Day: 22 January 2022

Royal College of GPs Calls For Cancellation of NHS Vaccine Mandate as Thousands March in Protest

The NHS vaccine mandate should be cancelled to prevent staff shortages, the Royal College of GPs has said, as thousands took to the streets across England to protest against the policy. The BBC has more.

NHS staff must have a first jab by February 3rd and be fully vaccinated by April 1st to continue in frontline roles.

The Department of Health said there were no plans to delay and it was “the right thing to do to protect patients”.

NHS workers who oppose the Government’s mandatory vaccination policy have staged a protest in central London.

Demonstrations were also held in other cities across England including Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds. …

Martin Marshall, Chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said compulsory vaccination for health professionals in England was “not the right way forward”.

He said the vast majority of staff were vaccinated but some 70,000 to 80,000 were not and they accounted for 10% of staff at some hospital or GP surgeries.

Some 94.3% of NHS trust health care workers in England have had a first dose of vaccine and 91.5% have had a second dose, figures to December 31st show.

If unvaccinated staff were taken out of frontline roles by April 1st there would be “massive consequences” for the NHS, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

He said a delay would allow time for booster jabs and a “sensible conversation” about whether vaccines should be mandatory at all.

Danny Mortimer, deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said some frontline staff would have to leave their roles if they choose not to be vaccinated.

He said: “This will reduce frontline NHS staff numbers even further and lead to more gaps in capacity at a time of intense pressure and patient demand.”

In London, demonstrators marched from Regents Park to the BBC headquarters in Portland Place in a peaceful protest against mandating vaccines for health workers.

But Dr. Nikki Kanani, medical director of primary care for NHS England, said health care professionals had “a duty” to make sure they were protected.

She said: “If you’re marching today, just take a moment, think about the people that you’ve been looking after who have experienced Covid, think about your colleagues who you’ve been working with, and think about the best way to make sure that we’re all protected, and that we’re all as safe as possible, because we are very much in this together and it’s down to us to look after each other too.”

Meanwhile, Kate, a nurse in Hampshire, told the Today programme she was prepared to lose her job rather than have a coronavirus vaccine against her will.

“I don’t feel like the vaccination needs to be mandated because we are medical professionals and we have enough information to make that decision for ourselves,” she said.

“When I had Covid I was ill but not particularly unwell and when it comes to me being forced to do something or lose my job, I just can’t understand how they think that’s a sensible position. I’m good at my job, I care about people, and I certainly have never and would never put people at risk.”

Pressure growing on the Government to U-turn on this, which can’t come too soon. With the evidence that Omicron both evades the vaccines and is mild, what justification there might have been has now clearly evaporated. Perhaps the Government is leaving the U-turn to the last moment in order to maximise the pressure on unvaccinated staff to accept the jab. Which is of course cruel, but then so is the policy so we can hardly expect them to care about that.

Worth reading in full.

Stop Press: talkRADIO has tweeted about the protests taking place today in London and across the country: “Thousands of people have gathered in central London to protest against the mandatory vaccine mandate that could see more than 70,000 NHS workers lose their jobs.

Unprecedented Low Hospital Demand: NHS Data Show a Quarter of ICU Beds Unoccupied in Mid-January

There follows a guest post by our in-house doctor, who notes the NHS has revealed that almost a quarter of ICU beds in English hospitals are unoccupied in the middle of January, which is unprecedented in recent history – normal ICU bed occupancy at this time of year is well over 90%. Why then the continued narrative of fear and doom in some quarters?

On Wednesday January 19th, Boris Johnson announced in the House of Commons that the majority of ‘Plan B’ restrictions would end in England on January 26th. Any objective analysis of the U.K. data confirms the information from South Africa in early December in relation to the mild nature of Omicron was correct. Finally, the Government has been persuaded that our South African colleagues did know what they were talking about.

After a brief incursion onto the territory of Libertaria, the forces of Hysteria have been repelled and British citizens partially regain their sovereignty. Time to hang out the bunting and open the champagne? I think not.

Reaction by lockdown zealots to removal of societal restrictions has been tediously predictable. In an echo of July 2021, a range of commentators are again using compliant mainstream media outlets to predict imminent catastrophe if societal restrictions are lifted and to condemn the Government for putting public safety ‘at risk’. Before looking at warnings of doom in more detail, I will briefly examine the data which have led to the volte face by the Government. I will not dwell too long on these numbers as most readers will already be aware that the “nailed on tsunami of admissions” has simply failed to show up. Again.

Graph 1 shows the most important information this week from the Primary Diagnosis spreadsheet. Readers will recall this shows the total numbers of patients in hospital on vertical orange bars, versus the number of people in hospital with acute Covid on blue bars. The ratio between the two is depicted by the grey line. Notice the blue bars (people ill with Covid) are falling on the right-hand side of the graph, as is the ratio. So, when the BBC reports that Covid inpatient numbers are about 15,000 and static, the true picture is there are fewer than 8,000 patients and the numbers have been falling for the last 10 days.

Graph 1

Graph 2 shows the true numbers for London, which front runs the rest of the U.K. True numbers of Covid patients are 40% of the daily reported figure and numbers have been falling steadily since January 4th.

