Vaccine passports – good, bad or indifferent?

I was challenged by one of our readers, having opined on the Shamima Begum situation, to apply a similar logic to the question of vaccine passports and whether or not they should be mandatory. And I suppose that my answer is a fairly straightforward one – that they shouldn’t be made mandatory.

That’s the simple answer. A more complete answer is rather longer.

Throughout the pandemic, there has been a sense that politicians, and the Government in particular, are following public opinion rather than taking a lead. And I suspect that, with regard to a vaccine passport, public opinion is going to determine how much they impinge on day to day life.

Providers of services will need to balance the health and safety of their staff with the economic hit of potentially lost custom, and will have to decide whether they’ll lose more custom from turning people away than by letting them in. So, I suspect that vaccine passports will be voluntary, as will vaccination, yet you’ll need one in order to do certain things, like go on holiday overseas, or use particular services like gyms or beauty salons.

Can you object to that? Of course, but does a privately run business have the right to decide who it serves already? Yes, under certain circumstances. Just as a bar or pub is not obliged to serve you if it thinks that you’re intoxicated, they can decide that they’d rather not have you through the door if you aren’t willing to demonstrate that you’ve been vaccinated. It is their right, so long as they’re not discriminating on the basis of protected groups.

Likewise for public services – you can’t be denied access to them, but how you access them may be restricted to a comparatively limited set of options.

What that means is that, as people conclude that it would be easier for them to voluntarily take part in any vaccine passport scheme, they will do so, just as I suspect that some of those who currently don’t intend to take the vaccine will change their minds if it becomes more inconvenient to stay unvaccinated.

Is this an infringement on liberty? Yes, it is, but there are already plenty of limits upon our personal liberty – they’re called laws. The question is, are the restrictions upon our liberties outweighed by the protections and opportunities that those limits offer? But, as long as vaccine passports are not mandatory, the element of personal choice is retained, as well as the consequences of that personal choice.

In truth, I do worry about issues such as data security and accuracy, given some of the errors made in this country. And yet we are able to operate systems that are pretty secure in this country – HMRC being a case in point. So, from a personal perspective, as long as it isn’t mandatory, I’d lean towards taking part if it allows me to do things that I want to do.

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54 Comments

  • Little Jackie Paper 4th Mar '21 - 10:47am

    Mark

    Thank you for taking the time to think about the point I made to you and for the follow-up. Appreciated!

    To be clear though on two points. First I see no problem at all with vaccines as a condition of international travel.

    Second my big, big worry is that this is just a slippery slope. Security and accuracy, of course, matter. But it’s the inevitability of expansion that is, and always was, the strong argument about I D. I don’t think that you really address that point. How would you react to say private businesses excluding people on HIV status in future? Or consumption habits being controlled via the ID system.

    And if you think the slippery slope is overblown – we are now in week 50 of it’s only three weeks to flatten the curve….

  • Little Jackie Paper 4th Mar '21 - 10:55am

    Apologies. To add to that. If we do want a CCP style social credit thing then that’s another matter. But 100% it should not be a backdoor product of virus vaccination.

  • Vaccine Passports ? Essential.

  • Helen Dudden 4th Mar '21 - 11:30am

    The Government has become obsessed with the subject of the virus and wasting large amounts of taxpayers money.
    If you have the injection why not a simple verification at that time?
    I won’t be going anywhere, as because of a bad reaction to a medication I’ve decided no, I can’t risk it.
    It’s not had the proof to warrant the injection.

  • Richard Kay 4th Mar '21 - 11:50am

    Having a car license isn’t and shouldn’t be mandatory either. But having one is mandatory if you want to drive a car. Your obligation to maintain the brakes on your car is slightly different from your obligation to wear a seatbelt, in the sense the latter is about your own safety and impacts others in relation to your health or mortality cost following an accident. Vaccination is about transmission of the virus to others also, so is analogous to the brake maintenance requirement as well as the seat belt one.

