- “Booster jabs will be compulsory for foreign trips” – Although double-jabbed Brits are currently free from quarantine restrictions when travelling to Amber List countries, this is expected to change with the introduction of booster shots, reports the Mail on Sunday.
- “‘Concern’ over lack of second jab uptake ahead of winter, says JCVI member” – A member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has expressed concern that people are not getting fully vaccinated against Covid due to disinformation, reports the Telegraph.
- “New Covid variants ‘would set us back a year’, experts warn U.K. Government” – A vaccine-beating variant is “realistic possibility”, say scientists, amid calls for contingency plans to be revealed, reports the Observer.
- “NHS blocks MoS revealing thousands died after catching Covid on a ward” – Roughly one in ten Covid patients hospitalised during the first wave of the pandemic picked up the virus on a ward where they were being treated for something else, reports the Mail on Sunday.
- “Zero-Covid zealotry wreaks havoc in economies around the world” – Repeated lockdowns in China due to the Delta variant and a limited vaccine roll-out threaten global growth, writes Tim Wallace in the Telegraph.
- “U.K. vaccine mega-factory working on combined flu and Covid jab” – VMIC is evaluating whether a single-jab model would work in a bid to cut down on manufacturing time and make roll-outs easier, reports the Telegraph.
- “Covid deaths rise 56% in a week from 39 to 61” – Department for Health bosses reported a further 26,750 infections on Sunday, a 2% drop from the 27,288 cases reported last Sunday, reports MailOnline.
- “The Variants of Covid Madness: Stepping Into the Breach” – “All over the world, there is no correlation between mask mandates and sustained Covid result,” writes Omar Khan in Uncommon Wisdom.
- “What a Choice! – The Week in Review (ep. 32)” – In the latest episode of the Bournbrook Magazine podcast, Michael Curzon, S.D. Wickett and Luke Perry discuss censorship, exam results and Afghanistan, a week after being censored by YouTube.
- “The BBC’s vaccine cheerleader Jeremy Vine gets his comeuppance” – “The entitlement and arrogance of the BBC’s top-paid presenters is no secret. To that we must now add sheer ignorance, studied denial and cruelty,” writes Kathy Gyngell in TCW Denfending Freedom.
- “The unravelling of the West” – Melanie Phillips and Brendan O’Neill discuss identity politics, anti-Semitism and the retreat from reason in a recent Spiked podcast.
- “YouTube Suspends Senator Rand Paul for Posting Anti-Mask Video” – U.S. Senator Rand Paul has been suspended from YouTube for a week for posting a video claiming that masks are ineffective in fighting Covid, reports Newsmax.
- “If You Question Government Covid Response You are Considered A Domestic Violent Extremist” – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security seems rather paranoid in their need to label anyone who would question the Covid response, reports the Conservative Treehouse.
- “L.A. man stabbed when anti-vaccine protesters collide with suspected Antifa activists” – A man has been stabbed at a rally against mandatory vaccinations in Los Angeles after violent clashes broke out between demonstrators and suspected ‘anti-fascist’ counter-protestors, the New York Post.
- “As it happened: NSW now in statewide lockdown after 466 new cases, four deaths on Saturday, eight mystery cases in Victoria” – New South Wales, Australia, entered a snap statewide lockdown on Saturday after recording 466 new cases of Covid, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
- “So is this really an A-level ‘triumph’… or a cruel betrayal?” – “I can still remember when a set of English A-levels were regarded as the equal of an American college degree,” writes Peter Hitchens in his latest Mail on Sunday column.
- “This pushover Government is merely storing up problems” – The exam grades fiasco is the latest disaster to befall a Government incapable of taking tough choices and standing up to vested interests, writes Daniel Hannan in the Telegraph.
- “The Church is on the brink of revolt” – “A quiet but unmistakable rebellion is taking place within the Church of England,” writes Giles Fraser in UnHerd.
- “The self-defeating rage of Owen Jones” – “Owen Jones seems to engage in public discussion not to understand or clarify an issue, but to berate or reward people,” writes James Heartfield in Spiked.
- “Scotland’s new transgender guidance is a safeguarding nightmare” – “All children need to feel safe and secure. That requires boundaries and policy grounded in facts and reality,” writes Debbie Hayton in the Spectator.
- “ICYMI: ‘The Scottish Government has – in my opinion – a dismal record across the board’” – Neil Oliver criticises the SNP for its attempt to let children as young as four to change their gender, and attacks its record on drug deaths and handling of Covid on GB News.
Day: 15 August 2021
The number of child dental checks halved during the past year of lockdowns compared to 2019, sparking fears that millions of children could now face a lifetime of rotten teeth and may need operations. The Telegraph has the story.
NHS figures show the number undergoing check-ups fell by 50% during the first year of the pandemic, with the worst trends seen among the youngest age groups.
In total, the number of under-15s who saw a dentist fell from 5.8 million to 2.9 million – a fall of half in just in one year.
