and ” locked-out” indefinitely whilst the rest of society went about as normal, thus creating the 2 tier society which you talk of.
    I take it you do not have as strong feelings towards this creation as long as you’re not in the group that feels as though your civil liberties are the ones being impacted upon?

    “You mention ebola several times – looking at the internet I can’t see that African countries have ever gone down the route of compulsory vaccination for ebola.”
    Because it was bought under control with strict isolation zones and quarantine controls.
    My point was if Covid or the next virus that hits and let us not pretend there will be others, spread as quickly as covid did globally but also had a fatality rate that of Ebola 80%, at what point does health and social responsibility trump civil liberties, is there ever a an IFR rate that you would have in mind where you would accept the need for “coerced” vaccinations and vaccine passports? Or do you rule them out entirely in all circumstances and countries and societies would just have to accept the consequences just to protect personal liberties?

  • “Is there nothing about the way that we are in week 49 of three weeks to flatten the curve that you find alarming? The hotels-cum-prisons for example that look ripe for mission creep?”
    No, because at no point did they ever say that lockdowns were going to eliminate the virus entirely, it was made quite clear that there would be waves and it was about applying and lifting the brakes at intervals to try and manage the numbers until medicine could find us another way out.
    we should be quarantining ALL international arrivals, until we had vaccinated the population and reduced death rates and pressures on the NHS which put public health at large at risk, not just covid, and that is despite me being desperate to get back to Australis to see family and father in law who is probably not going to see the month out.

    We are just starting to come through the most terrible unnatural times, people not being able to be with loved ones in their dying moments or comfort them in hospital, Women having to go through childbirth without their partners, elderly people who should be enjoying their twilights years and spending time with loved ones and Grandchildren ( not living in this fear horror movie we had had)
    If vaccines can put an end to that or at least reduce that significantly then yes I believe we have a societal obligation to do that, regardless of whether we feel personally invincible to this virus

  • @Matt @Little Jackie Paper

    On the issue of civil liberties. I think it should be pretty much a given that people shouldn’t be forced to undergo medical treatments (which the vaccine is) against their will. People should be able to come to their own decisions in consultation with their doctors. It’s essentially a very fundamental basis of medicine.

    We should also guard against “back door” compulsion – some care home are saying their employees should have the covid jab & it’s hard as there’s obviously a health & safety duty – but I don’t think there is any (formal) compulsion for the jab on those in the NHS. But to go further than that for Brits within the UK is difficult in my view – e.g. say to have to have a certificate to go to the pub or other venue etc.

    Jabs are compulsorily required for certain diseases for international travel already e.g. yellow fever & that’s different.

    If it is seen that people are being forced to have a vaccine or that there is too much political interference in independent medical assessments of the safety and efficacy then it’s counterproductive. I was reading that there is a lot mistrust of the Sputnik vaccine in Russia. And if I was in Russia I would have second thoughts!

    And there are people who mistrust the UK Govt. in this regard – misguided in my opinion but understandable in their terms & their right.

    The first maxim of medical practice is do no harm to the individual (essentially ignoring wider societal impacts). And for someone who is 18 – while I’m not a doctor – it is highly debatable what carries the greatest risk having the vaccine or not – even if the risk from the vaccine is infinitesimal – & it’s a fair criticism that by definition we don’t know what the long term effects of the vaccine and the mRNA ones are new technology and while there “shouldn’t be” any – there have been medical treatments where there “shouldn’t have been” long term side effects & there have.

    For say over-90s it’s a no-brainer and somewhere between 18 & 90 there’s a valid medical debate to be had – but it’s difficult to say where that is.

    All that said – although I ‘ve been trying to persuade myself of the anti-vax case to rid myself of any “confirmation bias” – I’m personally convinced that it’s absolutely the right decision to be vaccinated – and unless it is not indicated (you’re pregnant or have had a bad reaction to a jab before etc.) I’d strongly urge all to get the jab.