    If enough people get vaccinated we hopefully may not need these passports, but the more the risk of disease persists, including to those who can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons, the more likely these passports will be required. Depending upon the risks involved, this will be about getting on a plane, and perhaps for entry to more private premises and larger cultural, community, religious or sporting events, allowing such to occur more safely and sooner than would otherwise be feasible.

    It would not be fair to those who can’t be vaccinated e.g. due to an anaphylaxis history if these individuals were to be discriminated against by being barred from such events and travel. Protection of personal medical data is paramount also. Therefore, a vaccination certificate validation must appear identical to a medical exemption certificate validation as seen by the validator.

    The cost is mainly going to be the effort of GPs and their surgery staff in creating the certificates. Carrying one of these on the NHS app or printed piece of paper will just be a fully random number giving no details. When this is offered by a user as a QR code to a validation device using this code to link to the certificate authority signed webpage, the latter simply needs to return the user name, and optionally a photo to prevent misuse. Similar technology is in widespread use already, e.g. for train ticketing.

  • John Marriott 4th Mar '21 - 12:40pm

    No proof of vaccination = no flight to Benidorm. I’d vote for that. Of course a valid medical reason for not having the vaccine would be in order, although, if you did have such a condition that ruled out a vaccine, might that condition not come into play if you undertook a flight?

    Now, if you worked, or wanted to work, in a care home or any other form of front line nursing? Look at it this way. If you want to nurse the sick and became infected, you would surely have to take time off work. Are there plenty of appropriately qualified people out there to step in? So again, unless you have a valid medical exemption, no jab no job.

  • Little Jackie Paper 4th Mar '21 - 12:41pm

    ‘allowing such to occur more safely and sooner than would otherwise be feasible.’

    If I thought that this was the purpose of the vaccine ID system and we would bin it in early 2022 then I’d be very supportive.

    But that’s not what would happen. It would become permanent and ever-more controlling with ever more requirements piled onto it.

    Be in no doubt this is social credit. What one thinks about that is another matter. But let’s not pretend that the risks are theoretical.

  • Little Jackie Paper 4th Mar '21 - 12:49pm

    John Marriott – If a majority voted to ban HIV positive people from flying would you be ok with it?

    Given the health ID cards the tech to identify them is easy, just like a train ticket apparently.

    The 1987 temporary US ban on HIV positive people entering ended in January 2010.

  • nigel hunter 4th Mar '21 - 12:54pm

    The fear factor bringing in more Govnt control so that they have more information about us. Social manipulation

  • Little Jackie Paper 4th Mar '21 - 1:01pm

    Nigel

    You are missing the point. It’s not a fear factor, it is actively championing control and manipulation. What you think of that is another matter but at least see the direction of travel here.

  • Richard Kay 4th Mar '21 - 1:24pm

    Jackie, I remember at the time of the mandatory wearing of seat belts debate this was claimed to be a slippery slope instrument of social control, and it was also spun by the side that lost this debate, that the brave refusers who didn’t wear seatbelts would be thrown clear of accidents, miraculously saving their skin, in situations when to be bound into a car would kill them. We don’t hear this nonsense now – seatbelt wearing is not contended, and has saved countless lives.

    Maintaining a security system will occur only if there is a continuing purpose. The cost of vaccine passports will be in maintaining the certificates and validating these – involving ongoing effort and delays.

    We don’t bother maintaining systems which no longer seem to have a valid purpose. Tsunami warning systems in the Indian Ocean would be unlikely to be maintained 100 years after the previous significant event these warn against. I remember cold war air raid alarms being tested weekly in Germany in the sixties – now no longer. We don’t need vaccinations or certificates in respect of smallpox or polio today, because these vaccines worked, completely and globally, but if such were to escape from a secret terrorist bioweapons facility, we would soon be vaccinating against these diseases again and trying to prevent these pathogens getting onto planes.

  • Little Jackie Paper 4th Mar '21 - 1:45pm

    Richard

    We still have iceberg detection systems that were put in place following the Titanic. A seatbelt is not an exclusive ID system. A seatbelt can’t have an ever-expanding role.

    Look, we are probably not going to agree. You see this as benign I see this as a recipe for never ending and expansionary social control that is malign. All I can say is that I really hope you are right amd I’m not. But looking at the state of the world please don’t ask me to share your confidence.

