Save vulnerable lives, save the NHS
Save vulnerable lives, save the NHS
The Delta variant changed everything, as has the success of the vaccine rollout, but the UK Government's scientific briefing for the consultation on compulsory vaccination for health sector workers is so out of date and dangerously faulty that it will result in more deaths of the vulnerable both directly, via asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, and indirectly, by the shortage of trained staff which will result if, the non-double vaccinated are removed.
In France, Germany, Italy, and Spain only one vaccination is permitted if the recipient has had a prior infection. The UK Government's proposal would remove such European workers and no recruitment can come from those countries of such skilled people. One jab plus prior infection actually gives better protection than two jabs without having had a prior infection. It is pointless and wrong to remove such staff.
The European policy also allows the vaccine to be spread around the world.
Very importantly, Covid sick (symptomatic) staff members do not go to work. The patient risk from the Delta variant is from the 2 days of high transmission for all infections before the onset of symptoms, which now mainly (72.1% of all infections) comes from the double vaccinated working population due to its sheer size, PLUS from asymptomatic carriers circulating and going to work. (% data UKHSA, formerly PHE, report week 40 ages 18-69).
However, for Delta, the double vaccinated are over three times more likely to be asymptomatic carriers 28.2% vs 9.2% than the unvaccinated, (Singapore study). The maths works out that there are now 16 times as many asymptomatic carriers in the double vaccinated population than in the unvaccinated population. Which is a clear threat for vulnerable patients from staff (and visitors). Due to the rollout success, transmission risk in the working, circulating population is now firmly within the double vaccinated population. Please don't shoot the messenger, it's just maths.
A vaccine helps to protect the individual by getting the immune system ready for a novel virus, but it also makes the individual over three times more likely to be an asymptomatic carrier when infected with Delta, which, specifically for transmission purposes to patients, more than offsets the benefit from a vaccinated person having a lower chance of developing the Covid disease. To harness that benefit at a venue, testing of the double vaccinated population would be required.
For the much more virulent Delta variant, previous transmission benefits no longer apply. This is because the peak viral load is the same, and the viral load the same throughout the first 11 days post infection, which completely covers the maximum circulatory transmission, irrespective of asymptomatic or symptomatic disease and irrespective of vaccination status. On average, after 11 days post infection, people are either recovering and the virus which they shed is no longer infectious, or are sick in bed and not circulating, and certainly not treating patients.
The Government's transmission claims are based on previous transmission benefits with old variants and quote an inappropriate household study (ref 9 in the consultation) which was not Delta, didn't cover asymptomatic cases and importantly included data for the non-circulating sickness period. The whole basis of the consultation must be called into question with this briefing being out of date and inappropriately applied to patient transmission from daily healthcare workers.
Will the unvaccinated be off work longer? The peak absence has passed, and higher levels of immunity now prevail, also severe sickness is related to age, obesity, and co-morbidities like diabetes, which last longer with or without Covid. Many of the removed staff are likely to have been exposed to the virus, which is why they were clapped, and coped with the virus well like most non-vulnerable people and have antibodies.
Symptomatically sick NHS workers, whether double vaccinated, single vaccinated, naturally immune or possibly never exposed, don't go to work, and hence are nowhere near patients. That is not where patient risk is coming from. Please see www.patientrisk.co.uk for further details. Please contact your MP.
Transmission risk to patients and within venues, is all about the circulating population. The intended policy will harm vulnerable patients and harm the NHS. The NHS needs dedicated trained staff, especially now with our backlog, and not just cash. Your support and letting your friends know of this petition, would be appreciated. Thank you for listening and thank you for caring. Let's hope for the same from the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP.