Tag Archives: England

£20, £50 Paper Notes Set To Expire In The UK!

£20 + £50 Paper Pound Sterling Notes Set To Expire!

The Bank of England is reminding everyone that the £20 and £50 pound sterling paper notes will expire in less than 3 months!

Here is what you need to know…

 

£20 + £50 Paper Pound Sterling Notes Set To Expire!

The Bank of England is reminding everyone that they have less than 3 months to use or swap their £20 and £50 pound sterling paper notes, which will soon expire!

The £20 and £50 pound sterling paper notes can still be used until 30 September 2022. After that, they are no longer legal tender.

But that does not mean they are worthless! Check in the next section on what you can do once these paper pound sterling notes expire!

£20 Pound Sterling

The £20 paper note featured the economist Adam Smith, and was introduced in 2007.

It is being phased out with a new £20 polymer note featuring the artist JMW Turner. This new polymer note was introduced on 20 February 2020.

 

£50 Pound Sterling

The £50 paper note featured the entrepreneur Matthew Boulton, and the engineer James Watt. This paper note was introduced in 2011.

It is being phased out with a new £50 polymer note featuring the scientist Alan Turing. This new polymer note was introduced on 21 June 2021.

 

What To Do After £20 + £50 Paper Pound Sterling Notes Expire?

After 30 September 2022, the £20 and £50 paper pound sterling notes will expire, and no longer be legal tender. They are more properly considered withdrawn notes.

That means you cannot use them to purchase goods and services, or pay businesses with them.

However, many UK banks will still accept these “expired” £20 and £50 paper notes as deposits. You can then withdraw new polymer notes from your bank account.

Some Post Office branches will also accept £20 and £50 paper notes as payment for goods and services, or as a deposit into a bank account.

As a final resort, the Bank of England (BoE) will readily exchange these withdrawn notes, through these methods :

By Post

The Bank of England accepts withdrawn notes sent to them by post. But be aware that you would be sending the notes at your own risk, and should take “appropriate measures to insure against loss or theft”.

You will need to fill in this postal exchange form, and send it to Department NEX, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH, together with

  • the banknotes you wish to exchange
  • a copy of your photo ID (for exchange of £700 or more)
  • a copy of proof of address (for exchange of £700 or more)
  • a cover letter with a company letterhead (for businesses)

The BoE will pay the money into your bank account, by cheque, or in new banknotes (if the exchange is less than £50).

The BoE will also accept overseas exchanges, but you will need to provide a BIC/SWIFT code as well as your IBAN or bank account number. The BoE will not charge for this service, but your account must be able to accept GBP, and your bank or intermediaries may charge you for this service.

Bank of England Counter

The Bank of England offers a counter service at Threadneedle Street, London, EC2R 8AH, which is open from 9:30 AM to 3 PM, Monday to Friday. It is closed on the weekend, and on bank holidays.

However, the BoE warns that this counter can have long queues, and waiting times may be up to an hour. So they recommend sending your banknotes through post.

Those who are exchanging their withdrawn paper notes at the counter should bring two original identity documents – one photo ID, and one proof of address (mandatory for exchange of £700 or more).

You may be asked to fill in a form, or provide additional evidence to support the origin of the banknotes. For example, if the money was from an estate, you will need to provide copies of death certificate, wills or grant of probate.

The BoE will give you new banknotes, or pay the money into your bank account (which currently takes at least 20 working days due to the backlog).

They can pay the money into any account that accepts GBP payments via SWIFT transfer. They do not charge for this service, but your bank / intermediaries may charge you.

 

New £20 + £50 Paper Pound Sterling Security Features

When you get the new £20 and £50 pound sterling polymer notes, be sure to look out for their new security features.

Hologram Image Change

If you tilt the new polymer notes from side to side, you will see the hologram image change between “Twenty / Fifty” and “Pounds”.

See Through Windows

Look at the metallic image over the main window. Check the foil is gold and green on the front of the note and silver on the back.

Within the two gold foil squares on the front of the note, the image changes between ’50’ and a ‘£’ symbol when the note is tilted.

Look for a second, smaller window in the bottom corner of the note.

 

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Fact Check : Did Gwen Casten Die Of COVID-19 Vaccine?!

