Not unique. The UK did the exact same thing, purely to anatgonise the EU, where mixed vaccination was also common.
However, for a while the UK only recognised mixed-vaccine 2-dosers if they were administered in the UK.
Towards the end of Sept the UK changed this to now accept mixed doses from other nations; much to my relief as I had my first dose (AZ) in the UK and then promptly emigrated to Canada where I had my second dose (Pfizer) so I’m actually straddling the two.
Sadly, while the UK will let me back into the country if I wish to see family I believe Canada won’t let me back in since the UK hasn’t dropped below 30k new cases a day for months now. Apparently it appears to be children in school driving the infections, the UK needs to sort out its vaccine supply and get those kids vaccinated.
It’s not so much we considered it a dangerous load of bullshit is that we considered it untested. The US for all it’s faults did a pretty good job saying "we tested X so that is what we are going to do. We didn’t second guess the trial design once we saw the results.
But while it was not officially recommend to mix doses, basically everyone acknowledged that it was probably fine we just didn’t have data.
We are now beginning to get that data which is great.
I know a number of people who were able to do just that. Albertans, of course.
Sorry. This one was written a few nights ago, but held in queue until now.
Nope. I’ve nothing bad to say about the way things were done. The provinces wanted as many folks vaccinated as possible. It’s good health policy. Unfortunately, it led to some uncomfortable travel politics.
Good news- over 12s became eligible for vaccination at the start of October (yeah, I know, far too late), so things are getting there.
Bad news - the UK is still getting absolutely hammered by the Delta variant, with case counts not really declining at the moment. The situation is being masked by just how effective vaccination is.
Here’s the population adjusted cases-
and population adjusted deaths for comparison-
Credit, as always to UK Coronavirus Tracker for the graphics.
Seamus, good to hear from you! Hope you overwinter safe & warm. Also hope you will consider boycotting Texas. You may have heard…
Not that I want to travel to the US right now, but it’s nice to have the option.
There’s a huuuuuge difference between not authorizing a certain vaccine brand or dosing scheme for your own population, and denying those who have taken it entry.
The US needs to deal with the reality that their horrid, horrid performance in this pandemic has nothing whatsoever to do with fully vaccinated people with, say, the Indian version of Astra Zeneca somehow infecting good old red, white and blue Pfizer people due to some notion of a percentage point of effectiveness, and everything to do with the total lack of a national strategy, the staggering number of adults who will not vaccinate and will not mitigate, and the political wedge the conservatives see in this whole, sad, debacle.
I have my two doses of Sinopharm up in there. And my family lives in Florida. If I were to visit them, who the fuck would be more likely to be transmitting the Rona to whom? Me, because the CDC hasn’t approved Sinopharm? Or the 50% of the state who refuse to get on the ball?
This ridiculous public health move is the thing that is angry-making. Even with the imaginary worst vaccine in the world, and a negative PCR test, anyone who came in to the US would be less likely to transmit covid to a yank than one of their neighbors. So the policy creates hardship just to do a little nationalistic jitterbug for the xenophobes and has no likely benefits to anyone beyond that.
That’s probably the reason behind the travel industry guidelines (from last month):
Which is exactly why the US is accepting any vaccine that is approved by the FDA or recommended by the WHO.
So everyone except those who got the commie vaccines (Sputnik and Soberana). Sputnik was the first to roll out in my country because, while the government had made a huge deal with Astra Zeneca wherein we produce the active substance for their vaccine in the Astra Zeneca labs in-country, then ship to Mexico for finishing, then supply all of Latin America and get our population dosed in the meanwhile, Astra Zeneca royally flopped and left 45 million people high and dry. Gamalya actually delivered, so most of our over 50 and at-risk people got Sputnik.
Then, Gamalya ghosted us on the second dose, so there’s a ton of mix and match with Astra Zeneca, that finally began to supply our own vaccines back to us weeks before they expired.
