Daily uk news The TRUTH about those SAGE models: Doomsday scenarios that say third wave deaths might soar HIGHER than spring and masks might be needed for a YEAR are 'too pessimistic' and 'cherry pick' worst assumptions PremierLeague-News.Com

PremierLeague-News.Com - Independent experts told MailOnline the data used by the Government's scientific advisers 'didn't match' how well the UK's vaccine rollout is going and played down how effective the jabs are.

Daily uk news The TRUTH about those SAGE models: Doomsday scenarios that say third wave deaths might soar HIGHER than spring and masks might be needed for a YEAR are 'too pessimistic' and 'cherry pick' worst assumptions PremierLeague-News.Com

PremierLeague-News.Com - Independent experts told MailOnline the data used by the Government's scientific advisers 'didn't match' how well the UK's vaccine rollout is going and played down how effective the jabs are.

Daily uk news  The TRUTH about those SAGE models: Doomsday scenarios that say third wave deaths might soar HIGHER than spring and masks might be needed for a YEAR are 'too pessimistic' and 'cherry pick' worst assumptions PremierLeague-News.Com
06 April 2021 - 15:30

PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! SAGE's doomsday models which predicted more than a thousand coronavirus deaths at the peak of a third wave later in the year cherry-picked 'very pessimistic assumptions', scientists warned today.Independent experts told MailOnline the data used by the Government's scientific advisers 'didn't match' how well the vaccine rollout is going and played down how effective the jabs are - and at least one was 'very confident the NHS is not going to be overwhelmed'. Professor Tim Spector, an epidemiologist at King's College London, said SAGE had repeatedly made bleak forecasts that never came true, 'perhaps to avoid complacency' among the public.  The government was yesterday accused of using 'Project Fear' tactics to prolong coronavirus restrictions by stealth with plans for mass twice-weekly testing, vaccine passports and foreign travel restrictions.But No10's own forecasts show that any third wave of Covid this summer is likely to be manageable, and models that caused widespread alarm were worst-case nightmare scenarios based on ineffective vaccines.Yesterday a tranche of papers released by the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) suggested that lifting curbs fully in June could cause push the NHS to the brink again. The expert group included modelling from three different universities - Imperial College London, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Warwick University.After reviewing all three papers, SAGE said social distancing, mask wearing and Covid vaccine passports will need to remain in place for at least another year to keep the virus in check even when the most brutal curbs are lifted. It added that while the vaccines prevent the vast majority of people from falling ill and dying from coronavirus, they 'are not good enough' to see all curbs lifted 'without a big epidemic'.  The gloomiest modelling was done by the London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine, which forecast 'a resurgence in admissions and deaths comparable to the magnitude of the second wave in January', when there  were more than 1,000 deaths a day. The LSHTM research team warned a third wave could be even larger if there is a British outbreak of a new Covid variant which makes vaccines weaker.But their pessimistic model assumed the AstraZeneca vaccine only reduced transmission - the number of people who continue to spread Covid - by 30 per cent, which is far more cautious than data from the real world suggests.The Government's own analysis of Britain's vaccine rollout, carried out by Public Health England, found the jab slashes infections by about two thirds after just one dose and more than 70 per cent after both injections.  Professor Spector, who is running a major Covid symptom tracking study tracking a million Brits, slammed LSHTM's modelling. He said that while there may be small outbreaks of Covid in the future, 'we're not going to see anything like we've seen previously' now that half the adult population has been immunised.Dr Raghib Ali, a clinical epidemiologist at Cambridge University and former Government Covid adviser, told MailOnline that despite the gloomy forecasts, 'we can be very confident the NHS is not going to be overwhelmed… I’m optimistic we will be able to follow the road map'. The gloomiest modelling was done by the London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine, which forecast 'a resurgence in admissions and deaths comparable to the magnitude of the second wave in January', when there were more than 1,000 deaths a day. Its pessimistic model assumed the AstraZeneca vaccine only reduced transmission - the number of people who continue to spread Covid - by 30 per cent, which is far more cautious than data from the real world suggests. LSHTM'S HOSPITALISATIONS: The group has said that in a worst case scenario there could be more than 40,000 patients in