Did Gwen Casten – the 17 year-old daughter of US Representative Sean Casten, die from the COVID-19 vaccine?!

Take a look at the viral claim by tech millionaire Steve Kirsch, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Steve Kirsch : Gwen Casten Died Of COVID-19 Vaccine!

Tech millionaire Steve Kirsch is back with yet another COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy, after claiming that the vaccine caused Justin Bieber’s facial paralysis!

This time, he claims that Gwen Casten – the 17 year-old daughter of US Representative Sean Casten, died from the COVID-19 vaccine!

His article is extremely long-winded as usual, so let me just share with you part of his summary. But I recommend you just skip to the next section for the facts.

US Congressman Sean Casten’s 17-year-old daughter Gwen Casten died in her sleep on June 12, 2022.

Healthy young kids rarely died in their sleep before the COVID vaccine rolled out.

I don’t know of a single doctor who has even heard of this happening prior to the COVID vaccines rolling out. Now it is the “new normal.”

 

There Is No Evidence Gwen Casten Died Of COVID-19 Vaccine!

As usual, Steve Kirsch jumps to conclusion that the COVID-19 vaccine killed Gwen Casten, based on ZERO EVIDENCE.

Despite writing such a long article, he offered NO EVIDENCE that Gwen Casten died from the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Did Gwen’s father say so? Nope!
  • Did Gwen Casten’s autopsy report say so? Nope!
  • Did anyone reveal Gwen Casten’s cause of death? Nope!

Now, I will go through the key conjectures he made, and show you why they are literally… bullshit.

Claim : Healthy kids do not die in their sleep unexpectedly for no reason.
Verdict : False
Fact : Children who appear perfectly healthy can and do die for no known reason.
Fact : Such unexplained deaths in children are common enough that there is a term for it – Sudden Unexplained Death In Childhood (SUDC / SUDIC).
Fact : In 2018 alone, the US CDC reported that 392 children died suddenly without a clear cause of death in the United States.
Fact : Nearly all children with SUDC were sleeping before becoming unresponsive, and were in state of usual good health.
Fact : SUDC is most prevalent in toddlers (1-4 years old) and children in their late teens (15-19 years old).

Claim : The COVID vaccine is the most likely cause for any child who has been vaccinated with the COVID vaccine and later dies in their sleep.
Claim : Before COVID vaccines started rolling out, healthy kids dying in their sleep was never an issue.
Verdict : Both False
Fact : Gwen Casten’s cause of death is currently unknown. Unknown means it’s not yet known. It doesn’t mean she died from the vaccine.
Fact :
 The United States alone reported approximately 400 cases of SUDC every single year, before COVID-19 vaccines were invented or administered.
Fact : SUDC statistics for England and Wales from 2011 to 2020 showed NO INCREASE in SUDC cases, clearly demonstrating that COVID-19 vaccines did not increase the prevalence of SUDC.

Claim : Six young people died in their sleep right after vaccinations, so Gwen Casten must have died from vaccine.
Verdict : Unverified + Irrelevant
Fact :
The examples Steve Kirsch provided are either anecdotal, or have not been proven to be caused by COVID-19 vaccines.
Fact : Death from vaccine side effects can be proven. Vaccine-induced myocarditis, for example, has distinct histopathology findings that are different from typical myocarditis.
Fact : Gwen Casten first received her COVID-19 vaccinations in May 2021, and likely received her second dose in June 2021, followed by her booster dose in November 2021. So she died 6-7 months after her last vaccination.
Fact : Vaccine side effects occur in the first 2-3 days. Even adverse effects like myocarditis and VITT occur within days of receiving the vaccine.

Claim : Mysterious deaths do not happen to the unvaccinated.
Claim : Mysterious deaths never happened before COVID vaccines were rolled out.
Verdict : Both False
Fact :
Sudden unexplained death in children (SUDC) occurs at a rate of 0.7 per 100,000 every single year. In other words – over 50,000 children die every year for unknown reasons, in their sleep, even though they are in good health, long before COVID-19 vaccines were invented.