This means less than three in ten children underwent checks, compared with nearly six in ten the year before.
The youngest children were least likely to have had check ups, with many likely to have never seen a dentist at all, experts said.
There were just 468,000 appointments for under-5s in 2020, a 60% fall from almost 1.2 million the year before, the figures show. This means just one in seven children under the age of five saw a dentist last year – compared with one in three in 2019.
Dentists said the lack of check-ups in the early years could leave a generation at risk of tooth decay, and forced to endure hospital operations, which could have been avoided with preventive care.
Tooth decay is already the most common reason for children aged five to nine to be admitted to hospital, with many enduring surgery under anaesthetic for want of preventive care earlier.
Latest annual figures show the number of admissions are twice those for acute tonsillitis, among children aged five to nine.
The new figures show millions of children have missed basic dental checks and treatment since the start of the pandemic.
“The current situation is truly shocking.” says Dr Saul Konviser, from the charity Dental Wellness Trust.
“Even before the pandemic, tooth decay amongst children was extremely worrying but the events of the past eighteen months have exacerbated things massively.
“Amongst some of the children that needed fillings, they now need extractions. The list of emergency appointments is growing by the day as we are scrambling to catch up.”
Worth reading in full.
Florida’s Delta surge appears to be peaking. The chart below (from this very useful site) shows that, as of the week ending August 12th, the weekly increase in the percentage of Covid tests coming back positive has slowed almost to zero, meaning it should begin to drop soon. Indeed, the positive rate and new reported cases have already begun to fall in the north east of the state.
Since Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis has refused to impose any new restrictions at all during this surge, having allowed the state of emergency to end in June, the Sunshine State looks set to confirm once again that coronavirus surges are self-limiting and it is not necessary to impose draconian restrictions on the population to prevent hospitals being overwhelmed or ‘hundreds of thousands’ of deaths.
Having had a very low infection rate throughout the spring despite imposing no restrictions, Florida has seen a large surge in infections during the summer since the arrival of the Delta variant, adding to evidence that surges are primarily driven by new variants which disrupt the previously established herd immunity by partially evading the immune response. The end of the surge after a few weeks of renewed spread therefore corresponds to the restoration of herd immunity. If this is correct, we should see new infections drop quickly across the state in the coming weeks.
There have been long queues outside vaccine clinics in the Republic of Ireland this weekend, with parents waiting in the rain to take advantage of the extension of the country’s vaccine roll-out by getting their children ‘jabbed’. Sky News has the story.
While the youngsters could get a shot from Friday, the roll-out began in earnest on Saturday with long queues seen outside vaccination centres.
The Republic of Ireland joins the likes of the United States, Israel, France and a number of other nations who are inoculating young people against Covid.
The U.K. has taken a different approach, with vaccinations only offered to 12 to 15 year-olds with certain medical conditions, or to those who live with vulnerable family members.
In Ireland, about 75,000 in the age range had registered for an appointment by Saturday, with bookings having been open for 48 hours.
Parental consent is needed, with the Pfizer or Moderna jab on offer.
Bill and Sarah Shelley, aged 14 and 12, were taken by their father Michael to get a vaccine in Dublin.
The family queued in the rain to get their shots.
Michael said: “We’re very pleased, I’m delighted they’ve got their first vaccine. …
More than 80% of adults in the Republic of Ireland are fully inoculated, and some 90% have had at least one dose of a vaccine.
The Health Service Executive wants to vaccinate those in the 12-15 range “rapidly and quickly”, and that the decision marked a “very strong point” on the country’s fight against COVID.
Another 2,074 coronavirus cases were reported in the country on Saturday.
There were 229 people with COVID in hospital, 43 of whom were in intensive care.
Worth reading in full.
All 16 and 17 year-olds will be offered a Covid vaccine in the next week in a bid to boost immunity before the return of schools in September. The Telegraph has more.
The new drive to offer all 16 and 17-year-olds a jab by Monday August 23rd is intended to allow antibodies to build before the start of the autumn term on September 1st.
It comes after experts said the U.K. was “running hot” in terms of living with Covid. The Government said a further 93 people had died within 28 days of testing positive as of Saturday, bringing the U.K. total to 130,894.
NHS bosses said on Saturday night that further walk-in vaccination centres would come on line in the coming days.
“I have asked the NHS in England to ensure they offer a first dose of the vaccine to everyone aged 16 and 17 by next Monday, August 23rd. This will make sure everybody has the opportunity to get vital protection before returning to college or sixth form,” Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, said.
“Please don’t delay – get your jabs as soon as you can so we can continue to safely live with this virus and enjoy our freedoms by giving yourself, your family and your community the protection they need.”
Worth reading in full.
Hard to see the logic behind this, given that 16 and 17 year-olds aren’t vulnerable to the disease and getting vaccinated will have a negligible effect on how likely they are to catch COVID-19 and pass it on to others. Being vaccinated won’t make them “safe” – they’re already safe – and it won’t make people who are genuinely at risk from COVID-19 any “safer” either.