Britain's hospitals with the virus every day. The most realistic situation will see levels on par with the winter peak, according to the team. They warned a third wave of admissions could be even larger if there is a British outbreak of a new Covid variant which makes vaccines weaker Modelling by Imperial College London shows how they expect daily deaths to stay below 100 in any third wave, if vaccine uptake is 90 per cent in under-50s and that jabs cause a significant reduction in transmission after the planned relaxation on June 21. The solid red line shows the actual number of daily deaths recorded, while the lighter line reflects the team's best guess and the pink line is what could happen in the worst-case scenario IMPERIAL'S HOSPITALISATIONS: Most scientists told MailOnline the most realistic assumptions were those made by the team at Imperial College London. The team's most-likely scenario also estimated that coronavirus patients will take up 5,000 hospital beds during any future spike, far lower than the 30,000 occupied during the darkest days of January Modelling by Warwick University - which also feeds into SAGE - has deaths peaking at between 250 and 750 in August, but they have already been forced to radically revise their death toll downwards after their assumptions about vaccine efficacy proved too pessimistic. The model was based on an R rate of around 3 and vaccine coverage of 90 per cent of adults under-50 WARWICK'S HOSPITALISATIONS: Warwick's modelling of hospital rates shows that the country can expect about 10,000 patients in beds by the autumn, a third of the levels at this winter's peak and half of occupancy rates last spring Professor Spector told MailOnline: 'They seem to be picking the most pessimistic of the assumptions each time in order to come up with the worst case scenario, perhaps to avoid complacency. 'They might want to warn people that if we just relax our guard this is what could happen, that's why a lot of language is written like that [pessimistic]. 'I'm certainly not arguing we should totally relax right now but I think the vaccine is doing better than they are saying... and they are just painting a much bleaker scenario than the reality.''I'm hoping we won't need any further lockdowns. I think we're going to have a very relaxed summer and I think we'll see some outbreaks during the autumn, which will pick up at the end of year. But we're not going to see anything like we've seen previously.' Even SAGE's own scientists are starting to backtrack on the pessimistic models released yesterday. LSHTM infectious diseases expert Professor Graham Medley, who is also a chief modeller at SAGE subgroup SPI-M, told MailOnline today: 'As we unlock and contact rates increase, so the the virus has more chance to spread. 'Three different models have been used to project forwards to see what impact this will have. Each of them show that there is likely to be another wave of the epidemic - the question is how big this wave will be.  RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next Boris insists lockdown WILL end on time despite SAGE’s... Regulator will consider TODAY whether to stop using... Lockdown...LIFTED! Gyms reveal safety measures for April 12... Britain may have to roll back its target date of vaccinating... The new COVID shortage: Ketchup sachets! Increase in food... As Chris Whitty talks down Britain's lockdown exit, how... Share this article Share 'There is real uncertainty in this largely because we do not know exactly how effective the vaccines will be in two or three months time. 'If things go badly, then the wave could be large, but if things go well, it could be much smaller than we have seen before. It is not possible at this stage to say which is more likely.'Earlier he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning: 'It really just depends upon the impact of vaccination, particularly on transmission, so whether or not people can get infected and pass the virus on.'And we just don't know that. The vaccine hasn't been around in people in the real world... only in December it started... so we don't know what effect it's going to have in three, four months' time and that's the real unknown. So it's a question of genuine uncertainty.'The only thing we can be sure of is that we don't know exactly what is going to happen but we do know that, because the vaccine isn't 100 per cent effective, there will be some transmission, and there will be some breakthrough of immunity.'Asked if mask-wearing and social distancing will have to continue past the end of June 21, he said: 'Yes, so the amount of infection and death is dependent upon not only the vaccine, but also what it is that people actually do.  