Britain got there first. On 2 December last year, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) approved the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for use in the UK, the first in the world. The MHRA did a “rolling review” to get started, checking data the moment it came in, as opposed to waiting on the entire row of binders neatly typed up, to do their thing. They did so under the European Medicines Agency (EMA) regulations, as this was still the transition period and GB was still bound by European rules.
Which of course meant nothing to the politicians. Health secretary Matt Hancock declared the same day that “because of Brexit” the UK had been able to approve the vaccine faster than the EMA. Only to be overtaken by the education secretary Gavin Williamson a day later who claimed that “we [are] much better than the French, much better than the Belgians, much better than the Americans. That doesn’t surprise me at all because we’re a much better country than every single one of them, aren’t we.”
Thankfully, that nonsense was rebuked immediately by everyone involved in the development and regulatory process. Even Downing Street wouldn’t back either claim when asked about it. Remember, that vaccine was developed by Turkish immigrants in Germany, backed by a US pharma company, is manufactured in Belgium, and was approved in the UK under then still applicable European rules. Not a Brit, or should I say, English, in sight.
So far, so good. The vaccine came with clear instructions: Take one shot. Continue with Covid protection measures (face, hands, distance) for another 3 weeks. Take second shot 21 days after the first. Continue with Covid protection measures for another week. Result: 95% efficacy against actually becoming sick with Covid-19. Everyone understands this; it is not rocket science.
The first person in the world to be vaccinated, a week after the official approval, was a 90-year old lady from Coventry named Margaret Keenan; the first man was an 81-year old gentleman called William Shakespeare. Apparently, they couldn’t find someone named Winston Churchill in the over-80 age bracket in time for the photo op. In becoming the first by rushing through the approval process, and bribing Pfizer with immunity should anything go wrong, the UK turned its most vulnerable and those who care for them into the world’s guinea pigs. Allergic reactions were one side effect that became clear only after the shot had been administered. Very rare, and non-threatening, but something that should be known beforehand to those suffering from allergies, I’d say.
And now, they are doing it again.
The instructions are very clear: “Take one shot. … Take second shot 21 days later.” This is what the studies showed; this is the data on which MHRA approved the vaccine. But the horde of delusional “shitgibbons” (not my word, but very apt) in Westminster seem to think they know better than the virologists, biochemists and manufacturers testing & writing these instructions. A fortnight ago, the government announced it would delay the roll-out of the second vaccine shot from 21 days to 84 days, i.e. 3 months. This came in regards to the new B1.1.7 variant of the virus that has a 50-60% higher transmission rate. So the thinking seems to be that instead of vaccinating x people twice, we can vaccinate x + x people once instead. And then shut our eyes and hope for the best.
Pfizer/BioNTech made very clear that there is no data to support this decision. The tests and studies do not exist to confirm that it will still be 95% effective at an 84-day interval. The idea has been compared to taking half of the antibiotics the doc prescribes in order to share the dose with your best mate. You both might get lucky and come out fine, but the next time you catch that pesky STD again, you most likely will not. In all fairness, though, the 12 weeks interval may be possible with the second vaccine approved in the UK shortly before New Year’s, the Oxford/AstraZeneca. But even here, that idea is based not on trial data but on a hiccup. A subset of participants was given the wrong dose for their first shot, half of what they should have gotten. Normally, the trial would have been aborted and restarted, but times being what they are, they continued with it. Turns out, those affected were fine after they had their second, full-dosage shot. And from that incident alone, TPTB extrapolated that because one doesn’t need that much for the first shot apparently, in reverse it’s OK to extend the interval between first and second dose instead. Let’s do that for both vaccines and see what happens.
But it doesn’t stop there, oh no. There is now a mix-and-match approach encouraged when using the two types of vaccines. If you have given the Pfizer/BioNtech to a patient, but cannot do the second shot because of shortage, it’s alright to use the Oxford/AstraZeneca stuff for the second time around. And vice versa. Never mind that there are zero tests on compatibility or efficacy; as long as there is a second shot somewhere at one point, we’re safe.
What’s happening here is that the population of this country is turned into guinea pigs on a mass scale. Worse than that – it’s the elderly, those with underlying health conditions, front-line workers in the medical field who are experimented on. The ones that need protection the most, and are vaccinated first, are the ones that are used for nothing more than political point scoring, instead of saving their lives. By re-arranging the vaccination schedule, Westminster can say that twice as many were vaccinated, aren’t we great! At the same time, it throws those who need to be vaccinated first and the rest of us under the bus. Well, obviously not all – Boris Johnson’s father got his second jab a week after the decision to delay was announced and tens of thousands of appointments had been rescheduled everywhere.
There are four possible outcomes in this:
1) Everything works out, 84 days is safe, mix’n’match is working, we get the vaccination numbers up and the total cases down. This would, however, require such an amount of sheer luck that’d be easier to find a real pot of real gold at the end of a flimsy rainbow.
2) 84 days is safe but mix’n’match is not, which means in those cases both the first and the second dose will have been wasted and need to be redone. Not including having to deal with any of the potential side-effects of mixing vaccines, which are completely unknown and could be literally anything. All of that we will only know in 3 months’ time; when the rest of the world is slowly coming out of it, the UK will be struggling to hold its head above water.
3) Turns out, 84 days is not safe, and protection from the first shot has evaporated. In which case we will have wasted almost every single dose administered up to that point and will have to start from scratch. When the rest of the world is slowly coming out of this, the UK will be back in early 2020, with the most vulnerable and those who need protection the most being the first to die again.
4) A new, vaccine-resistant variant of the virus develops. With a partial population half-way but not really protected, and three months to work with, the virus has enough material and time to figure out how to circumvent the vaccine and mutate again into something even nastier. And then we are truly back in early 2020. (With this government? Shudder.)
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for vaccines, and given the chance, I will take this one. By the rate this is going in this country, I’m eligible in 2025, so by then we will know what effects any of these approaches will have; mass testing will have been done. /s Right now, I am simply lacking the expletives to express my disbelieve in what this shitshow of a government in Westminster is doing in order to hide their incompetence during the pandemic. These people already have blood on their hands; what they are doing now will only add to it.