Vaccination, Death and the USA.

The legacy of Trump is to foolishly politicize Covid and Global warming for his own ends. In the process he has killed tens of thousands and will kill millions in the years to come. Science knows better that greedy billionaires.

Vaccination – The Truth

Vaccination – The Truth

An Antigen – is a protein in the capsule of a virus.

An Antibody – is a chemical produced by the body in response to the presence of an antigen. Antibodies fight the disease.

Illness – when a virus invades the body it takes a while for the body to analyse the specific antigen and produce antibodies against it. During this period you become ill. If the response is too slow or ineffective you could become extremely ill or die.

Immunity – your body will not have antibodies against a new antigen. You have to be in contact with an antigen to produce antibodies.

Live Strain Vaccines – Edward Jenner discovered that the antigens on Cowpox were very similar to those on Smallpox. They both induced the same antibodies. Smallpox was a killer, Cowpox wasn’t. By injecting people with Cowpox, which caused a mild illness, it produced natural antibodies that were effective against Smallpox. This led to the complete eradication of Smallpox.

Dead Strain Vaccines – It was later discovered that you could kill viruses with radiation or chemicals and inject the protein antigens into the bloodstream. This created natural antibodies which protected against infection. This has successfully controlled TB, Dipheria, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Cholera, Chickenpox, Rubella – and a host of other diseases – which previously killed or disabled many millions of people.

mRNA Vaccines – The latest scientific advance (as a result of our knowledge of DNA) has resulted in these new vaccines which are going to revolutionise our ability to fight diseases.

mRNA is a messenger molecule that is produced in the body from sections of DNA code. It carries the code for a protein.

By introducing mRNA molecules coding for the antigens of a virus we get the body to manufacture the antigens of the virus which then creates a natural immune response so that the antibodies are present in the blood.

mRNA molecules are short lived. They do not affect our DNA. They have no long-term effects. The antibody response is our natural immune system.

Side Effects – all treatments have side effects. If you get a virus infection it will cause changes to your body chemistry. In the case of Covid (apart from damage to heart, lungs and other organs)this will include the major risk of blood clotting. By inducing an immune response it could trigger milder symptoms of the disease – ie. With Covid it could, in a small number of people, cause some clotting.

The Risks

Short-term – the risks of clotting as a result of a vaccine are miniscule compared to the risk of clotting from getting the disease. The risk of a cerebral blood clot from vaccination is 4 per million (the risk from catching Covid is 39 per million).

Long-term – because mRNA molecules are short-lived there should be no long-term effects.

Vaccination has saved tens of millions of lives. It is safe and effective.

People do not have natural immunity against a new virus. Some react less severely than others – so some are asymptomatic – others die. There is no way of telling how an individual will react – though age, immune problems, respiratory problems and obesity are factors.

Long Covid – millions of people of all ages are suffering Long Covid due to organ damage. This can take the form of extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, inability to walk or carry out tasks, heart problems and mental fog.

The internet is spreading scare-stories and misinformation about vaccinations. An immune response is a natural response. The benefits are great. The risks are miniscule.

Don’t be conned by anti-science propaganda. Science is far better than superstition.

(BTW – T-cells and B-cells are other parts of the immune response).

The Corona Diaries – Day 399

It was sunny but cold in Yorkshire today. we still have this breeze off the North sea. It’s been with us a few weeks now. It feels strange. Even when the sun makes it quite warm the air still feels cold! Looks like we’ve got it for a few more days yet!

So it was hat, scarf and even gloves for my customary walk up my hill.

I have to report that my arm is no longer tender in the slightest and I have had absolutely no other symptoms. I feel positively booming!!

I’ve spent most of the day editing my Sci-fi book and sorting some of the photos for the Roy Harper book. The Harper book is presently being edited with a view to release in June. My task this week is to provide a selection of photos for inclusion. It still feels a long way off and unreal. But I suppose it isn’t really.