  • Little Jackie Paper 26th Feb '21 - 5:15pm

    Matt – the terrible and unnatural times are just beginning.

  • Little Jackie Paper 26th Feb '21 - 5:19pm

    Michael 1 – indeed those that can take the vaccine should. I’ll be there when the time comes.

    As an aside, I worked with a woman who once worked at the Gamalaya Institute. It is a reputed institution and I imagine the science on Sputnik is sound.

  • The UK is never going to become a communist 1 party state like china, I find this a lazy argument to be honest with you and there is no comparison .

    @Michael1
    “We should also guard against “back door” compulsion – some care home are saying their employees should have the covid jab & it’s hard as there’s obviously a health & safety duty – but I don’t think there is any (formal) compulsion for the jab on those in the NHS.”
    It goes further than that, many care homes are now in financial dire straits due to the amount of residents they have lost and people now reluctant to put family members into care homes. Care homes have to be financially viable and if that means that they need to introduce rules that makes it compulsory for staff to be vaccinated to restore confidence, then there is an argument for that. Also, what are the future legal implications for care homes? Vaccines are not 100% effective and the efficacy of vaccines does tend to reduce in elderly population due to weakened immune responses. If staff members in future refused to get vaccinated and ended up introducing the virus to a care home which resulted in deaths that could have been preventable, would a care home become liable?
    The same with a plumbing firm, if it sent a worker into a care home who then introduced them to Covid because the worker had refused to be vaccinated, could the firm become liable?

    These are difficult questions that many firms are I am sure now having to consider

  • The main benefit of the vaccines are the protection they provide to the individual whereas reducing transmission is a possible secondary benefit that it still being monitored (and looking very promising).

    I’m not sure that people who have received a vaccine should worry unduly about being in proximity to someone who hasn’t.

    On civil liberties more generally we just need to look at the work being done by Liberty see here:

    https://www.libertyhumanrights.org.uk/issue/liberty-launches-rights-respecting-covid-bill/

    “In the face of the pandemic and the significant risk to life MPs passed the Coronavirus Act on 25 March 2020. The legislation was – and continues to be – an unprecedented assault on civil liberties. It dramatically changes the relationship between individual rights and the State in a variety of ways, from increasing police powers to weakening vital safeguards in social care, as well as opening the door to mass data surveillance.
    A year on, the justification for the Act’s blunt, rushed, and exceptional powers is increasingly hard to reconcile… …Liberty is now yet again calling on MPs to reject it and has drafted its own legislation so MPs can vote on an alternative and chart a new course out of the pandemic.”

    Why on earth haven’t the Lib Dem’s been saying this for the last year?

  • “It dramatically changes the relationship between individual rights and the State in a variety of ways” Marco
    Does it, or does it simply lift the carpet on what the UK state/Executive/monarchy can do to its Subjects? One of the problems with the UK system is that it turns a blind eye to the powers the Executive/monarch actually has; so everyone is surprised when circumstances arise and those powers are reached for…

    “What I asked was not whether or not you see a two tier society but whether you WELCOME the implications of that.” Little Jackie Paper
    Yes!
    Because it brings out into the open our responsibilities as members of our society, which is a nice counterpoint to all the wailing from the “its my right” brigade. But more importantly it can be used as a driver for change, real Constitutional change, not trivia like an elected second chamber and changes to the voting system.
    By the way, as soon as you provide a choice you effectively have a two tier society. From my experience, only those who want all the benefits and none of the responsibilities see it as two tier.

    the slippery slope Little Jackie Paper
    Funny how if you look you can find these everywhere, recommend reading “Cry Wolf A Political Fable” to learn more about the slippery slope of Liberalism…

  • Little Jackie Paper 26th Feb '21 - 8:18pm

    Roland – you know you almost had me there. Very droll.

  • “Vaccine Passports”
    I think everyone is overthinking this. The immediate use for some form of vaccine certificate is to allow parts of the economy to open earlier and potentially with lower risk, which given the uncertainties we are facing as we come out of lockdown, isn’t to be sneered at.