  • John Marriott 4th Mar '21 - 2:16pm

    @Little Jackie Paper
    As far as I know, you can only pass on the HIV virus by ‘the exchange of bodily fluids’. As I am not in the habit of kissing complete strangers, sharing a needle or doing anything else with them for that matter in either confined or non confined spaces, I reckon your HIV example was a bad one to choose. As a supporter of ID cards, which, come to think of it, could have vaccine information embedded in them if required, I have no concern about my personal Liberty being infringed. As for binning a vaccine certificate after a couple of years, who said that COVID will be history by then anyway? The chances are it’s here to stay; but hopefully, like ‘flu, in a more manageable form. What really worries me, as I have written on LDV several times before, is what other nasty viruses are just waiting in the animal world for us to drop our guard. Given our love of air travel to exotic places, it’s no wonder such viruses find it easier to reach the parts that even a well known Dutch beer might struggle to reach!

    Better add my name to Richard Kay’s then. Long live liberty!

  • Little Jackie Paper 4th Mar '21 - 2:39pm

    John Marriott. You said in your earlier comment you would ‘vote’ for a no vaccine no flight idea. I’m asking how you would react to a vote on HIV. Or indeed voting on health and forced medical procedures generally. Though as I said earlier I think vaccines as a rule for international travel are not a problem and are a red herring.

    My wife had to show her vaccination record to come to the UK and that was only 20 years ago.

    It is the domestic use of vaccine passports that are troubling to me.

  • @Little Jackie Paper
    >And if you think the slippery slope is overblown
    Yes, I do. But I suspect much of the anti-vax and fear of vaccine passport has been born out of people being largely confined to their homes and dwelling on the fear of going beyond their front door.

    >we are now in week 50 of it’s only three weeks to flatten the curve
    Compared to today, the UK medical experts and Government knew practically zero about the unknown disease that had begun to scythe its way through our society. Just as in a previous time when it was said “The war would be over by Christmas”…

    You see this as benign I see this as a recipe for never ending and expansionary social control that is malign.
    Given our still growing population and high density living, some level of ‘social control’ where peoples responsibilities and duties to others are defined, is a necessary part of this type of society…

    >If a majority voted to ban HIV positive people from flying would you be ok with it?
    Playing on peoples fears of something they poorly understand – You do know it is very difficult to catch HIV from the person sitting beside you on the bus/train/plane? However with respiratory diseases such as CoViD19, Flu etc. that disperse through the air…

    >”Vaccine Passport”
    I suspect what is being alluded to, once you strip away the Id. card noise, is something a little more formal/official than simply a vaccine record (ie. the card/slip of paper which contains the basic vaccine information and which people generally take on trust). Which can be used in all the circumstances where evidence of vaccination may be requested. To my mind a bigger problem with the ‘passport’ is the risk that people lose sight that vaccination is more about risk management and reduction than absolute protection ie. you’ve had the vaccine but that doesn’t mean you are immune and thus cannot contract the disease.

  • Little Jackie Paper 4th Mar '21 - 3:59pm

    Roland

    I think all I can usefully say is that we disagree.

  • No we shouldn’t have vaccine passports.

    Firstly there is no scientific reason why they are needed. The official position is still that the effects of the vaccine on transmission are still unknown. The main benefit is to reduce the severity of symptoms for infected people.

    If it does reduce transmission, there is no evidence that even the majority of the population would need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity.

    So vaccine passports are about an authoritarian desire to control other people.

    Secondly, the ethics are all wrong. Inflicting medical treatment against someones will goes against the Nuremberg codes and could be psychologically damaging. What if there are unknown side effects as with the swine flu vaccine?

    It should be a big thumbs down to this idea.

  • John Marriott 4th Mar '21 - 7:41pm

    @Little Jackie Paper
    Even I know that there is sadly no HIV vaccine! There is one (in fact quite a few) COVID vaccine(s). While on the subject of vaccination, when my wife and I emigrated to Canada in 1970 we underwent a plethora of medical tests, including several vaccinations. We carried this information on an early form of Vaccine passport, which stood us in good stead when we went to live in West Germany in 1973.

