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The case for and against the effectiveness of face coverings and the mandating of their use

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yorkie

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In order to avoid loads of more niche threads becoming overrun with the same arguments, I've created this dedicated thread to enable people to debate whether or not face coverings are effective at reducing transmission, whether or not they should be legally mandated in certain settings, and to debate the extent to which factors such as the hardship that such mandates cause for some people (e.g. those with anxieties, medical conditions or disabilities) should influence those decisions.

Please try to keep the debate reasonably civil though! ;)
 
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adc82140

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Face masks worn in the correct way, handled correctly and changed regularly may have a small effect on transmission. Face coverings on the other hand, worn part of the time on chins, reused all day and stuffed in pockets do not.
 

ainsworth74

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Clearly there should be roving gangs of enforcement agents armed with face covering cannons (think t-shirt cannons but for face coverings) who will go around shooting face coverings onto anyone who isn't wearing one and screaming "DO YOU WANT TO KILL GRANNY? " at the same time at any recalcitrant individuals.

Anyway, putting that fever dream to one side, I think that earlier in the pandemic before the most vulnerable had protection via vaccination I was willing to go along with mandating on the basis that it may have offered some protection (though likely not much) and for most was an annoying but not intolerable imposition (note the use of the word most not all, I am well aware that for some that is not true).

However, we now find ourselves in the position where the most vulnerable are double jabbed and the majority of adults have at least a single jab. So with that in mind whilst I have no objection to the government issuing guidance on situations where it may still be sensible, on balance, to wear a face covering I see no reason why it needs a legal weight behind it.

Of course that would require Boris and Co to pin their colours to the mast. Far easier to waffle and then leave it up to everyone else to try and come up with their own policy which will no doubt lead to farces, arguments and general upset.

I mean even the existing law is farcical. Sat a table in a pub face covering not necessary. Walking to the toilet a legal requirement... :rolleyes:
 

Dave91131

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I'll get in early then sit back and observe..

We're now in the 3rd wave of the virus, the 2nd since the mandating of masks and coverings.

My question is; if they are effective in any way at all, why are we now experiencing the 2nd wave since they were mandated?

Given what we have seen since they were mandated, I do think it's a good idea to "have a go without them" from Monday; we're still seeing waves of the virus with them, so let's try without them and see what happens.
 

yorkie

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Face masks worn in the correct way, handled correctly and changed regularly may have a small effect on transmission. Face coverings on the other hand, worn part of the time on chins, reused all day and stuffed in pockets do not.

Indeed; a proper mask designed to filter virus particles does work.

Wearing a high grade mask known as an FFP3 can provide up to 100% protection.
By contrast, there is a far greater chance of staff wearing standard issue surgical masks catching the virus.
Though fluid resistant, these masks are relatively flimsy and loose-fitting and are not meant to screen out infectious aerosols - tiny virus particles that can linger in the air and are now widely accepted as a source of coronavirus infection.
The study showed a 47 fold difference between the flimsy standard masks and the FFP3 masks.

However people who advocate mandatory masks are not keen on the outcome of this study, because FFP3 masks are effective for the wearer, which destroys their argument.

The argument for mandatory masks works on the basis that they are to protect others, and they don't want a situation in which vulnerable people can protect themselves as that's not part of their agenda.

...However, we now find ourselves in the position where the most vulnerable are double jabbed and the majority of adults have at least a single jab. So with that in mind whilst I have no objection to the government issuing guidance on situations where it may still be sensible, on balance, to wear a face covering I see no reason why it needs a legal weight behind it....
I agree, and it's better than that:

1st dose: 87.6%
2nd dose: 67.5%

Sadly I don't think we will exceed 90% as the pace of 1st doses has slowed right down now.


Another argument given for mandatory face masks is that vaccines can be rendered useless by variants, which is untrue. People often make this claim against the Oxford AZ vaccine in particular, and often in relation to the 'Beta' variant, due to a botched small-scale study.