    The real challenge is that for this to occur the “vaccine passport” needs to be operation now or within weeks, so that they can be given out as people receive their second vaccine dose – any other distribution mechanism simply introduces complexity and delays. Given how slow the government has been over dealing with events, any solution that requires anything more involved than that currently involved with the completion and distribution of COVID-19 vaccination record cards, either isn’t going to happen or is going to arrive sometime in 2022. Which, if the Government achieves its vaccination target, there will be little point to having a domestic “vaccine passport” come September 2021…

  • Domestic vaccine passports (to say be allowed into certain venues) fail on both practical & civil liberties grounds.

    Practically. The problem now is not (fingers crossed) death but transmission

    The experts say we’re at the peak risk of vaccine resistant variants emerging – there’s still a high level of virus but not yet “complete” vaccine coverage increasing the evolutionary pressure.

    Transmission effectiveness to mitigate this is dependent on 2 doses & obv. (rightly) the UK has gone for almost 3 months between doses.

    There is, BTW, by my calculations incredibly good news on death (ultimately the important thing!) which *may* be down to around to 25 a day in a 4 weeks time.

    Current average daily deaths is 400 but that lags getting the disease by some 4 weeks – at a current R rate of say 0.7 that will be a 1/4 in 4 weeks – 100 but due to current 1 dose near 100% effectiveness against death a guesstimate is 50%-75% of that 100 won’t now die – so that’s 50-25 a day in four weeks time.

    High but a risk we run on diseases (such as seasonal flu) without shutting down the economy.

    Clearly also it’d take many months to turn the paper vaccine card into a robust fraud-proof system.

    On civil liberties. It’s tough to force someone to have undergo a medical treatment that might put them at risk & sack them if they don’t.

    Arguably for their individual risk there’s prob. more risk for an 18 year-old having the vaccine & getting a serious side-effect than not and getting covid (which very, very seldom causes death in a 18 year-old). And certainly they’re more than entitled to take that view.

    If a care worker, encouraged to have the jab – yes – forced – no. Pregnant women are advised not to be jabbed. And if not pregnant women then surely women of child-bearing age also. And if them, then surely men of the same age on equality grounds?

    As far as I am aware NHS and care workers have never been forced to have a flu jab & that kills many vulnerable. And if care workers, why indeed not plumbers going into care home. And what about plumbers going into other vulnerable people’s own homes? Other trades? Shop workers? etc. etc.

    We also don’t consider the wider society for other treatments – and it is I believe against the medical Hippocratic oath – to first do no harm to the individual and their right to refuse treatment. Why not lower their testosterone in men to make them less violent! etc.

  • What we need is a new arm of the UN that coordinates and delivers vaccines to countries that request it. Taking it out of the responsibility of individual countries will expedite its completion. I am sure many countries would take advantage of such an offer.

  • @Micheal 1 – “Pregnant women are advised not to be jabbed. “
    and there is a good reason for that, if you did your research…
    Fundamentally, pregnant women are, for goood reason, generally excluded from drug trials and so no data is collected.
    However, overtime data is collected and so risks can be more properly assessed and the advice amended accordingly. So we can expect the current advice around the CoViD vaccines to be amended in 5+ years.

    And what about’ery’
    Get used to the new Health and Safety environment and concern for the wellbeing of others, the vaccine is free, step up and accept your responsibilities to the society you have chosen to live in.

    We also don’t consider the wider society for other treatments
    We do, MMR and several other vaccines routinely given to children.

  • Little Jackie Paper 27th Feb '21 - 11:20pm

    You delete that? Wow.

  • Little Jackie Paper 27th Feb '21 - 11:23pm

    Apologies – last message posted in error. Please remove?

  • Nonconformistradical 28th Feb '21 - 9:09am

    @Michael1
    “Jabs are compulsorily required for certain diseases for international travel already e.g. yellow fever & that’s different.”
    And there’s a certificate – International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis – but it doesn’t seem to be very high tech. Maybe open to forgery..?