    Back in 1962 when I was fortunate enough to be selected to play for the English Schools’ Under 19 Rugby XV, the two match schedule included a game against French Schools in Tours on Easter Monday, following a match against Welsh Schools at Twickenham the previous Saturday. There happened to be a fairly serious smallpox outbreak in the British Isles at the time and the French authorities insisted on everybody in the party, including officials, having the Smallpox vaccine well in advance, which we did. It’s not a pleasant experience and usually produces a ‘flu like reaction a week or so later, which it certainly did in my case. Fortunately we all recovered and managed to win both games, the first time since the foundation of the group in 1949 that an England Under 19 XV had achieved that feat.

  • Little Jackie Paper 4th Mar '21 - 7:50pm

    John Marriott.

    I’m a rugby league man. Nothing against RU and I always enjoyed Edge Hall Road, but I’ll always be for the 13 man code.

    Just as long as I don’t need vaccine ID to get in….

  • Is a vaccine passport something that sounds good in theory (the idea that it’ll make everyone safe) but useless, or even counterproductive, in practice (it will lull people into a false sense of security, especially as new variants come along)?

  • @Marco
    >Firstly there is no scientific reason why they (vaccine passports) are needed.
    Agreed, however, adhering to the science-based risk guidelines in the real world, in circumstances that vary from the social distancing guidelines, requires limits to be placed on the number of people without vaccination.
    The only reliable way to do this is through administration and checking people’s vaccine status; the passport/certificate is just a way to assist in this administration.

    >“The official position is …”
    We now effectively have about 4 weeks of volume UK data (although the first UK vaccine was administered on 8-Dec-2020, volume vaccination only really started in January, as it takes 3~4 weeks to become fully effective, only data collected since beginning of february is noteworthy). Expect the overly cautious official statements first given out last summer to be updated as the data is indicating significantly better outcomes.

    >If it does reduce transmission, there is no evidence that even the majority of the population would need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity.
    Follow the science on vaccine efficacy: we need more than 82% of the population to have received the vaccine for the full benefits of herd immunity to be realised.

    >So vaccine passports are about an authoritarian desire to control other people.
    Not necessarily, much depends on how the government proposes to implements them; something the government has yet to announce.
    I suspect a big problem is with the English language, namely what word succinctly and clearly conveys the concept, which doesn’t carry the baggage of ‘passport’.

  • @Marco cont.

    >the ethics are all wrong. Inflicting medical treatment against someones will goes against the Nuremberg codes
    No one is being forced against their will to have the vaccine or (currently as envisaged) a vaccine passport. However, if you want to do certain things you will need to satisfy the entry requirements and provide evidence supporting your claim. Yes, we didn’t have to worry so much about vaccination status before, but this last year has clearly demonstrated we’ve come to the end of childhood and its innocence.

    >What if there are unknown side effects as with the swine flu vaccine?
    Agreed, there is a risk of as yet to be discovered side effects, but we have to balance these against the very real risk of encountering Sans-Cov2 in the next couple of years and just because you are young and aren’t knowingly in an “at-risk” group doesn’t mean you aren’t risking 1+ months in intensive care, followed by 2+ months in recovery (where a friend is currently).

  • Peter Chambers 5th Mar '21 - 7:15pm

    Something that Covid-19 has disrupted this last year is the hyper-dense occupancy of places such as London, and the high productivity this enables. Some of this is the high velocity of money that occurs, some is the 24-hour factor with the night-economy making assets more utilised, but some is the higher rate of interactions making business and culture happen faster. This is is enabled by a very high packing density and a fractal dimension of the human space approaching 4.0.
    However the human interactions in large modern cities have the potential to be disease transmission as well as cultural and business. To avoid disaster the inhabitants must have good immune systems as well as good habits. One of the forces that relies on this is the neo-liberal economic model, which is much more powerful at present than our progressive politics. This will demand that the unvaccinated are squeezed out of city centres (and Texas). We can have our debate about the ethics, and the government can shuffle towards an announcement, but probably the landlords will have there way.

