Wednesday, 13 January 2021

An everyday story of Covid folk...

Catching Covid is on my mind. How easy is it?

People talk about this like it was the war but it is not. There are no air raid sirens. No rumble of bombers overhead. No screaming bombs falling. And in the morning nothing appears to have changed - no wreckage across the pavements.

No. This is how it happens.

Walking down he street you see two young people walking, poring over a map.

"Can you help?" he asks. Of course.

"We are looking for the Gallery?"

Yes, yes, look here, left then right and it is about 200 yards. You both look at his map. She smiles. "Thank you" they say and walk on.

And then you wonder. Were they wearing masks?

Well we are outside so does it... but we both looked at his map... heads close. Well anyway we all had masks... But I saw her smile... and is mine... you slip it back over your nose.
Oh well it will be all right...

Home and the day passes. Morning and your NHS Covid App beeps...

"Yesterday you were in contact with someone who has proved positive for Covid. Please book a test as soon as possible...."

You do. You go. The test. You wait.

"Mr Muckleby? We have your result...."

No sirens. No bombs. Just terror.

Remember - MASK - SPACE - HANDS.

Keep calm and carry on carefully.

Saturday, 19 December 2020

Vaccinate? Let's get it all done by Easter....

IT is not difficult to get a rough idea of how the delivery of Coronavirus vaccination will proceed in the UK. One cannot be accurate but I am willing to bet our working will be no worse than those used by this government.

So for a start we know how many flue vaccinations are given across the winter. That is 2.28 million in a period of seven months between September and March. Peak delivery is in October when 780,000 people will be vaccinated.

We also know immediately that is utterly inadequate in dealing with Covid-19. We need to reach at least 70% of the adult population – that's around 48 million people. At the peak flu rate it would take over four years.

So that won't work.

Now we also know how many readily available locations there are that are suitable for vaccinating people. The UK has 28,000 GP surgeries and 1,250 hospitals. More locations will be needed and made available but this is a good start for our sums. There are also private facilities that could easily be included. So let us say we have 30,000 locations.

We need two people for each vaccination team – one to jab and one to prep and clear away. It is doubtful that most GP surgeries could spare more than two team's worth, if that but let us average it at two units per site – that Is 60,000 units delivering injections. And at leas one vaccination needs two doses, a month apart.

How long will it take? Well the flu jab takes about three minutes total so with a clear run and no snags (maybe!) each unit could do 20 per hour. Let us assume normal working and assign 8 hours per day across five days. Each unit woluld deliver some 400 jabs per week.

So the 30,000 locations with two teams each could be delivering 2x400x30,000 jabs per week. That is actually 24,000,000 jabs. So in just about two months the job could be done, including those 'double jab' jobs.

But of course we know that those 28,000 GP surgeries took seven months to deliver 2.28 million flu jabs which are not new. So something must be wrong. Ah, of course, the human factor.

You see despite our best efforts the system depends on people just like us. And we are all liable to sickness, tiredness, injury, family activity, holidays, coronavirus etc, etc.

The reality is going to be very different. But even so if we want to get everyone in the core 70% vaccinated by Easter it looks very possible.

What betting that like PPE, test and trace, Nightingale Hospitals and practically every crooked contract issued it all goes horribly wrong? No, keep your money – the odds are way too short for a bet.

References: NHS England, ONS and You.Gov.

The latest NHS Digital data on general practice workforce showed there were 28,319 FTE GPs excluding registrars in December 2019. This was a reduction by 1% since December 2018, when the number stood at 28,596

The actual number, correct as at September 2019, is that there are 1,257 hospitals in the UK. This number includes the NHS Trust-managed hospitals and the additional private hospitals that are currently in use.

Flu vaccinations:


Month

2019/20

2020/21

Growth Rate 

September 

375,310

951,362

153.5%

October

780,969

809,068

3.6%

November

251,848

265,380

5.4%

December

82,793

 

 

January

19,771

 

 

February

8,614

 

 

March

5,448

 

 

Total

1,524,753

2,282,946

49.7%