    @Peter Hirst
    “What we need is a new arm of the UN that coordinates and delivers vaccines to countries that request it. Taking it out of the responsibility of individual countries will expedite its completion. I am sure many countries would take advantage of such an offer.”
    How well would you see some increasingly nationalist governments co-operating with the UN?

  • @Roland

    I appreciate the reasons for pregnant women being excluded but it remains the case that they have a valid reason (& it may be precautionary) not to be vaccinated.

    You do though ignore the crux of my argument that forcing someone to undergo a medical intervention is quite a serious infringement of their civil liberties – may be being sacked is not “forcing” but it’s close to it.

    And it does seem that a large wad of NHS workers won’t get the jab – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-56069325

    Now my personal view is that I am highly in favour of being vaccinated & it pains me even when I see people not sanitising their hands when going in and out of shops (90%+ don’t) – & I sanitise my hands about 6 times on one shop visit which may be a little excessive

    But there’s an issue here of believing that my fellow citizens shouldn’t be forced to undergo medical treatments against their will – even if I highly encourage them to do so both for the sake of their own health & wider society.

    There is also an issue here – & I don’t want to exaggerate it – of where do you draw the line. As I say may be men should be treated to reduce their testosterone levels – probably better for them & society? What if (!) gene editing techniques are advanced enough to allow serious congenital diseases to be cured & this also cures the genes in the eggs or sperm – leading to a dramatic wider societal benefit of eliminating that disease? What counts as a “serious congenital disease”? Height? Intelligence? Does that lead to eugenics?

    Now I appreciate that you can go from one thing to far to another. But it is in part why we have civil rights. The right to the individual to stand up to an all-powerful state when they feel that they or society is being harmed. The right for an individual to say that they think something (& surely the something should include that person’s individual medical treatment) is dangerous in their opinion. And we also condemn those that didn’t try and do that in totalitarian states – “I was only following orders”.

    I am not sure of the point on MMR – the key point is that it is a treatment that gives great protection to the individual – that vaccines give wider societal benefit is a very fortuitous by-product of a medical treatment – but only a by-product and people have the right to refuse vaccination (or for children, parents on their behalf) – misguided in my view but their right.

  • @Michael1

    I agree that there always have to be choice, nobody should ever be forced to undergo a medical procedure as that accounts to abuse.

    However, we also have to recognise that we have to have social responsibilities also and there may be industries that we can not work in if we chose to reject a vaccine I.e health and social care industry.

    To be clear, I am not saying that I am for domestic vaccine passports for things like Pubs and clubs, as I think that is a step to far, however, as I have said in a previous comment, I can understand why some employers are going to want to make it a condition of employment i.e carers, plumbers and tradesmen, especially if they are going into vulnerable peoples homes Care and Hospital settings.
    I am sure that these employers are worried about future legal ramifications of their employees infecting say a care home. ( I have always believed the flu jab should be compulsory for care home workers)
    Of course there must always be exclusions for those that are immune compromised and cannot take a vaccine.

    Nobody seems to want to answer my questions before, what if Covid mutated to have a far deadlier IFR or the next virus to hit us was more like ebola with an 80% IFR and a vaccine was able to reduce infections and drastically reduce deaths? Would people still be rejecting lockdowns, Vaccine Passports and compulsory Vaccines, would they still make the same arguments that civil liberties always trumps everything else?
    Yes it is hypothetical, but it is an important question, it’s not like it can never happen so it can be dismissed.

  • @matt – “Nobody seems to want to answer my questions before, what if Covid mutated to have a far deadlier IFR or the next virus to hit us was more like ebola with an 80% IFR and a vaccine was able to reduce infections and drastically reduce deaths? Would people still be rejecting lockdowns, Vaccine Passports and compulsory Vaccines, would they still make the same arguments that civil liberties always trumps everything else?”
    I suggest it isn’t so much if as when we see a more deadly disease. Plus given how we responded to: the last Ebola outbreak by shipping infected people around the world, to CoViD19 when it was known that people were dying in high dependency care from an unknown pathogen – yet still hospital authorities didn’t go in to full isolation etc. or even deploy PPE, it would not surprise me we would also spread this globally by our own carelessness.

