Outdated and Pessimistic Data Behind Unlocking Timetable

Despite the Government insisting its unlocking timetable is based on “data not dates”, official messaging from Number 10 now seems obsessed with dates to the exclusion of data. Mark Harper has poured through the SPI-M-O modelling the Government relied upon to set out its timetable, and found some concerning results. The SPI-M-O document is dated 7 February – weeks before more positive data became known about vaccine rollout and efficacy…

The assumptions underlying the unlocking timetable are based on far more pessimistic forecasts and assumptions than real world data is beginning to show:

  • It assumes the vaccine rollout speed will drop to two million a week. In reality it currently stands at 2.5 million a week, with down the line supply set to double…
  • It assumes just 48% and 60% protection from first and second vaccine dose respectively. In reality, PHE data suggests first dose protection is between 57% and 70%, rising to 85% after the second dose…
  • It assumes hospitalisation prevention would only be at 70% after the first dose. In reality, Public Health Scotland data shows 85% protection from Pfizer and 94% from AstraZeneca…
  • It assumes just 85% of 50 to 80 year olds would accept a vaccine and get covered. In reality take-up has been over 90%…

By almost all indications, the positive effect of vaccines is better than the Government’s assumptions had assumed. It is reasonable to delay dates if some unforeseen supply issue delays the programme. Surely logic follows that if after the first five week review data is better than expected, things can be brought forward. The Government should listen to its scientists and follow the data, not dates…

mdi-tag-outline Lockdown Wind Down
mdi-timer February 24 2021 @ 10:30 mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer
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