A molecular biologist called Chise on Twitter regularly references studies which demonstrate that this isn't the case, for example:

A recent study shows Oxford/ AstraZeneca’s vaccine gives powerful protection and generates robust long-term immune system responses that may last a lifetime! As well as generating virus-busting antibodies, the vaccine also creates “training camps” in the body for for search-and-destroy T-cells (CD8+ T-cells) which can kill even new variants! What does this mean? It means your immune system can continue making these vital cells long after antibodies have waned- and possibly for the rest of your life! Researchers showed adenovirus vectors can target
(Study: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41590-021-00969-3 )

One of the world's leading Virologists also believes in the effectiveness of vaccines against variants:

1hr 9min 40sec:

The B cell epitopes are different to the T cell epitopes.
The spike protein has B cell epitopes which are recognised by antibodies and T cell epitopes which are recognised by T cells. The T cell epitopes are not changing. That's why the T cells still protect against the variants

Edit: and here is a tweet from Vincent Racaniello:


The term 'breakthrough infection' is wrong. Most human vaccines do NOT prevent infection. They prevent disease, which is what #COVID19 vaccines were tested for. It doesn't matter if infections occur, what matters is moderate to serious disease #dropbreakthrough

And finally, another reason people give for mandating masks is that the vaccine "does not protect" people who are in "at risk" groups. But this is also a false claim:


When considering all risk groups together or when focussing on the shielding group, there was generally no reduction in VE compared to those not in risk groups. In some cases, VE was higher in the shielding group after 2 doses, though confidence intervals were very wide. When stratifying into groups of specific conditions the only group where VE was notably diminished was the immunocompromised group. In the cohort analysis, VE after one dose of any vaccine was just 4.0% (95% CI -31.5% to 29.9%). However, this increased to 74.1% (95% CI 48.8% to 87.0%) after 2 doses. In the TNCC, dose 2 effects were similar but dose 1 VE was 18.3% (95% CI -18.4% to 43.7%). Dose 2 effects were similar for the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines. Among other risk groups, VE estimates do not differ significantly from those in non-risk groups.
So even in the most affected cohort, effectiveness is around 74% "against symptomatic medically attended COVID-19".

It is widely accepted that the effectiveness of vaccines against serious symptoms is much greater than the effectiveness against symptomatic Covid, so the figure that really counts, which is protecting against severe disease, will be even higher.

This post has not not delved into how the mask mandate harms the day to day activities of people with hearing impairments, anxieties, medical conditions, hidden disabilities and more, but I have covered this extensively before.
 
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adc82140

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Really the answer is to issue free FFP3s to anyone who wants one, and leave the rest of us to go about our business.
 

brad465

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While I agree with the loss of freedom element of mask mandate problems, I do think there are arguments against them that would gain far more traction if used, including:

- The environmental damage being caused through their production and disposal.
- Making life easier for petty criminals, not just through them hiding their identity more easily, but for as long as mandates exist police resources are diverted away from criminal behaviour.
- Inhibiting body language/non-verbal communication, which has drawbacks for all but especially those who rely on such language.
 

RPI

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Interesting article from the Telegraph today


Cloth face masks are 'comfort blankets' that do little to curb Covid spread, Sage adviser warns

Dr Colin Axon warned some cloth masks have gaps that are invisible to the naked eye, but are 500,000 times the size of viral Covid particles

ByJustin Stoneman17 July 2021 • 1:45pm

Standard face coverings are just "comfort blankets" that do little to reduce the spread of Covid particles, a scientist advising Sage on ventilation has said.
Dr Colin Axon, who has advised the government on minimising the risk of cross-infection in supermarkets, accused medics of presenting a "cartoonish" view of how how tiny particles travel through the air.
He warned some cloth masks have gaps which are invisible to the naked eye, but are 500,000 times the size of viral Covid particles.

"The small sizes are not easily understood but an imperfect analogy would be to imagine marbles fired at builders' scaffolding, some might hit a pole and rebound, but obviously most will fly through," he told The Telegraph.
The mask debate has been reignited this week after the Government published 'Freedom Day' guidance recommending their continued use. It led to Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, enforcing their continued use on the London Underground.

Dr Axon said the public need to be offered a wider view of the science behind face masks, rather than the "partial view" of information being pushed by medics over their effectiveness.

'Medics have a cartoonish view of how the world is'

"Medics have this cartoonised view of how particles move through the air - it's not their fault, it's not their domain - they've got a cartoonish view of how the world is," he said.
"Once a particle is not on a biological surface it is no longer a biomedical issue, it is simply about physics. The public has only a partial view of the story if information only comes from one type of source. Medics have some of the answers but not a whole view."
Dr Axon, Brunel University's senior lecturer in engineering, said that the true mechanisms involved are best evaluated through science.
"When the particle enters another body it returns to a biomedical issue but the mask debate is about the particle journey," he said.
"Masks can catch droplets and sputum from a cough but what is important is that SARS CoV-2 is predominantly distributed by tiny aerosols."

