We woke to some good news today: the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for use in the UK. I had been hoping and expecting this news for a couple of weeks now and was wondering why they were taking so long given the trial results were released at the end of November. They took much longer to analyse and approve the Oxford vaccine than they did the Pfzier vaccine but perhaps this is because the Oxford vaccine results were a little less clear.
Efficacy of the Oxford vaccine ranges from 62% – 90% while efficacy for the Pfizer vaccine is 95%. There was also the unexpected result of one group of participants who were mistakenly given a half dose. People may ask why they should go for a vaccine with a lower efficacy when you can get 95% with a different one but from what I understand it’s not so easy to compare the results because each trial had a different definition of illness. The Oxford team recorded even very mild symptoms as illness. What is important is that in the Oxford trial not a single person who had the vaccine was admitted to hospital which means it prevented severe illness in 100% of cases. The Oxford vaccine is also much easier to store and transport because it only needs to be refrigerated. I will put my hand up for either vaccine whenever my turn comes up and I hope other people will too.
Duthie Park has been very crowded this week. It was like this during the March to July lockdown this year too. I guess when people are confined to their local authority and all the shops are shut they have nothing else to do but visit the park. I do wish we could venture further afield for walks in the hills. I’d love to go for a walk up Scolty hill or Creag Choinnich in Aberdeenshire. I guess the logic is that if you keep people confined to their local area then they’re not going to spread the virus beyond that boundary. To stop the movement of the virus we have to stop the movement of the host which is us.
I walked along the river to Sainsbury’s supermarket today and the ground was frozen solid. I like it when it’s like this because the mud gets frozen too and your shoes stay clean.
There are lots of cars about still. It’s not like the lockdown earlier in the year when the roads were quiet. Where is everyone going?
Victoria’s favourite game right now is knocking Christmas decorations off the tree.
Recently we’ve been playing games online with our families who are far, far away. There are some great games you can play including skribbl.io (like Pictionary but online), Geoguessr, and online escape rooms like Escape Live and The Panic Room. We played the Sherlock escape room with my sisters this week and it was fun. It’s not as good as a real escape room but it was nice to be able to do it with family on the other side of the world.