During a visit to an AstraZeneca Covid vaccine plant in Cheshire today, Boris Johnson insisted the country is still on track to end lockdown by summer Boris Johnson's vaccine passport plans in jeopardy as Keir Starmer 'is likely to oppose' the 'discriminatory' documents  Boris Johnson's plans for domestic vaccine passports are in jeopardy after it was claimed Sir Keir Starmer and Labour will oppose the rollout of the documents.Some 40 Tory MPs have already made clear they are against 'Covid Status Certification', warning that introducing the checks in everyday life would create a 'two tier' nation.The initial findings of a Government review on how the passports could be used left the door open to the documents being required for access to pubs and restaurants.A senior Labour source told The Guardian that Sir Keir and other prominent Labour figures 'are all minded to vote against' the documents amid fears over how the scheme could work and its cost.Meanwhile, shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth appeared to harden the party's stance further this morning as he said the passports would be 'discriminatory'.Tory MPs have demanded Mr Johnson put any passport plan to a vote in the House of Commons but the Prime Minister sidestepped the request at a Downing Street press conference last night.Labour's reported stance on the subject means that any vote could be very tight, with Mr Johnson's fate likely to be determined by how big of a Tory revolt he suffers.    The initial findings of the review on the certification scheme said the documents could have an 'important role to play both domestically and internationally, as a temporary measure'.The Government ruled out using the documents to determine access to public transport or essential shops.But the findings said 'it is possible that COVID-status certification could also play a role in reducing social distancing requirements in other settings which people tend to visit more frequently, for example in hospitality settings'.Tory MPs back the use of the documents for international travel but many have significant privacy and civil liberties concerns about using them domestically.Sir Keir made clear his concerns over the potential use of the documents in day-to-day life in an interview with The Telegraph last week.He said: 'My instinct is that, as the vaccine is rolled out, as the number of hospital admissions and deaths go down, there will be a British sense that we don't actually want to go down this road.'Mr Ashworth went further this morning when he was asked during an interview on BBC Breakfast whether he intended to vote against domestic vaccine passports.He said: 'Well, the problem is the Government actually hasn't produced the piece of legislation which highlights the details of how this is going to work.

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.'So at the moment we are unconvinced but it is up to ministers to convince the country that they have a plan in place and what they are going to do.'When we see the details of their legislation we will study it carefully.'Pushed again on whether he would vote against the plans, he replied: 'I am not going to support a policy that for here in my Leicester constituency if somebody wants to go into Next or H&M they have to produce a vaccination certificate on their phone on an app. I think that is discriminatory.' adverts.addToArray({"pos":"mpu_factbox"})Advertisement 'And then that's related to the policies that are put in place. Both of those are uncertain - both the policies but also then how people behave with the policies - so it's quite likely that we will have to see some kind of measures to reduce transmission for a long time.'It's unclear whether LSHTM factored in people who are protected against Covid due to prior infection, which is thought to be up to 30 per cent of the population.Dr Simon Clarke, a microbiologist at Reading University, took issue with the lack of transparency in the models, telling MailOnline: 'They don't fully explain how they got those numbers.'The problem with these SAGE documents, and I've been saying this for the past year, is that they are not actual evidence. Even in GCSE maths you're taught to show your workings and we don't get that from these papers.' Modelling by Warwick University - which also feeds into SAGE - had deaths peaking at between 250 and 750 in August, depending on the impact of each major relaxation of lockdown on case numbers.But the Warwick team has already been forced to radically revise its death toll downwards after earlier assumptions about vaccine efficacy and uptake in February proved too pessimistic. Dr Ali told MailOnline: 'The reason I have some caution about these models and the conclusions from them is based on what happened in the second wave. 