Passengers wear face masks on a platform at Canning Town underground station in London

Passengers wear face masks on a platform at Canning Town underground station in London
Dr Axon said that medics were "unable to comprehend" the miniscule elements at play, adding: "A Covid viral particle is around 100 nanometres, material gaps in blue surgical masks are up to 1,000 times that size, cloth mask gaps can be 500,000 times the size."
Dr Axon, whose report on ventilation in supermarkets was used by both Nervtag and Sage to aid decisions, says that medics "cannot have it both ways" over asymptomatic spread.
He added: "Not everyone carrying Covid is coughing, but they are still breathing, those aerosols escape masks and will render the mask ineffective."
Droplets from coughs are much larger, and more likely to be stopped by a properly used mask, Dr Axon says. An Oxford study last summer concluded that masks were "effective" in reducing the spread of the virus.

'We are entrenching bad behaviour'

However, other studies have cast doubt on their effectiveness. A subsequent Danish study involving 6,000 people concluded that there was no statistical difference in infection spread in non-wearers, while data on US states with non-mandated usage failed to show a correlated uptick in cases.
"The public were demanding something must be done, they got masks, it is just a comfort blanket," Dr Axon noted. "But now it is entrenched, and we are entrenching bad behaviour.
"All around the world you can look at mask mandates and superimpose on infection rates, you cannot see that mask mandates made any effect whatsoever.
"The best thing you can say about any mask is that any positive effect they do have is too small to be measured."
 

greyman42

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Face coverings on the other hand, worn part of the time on chins, reused all day and stuffed in pockets do not.
Which is 99% of them.

While I agree with the loss of freedom element of mask mandate problems, I do think there are arguments against them that would gain far more traction if used, including:

- The environmental damage being caused through their production and disposal.
Which is being completely ignored.
 

Nicholas Lewis

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My common sense gene tells me that a correctly worn surgical grade mask must provide some interception of what you exhale so ought to reduce how much viral load leaves your head area. However, having observed pretty good levels of compliance across the last 15 months it certainly clear they are no panacea and despite my positive view on there benefit ive never trusted them from day one as a means to prevent me from inhaling the virus so have used a FFP3 mask in some settings.

What frustrates me though is despite govt flinging cash here there and everywhere why haven't thrown some at some intensive research into this to see what works and what doesn't rather than create this polarised position in our society.

Mind you im not sure they even understand this virus at all as ive always thought that it will run through society quite fast and by the time they've imposed lockdowns exponential increase had been and gone. This happened last summer and we were in good shape until the Kent variant arrived and then the process repeats itself all over again until the virus exhausts itself. Then it happens again but each time the variant is becoming less potent but more transmissible as seeks to find an equilibrium to live on forever.
 

greyman42

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What frustrates me though is despite govt flinging cash here there and everywhere why haven't thrown some at some intensive research into this to see what works and what doesn't rather than create this polarised position in our society.
I think they already know what works and what does not but they are not going to tell us the answer as it contradicts what we have been doing for the last 9 months.
 

big_rig

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Interesting article from the Telegraph today

Excellent article. I think the next level though is also that deep down mask wearers and promoters know they don’t do anything. It’s why there’s no mask exemption for test & trace etc. Example: I got on a full train the other day, sat down, all the seats were taken and people standing in the carriage. The man next to me wearing an N95 mask (and me the standard issue surgical) then started kicking off saying he didn’t want anybody sitting next to him and to me go away. I politely told him a) I wasn’t going to stand for an hour until the train emptied b) somebody else would just sit down anyway and c) we were all masked. He got in a huff going on about selfishness and was swearing and muttering under his breath most of the journey. So much for my mask protects you and your mask protects me (and your N95 protects you doubly so)!
 

yorkie

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... (and your N95 protects you doubly so)!
It's clearly a lot more than double; there is little evidence that a flimsy standard mask is of any benefit (we can argue that indefinitely) but an N95 mask genuinely does provide good protection to the wearer. The study I linked to above found a 47 fold difference between wearing a flimsy standard mask vs an FFP3 (N95 is equivalent to FFP2).