  • Robert (Bristol) 5th Mar '21 - 8:33pm

    I don’t have a problem with a vaccine passport as I already carry the yellow booklet with Yellow Fever to Typhoid jabs recorded in it back to 1987. However what I choose not to have is a smartphone and there are others who simply are not able to afford it. So please don’t make an app the only passport to participation in everyday life.

  • @ Roland

    “we need more than 82% of the population to have received the vaccine for the full benefits of herd immunity to be realised.”

    Where on earth does this figure come from and what is the “full benefits” or herd immunity compared to plain old herd immunity?

    We might have herd immunity again now as we did last summer but it wears off which is partly why you get seasonal effects.

  • @Marco
    >Where on earth does this figure come from and what is the “full benefits” or herd immunity compared to plain old herd immunity?

    With CoViD-19 it would seem we have two types of herd immunity:
    1) Plain old herd: immunity of the sort some were proposing by letting Sars-Cov-2 work its way through the population and people developing a natural immunity, which based on the evidence of immune responses to other coronavirus infections only persists for 2~9 months.
    2) Enhanced herd immunity: this is what we are seeing (and hoping for) from the vaccines, where immunity can be persist for years rather than months.
    Obviously, we would rather have the benefits of enhanced herd immunity.

    To achieve herd immunity we need to determine the herd immunity threshold.
    From the limited data available, it seems the CoviD19 threshold is somewhere in the 60~70% range. With analysis of the Brazilian city of Manaus outbreak in May 2020 indicating it could be 66%. However, this does not take into account the newer South African or Brazilian variants, so it might be higher. (For comparison: the Measles threshold is 95% and Polio 80%.)

    From the vaccine trials and specifically the “Oxford AZ” vaccine, a study has set its 2 dose efficacy at 82.4%.

    So if we set the target herd immunity threshold at 67%, some basic maths tells us that we need to vaccinate 82% of the population (with 2 doses of the AZ vaccine) in order for 67% of the population to be immune and thus fully benefit from herd immunity, namely the petering out of Sars-cov-2.

    I use the term “full benefits” to mean the state of affairs, where people have enhanced herd immunity in sufficient numbers to exceed the immunity threshold and thus Sars-Cov-2 is likely to die out. Obviously some degree of herd immunity will be achieved at lower levels of vaccination, but these won’t result in the disease dying out.

    >We might have herd immunity again now as we did last summer but it wears off which is partly why you get seasonal effects.
    We had no herd immunity last summer, it was thought that the first lockdown had been sufficient to prevent new transmissions and so kill off Sars-Cov-2 in the UK population; it wasn’t and because the vast majority of the UK population had had no exposure to Sars-Cov-2 they had not developed any immunity, which is why a second lockdown was inevitable.

  • @ Roland

    You are just making this up as you go along. There is no distinction between herd immunity and “enhanced” herd immunity and the latter concept does not exist in science.

    Herd immunity is the point where a pathogen is not growing exponentially because the effective R rate Re is <1 as a result of immunity levels in the population. It is not a permanent state and will not wipe out the virus (impossible in any virus that has an animal reservoir).

    R rates are typically lower in the summer than the winter in a climate such as the UK so it is plausible that you could have herd immunity which then wanes in winter leading to resurgences. This is the pattern seen with influenza, another deadly virus.
    It is a myth that you cannot reach herd immunity without universal vaccination because influenza vaccines were not as widely used before circa 2000 but was managed through naturally acquired immunity.

  • Peter Martin 6th Mar '21 - 11:03am

    @ Marco,

    It is quite reasonable to make a distinction between immunity acquired through a natural infection and immunity acquired through a vaccine. If you don’t like the adjective “enhanced” , maybe you could suggest something better?

    “It is a myth that you cannot reach herd immunity without universal vaccination because influenza vaccines were not as widely used before circa 2000 but was managed through naturally acquired immunity.”

    Flu vaccines have been around a little longer than that. But, you are quite right to say that herd immunity can be acquired with no medical intervention at all. We just let whatever new disease that might appear run its course through the population and hope for the best. It won’t kill us all. There are bound to be some survivors. I’m not sure why you think this is a myth. No-one is saying otherwise.