But, BS like this US ruling, which is still based on what the WHO recommends for use within a country, is causing great uproar among the conservatives, who are blasting the government here for getting us the wrong vaccine and now we can’t go to Disneyworld and Miami and until Dec also can’t take a European vacation. It’s been a big deal and costing the progressive government a lot of cred for their pandemic response - “Look, they gave us a vaccine so shitty that I can’t even go on vacation with it!” People in the US don’t travel abroad much, but not being able to go to Miami or Barcelona is a devastating hardship for Argentine middle class people.
And honestly, bazillions of people worldwide have taken Sputnik for ages now, and each country has also done their own safety and efficacy testing to authorize its use, so it should not matter at all whether the WHO or CDC are satisfied with the minutiae of the Gamalya’s processes and if they’re ‘modern’ enough for fancy pantsy first world elites to put in their precious little arms. We would have had thousands and thousands more deaths if Sputnik hadn’t been rolled out. And now the conservatives are set to take power again, much based on the criticism of the vaccine strategy.
All this, when, the health issue in the US is not low-quality pinko vaccines and breakthrough infections - it is a rampaging wave of infections among the vaccinated.
Not a real option now, since most countries aren’t buffet-style vaccinating like the US, but it’s a good idea to have in pocket for early next year when the boosters are more available and one I hadn’t thought of.
You wouldn’t be able to travel to Japan at the moment - they only recognise fully vaccinated if both doses were adminstered in the same country. I wonder how other countries that are looking to use the International Vaccine certificate are going to address people in your situation.
Is that bad news though? I’m not in the UK, and don’t have a feel for the other aspects. But the plan with every sane vaccination policy is a) eradication via herd immunity (which has only ever been achieved with vaccines, just to be clear), or b) prepare people’s immune systems to the point where the disease isn’t a mass killer. The people I trust (doctors, public health researchers who are obviously not rich, etc) say that eradication of Delta isn’t currently an option. It’s too contagious.
The UK charts show lots of cases but not a lot of deaths, which is a “plan b” success. A longer-term view shows past case peaks and the death rate. This latest wave is still bad, and also 10 times better (in a “fewer people suffering and dying” sense).
This is a very different case to the US, where the unvaccinated vulnerable population is big enough that the effects are devastating. By the numbers in the US: it’s the same virus as the UK but a completely different public health situation. The US equivalent of the UK chart above shows that the current US outbreak is following the same case-fatality curves are previous outbreaks, which is heart-breaking.
Like I said: I’m not in the UK, and it’s likely I’m missing some nuance the data isn’t showing.
ETA: I am no fan of the current UK gov’t. And I’d really really prefer nobody dying of Covid. My point is that the words “confirmed case of Covid” have a different meaning in the UK than they do in the US.
It’s still not “good” in the UK: depending whose numbers you’re using, Covid still has a case-fatality rate around 0.2% for the vaccinated. The vaccines have rendered it about as deadly as a worse-than-usual seasonal flu (which is pretty bad).
The graphs above also don’t answer whether the UK hospital system coping. (we already know the answer for the US system in covid-hit regions).
As I understand it that is largely a response to how poorly the vaccine roll out is going. Between the high refusal rates in certain countries, and access problems in so many others it isn’t feasible. Particularly with the vaccines being less effective against Delta.
I’m not really sure how feasible an idea it was to begin with, nor whether it was ever an explicit goal. We’ve only ever eradicated Smallpox globally, and it took decades to do so. There have been some regional eradications, but that tends to be fairly short lived. Particularly anything that has animal reservoirs. And Covid has plenty of those. Dogs, cats, white tailed deer.
It looks like there’s a couple other factors, the first being that testing company failure which resulted in over 40k false-negatives being sent out. The second is that a sub-variant of Delta appears to be steadily increasing in share of confirmed cases, it’s believed this sub-variant is even more transmissible than Delta itself.
You can see the area most hit by the false-negatives (South-West England) run away with actual cases.
As much as the UK government has screwed up their response (worst raw cases and deaths figures in Europe), the sheer volume of testing and genomic sequencing of those tests that labs in the UK have been performing has worked as an amazing resource for researchers and policy makers across the globe.
Sadly, it gives me a feeling of experiencing 28 Weeks Later in real-time.
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