While I agree with the loss of freedom element of mask mandate problems, I do think there are arguments against them that would gain far more traction if used, including:

- The environmental damage being caused through their production and disposal.
- Making life easier for petty criminals, not just through them hiding their identity more easily, but for as long as mandates exist police resources are diverted away from criminal behaviour.
- Inhibiting body language/non-verbal communication, which has drawbacks for all but especially those who rely on such language.

Yes, all good points which I didn't mention, but I completely agree with.
 

102 fan

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I'll get in early then sit back and observe..

We're now in the 3rd wave of the virus, the 2nd since the mandating of masks and coverings.

My question is; if they are effective in any way at all, why are we now experiencing the 2nd wave since they were mandated?

Given what we have seen since they were mandated, I do think it's a good idea to "have a go without them" from Monday; we're still seeing waves of the virus with them, so let's try without them and see what happens.


I fully agree. Unfortunately there seems to be a sizable number of people unable, or unwilling to actually think of this.
 

30907

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However, we now find ourselves in the position where the most vulnerable are double jabbed and the majority of adults have at least a single jab. So with that in mind whilst I have no objection to the government issuing guidance on situations where it may still be sensible, on balance, to wear a face covering I see no reason why it needs a legal weight behind it.
Two months ago I was looking forward to a (mostly?) mask-free summer, now, with a 15-fold rise in infections I have changed my mind. Why? Essentially, because I am married to one of the 3.8m (that's 1 in 20 of the population) clinically extremely vulnerable people. Being CEV, in her case, has meant that a common cold ends her up in hospital with IV antibiotics. Covid is likely to be extremely serious, possibly fatal. So I declare an interest!

So what does her being double-jabbed mean? It means the risk of getting covid is reduced - maybe substantially - but sadly nowhere near the 90%+ reduction in risk of hospitalisation that most people can look forward to!
And every serious covid case both harms the individuals and has a knock-on effect on the NHS in terms of capacity (as is happening now - I declare an interest again, my daughter is a medic) and treatments postponed.

Once nearly all adults are double-jabbed, transmission should be reduced by 50% (seems to be the latest government figure) - and that is what matters to us far more. That means that the extra benefit of others wearing masks (even surgical and cloth!) in crowded places is not to be sneezed at (!) - and of course we shall wear ours because there does seem to be a small benefit to the wearer too.

Of course we have taken and will take all the precautions government have advised, and being retired has made it relatively easy. I am not asking for sympathy, but I hope you can see why people in my wife's position are extremely nervous at the moment with infections at December levels.*

*I know 10-20% of that is down to the increase in testing BTW.
 

Nicholas Lewis

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Two months ago I was looking forward to a (mostly?) mask-free summer, now, with a 15-fold rise in infections I have changed my mind. Why? Essentially, because I am married to one of the 3.8m (that's 1 in 20 of the population) clinically extremely vulnerable people. Being CEV, in her case, has meant that a common cold ends her up in hospital with IV antibiotics. Covid is likely to be extremely serious, possibly fatal. So I declare an interest!

So what does her being double-jabbed mean? It means the risk of getting covid is reduced - maybe substantially - but sadly nowhere near the 90%+ reduction in risk of hospitalisation that most people can look forward to!
And every serious covid case both harms the individuals and has a knock-on effect on the NHS in terms of capacity (as is happening now - I declare an interest again, my daughter is a medic) and treatments postponed.

Once nearly all adults are double-jabbed, transmission should be reduced by 50% (seems to be the latest government figure) - and that is what matters to us far more. That means that the extra benefit of others wearing masks (even surgical and cloth!) in crowded places is not to be sneezed at (!) - and of course we shall wear ours because there does seem to be a small benefit to the wearer too.

Of course we have taken and will take all the precautions government have advised, and being retired has made it relatively easy. I am not asking for sympathy, but I hope you can see why people in my wife's position are extremely nervous at the moment with infections at December levels.*

*I know 10-20% of that is down to the increase in testing BTW.
Indeed a Covid infected person who ends up in ICU is there for an average of 10 days and this bed is then not available for someone having complicated surgery where the average stay is only 2-3 days before transfer back to a ward. So every bed occupied by a Covid infected person causes 3-4 people to lose an elective surgery slot.