    Covid-19 isn’t as bad as other diseases that have appeared in the past. If we had left it to run unchecked we’d have ended up with around half a million dead before natural immunity had built up to protect those of us who would have been lucky enough to survive.

    The question is: Why would we want to do that when, unlike previous generations, we don’t have to?

  • @ Peter Martin

    You are still repeating the discredited 500,000 deaths figure which was based on assumptions that were not correct such as an IFR of 0.9- 1.0% and no prior immunity etc.

    No one suggested letting the virus run its course the alternative was to focus protection on the people most vulnerable. Blanket lockdowns were ineffective at protecting the high risk and elderly.

  • @Marco

    “You are still repeating the discredited 500,000 deaths figure which was based on assumptions that were not correct such as an IFR of 0.9- 1.0% and no prior immunity etc.”

    Discredited by whom? You, Youtube, Facebook?

    https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/207273/covid-19-deaths-infection-fatality-ratio-about/

    For high income countries the IFR is said to be 1.15% according to ICL

  • @ Matt

    “According to Imperial College”

    The same people who came up with the 250-500k claim. Need I say more?

    I believe that Stanford Epidemiology Professor estimated 0.27% which sounds more realistic.

  • *John Ioannidis

  • @Marco

    Selective reporting there Marco

    https://www.who.int/bulletin/online_first/BLT.20.265892.pdf

    Actually for England as a whole he gave an IFR of 0.93%
    and 0.22% for Under 70’s
    Or are you deliberately trying to exclude the over 70 population of England???

    You cannot lock up indefinitely the elderly and disabled whilst everyone goes about their business as normal.

    You could not have everyone going about as normal with no social distancing, masks, etc as In doing so we would have ended up with deaths around the 500k mark just as ICL forecast and just as John Ioannidis forecasts in his 0.93% figure.

  • Matt

    Not sure where you get the 0.93% figure from it the final sentence says “Most locations probably have an infection fatality rate less than 0.20%”

    Focused protection wouldn’t have been indefinite only until vaccines are available as the vaccines step in to replace focused protection.

    If you have a blanket lockdown the elderly and vulnerable just as are “locked up” as under focused protection so what’s the difference?

  • @Marco

    Ctrl F is your friend

    Page 32 has the figures for England
    England 65 38 854 (9 July) 1.16 (0.93) 20 0.27 (0.22)

    And baring in mind that was using figures from July 2020 and we had a very substantial worse 2nd wave since then.

    And I repeat, the higher the age, the higher IFR so unless you want to totally exclude the over 70’s to get to your overall figure of 0.22%

    In actual fact to get an overall figure of 0.22% for England you would probably need to exclude all over 55’s and those suffering diabetes.
    But since that is not how these studies calculate the overall IFR …….

    Read the paper again and look at ALL the figures ( And bare in mind the figures are now 8 months out of date) Not just the ones that support your narrative and just by going by your own favoured scientist who gave an overall figure of 0.93% that would have resulted in a deaths of around 500k just as UCL forecast.

  • @Marco

    You and others were arguing for “focused protection” seems to be the new word,
    well before we even knew if Vaccines were going to work, So lets not change the narrative this late in the game.

    You were basically arguing for a 2 tiered society where elderly and vulnerable were locked up indefinitely whilst everyone else went about their business as normal.
    Ironically, the same people who argued for this type of 2 tier society are the same ones who are against Vaccine Passports as it allegedly creates a 2 tier society.

    That tells me all I need to know about some peoples priorities

  • @ Matt

    You have misunderstood Ioannadis’ methodology. He is arguing that the data in some countries will overestimate the IFR and others will underestimate it so he estimates the median from all studies as 0.23%.

    I find your comments about a two tier society strange as you seem to be happy for the elderly and clinically vulnerable to be isolated provided that the whole population is as well. You call it a two tier society I call it protecting people.

    Furthermore when the vaccines were approved so read that this “blew the anti-lockdown argument” out of the water. No idea why, I feel that the vaccine success vindicates the Great Barrington Declaration.