    However, I suggest we would still see the quack medicine promoters, disease deniers and anti-vac brigade. Because, as we have seen with CoVid19, for many there has been no direct experience of CoViD19 or they grasp at the few who had a mild illness and recovered, and try and convince themselves (and others) that this is how it is for the majority, so nothing to fear….

    An additional concern now has to be Joe Public’s blind faith in science, so that it doesn’t really matter if there is another disease with a high infection fatality rate, as science will quickly develop a vaccine etc. ; so nothing to worry about…

  • @Micheal 1 – “You do though ignore the crux of my argument that forcing someone to undergo a medical intervention is quite a serious infringement of their civil liberties – may be being sacked is not “forcing” but it’s close to it.”
    No I didn’t, you are free to choose whether or not you get the vaccine, however, your decision has consequences. I seem to remember at sometime – in the last 40 years and it may still be the case, it was normal for people being posted to some far flung place without access to advanced medical care to have an appendectomy, to remove this risk…

    Look at it from the herd immunity numbers angle, even with a 100% vaccination rate, the (AZ) efficacy data indicates only 76% of the population will actually have immunity. However, we know due to the various factors we won’t achieve a 100% vaccination rate., if we are lucky we might achieve 98%, but is probably more likely it will be below 96%. So that 76% is going to drop towards the 67% tipping point… One of the ways to mitigate this is maintain some form of social distancing – excluding those people who don’t have a vaccine from some situations is one such option that will positively change the risk profile.

    I am not sure of the point on MMR – the key point is that it is a treatment that gives great protection to the individual – that vaccines give wider societal benefit is a very fortuitous by-product of a medical treatment – but only a by-product and people have the right to refuse vaccination (or for children, parents on their behalf) – misguided in my view but their right.
    The state decides on vaccines based not just on benefit to the individual but also on benefit (eg. reduced health care costs and in the case of the seat belt law reduce the trauma experienced by the emergency services attending an accident). Also as we are seeing with CoViD19 economic concerns are to the fore.

    >As I say may be men should be treated to reduce their testosterone levels
    Maybe, the key issue is to treat each instance as standalone and not setting precedence, so perhaps the sensible thing is to draw some lines in the sand so that we can tell that lines are being crossed.

    This brings us back to the topic – should we expect or demand other nations to vaccinate their populations?

  • Ebola is harder to transmit than a respiratory virus as it is transmitted through bodily fluids and would have a lower R rate in the context of a developed country so it would be controllable through testing, tracing and isolating.

  • @Marco

    You’re kind of missing the point.
    The question is “if” covid mutated to have an IFR rate “similar” to ebola (80%) or if the next virus that comes along had an IFR of 80% and had the ability to bring public health systems and economies to it’s knees, would those who are anti-lock-down, anti-vaccine anti- vaccine passports, coerced vaccinations still be making the same arguments, that civil liberties always trumps everything. That even though vaccination would drastically reduce transmission, hospitalisations and deaths and ultimately protect public health and the economy. People must be allowed to make a choice between being vaccinated or not and should face no restrictions on their liberties if they chose not to.
    Is that the argument that those who put civil liberties above all else would still be making?

  • Sorry forgot to add and it was just as transmissible as covid and had circulated around the world as quickly as covid had

  • Little Jackie Paper 28th Feb '21 - 11:21pm

    Roland

    Lines in the sand are far too easily washed away. I want actual lines.

    It’s only three weeks to flatten the curve.