Anyhow as to whether masks help prevent spreading infection is still not clear cut but as other posters suggest I suspect there little else the government can offer short of lockdowns to be seen to being doing something so its become the norm. However, as i said above its polarising society and i can see more episodes like that reported by @big_rig above.
 

yorkie

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Two months ago I was looking forward to a (mostly?) mask-free summer, now, with a 15-fold rise in infections I have changed my mind. Why? Essentially, because I am married to one of the 3.8m (that's 1 in 20 of the population) clinically extremely vulnerable people. Being CEV, in her case, has meant that a common cold ends her up in hospital with IV antibiotics. Covid is likely to be extremely serious, possibly fatal. So I declare an interest!
That's fine but just to clear up that you would need an FFP2 or FFP3 to have the desired effect.

So what does her being double-jabbed mean? It means the risk of getting covid is reduced - maybe substantially - but sadly nowhere near the 90%+ reduction in risk of hospitalisation that most people can look forward to!
I've posted links in other threads that in the most affected groups there is around a 75% reduction in 'symptomatic Covid'; the reduction in severe symptoms will be higher but that's difficult to measure so we don't have any data for that.

.... there does seem to be a small benefit to the wearer too...
If you are talking about standard flimsy masks that is highly questionable; if I recall correctly, virus particles are only 1 micron in size, but the gaps in standard masks are hundreds of microns. There isn't any evidence of mask mandates reducing cases and people have looked at multiple countries.

If you need additional protection, it really needs to be FFP2/3 masks and not standard flimsy masks.

Of course we have taken and will take all the precautions government have advised, and being retired has made it relatively easy. I am not asking for sympathy, but I hope you can see why people in my wife's position are extremely nervous at the moment with infections at December levels.*
I can see why someone in that particular position would want to wear an FFP2/3 mask and furthermore may want a close family member to wear an FFP2/3 mask.
 

Freightmaster

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We're now in the 3rd wave of the virus, the 2nd since the mandating of masks and coverings.

My question is; if they are effective in any way at all, why are we now experiencing the 2nd wave since they were mandated?

Given what we have seen since they were mandated, I do think it's a good idea to "have a go without them" from Monday; we're still seeing waves of the virus with them, so let's try without them and see what happens.
With the benefit of hindsight, I'm actually glad that 'freedom day' was postponed from June 21st,
despite being disappointed at the time...

Can you imagine the social media situation today if the mask law had been revoked four weeks ago?
mask-obsessed scientists/journalists/members of the public would be smugly pointing out that daily
cases had tripled since masks were ditched, which categorically proves so they must be far more
effective than 'mask deniers' claim and that they must be reinstated ASAP "to save lives" :rolleyes:

In the event, cases have tripled over the past month with mask mandates still in place, which if
anything proves the opposite: that they are utterly ineffective against the Delta variant.




MARK
 

seagull

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In the event, cases have tripled over the past month with mask mandates still in place, which if
anything proves the opposite: that they are utterly ineffective against the Delta variant.

MARK

Quite. The discomfort blankets must work really well.

I've long thought we would be better off as a population without them at all, rather then the pretend masks which give a false illusion of protection.
 

The Ham

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I'm willing to wear a mask, however I have always been of the view that they MAY be of (probably very) limited use and then only if worn for short periods of time (as whilst the evidence may have resulted in a tiny impact on high risk areas, it's never going to be possible to show positive or otherwise in lower risk settings).

As my need to wear them had always been limited (mostly for school pick up, even though that's outside, and never for work) it's hardly an issue for me (hence my general compliance with wearing them).

Now that most people have had a double vaccine they are going to have a much smaller impact (even if there was one before) and so their continued use would be fairly short lived (with the exception of those which are shown to work and then in high risk settings or for those at high risk).

The number of people with their noses out or just covering their chins was always going to limit any possible benefits.

Currently my biggest risk vector is my kids at school (too young to be vaccinated, not wearing masks, some classes being shut and about 1/2 getting positive results, etc.) as such if I wear a mask or not (even the higher grade ones) is hardly going to impact my risk (even if I wasn't double vaccinated, where I've had both doses).
 

greyman42

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On LBC (Andrew Castle) this morning, Dr. Simon Clarke of Reading University said that wearing masks to avoid getting covid "is like trying to swat flies with chicken wire".
 

