COVID-19 is no longer a disease of the vaccinated, the head of the Oxford jab program said.
The “ongoing horror” of patients gasping for breath in hospital is now “largely restricted” to people who are unvaccinated, said Sir Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford.
Even though the more transmissible Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 continues to infect thousands, most of those who are fully vaccinated would experience only “mild infections” that are “little more than an unpleasant inconvenience,” he said.
“Among the general public, the pandemic is still regarded as a silent pestilence, made visible in the images of patients fighting for their next breath... This ongoing horror, which is taking place across ICUs in Britain, is now largely restricted to unvaccinated people,” he wrote in the Guardian.
“Generally, COVID-19 is no longer a disease of the vaccinated; vaccines tend to limit its suffocating affliction, with a few exceptions,” he wrote.
Scientists are hopeful that the booster jabs rollout and immunity from the summertime spread of the Delta variant should help the UK escape the surge in infections seen in parts of Europe.
The UK, which saw measures eased in the summer and has higher vaccination levels than some European nations, will probably not be hit as hard, Pollard said.
“In countries with lower vaccination rates, the impact of the current wave in hospital ICUs will be far worse than in Britain,” he said.
However, Pollard, one of those behind the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, said COVID-19 would still pile pressure on the National Health Service (NHS) this winter, with unvaccinated patients requiring intensive care and double-jabbed patients who are older and frail still at risk of “life-threatening” health issues.
“The latest wave of the virus in the UK, which is now rising rapidly in parts of Europe, will directly translate into a stream of mostly unvaccinated patients entering ICU,” he said in the article jointly authored with Brian Angus, professor of infectious disease at the University of Oxford. “To prevent serious illness, these people need first and second doses of the vaccine as soon as possible.
“For those of us fortunate enough to have already been vaccinated, the story now seems very different. For most vaccinated individuals, these mild infections are little more than an unpleasant inconvenience,” he said.
However, for those who are very frail, immunocompromised or have underlying health conditions, COVID-19 infections can still be “enough to destabilise them” and cause “serious, life-threatening health problems that add to the pressure on the NHS,” he said.
A convenience store clerk in Taoyuan was yesterday allegedly stabbed to death by a customer after asking the customer to wear a mask. The incident occurred a little after 5am at a store on Guangfong Street in Gueishan District (龜山), police said. When the suspect, surnamed Chiang (蔣), 41, entered the store without wearing a mask, the 30-year-old clerk, surnamed Tsai (蔡), asked that he put one on, police said. Chiang exited the store and came back wearing a mask, they said, adding that after paying for his items he took it off and threw it at Tsai before leaving. Chiang returned shortly afterward
SUSPENDED: US President Joe Biden held direct talks with Abu Dhabi’s crown prince after satellite imagery showed suspicious military activity at a Cosco-run port US intelligence agencies found evidence this year of construction work on what they believed was a secret Chinese military facility in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which was stopped after Washington’s intervention, according to a report on Friday. The Wall Street Journal reported that satellite imagery of the port of Khalifa had revealed suspicious construction work inside a container terminal built and operated by Cosco Shipping Holdings Ltd (中遠海運控股). The evidence included huge excavations apparently for a multistory building and that the site was covered in an apparent attempt to evade scrutiny. The administration of US President Joe Biden held urgent talks with
‘UNPRECEDENTED’: Taiwan’s envoy said that official wording framing Taiwan-China issues as not about unification or independence counters the narrative Beijing wants Use of the phrase “democratic Taiwan” by Germany’s new coalition government in official document shows that Taiwan-China issues are not about “independence” against “unification,” but about democracy against authoritarianism, Representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) said yesterday. Germany’s Social Democratic Party, Free Democratic Party and the Greens — known as the “traffic light coalition” for their colors — on Wednesday inked a coalition agreement following elections on Sept. 26. The agreement, a blueprint for their governance for the next four years, mentions “Taiwan,” which is unprecedented, showing that the new German government is paying close attention to cross-strait peace and supports Taiwan’s
‘POORLY RUN’: The government is committed to ensuring the sustainability of the Taiwan-Palau air route, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou said Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr on Friday lashed out at China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空), saying it has “poisoned” the market by neglecting its air route to the Pacific archipelago and that he plans to initiate talks with Taipei over the matter. Whipps made the remark at a routine news conference at the Presidential Office in Ngerulmud, after being asked to comment on frequent flight cancelations by China Airlines. “I think China Airlines is playing with [the] Palau market. They need to change their behavior, need to be invested and think long-term about the Palau market,” a report by the Palau-based newspaper