'A lot of people, myself included, didn’t think the second wave would be that bad, and, as it turned out, the models were much more accurate, particularly the Warwick one. That makes me think their model is not as inaccurate as some people think.'But we can be very confident the NHS is not going to be overwhelmed [thanks to the vaccines]… I’m optimistic we will be able to follow the roadmap.'I would take [SAGE's] central scenario that we can be confident that we are in a much better situation than we were in the winter. If there is a surge, it will be smaller and may well be delayed from the seasonal effect, [in which case] it will be smaller again.'Most scientists told MailOnline the most realistic assumptions were those made by the team at Imperial College London. The team, which includes the notoriously gloomy 'Professor Lockdown' Neil Ferguson, said daily deaths are most likely to stay below 100 even in the event of a resurgence.And thanks to the effects of vaccines, the team's most-likely scenario also estimated that coronavirus patients will take up 5,000 hospital beds during any future spike, far lower than the 30,000 occupied during the darkest days of January. Imperial's central assumptions project another 15,700 deaths from the disease from now until June 2022. For comparison, there have been at least 126,000 Covid fatalities during the pandemic so far. It came as  Boris Johnson today insisted the country is still on track to end lockdown by summer, despite the Government being accused of using 'Project Fear' tactics.The Prime Minister said he couldn't 'see any reason for us to deviate from the road map', which is due to see all legal limits on social contacts abolished by June 21 as part of the final phase of the four-step route out of the crisis. But he is still accused of seeking to prolong Covid restrictions by stealth, with plans for controversial vaccine passports, testing twice a week and masks for another year. Mr Johnson today said Covid passports were going to become a 'a fact of life' to keep the virus in check when the most brutal curbs are lifted. During a visit to an AstraZeneca Covid vaccine plant in Cheshire today, the PM said: 'I just think it's important we take each step on the road map as it comes and continue to roll out the vaccine, build up our defences, build up the natural resistance of our whole population in the way that we are and then continue to look at the data in the intervals that we've set out.'So we are going to see exactly what happens from the April 12 to May 17 openings and thereafter through to June 21. At the moment, as I look at all the data, I can't see any reason for us to deviate from the road map that we have set out, we are sticking to it.'He said several other countries were also looking at 'the role of vaccination passports for overseas travel', which was 'going to be a fact of life, probably'. It came as Tory MPs accused the Government of opening the door to prolonged Covid restrictions by releasing the gloomy SAGE papers yesterday.Sir Iain Duncan-Smith warned Britain was on course to be left in a 'demi-lockdown' even when the road map is completed. The former Tory leader accused No10's scientists of deploying 'Project Fear' tactics.   Tory MP Sir John Redwood today said there was a 'range of possible outturns' from the three models SPI-M looked at, and that it should not stop 'anybody going around their normal life or duties in the meantime when the data is so visibly improving'. Millions could go to pubs with no social distancing under plans to let drinkers use mobile phones to prove they are free of Covid. This graphic shows how the app would have worked And fellow Conservative Marcus Fysh told MailOnline: 'I think we need to get back to normal as soon as we are all vaccinated enough… the end of June, for me, has always been a point at which I think we should be doing that. I have supported in general terms that roadmap and that being the end state where the regulations come off.'Asked for his opinion on SAGE experts saying 'baseline measures' may be needed for another year, he added: 'I personally don't think we should keep social distancing or face masks anymore. Once we are ready to open up properly then I think that should be the end of that for the time being.   Moderna's Covid jab will be deployed in the UK in a fortnight: Minister reveals first of 100million doses The long-awaited Moderna coronavirus vaccine will be dished out in Britain within the next two weeks, No10's vaccine minister revealed today.Nadhim Zahawi said the first batch of the jab — approved by regulators in January — is set to arrive in the third week of this month, with 'more volume' expected in May.Ministers had promised Moderna's vaccine, which uses mRNA technology such as Pfizer's, would arrive by the spring. Britain has ordered 17million doses.But confusion erupted over Moderna's supply today, after Nicola Sturgeon revealed the first batch of doses arrived yesterday. If Scotland's First Minister is telling the truth, it means the UK is currently sitting on thousands of vaccines that are proven to work.The welcome boost to the vaccine roll-out came as Valneva's Covid jab — which has also been bought by No10 — was shown to trigger antibodies in all volunteers who received a high dose in early-stage trials.Scientists testing the jab added they identified no safety concerns, and that it would now move to final phase three trials, with the view of submitting it for approval in the autumn.Britain has already ordered 100million doses of the jab — which contains a destroyed version of the real coronavirus — which are being made in Scotland.Health Secretary Matt Hancock heralded today's results as 'fantastic' and showing a 'strong immune response'. 