Alex C.

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In the event, cases have tripled over the past month with mask mandates still in place, which if
anything proves the opposite: that they are utterly ineffective against the Delta variant.

I've seen this comment in quite a few places - cases are going up therefore masks are ineffective but I'm struggling to see how this proves anything.

Hypothetically, if the R rate for the delta variant without masks is 1.5 and with masks is 1.4 (made up figures), you'd still see an increase but it would be less steep than it otherwise would have been. The only way that you would see a decrease is if masks bought the R rate to below 1.

Is there something I'm missing? I'm not suggesting it demonstrates effectiveness of masks either - just that case rates on their own do not provide enough information to make that assessment.
 

yorkie

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Hypothetically, if the R rate for the delta variant without masks is 1.5 and with masks is 1.4 (made up figures), you'd still see an increase but it would be less steep than it otherwise would have been. The only way that you would see a decrease is if masks bought the R rate to below 1.
Indeed but there is no evidence of any decrease in the R value
Is there something I'm missing? I'm not suggesting it demonstrates effectiveness of masks either - just that case rates on their own do not provide enough information to make that assessment.
Masks have been mandated in many countries, each with its own different factors, but there is no evidence of any correlation between mask mandates and decreasing cases.
 

37424

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And finally, another reason people give for mandating masks is that the vaccine "does not protect" people who are in "at risk" groups. But this is also a false claim:



So even in the most affected cohort, effectiveness is around 74% "against symptomatic medically attended COVID-19".

It is widely accepted that the effectiveness of vaccines against serious symptoms is much greater than the effectiveness against symptomatic Covid, so the figure that really counts, which is protecting against severe disease, will be even higher.

This post has not not delved into how the mask mandate harms the day to day activities of people with hearing impairments, anxieties, medical conditions, hidden disabilities and more, but I have covered this extensively before.
Well you can trot that out but I expect for many people in the high at risk groups its not that sample. I believe the Blood Cancer society has already taken issue with that report due to to small sample size.

The article below refers to my particular cancer

Blood Cancers Diminish Response to COVID-19 Vaccine

Recent research suggests that patients with blood cancer may have a diminished immune response to COVID-19 vaccination. In a pair of studies, patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and multiple myeloma were less likely to produce SARS-CoV-2 antibodies than healthy people—and responses were particularly low in certain patients, such as those actively receiving treatment.
In my particular case as a patient on BCL2 inhibitor with anti CD20 agent at the time of vaccination the response is 13.8%. My consultant flagged up anti CD20 as issue at the time of vaccination and the initial advice was to wait until I had finished the anti CD20 treatment that advice was then changed although this study would suggest that had the original advice been stuck with the response would be even worse indeed zero. anti CD20 is also used to treat other illnesses such as Transplant and Autoimmune patients.

So the above is a great concern to me and may have to talk to my employer about unpaid leave since the government are unwilling to shield the highly vulnerable.

Now doctors and scientists will tell you that you may still get a T cell response which may be the case, but another article I read the other day suggested that doctors and scientists wern't even sure whether T cell response of B cell antibody response was the dominant factor in fighting covid.

So for me there are two many unknowns at present and until we get more info in my view we should err on the side of caution.

So from next week my GP will open up and of course that's something I cannot avoid, and instead of the very controlled environment we had had during covid I will now have to sit in a waiting room with other patients some not wearing masks because they are exempt and some because they don't want to, the nurse told me the practise wern't happy about it but pressure was being applied from above, and of course it would seem now that nothing must get in the way of the anti lockdown brigade and those that don't want to wear a mask.
 

stuartl

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Had a text from my GP last week to say nothing changes after Monday, masks, social distancing, hand sanitisation still required in surgery
 

37424

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Had a text from my GP last week to say nothing changes after Monday, masks, social distancing, hand sanitisation still required in surgery
Well unless they have had a last minute that doesn't appear to be the case with my surgery and then there is the issue that without the law it will be difficult to get people to wear a face mask if they simply refuse.
 

102 fan

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Well you can trot that out but I expect for many people in the high at risk groups its not that sample. I believe the Blood Cancer society has already taken issue with that report due to to small sample size.