Out in Coronaland our Teflon clown is still riding the euphoric wave of vaccination paradise. As people emerge from lockdown they are so grateful they think Johnson has done a great job. I think they will soon sober up, look at the damage from Brexit, the 127,000 deaths and the growing list of incompetence and sleaze and awaken to what a corrupt bunch of tossers they’ve put into power.

I’m enjoying the new Cummings/Johnson war and hoping that it continues to grow as it reveals more of the ineptitude and selfish greed that marks our PM with his overprivileged sense of outrageously misconceived entitlement.

Poor dear can’t manage on an income of £161,401 ( he previously called his income of £250,000 for writing a weekly column for the Telegraph as ‘chickenfeed’) – and that is with a free London flat, a free country house, meals, living expenses and chauffeured car thrown in. Poor thing. He had to ask for help from Tory donors to renovate his flat to Princess Nut-Nuts taste.

Not to worry. The revolving door will soon put him on the elevator to riches just like his predecessors. What does he spend it on?? Is it alimony?

The vaccine has literally got him out of jail. Cummings and reality might burst his bubble. The man is a walking disaster.

Meanwhile, the over 40s are now being called to vaccinate and vaccination is bringing down cases to new lows. Deaths were just 11 yesterday!! With new cases now down to 1,712 there is a chance that Dido Harding, with £37 billion behind her might just get to keep on top of it (if she hasn’t frittered it all away or stashed it offshore in the Bahamas like the other Tory tax evaders).

With numbers like these it may even be possible to deal with the Indian and Brazilian variants until such time as we receive an effective booster in the Autumn.

Johnson must believe that God is a Bullingdon boy. I’m sure the future will prove there is no god and nobody is entitled to anything no matter their privileged background.

Outside of the UK and USA the virus is rampant. India is melting down. The health system has collapsed. There is not even any oxygen. The UK and USA are rushing supplies out. People are staying at home to die. The estimates of a staggering 352,991 new cases with 2,812 deaths is thought to be a gross underestimate! Things are dire.

The sooner we get the world vaccinated the better.

Until such time I say Stay Safe to all my Indian readers. My thoughts are with you!

Should we vaccinate our under 18s??

Now here’s a dilemma.

People under the age of eighteen are extremely unlikely to get very ill from covid-19 (unless a killer variant comes along) but they are spreaders of the disease.

In terms of their own health it is probably unlikely that they need to be vaccinated. but young people could act as a reservoir of the virus and help spread it to older vulnerable people. By acting as a reservoir they could also enable the virus to mutate to cause troublesome variants.

So – do we vaccinate the under 18s in order to help protect older, more vulnerable, people? Or do we allow them to catch it and pass it on?

If all the vulnerable are vaccinated – does it matter?

Riddell Cartoon – Psssst! Stay away from that vaccine and take your chance with me!!

Chris Riddell is right on the ball. The antivaxxers are risking their own lives and keeping us all locked down longer. Covid-19 is far far more lethal than any vaccine.

The Trumpist anti-science igorance is no defence against death.

The Corona Diaries – Day 315

Today is V day!!

It felt like a new start right from the moment I woke up. The sun was streaming from a blue sky. January had ended. February had begun.

Today, at 5.20 pm I shall be going along for my vaccination. Maybe I will have some reaction? Maybe, like a couple of friends I will feel groggy for a day or two? Maybe, like most of the people I know I will not have any reaction at all?

I shall keep you posted with full details.

If you don’t hear anything more then you know that the conspiracy theories are right!

So today I am playing Country Joe and the Fish and editing my Roy Harper book. This is the final run-through before it goes in for publication. With a bit of luck, I should be finished with it by next week. The publication date is June the 22nd. All I will have to do for that is submit 20 copyright-free photos. So if anybody has a photo or two to pass to me and would like to see your photo in a book, please send them to me.

I’m just about to have a cup of coffee and go for a walk. It’s such a nice day I may even take my camera!

Meanwhile, out in Coronaland there is some hope.

