An Italian man is facing charges of fraud after turning up for his Covid-19 vaccine wearing a fake arm.
So determined was he to dodge the jab but still obtain a health pass, the anti-vaxxer may have paid hundreds of euros for the silicone prosthetic.
The bizarre episode at a vaccine hub in Biella, a town close to Turin in the northern Piedmont region, came a week after Italy announced measures barring unvaccinated people from a host of social, cultural and sporting activities.
After completing the bureaucratic formalities, including signing a consent form in front of a doctor, the man, aged 50, sat down and lifted up the sleeve of his shirt as he prepared for a health worker to administer the jab.
Initially, the health worker did not notice anything odd, as the silicone looked similar to skin. But after taking a closer look and touching the arm, the medic asked the man to take off his shirt. His plan foiled, the man, who has not been named, then tried to persuade the health worker to turn a blind eye.
It's obviously a correlation so should be looked at with a bit of caution but the correlation seems to be clear enough that they are willing to put it forward.
Also worth nothing that they saw a greater correlation in the under 65's:
"The increased risk of dying was greater for patients under 65, and only 20% of the severe Covid-19 patients who died did so because of typical Covid complications, such as respiratory failure."
“We conducted a previous study that showed that patients with severe Covid-19 who recovered were at significantly greater risk of being hospitalised in the subsequent six months,” said ProfArch Mainous of the University of Florida, the lead author of the study. “This new study extended that to investigate mortality risk over the next 12 months.”
Chess has experienced a boom during the pandemic seeing a surge in popularity in both playing and watching tournaments. This has been helped by the rapid format being the preferred format for online tournaments where each player gets 15 minutes or less for their moves. The prize money has also increased with it's popularity, the winner of the world championship will take home 1.2m USD.
Very early days so certainly nothing to panic about but there has been a new variant of covid sequenced which has a very large number of mutations on the spike protein (32) and seems to have originated in Botswana.
Only 10 recognised cases so far so clearly nothing to worry about but it does highlight that mutations can and will occur going forward. Having such a large number of mutations on the spike protein could mean that antibodies don't recognise it as covid and don't attack it. Hopefully it will be far less infectious than Delta and thus will not gain any traction (at the moment that is unknown).
It's speculated that such a huge burst of mutations likely happened in a chronic infection in a patient with a weak immune system (such as someone with untreated HIV) because it's unlikely to happen in someone with a well functioning immune system.
It does serve to highlight why we need to be funding vaccines doses for the developing world and countries which cannot afford them because these could be the areas where patients like the one described above exist and where "bursts" of mutations like those in this variant can happen.
Unfortunately it doesn't seem like the richer nations are really behind the Covax program as fully as they could be.
I listened to an interesting interview this morning where a scientist was suggesting that the European countries are seeing a higher rate of hospitalisation amongst the vaccinated elderly because they mainly used Pfizer for their vaccination programmes.
Research seems to be showing that whilst Pfizer creates a better antibody response in the general case, AZ creates a better T cell response in the elderly and thus might give better longer-term protection from hospitalisation in that cohort.
Please note this isn't a peer reviewed study, just a working theory so it will be interesting to see if this is backed up by a full study.
Essentially it would render the government strategy of herd immunity (which they have been attempting regardless of what they say) impossible because the unvaccinated cannot rely on the immunity of the vaccinated to prevent them getting infected as they can with other diseases.
The study also highlighted a few worrying things for the vaccinated:
“What we found, surprisingly, was that already by three months after receipt of the second vaccine dose, the risk of acquiring infection was higher compared to being more recently vaccinated,”
This was also interesting given a discussion on here over the last few days around mask wearing and other respiratory viruses:
"Kao suggested the findings also added weight to calls for the introduction of further measures in the UK to tackle the spread of Covid, adding the move could also mitigate the risks posed by other respiratory infections including flu."
Those eligible for boosters should get them straight away.
Apparently they have until the 1st October to be fully vaccinated or they won't be able to attend matches and play.
Not that much information yet but looking at it I don't see why it wouldn't apply to players in the other leagues as well given it's all part of the criteria to attend matchdays that the fans are going to have to follow.
During the peak of the delta variant in India the doctors were saying the official numbers were nonsense but this excess deaths study which has been released really shows the truly horrible scale of what we saw in India.
I don't think that thread should have been removed.
Some people posted controversial views in there which were read by those concerned and are now not available to the greater community. People have left, some during the course of that thread and I don't think the posts should be stricken from the record like that.