According to a Scottish health expert who warns that a “new and more worrying strain of the virus has yet to really take hold in Scotland, the impact of the Covid vaccination program on case numbers may not be seen until March.”
Linda Bauld, a public health professor at the University of Edinburgh, said that the number of hospitalizations would decrease some time until the first dose of either of the two approved vaccines gave only partial immunity (about 60-70 percent) after about 22 days.
The new B117 form, which accounts for about 40 percent of cases in Scotland and 60 percent in other parts of the United Kingdom and causes a higher viral load, making it more transmissible, is a concern, Prof. Bald said.
Yesterday, the First Minister issued a strong alert that “the next few weeks could be the most dangerous we have seen since the pandemic began” as Hogmanay has reported a further 2,622 new cases.
Nicola Sturgeon cautioned that the current mutant form of the virus, which in Scotland is now considered to be the “dominant” type, means that case numbers are likely to remain high.
A London-based intensive care doctor earlier this week cautioned that hospitals were facing a “super rush” of admissions due to increasing covid cases coupled with winter disease and other cases of trauma.
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Prof. Bauld said units in Scotland do not see the same “really scary” admissions, but cautioned that this might change over the next week, especially if there is an increase in social mixing for Hogmanay.
She said, “The ICU capacity of hospitals (in Scotland) is still in quite good shape, and if we need to, we have already committed to being able to double that.”
To indicate that there is a big problem, I have not seen any data from our trusts. But the main explanation for that – and it could improve in the next week – is that our prices are still considerably lower than elsewhere in the UK.
If you look at the changes per country over the past seven days and the cases per 100,000, you are in Scotland at roughly 160, in Wales well over 400, and aiming for 500. Around 440 in England, and 370. in Northern Ireland
Those are huge numbers. They’ve had big outbreaks. After the two-week fire break, everything opened up really quickly in Wales, and then there was a big steady rise.
In England, the southeast and London are dominating the case numbers, plus some of the places that have just jumped up to Tier 4 and are now beginning to think about. The new variant, which accounts for more than 60 percent of incidents, is responsible for most of that.
We’ve been living in conditions that are more extreme than many other areas of the UK. Over the summer, our case levels have come down to a lower level, so we’re probably still benefiting from that.
I just don’t really think that the new variant has caught on yet. I assume that this is up to 40 percent of our cases. I’m deeply worried. Over the last two days, you can see the figures, and I think we’re headed in the same direction as what’s going on elsewhere, where these major increases have occurred.
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If we don’t mix, maybe we can get a handle on it,” she added.” What is completely obvious is that it ends up with a much higher viral load for the individuals who come in touch with it, and that’s why it’s more easily passed on.
Although she said there is no proof that the vaccines approved in the United Kingdom do not protect against the B117 strain, she said that the South African form is “some concern”
I don’t think we’re going to see any gain in terms of hospitalizations until late February, early March, in terms of the vaccine. And that is because, Prof. Bauld said, of the timing of the defense.
“We have hit nearly 1% of the population of the United Kingdom, about 900,000, and 90,000 in Scotland, and it’s going to be more, so it’s promising. But we just need to hurry up. The dosage is the issue.
The immunity is 60 to 70 percent after 22 days, and they think it lasts at least three months, after which it will decrease. This is why it is critical that people receive a second dose about 12 weeks after the first dose.
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