I thought it might be interesting to see the state of play. Here’s a table:

CountryNew casesNew deathsTotal deathsTotal No. of cases
USA133,9142,878452,00026.2 million
UK21,088587106,0003.82 million
Brazil27,756559225,0009.2 million
New Zealand00252,304
Vietnam500351,817
Singapore2902959,536

You can see that the levels are going down nearly everywhere (although the virus does appear to be taking off in Africa and Asia due to more contagious variants).

There are a few things I would highlight.

Firstly, Vietnam is dealing with its outbreak of the new variant. It’s gone down from an explosion of a hundred new cases to just fifty. When there is an outbreak they immediately lock the area down, carry out mass testing and isolate. It works.

The other thing to note is that despite the large number of deaths in the USA, UK and Brazil it appears that only a small percentage of the population have had the disease – less than 10%. In the USA there are still 300 million people who could catch it! Things could get a whole lot worse!

When you compare how well some countries are doing with how badly other countries are it is glaringly obvious that there is a disparity of competence. Governments that act swiftly, shut borders, lockdown, test and trace, do well and rapidly get back to normal. The ones who are complacent, dithery or in denial do extremely badly.

Some people say that it is easy to be wise after the event and our clown of a bumbling PM has done alright. They are nuts. Our lazy, incompetent fool has done diabolically.

So here’s what I would do now:

  1. I’d change the government for one that is competent (at least change the PM)
  2. I’d continue with the vaccine roll out (the only thing this lot have done well)
  3. I’d sack Dido Harding and give Track and Trace to the NHS where it should have been all along
  4. I’d strictly apply restrictions at our borders with testing and quarantine (should have been done all along)
  5. I would get the track, trace and isolation working properly and bring it to bear with stringent lockdowns around sites of infection
  6. I would bring all forces to bear on any variants and eradicate them
  7. I would strive to eradicate the virus and not just contain it
  8. I would not bring in schemes such as ‘back to the office’ or ‘eat out to help out’ until the virus was controlled

What I expect to see happening in the future:

It will take until March for the number vaccinated to start to have a real effect on numbers of new cases, hospital admission and deaths, but then it should start to have a big effect.

As the season gets warmer the transmission rates will come down.

When the numbers are low, if we monitor our borders properly, we can deploy track and trace and carry out testing to mop up the virus.

If we do it properly we should soon have the virus under control and be able, with caution and close monitoring, to return to normality.

The future is looking rosy.

Of course, we do have to deal with the morons who are in charge – and they will be messing up, giving out contracts to their pals and making a pig’s ear of it all.

Now – I go off to prepare for my vaccination!

Take care!! My nigh is nearly at an end!

Vaccination and Antivaxxers.

As a Zoologist I used to teach this. I’ll keep it simple.

A vaccination is a process of stimulating your immune system so that it fights off a specific disease.

Your body has antibodies that are specific to the antigens (proteins) on a virus. If you have not encountered that virus before you will not have any antibodies to fight it. A small percentage of people, through mutation, will have a natural immunity.

When you become infected with a virus your body starts to defend itself. It learns to produce antibodies to destroy the virus. It alerts T-cells to recognise the virus antigen protein and attack it. This takes time. While your body is learning to do this you are ill. If your immune response is too slow you may suffer damage to organs or even death.

Some viruses are deadly, others less so. Some viruses will permanently damage the brain, heart, kidneys or organs. They can leave you paralysed, blind, deaf, with a weak heart or damaged brain. Some may leave you infertile or cause cancer.

No viruses are good. Childhood viruses like Measles kill children, cause deafness or blindness. Mumps causes infertility. Scarlet Fever damages the heart.

In the past we were ravaged by virus outbreaks – smallpox killed millions, polio paralysed and crippled millions. But we developed vaccines and now they are eradicated and controlled. The death-rate in children has come right down. We no longer see the same level of damaged bodies.

We introduced vaccination programmes to protect our children and ourselves against polio, tuberculosis, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox and have completely eradicated the terror of smallpox due to vaccination.