  • @Marco

    The point from all the studies that have been done, shows that the richer a country with a larger Elderly population the higher the IFR, so to be quite honest, I am really not interested in taking Data from ALL countries with different demographics and very different infection rates and then lumping them together to come up with a more “attractive looking” for some median figure which in no way reflects the situation in the United Kingdom or England for that matter

    I am interested in what the UK figures are, since that is the country that I and my loved ones are living in and which affects me more directly.

    “I find your comments about a two tier society strange as you seem to be happy for the elderly and clinically vulnerable to be isolated provided that the whole population is as well. You call it a two tier society I call it protecting people.”
    Yes, it was about driving down infection rates so that “everybody” could enjoy “some” lifting of restrictions and freedoms as and when it was safe to do so, and so that people living with disabilities could navigate the world and access vital NHS resources in as safe a way as possible. That is what a equal, civilised society looks like to me.

    I really do not think we need to go through all the nonsense of the Great Barrington Declaration again, that argument has been exhausted, were never going to agree on that one, there is a reason that the authors went quiet all of a sudden, very short history proved them wrong. Look at Brazil for proof of the nightmare we would have faced had we taken their lead

  • “Look at Brazil“

    Not as bad as Peru.

  • Nonconformistradical 6th Mar '21 - 8:09pm

    @Robert (Bristol)
    “…. what I choose not to have is a smartphone and there are others who simply are not able to afford it. So please don’t make an app the only passport to participation in everyday life.”

    Seconded

  • @Marco

    point is you try to discredit Peter Martin by quoting the 500,000 figure and saying it was discredited.
    I ask by whom and I quote the latest research by ICL which you dismiss again and instead quote John Ioannidis as your preferred Epidemiology Professor.
    So I point you in the direction of his paper where in it, it clearly states that his revised figures for IFR rate for England as a whole are 0.93%
    Which as you pointed out in your post Marco 6th Mar ’21 – 5:16pm
    “500,000 deaths figure which was based on assumptions that were not correct such as an IFR of 0.9- 1.0%”
    But clearly ICL projections were correct as is backed up by your preferred Epidemiologist John Ioannidis who has given a figure of 0.93%

    So instead of acknowledging this, you then start to talk about “median” figures for combined countries with different demographics and entirely different infection rates and excluding under 70’s

    Sometimes, when you make a mistake or accidently overlook some vital piece of information, it is far simpler to put up a hand and say, I got it wrong 😉

  • oops, better put my hands up, I meant to say “over 70’s” not under 70’s 🙂

  • @ Matt

    You say that “the richer a country with a larger Elderly population the higher the IFR”

    Now look at P.31 and tell me the figures for Denmark, France and Germany if you would.

  • @Marco

    Nice deflection, are you going to admit that you were mistaken in your earlier posts and that your much credited Epidemiologist Professor John Ioannidis paper actually supports the ICL and Professor Ferguson’s forecasts of 500k deaths with an IFR of 0.93% for England which fits in with Professor Fergusons modelling of 0.9% in his paper https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf
    That you were trying to discredit.

    When you have the common courtesy to admitting to error instead of deflecting I will be more than willing to address any points you wish to direct at me 🙂

  • @Marco – It does seem to use your own words: “You are just making this up as you go along.”
    Your silence on the substantive content of my response, is sufficient to indicate that you agree with the key data points I make in it.

  • @ Matt

    The figures for studies from Denmark, France and Germany were 0.34, 0.27, and 0.28/0.26 respectively.

    Ioannidis looks at a range of studies, none of which are individually accurate due to sampling biases and different case mixing. He adjusts for antibody presence and age and estimates an IFR of 0.23%.

    No doubt you will try to come back with some face saving reply but you haven’t grasped the basic methodology of the research so I won’t be commenting on this any further. I’ll do what Glenn does and let you talk to yourself.

    @ Roland

    What did I not respond to? I said you can’t eliminate most viruses through herd immunity. Instead they enter steady state equilibrium.

    A herd immunity threshold for a virus with an R0 of 2.67 would be about 63% (1-1/R0) but only if everyone was equally susceptible and had the same number of contacts.