  • Nonconformistradical 1st Mar '21 - 8:57am

    @Matt
    “My point was if Covid or the next virus that hits and let us not pretend there will be others, spread as quickly as covid did globally but also had a fatality rate that of Ebola 80%………”

    From https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ebola/
    “The Ebola virus disease is spread through contact with the blood, body fluids or organs of a person or animal with the infection.”

    That’s much more difficult than transmission via airborne droplets.

    As I understand it the existential ‘objective’ of a virus is to spread itself as widely as possible – among as many host organisms as possible. Easy transmission of the virus around potential hosts is a plus point from the virus’s ‘point of view’. But a high death rate reduces the potential for infected hosts passing on the virus to other potential hosts. It seems to me that ebola doesn’t fit the ultimate ‘objective’ of a virus.

    Likewise the rabies virus – needing an infected host to bite another potential host – not that easy to transmit but with a high fatality rate unless treated very promptly

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rabies-epidemiology-transmission-and-prevention.

    My point in raising this is because it seems to me that in trying to estimate the impact of various viruses in the human population – hospital needs, death rates, impacts on the economy etc – like isn’t always being compared with like.

    From its own ‘objectives’ Nature seems to have done a very good job with Covid-19. And while going about it – well and truly fouling up normal life for large numbers of people in many parts of the world.

  • @ Matt, NCFR

    I think the example Matt is looking for is when measles reached Pacific Islands such as Tahiti and around 20% of the population was lost.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5197612/

    In a repeat of such circumstances, clearly there would be a need for most people to be vaccinated however almost everyone would want a vaccination so I doubt compulsion would actually be needed.

    In the case of viruses such as Covid it is more natural for them to become weaker over time as the strains that cause severe illness lead people to isolate themselves so aren’t passed around, whilst milder strains are passed around and become dominant.

    In the case of Covid, because there has been global social distancing and lockdowns we may have interfered with the natural course of the virus in ways that have unknown consequences.

    If it did mutate to become much deadlier, no doubt voluntary uptake of the vaccine would be even higher (its high anyway) along with possible widespread anger at being told to avoid catching it when it was milder.

  • @Marco – “I think the example Matt is looking for is when measles reached Pacific Islands such as Tahiti and around 20% of the population was lost.”
    Whilst that is a good tangible example, Matt I think is actually alluding to “Disease X”: “a new pathogen that could sweep the world as fast as COVID-19, but one that has Ebola’s 50% to 90% fatality rate” and which some doctors/scientists are on the lookout for.

    Whilst there is a good science case against “Disease X” being a mutation of Ebola, there is good science case for one of the respiratory system diseases to mutate into something more lethal. Remember one of the mutations seen with CoVid19 has been the supression of the immune system, so that the virus can replicate and disperse before someone actually gets physical symptoms and begins to feel unwell – something I suspect scientists weren’t previously looking out for.

    However, I would tend to agree, with a higher fatality rate, it would be harder to ignore the empty houses and body bags. The weekly clap for the NHS in these circumstances would be an audible indication of the extent to which the disease had spread within a community. So I think with CoViD19 we have been lucky, in many ways, the need now is to get those pandemic plans updated and funded, just as we funded nuclear weapons in the hope they would never actually be used.

  • @Little Jackie Paper – “Lines in the sand are far too easily washed away. I want actual lines.”
    Given how things have changed in recent decades eg. euthanasia, I doubt actual lines are any more permanent, in fact it could be argued that lines drawn in the sand might actually be better as they tend to get renewed – otherwise they fade, and people have reason to remember why the line was drawn.

  • Charles Smith 1st Mar '21 - 8:58pm

    U.S. health advisers endorsed a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson on Friday, putting the nation on the cusp of adding an easier-to-use option to fight the pandemic.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to quickly follow the recommendation and make J&J’s shot the third vaccine authorized for emergency use in the U.S. Vaccinations are picking up speed, but new supplies are urgently needed to stay ahead of a mutating virus that has killed more than 500,000 people in the country.
    https://worldabcnews.com/johnson-johnsons-single-shot-covid-19-vaccine-endorsed-by-u-s-advisers/

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