A million jobs are at risk due to the ending of lockdown support schemes, with a new study suggesting that one in 16 U.K. firms are poised to close permanently in the next quarter following more than a year of forced temporary closures. The Guardian has the story.
One in 16 firms say that they are now at risk of closure in the next quarter, the study by the LSE’s Programme on Innovation and Diffusion (POID) has found. While it marks a major rise in confidence since the worst depths of the pandemic in January, there are warnings that the risk to so many workers coincides with the planned end of the furlough jobs scheme and a cut to universal credit by £20 a week.
There are also concerns that some industries are still being hit disproportionately by the fallout from Covid, with the entertainment and travel industries still making heavier use of the furlough scheme than other sectors. The number of people being paid through the U.K. scheme stood at 1.9 million at the end of June and it is due to close at the end of next month.
Huge uncertainty remains over the economy’s direction in the next six months. While confidence has risen, there are warnings over complacency. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who founded the Alliance for Full Employment group to promote jobs protection and work creation programmes, said “a new jobs crisis point is approaching as furlough ends”. …
Peter Lambert, one of the authors of the POID research, said the end of the furlough scheme would be “an inflection point” where the economy could go either way. He added: “I think there will probably need to be some continuation of support in specific sectors. My bet is there’ll be more targeted support, because unless the economy really, really picks up, there’s going to be lots of people still left in the lurch in specific sectors.”
There are also concerns over the impact on families switching from furlough support to universal credit, especially as the £20-a-week increase brought in at the start of the pandemic is to be withdrawn this autumn.
Worth reading in full.
- “Is faulty injection technique behind rare clot disorder reported post Covid vaccination?” – Recent international studies suggest that faulty injection techniques may be the reason behind incidences of rare blood clots being reported post Covid vaccination, says the Times of India.
- “Children need a definite, irreversible return to normal” – Returning to exams next year is vital if we are to fix the damage that has been done, according to this Telegraph leader.
- “Inside Britain’s ‘Wild West’ travel testing regime” – Industry experts say Britain’s rip-off PCR testing market was created by the Government’s decision to open it up to private providers and then fail to regulate it properly, says MailOnline.
- “Fussing Over One Degree of Simulation” – Allowing some historical perspective shows that the IPCC is wrong to label the recent temperature changes “unprecedented”, according to Watts Up With That.
- “Australia’s Covid media wars add irony to injury” – Paul Collits takes aim at Australia’s mismanagement of the Covid crisis in the Conservative Woman.
- “Delta has exploded the case for zero Covid yet still we are failing to learn to live with the virus” – Madeline Grant in the Telegraph says her own brush with Covid has exposed the folly of Britain’s current state of confusion and paranoia.
- “More than half of Russell Group universities make face masks mandatory” – Of the country’s leading 24 institutions, 13 – including Oxford and Cambridge – say that face coverings must be worn, according to the Telegraph.
- “GB news advertising boycott backfires as more people likely to watch” – A survey of 1,000 people found that 29% were more likely to watch GB News following the boycott, reports the Telegraph.
- “Fifth consecutive weekend of protests in France over Covid pass” – More than 250,000 people are expected at 200 demonstrations this weekend, an increase on last week, according to the Guardian.
- “China, the WHO and the power grab that fuelled a pandemic” – After being heavily criticised by the World Health Organisation for its response to SARs in 2003, China decided it would not accept such public humiliation again, reports the Sunday Times in an investigation into China’s capture of the WHO.
- “Under-18s will start to receive first dose of ‘back to school’ jabs” – Health Secretary Sajid Javid says the Government aims to have offered a first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to all those aged 16 and 17 by August 23rd at walk-in centres across the country, reports the Mail on Sunday.
- “The teens who’d prefer to catch Covid than have the vaccine” – While more than 16,000 of Britain’s 1.5 million 16- and 17-year-olds took up the Government’s offer to get jabbed last weekend, thousands are not as enthusiastic, says the Mail on Sunday.
- “Free speech victory for Eton teacher Will Knowland sacked over gender lecture” – A teacher who was sacked by Eton over a provocative lecture on gender has been cleared by the watchdog of professional misconduct in a verdict hailed as a victory for free speech, says the Sunday Times.
- “In America’s Covid culture war, Republican leaders vie to be most freedom-loving” – There was scarcely a mask in sight as Kristi Noem, the South Dakota governor, arrived on horseback to whoops and cheers from a sea of freedom-loving bikers, reports the Sunday Times.
- “When scientific experts agree too easily, we should all start worrying” – Mathew Syed in the Sunday Times says the fact that there’s a consensus among scientists about the causes of climate change isn’t a reason to embrace their point of view.
- “The Scottish Government doesn’t trust Scottish parents” – Claire Fox says the SNP’s insistence that children as young as four should be able to choose their pronouns will undermine the authority of Scottish parents.