    In practice some people have more contacts than others so have a higher R rate. This group tends to get infected first so one theory is that the HIT reduces greatly when this happens.

    However even if 100% were immune at one point it still has the potential to return. Smallpox was only eliminated 150 years after a vaccine was invented and it doesn’t affect animals.

  • @Glenn

    Look at the dates for those figures, these were done back in April 2020 at the start of the pandemic for these countries. A German town used in part of those figures only had 7 deaths at the time.

    We have gone through 2 waves since those figures were produced.

    “No doubt you will try to come back with some face saving reply ”

    Not really, I dont need to save face. I presented you with the facts from the professor you cited as your preferred source.
    Are you disputing that in his report he states an overall IFR for England to be 0.93% ?
    Clearly you will not do that as it is there on page 32 for all to see
    Therefore its pretty hard to dispute these figures support professor Fergusons projections of 500k as he modelled on the basis of an IFR of 0.9% as you yourself said in your post to Peter Martin.

    You brought up this research paper not me Marco, sometimes its useful to read the entire article instead of attempting to nit pick parts that support our narrative, that’s when holes appear 🙂

  • Oop should have been @Marco not @Glenn

  • Peter Martin 7th Mar '21 - 12:02pm

    On the question of Infection Fatality Rate:

    We know the official UK death toll is 125,000
    We know that 4.2 million people have tested positive.
    So the known IFR is around 3%.

    But many people will have been infected and not tested. Either because tests weren’t available at the time, or the person infected chose not to be tested, or the symptoms were so mild, or even non existent, they were unaware they needed to be tested.

    To get an IFR of near 0.3%, as some are claiming, we’d have a figure of 42 million who had been exposed to the virus and had either died or recovered. This isn’t a plausible figure considering that we needed a lockdown to dampen down the second wave.

    On the other hand if we multiply the 4.2 million by 3 we get 12.6 million infections in total and an IFR of 0.9%. These are much more plausible figures.

  • @ Peter Martin

    The 125,000 figure includes anyone who died within 28 days of a positive Covid test irrespective of the role Covid actually played vs co-morbidities. Therefore many of these deaths should not be factored into the Covid IFR.

    I agree however that the total case numbers have always been significantly underestimated.

  • Peter Martin 8th Mar '21 - 3:25am

    @ Marco

    OK but the figures don’t include anyone who survived for 29 days after a positive test but didn’t survive much longer afterwards.

    Also the IFR is lower if the NHS isn’t overwhelmed and is able to offer every patient a good standard of care.

    So, yes, there are problems with the stats but the errors aren’t all in one direction.

  • @ Matt

    “Are you disputing that in his report he states an overall IFR for England to be 0.93% ?”

    YES – OBVIOUSLY

    It’s part of the appendices to show where the raw data were from

    HE IS NOT STATING THAT IS THE ACTUAL IFR FOR THE UK

    It comes from another study that was NOT DONE BY HIM

    Got it yet??

    @ Peter Martin

    Some bereaved families have come forward to say that they thought their relatives deaths were wrongly attributed to Covid

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/grieving-families-demand-answers-after-23575544.amp

  • @Marco

    Thought you were not responding to me anymore?

    Actually that is not my understanding of the report at all.

    The first figures are the original forecasts and the 2nd are “his” revised

    The IFR rate for England as a whole is 0.93% which fits in with all other studies incl ICL
    It is also logical when you consider Peters Post @ Peter Martin 7th Mar ’21 – 12:02pm

    As he said, to get an overall figure if 0.3% for the uk that would have meant 42 Million people have being infected with Covid in the UK so far, which of course is nonsense.

    Have you got it yet? or are you going to wait another couple of days to post and hope it slips passed the net lol

  • @ Matt

    I wasn’t actually calling you th##k I thought you were trying to wind me up by pretending not to understand the point.

    However I apologise.

    Hopefully people can start trying to engage with other people in better faith and we will also see fewer accusations such as “conspiracy theorist” etc

    And with that I think I have exhausted everything I wish to say on this topic.

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