Island Goes into First Lockdown as 36 Vaccinated Passengers on Flight Test Positive For Covid

Two years into the pandemic, the Pacific island nation of Kiribati has gone into its first lockdown, after 36 of 54 passengers on the first international flight into the country in 10 months tested positive for Covid. All the passengers were vaccinated. Despite that, the office of President Taneti Maamau said on Facebook: “The only way that we can fight this virus is through complete vaccination. The public is urged to complete their vaccination doses in order to protect themselves and families.” The BBC has the story.

Under the new measures, people have been told to stay at home and social gatherings are banned.

Some 36 people on the flight from Fiji have tested positive. Four people have caught the virus from community transmission.

Until last week, Kiribati had recorded just two Covid cases.

Kiribati is one of the most isolated islands in the world. It is some 5,000km (3,100 miles) from its nearest continent, North America.

On Tuesday, the government confirmed that 36 of the 54 passengers had tested positive. It said in a post on Facebook that all passengers are currently being monitored by health officials..

All of the passengers on the flight are fully vaccinated, the Government said.

However three members of the quarantine facility’s security team have since tested positive. Another person who does not work at the facility has also contracted the virus, the Government said.

The lockdown came into force on Saturday but it is not clear how long it will last.

People are not allowed to leave their homes unless for essential services. They can buy essential items from shops but only between 06:00 and 14:00.

Yet more evidence of the fantasy land public authorities are living in, where the fact that all the people infected were vaccinated does nothing at all to dent the push for universal vaccination as supposedly ending transmission. The purpose of the lockdown is also unclear, as are the criteria that would make it successful. Is the Government trying to delay the outbreak until enough of the population has had two or three vaccine doses? Even then, of course, the virus will still spread.

Worth reading in full.

The British Public is Having a Periodical Fit of Morality

We’re publishing an original essay today by Dr. James Alexander, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Bilkent University in Turkey and a regular contributor to the Daily Sceptic. He explores what sort of behaviour and attitudes it’s possible to morally condemn in contemporary Britain – anything that offends against the Unholy Trinity of Covid, Wokery and Climate, or is evidence of hypocrisy – and points out how difficult it is to morally challenge what has become, in effect, the official morality of the state. Here is an extract:

The modern state, stripped of the church, has established its own morality. This morality is an almost wonderfully historically self-defeating morality – our enemies laugh at it – whereby we absolutely condemn almost everything our ancestors ever did to establish us where we are, and we relatively condemn the minor hypocrisies of those who now rule us. This is the morality of theoretically marginalised class. Since, ironically, this morality has been adopted by the ruling class, and certainly by the higher educated class, it is also the morality of the actually privileged. Almost all of our elites are therefore hypocrites, to a man – and woman. We are in a state which has a morality that owes nothing to the church, which has had to invent its own moral absolutes, and which has done so in self-condemnation. It is what Nietzsche called a slave-morality. It is the morality of slaves. But it is not a very stable morality of slaves, since those who until now almost always formed the slave class don’t believe it while those who are the master class do believe it and, even worse, impose it condescendingly on everyone else.

This is upside-down morality. Expect to be lectured about your privilege by a university teacher. Expect to bow and scrape a bit if you are wealthy or privileged. Expect no consideration at all if you are a member of the honourable old religious working class. And not much if you are a member of the dishonourable old secular working class: unless you can pose as somehow victimised and ask for some sort of stipend or sympathy from the professionally guilt-stricken classes. Expect to be told to wear a mask. Expect to be told to take a vaccine. Expect to be pilloried if you object.

Like all Dr. Alexander’s essays, this one is very much worth reading in full.

Government Considering Pausing NHS Vaccine Mandate Over Fears 70,000 Workers Would be Sacked

The Government is considering pausing its plans for compulsory vaccination for health service staff over fears of the mass sacking of more than 70,000 NHS workers. The i has the story.

A temporary suspension of the controversial policy is being “actively” looked at within the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) amid dire warnings from hospital trusts and GPs of the severe impact of staff shortages on services, sources said.

All staff in patient-facing roles are currently required to have two jabs from April 1st or face dismissal.

The need for a gap between doses means that anyone who does not get their first dose by February 3rd will be told they will be losing their job, with little chance of redeployment.

With several Tory MPs vigorously opposed to the compulsory vaccination plan for NHS staff, not least because of the impact a staffing crisis will have on their local hospitals, a pause would also help Boris Johnson in his battle to avoid a confidence vote by his own party.

Pressure on the PM and Health Secretary to halt the mandatory jabs programme has intensified in the past week amid new internal Whitehall documents suggesting two jabs would not be enough to cope with the Omicron variant.

i‘s analysis of NHS England figures shows 80,092 NHS workers have not had a single dose of the Covid vaccine, and a Government impact assessment has warned 73,000 patient-facing workers are unjabbed.

Those who are medically exempt will be able to keep their jobs.

The Royal College of Nursing has warned that it will be an act of “self-sabotage” at a time when the NHS is suffering from staff shortfalls.

One London trust alone warned it could have to fire 1,600 staff, and several trusts across the country are understood to have asked NHS England to urge the DHSC to rethink.

One Government source said its line remained unchanged, adding: “We are cracking on with the policy.”

However, MPs have pounced on a little-noticed hint from Mr Johnson himself, when he told lockdown-sceptic backbenchers that “we will reflect on the way ahead”.

If Boris has any sense then he will not only be considering this but will do it, and will not make it temporary. The mandate on care home staff – a sector similarly short of workers – should also be removed and those sacked in the autumn welcomed back.

Worth reading in full.

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