We no longer have people ravaged and crippled by polio, blind and deaf from measles, or getting cervical cancer.

There are a number of types of vaccination.

Live strain – injecting a harmless strain of a virus that produces antibodies that attack a lethal virus.

Dead Strain – injecting lethal viruses that have been killed by irradiating or chemicals.

Component – injecting a part of the lethal virus – usually its protein sheath.

Conjugate – injecting a combination.

Some Facts

You cannot boost your immune system to fight a particular virus. If you do not have the antibodies or T-cell response to a particular antigen you will become ill with it. You can boost your immune system to work effectively and produce an immune response quicker – but that might not be quick enough.

Vaccines cause a reaction. That is what they are designed to do. They stimulate your body into producing the antibody response. This can make you feel a little sore or even make you ill for a few days – but nowhere near as ill as if you caught the disease. Most vaccinations have no visible reaction.

A tiny percentage of people have a more severe reaction. Compared with the risk from the disease this is insignificant.

Antivaxxers

Plenty of scare stories and conspiracy theories have circulated regarding vaccinations.

Andrew Wakefield in 1998 was funded by lawyers bringing lawsuits against vaccine companies. He published a paper in the lancet that received widespread publicity claiming there was a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. This led to a big drop in vaccination. The findings were later completely refuted. There is no link. Unfortunately the damage had been done. There is no link at all to autism.

Certain religious groups refuse to have their children vaccinated on the grounds that it is contrary to god’s will – as if god is happy having children die or being severely crippled or damaged.

There are a number of completely stupid conspiracy theories that suggest that some tracking device is being injected by the Lizards who run the ‘Deep State’ so they can keep tabs on your movements. These ideas are idiotic.

Some people have a disbelief in science.

Some people believe that they have strong immune systems, never go down with diseases and would fight it off. They are wrong. Diseases and immunity is very specific. If you haven’t got the antibodies you will get ill.

Some people believe that vaccination is all some means of the massive pharmaceutical companies making big money. They do. It is wrong. Which is why I think that governments should be responsible – not private companies. But that is no reason not to be vaccinated. Vaccination works. People shouldn’t make money out of it – but, ironically, many of the antivaxxers are the most outspoken when defending privatisation and oppose Obamacare. They are quite happy to let these companies make big profits out of sick people.

Covid-19

The new vaccines against Covid-19 operate by injecting some mRNA into the body. This produces the protein sheath of the virus (which is completely harmless). The body’s immune system recognises the protein and creates T-cell responses and antibodies against it. If the real virus invades it is mopped up straight away.

The safety checks are to ensure that it does not trigger an allergic response.

Covid-19 kills, it causes permanent damage to organs (lungs, heart,brain and kidneys). While it mainly kills the elderly it can still greatly affect those a lot younger. Long Covid and the Suzuki syndrome severely affecting children are major risks.

The damage to peoples’ jobs and the economy is enormous.

It is a lottery. While most people seem to get it mildly some react very seriously, requiring hospitalisation and even ventilation. This puts enormous strain on our health services. Many health workers have died.

The only way out of this is a vaccination programme that will create herd immunity so that the virus no longer spreads or, like smallpox, can be eradicated altogether.

If too many people start believing the conspiracy theories or false stories about vaccination and do not get vaccinated then there are going to be a lot more deaths, a lot more severely damaged people and we are going to be in lockdown forever.

As for me – I’ve been vaccinated against anything and everything – BCG, MMR, Flu, yellow fever, typhoid……… the list goes on. My kids were all vaccinated. I knew it was my responsibility to keep them safe.

Vaccination works. Science is good. It is not by chance that these infectious diseases have been greatly reduced. It isn’t a product of better hygiene or healthy eating – it’s the vaccination programmes.

As soon as the vaccine becomes available I shall be first in line. I want to be safe. I shall urge my children and grandchildren to get vaccinated. I want them to be safe too.

If you have any questions or want to discuss this further then please leave a comment. I’m open to debate.