The article below refers to my particular cancer

Blood Cancers Diminish Response to COVID-19 Vaccine


In my particular case as a patient on BCL2 inhibitor with anti CD20 agent at the time of vaccination the response is 13.8%. My consultant flagged up anti CD20 as issue at the time of vaccination and the initial advice was to wait until I had finished the anti CD20 treatment that advice was then changed although this study would suggest that had the original advice been stuck with the response would be even worse indeed zero. anti CD20 is also used to treat other illnesses such as Transplant and Autoimmune patients.

So the above is a great concern to me and may have to talk to my employer about unpaid leave since the government are unwilling to shield the highly vulnerable.

Now doctors and scientists will tell you that you may still get a T cell response which may be the case, but another article I read the other day suggested that doctors and scientists wern't even sure whether T cell response of B cell antibody response was the dominant factor in fighting covid.

So for me there are two many unknowns at present and until we get more info in my view we should err on the side of caution.

So from next week my GP will open up and of course that's something I cannot avoid, and instead of the very controlled environment we had had during covid I will now have to sit in a waiting room with other patients some not wearing masks because they are exempt and some because they don't want to, the nurse told me the practise wern't happy about it but pressure was being applied from above, and of course it would seem now that nothing must get in the way of the anti lockdown brigade and those that don't want to wear a mask.

What did you do at the Drs before covid? I'm thinking of the flu virus.
 

Bantamzen

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Well you can trot that out but I expect for many people in the high at risk groups its not that sample. I believe the Blood Cancer society has already taken issue with that report due to to small sample size.

The article below refers to my particular cancer

Blood Cancers Diminish Response to COVID-19 Vaccine


In my particular case as a patient on BCL2 inhibitor with anti CD20 agent at the time of vaccination the response is 13.8%. My consultant flagged up anti CD20 as issue at the time of vaccination and the initial advice was to wait until I had finished the anti CD20 treatment that advice was then changed although this study would suggest that had the original advice been stuck with the response would be even worse indeed zero. anti CD20 is also used to treat other illnesses such as Transplant and Autoimmune patients.

So the above is a great concern to me and may have to talk to my employer about unpaid leave since the government are unwilling to shield the highly vulnerable.

Now doctors and scientists will tell you that you may still get a T cell response which may be the case, but another article I read the other day suggested that doctors and scientists wern't even sure whether T cell response of B cell antibody response was the dominant factor in fighting covid.

So for me there are two many unknowns at present and until we get more info in my view we should err on the side of caution.

So from next week my GP will open up and of course that's something I cannot avoid, and instead of the very controlled environment we had had during covid I will now have to sit in a waiting room with other patients some not wearing masks because they are exempt and some because they don't want to, the nurse told me the practise wern't happy about it but pressure was being applied from above, and of course it would seem now that nothing must get in the way of the anti lockdown brigade and those that don't want to wear a mask.
Firstly sorry to hear about your situation. However I have to take issue with that last paragraph. Are you suggesting that restrictions should continue for all because people like yourself are more vulnerable? Because there were lots of people vulnerable before covid, I know because one of them was my stepfather who sadly died a decade ago having suffered from leukaemia, and the tipping point for him was a common cold. Sadly this is the nature of life, its fragile.

But if we stop life going on as normal how do we pay for things like the NHS? Send pensioners walking around their gardens? Bang pots on a Thursday evening? Sell home made cakes at village fairs? The NHS has a budget of around £150 billion p/a, yet through restrictions we have spent close to £500 billion. And that extra cost will only come from one source, taxes. And to collect taxes you have to have people spending and earning. Furthermore, the NHS isn't a private member's club for the most vulnerable, it is for every single person on these isles. Many people have been denied full access to it over the last year and a half, and that is just wrong.

In your situation you need to talk with your medical practitioners to find the best way to get the assistance you need as safely as possible. But that won't involve keeping everybody else locked up and masked I'm afraid.
 

duncanp

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Birmingham/Smethwick
In your situation you need to talk with your medical practitioners to find the best way to get the assistance you need as safely as possible. But that won't involve keeping everybody else locked up and masked I'm afraid.

It is quite possible for GPs to organise a special session at the surgery just for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable patients, just like in the early days of the pandemic, when certain times at the supermarket were reserved for elderly people and NHS staff.

Perhaps you could try talking to your GP surgery to see what they can do.
 
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