Vine panelists clash over boosters and vaccine status
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Dominique Samuels appeared on Jeremy Vine on 5 to discuss the pandemic and the UK Government’s focus on the booster programme. But Ms Samuels said she would not go for a third vaccine because she was young and refused to share her vaccination status, stating it was not “relevant” to the conversation at hand. But Ms Samuels clashed with journalist Nina Myskow and accused her of “living in an echo chamber” when she questioned her coronavirus information which caused tempers to fly during a stand-off between the commentators.
Speaking on Jeremy Vine on 5, Ms Samuels was asked whether she would be coming forward to get a booster jab.
She said she would not, stating she was a “young person” and did not “believe” she needed it.
The political commentator was also asked whether she had been vaccinated or not and refused to disclose the information as it was not “relevant to the discussion”.
Fellow panellist Ms Myskow said it was relevant if the two were standing in a lift with Ms Samuels saying it was only important if she had Covid.
Ms Samuels then disputed whether the vaccine slowed down or prevented transmission between people with Mr Vine saying virologist Chris Smith said vaccination could cut the chance of infection by 60 percent.
The panellist disputed the claim before clashing with Mr Myskow, telling her she has “not heard a lot of things” and “lives in an echo chamber” with her knowledge of the pandemic.
Ms Myskow said Ms Samuels did not know where she got her information from nor what she read as tensions began to flare in the studio.
The pair began arguing over whether the vaccine prevents transmission of the virus after Ms Myskow said vaccinations protected each other from the disease.
Ms Samuels then referred to a story last month that found Waterford had one of the highest COVID-19 infections in Ireland despite also having the highest vaccination rate.
The story reported at the time that 99.7 percent of the population there had been vaccinated but had a rate of 1,486 per 100,000 – three times higher than Ireland’s national average.
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Later in the show, Ms Samuels argued the effects of lockdown were far greater than the threat of Covid as she pointed to a “mental health crisis” in the UK.
The commentator also referenced how some people looking for medical appointments have been forced to go private as they struggle to be seen by the NHS due to the vaccination workload.
The UK Health Security Agency studied 581 Omicron cases and thousands of Delta cases to figure out how effective vaccines are against new variants.
Their report found two doses of current vaccines were not enough to prevent people from catching the Omicron variant but a booster jab prevents 75 percent of people from developing any Covid symptoms.
The UK Government is ramping up its booster programme and aims to give vaccines to all double-jabbed over-18s by the end of the year.
However, some vaccine centres and hospitals have reported long queues as volunteers and health service staff struggle with the workload.
Hour-long queues emerged outside St Thomas’ Hospital in London with images showing snaking lines around building blocks.
The Government announced there has been 88,376 daily infections on Wednesday making it the highest daily infection rate in the UK since the pandemic began.
Out of these, there are 1,691 cases of Omicron.
The UK Health Security Agency’s chief medical adviser, Dr Susan Hopkins, warned the R-rate for the Omicron variant in the UK is between 3 and 5.
Modelling from the agency suggested on Monday the daily infection rate is roughly 200,000.
Dr Hopkins also gave an update on Omicron hospitalisations with 15 people currently in hospital with Omicron.
The stepson of the first Omicron fatality revealed he was not vaccinated.
London is believed to be one of the worst areas for the Omicron variant as the capital has one of the worst vaccination rates in the country.
It is believed around a third of the city’s population have not had a single jab yet.
But some medical analysts say the fairly young, very mobile and GP unregistered population may have some part to play in the results.
London also has a case rate of 702.8 new cases per 100,000 people which was recorded in the week to December 12.
This is up sharply from 475.8 the previous week and is compared to England’s average of 616.5 cases per 100,000.
The daily infection rate is also believed to be doubling every two days with Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty warning the peak could be seen over the next few weeks.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Professor Whitty told the public to “deprioritise” social interactions over Christmas, adding: “Don’t mix with people you don’t have to.”
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