On ‘Vaccine Rollout Day’, which is a vitally important global milestone in our fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, a further 616 people having lost their lives in the last 24 hours, Dr Joe Pajak writes.

First published in December 2020.

Some 313 days after the first case of coronavirus was reported in the UK – the data now stands at 1,750,241 cases and 62,033 deaths since 31 January 2020 – the first vaccinations have been given to those on the priority lists in Britain.

CNN, among the global media, reported that “Martin Kenyon, a 91-year-old UK resident, was one of the first to receive a dose of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine today, and said that he hopes to hug his granddaughters soon. “I want to live a long time to enjoy their lives,” he said. “No point in dying now when I have lived this long, is there?”

Other vaccines are expected to be rolled out in the next few weeks. In particular, the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine – of which the UK has ordered 100 million doses – confirmed today in The Lancet as being safe and effective.

This is important news as the context has never been more challenging with sadly a further 616 people having lost their lives in the last 24 hours, while the number of deaths in the last 14 days, reached 6,216 – this is the 12th day in a row that number has exceeded 6,200.

Note: The data for deaths attributed to Covid-19, each following a reported positive test result for Covid-19 within 28 days of their death.

Today’s Government data also indicates there have been 212,734 new cases reported in the past 14 days, 29% fewer than the 14-day figures reported on 25 November. Today’s trendline chart, and headline UK Covid-19 data, give a picture of the ‘journey’ thus far. The future is in our hands, as indicated today by Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government. A few more months restrictions should make a significant difference to where we will be in three months, particularly now the first vaccine roll out has begun.

Several experts have also commented that it is now vitally important that government does all it can to promote the benefits of the Covid-19 vaccines and to challenge those who attempt to undermine their use. The Government could learn from experts already working hard to promote reliable, accurate, and trusted information about the pandemic.

One such creditable example being Professor Jennifer Dowd, Associate Professor of Demography and Population Health at Oxford’s Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science. Professor Dowd is working with a group of 11 other women PhDs and clinicians – all experts in public health and related disciplines who have gathered tens of thousands of followers across social media”, to promote the vitally important facts.

UK Covid-19 headline data, reported on 8 December 2020:

  • 12,282 positive tests
  • 616 more deaths in the last 24 hours
  • 1,458 hospital admissions (reported as of 03/12)
  • 14,807 hospital in-patients (reported as of 06/12)
  • 1,271 patients on ventilation beds (reported as of 07/12)
  • 212,734 new cases reported in the last 14 days according to government data

Since the first reported UK case, at the end of January 2020, there have been 1,750,241 cases of coronavirus in the UK, and according to today’s government figures 62,033 people have lost their lives.

However, these data include only those who have died within 28 days of testing positive; other measures suggest the number of deaths is higher: 73,125 being reported today as “the total number of deaths of people whose death certificate mentioned Covid-19 as one of the causes, registered up to Friday, 27 November 2020.”🔷

Data source:

Dr Joe Pajak, Professional experience applied scientific research and development, then director of a national children’s charity, trustee of a disability charity, and governor of NHS foundation trust hospitals.

[This piece was first published in PMP Magazine on 8 December 2020. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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