'This is another boost to British life science,' he added.Mr Zahawi said the results were 'very promising' and provided 'renewed hope' that a jab using an inactivated virus could spark immunity.Bosses of Valneva, which is headquartered in France, added they were also looking at ways to tweak their jab to protect against future variants, which may be able to dodge immunity.More than 31million Brits have already received their first dose of either AstraZeneca or Pfizer's Covid vaccine, which were the first to be approved in the UK. adverts.addToArray({"pos":"mpu_factbox"})Advertisement 'I think SAGE's latest position is just unacceptable, one way or another, this idea that we are going to have to have masks for the next year, social distancing for another year or more. We cannot be living in fear of a new variant. The reality is that booster shots will be required in the future to address new variations of Covid, probably just as we have new booster shots for flu each year.'Critics of lockdowns point to data showing how Covid fizzled out on its own last summer when restrictions were eased, even though there was no vaccination roll-out. Fewer than 500 cases were recorded several times in July and there was even one day with no recorded fatalities. SAGE says the seasonality of the virus may 'delay or flatten the resurgence but is unlikely to prevent it altogether'. Advisers also project that most deaths will still occur in fully vaccinated elderly people because although they are around 80 per cent effective against severe illness, the exposure of millions to the virus will still result in a small number of fatalities. Daily coronavirus cases in England have plunged from around 50,000 during the darkest spell of the second wave in January to around 3,500 now, despite fears that reopening schools would cause the outbreak to spiral. Deaths and hospitalisations have fallen even quicker, thanks to the hugely successful vaccination drive.Meanwhile, Boris Johnson's plans for domestic vaccine passports are in jeopardy after it was claimed Sir Keir Starmer and Labour will oppose the rollout of the documents.Some 40 Tory MPs have already made clear they are against 'Covid Status Certification', warning that introducing the checks in everyday life would create a 'two tier' nation.The initial findings of a Government review on how the passports could be used left the door open to the documents being required for access to pubs and restaurants.A senior Labour source told The Guardian that Sir Keir and other prominent Labour figures 'are all minded to vote against' the documents amid fears over how the scheme could work and its cost.Meanwhile, shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth appeared to harden the party's stance further this morning as he said the passports would be 'discriminatory'.Tory MPs have demanded Mr Johnson put any passport plan to a vote in the House of Commons but the Prime Minister sidestepped the request at a Downing Street press conference last night.Labour's reported stance on the subject means that any vote could be very tight, with Mr Johnson's fate likely to be determined by how big of a Tory revolt he suffers.    The initial findings of the review on the certification scheme said the documents could have an 'important role to play both domestically and internationally, as a temporary measure'.The Government ruled out using the documents to determine access to public transport or essential shops.But the findings said 'it is possible that COVID-status certification could also play a role in reducing social distancing requirements in other settings which people tend to visit more frequently, for example in hospitality settings'.Tory MPs back the use of the documents for international travel but many have significant privacy and civil liberties concerns about using them domestically.Sir Keir made clear his concerns over the potential use of the documents in day-to-day life in an interview with The Telegraph last week.He said: 'My instinct is that, as the vaccine is rolled out, as the number of hospital admissions and deaths go down, there will be a British sense that we don't actually want to go down this road.'Mr Ashworth went further this morning when he was asked during an interview on BBC Breakfast whether he intended to vote against domestic vaccine passports.He said: 'Well, the problem is the Government actually hasn't produced the piece of legislation which highlights the details of how this is going to work.  'Last night when Boris Johnson was asked he couldn't explain his own policy. So at the moment we are unconvinced but it is up to ministers to convince the country that they have a plan in place and what they are going to do. When we see the details of their legislation we will study it carefully.'Pushed again on whether he would vote against the plans, he replied: 'I am not going to support a policy that for here in my Leicester constituency if somebody wants to go into Next or H&M they have to produce a vaccination certificate on their phone on an app. I think that is discriminatory.'

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