Claim : Mysterious deaths usually happen very shortly after the COVID shot.
Verdict : False
Fact : Gwen Casten died 6-7 months after her last vaccination, so by Steve Kirsch’s own definition, her death had nothing to do with COVID vaccines.
Fact : Mysterious deaths have occurred in children before and after COVID vaccination… and long before the COVID-19 vaccines were invented.

 

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Did Western Countries Just Steal $600 Billion From Russia?!

Did Western countries just steal US$600 BILLION from Russia?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Western Countries Just Stole $600 Billion From Russia!

Pro-China groups and supporters are sharing this post on social media and WhatsApp, claiming that Western Countries took opportunity of the Ukraine War to steal US$600 billion from Russia.

It’s a long post, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts!

Good morning. Happy Monday
Those who have read English literature would be familiar with the saying ” A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet”.

What they may not know is that thievery by any other name ,as in sanction, is also thievery.

Of course the West would want to sanitize and justify their actions by avoiding the term “thievery” when they stole Afghanistan’s US$ 7 billion last year. Today they are stealing US$600 billion from Russia’s Central Bank apart from other assets belonging to Russian individuals.

 

Truth : Western Countries Did Not Steal $600 Billion From Russia!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created and/or propagated by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛), and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : US Did Not Steal US$7 Billion From Afghanistan

The US government did not steal US$7 billion from Afghanistan.

This false claim is based on an executive order by the Biden Administration to freeze approximately US$7 billion worth of US-based assets owned by Afghanistan’s central bank – Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB).

The US Feds are holding onto those assets, so they are not actually being taken or used by the US government.

  • US$3.5 billion will be allocated for “the benefit of the Afghan people”.
  • Another US$3.5 billion will be held, as they are subject to “ongoing litigation by US victims of terrorism”.

In essence, the Biden Administration is blocking the Taliban government from using the assets to purchase what they don’t believe would be in “the benefit of the Afghan people”. Chief on their mind would be weapons, and financing of terrorist activities.

One may argue that the Taliban is the Afghan government of the day – as reprehensible as they may be, and therefore have the right to access all of that money.

That may well be true, but it does not mean that the US government stole the money. After all, they did not take or use it for their own purposes.

I should also point out that the US contributed at least $130 billion to Afghanistan, so it would seem silly for them to “steal” $7 billion from Afghanistan, wouldn’t it?

Read more : Did US Government Steal 7 Billion Dollars From Afghanistan?!
Read more : Did US Steal Gold + Oil From Iraq Worth Trillions Of Dollars?!

Fact #2 : US + Allies Froze $400 Billion Of Russian Assets

Right after Russia invaded Ukraine, the US and its European allies sanctioned Russia’s central bank, preventing it from accessing most of its foreign reserves.

Russia had built up about $630 billion worth of foreign currency and gold reserves in various countries, but the US government and its allies froze about $400 billion of those reserves.

So right off the bat, the claim that the US government stole $600 billion from the Russian bank is wrong.

Not only did the wumao writer (intentionally?) get the figure wrong, it was not just the US government. The European Union also sanctioned the Russian central bank.

Fact #3 : Russian Reserves Were Frozen, Not Seized

The foreign currency and gold reserves of the Russian central bank were FROZEN, not seized.

That blocks the Russian central bank from accessing them in any way, but does allow the US government or any other country to take control of those assets, or use them.

For a Western government to seize any frozen asset, they would have to first prove that the assets are linked to a crime. Until that happens, they too cannot access those assets.

These cases need to be built, there has to be a showing of some sort of underlying theory of forfeiture, there has to be a reason that they are forfeited. The mere fact that somebody the United States has said is a target owns this asset isn’t enough to form a basis of seizure under U.S. law.

That’s the difference between “law-based order” where everyone follows the same rules, and “autocratic order” like in China, where the government can and have arbitrarily seized assets belonging to individuals that have fallen out of favour.

Fact #4 : Only Assets Of Sanctioned Individuals Were Frozen

The post falsely claimed that assets belonging to Russian individuals were also stolen.

Not only were they not stolen, only assets belonging to sanctioned individuals were frozen. The assets of other Russian individuals were not affected.

Chinese netizens need not be overly concerned about their money stashed in Western banks.

Even if China decides to do something similarly evil like Russia, and invade another country, Western banks will only be forced to freeze the assets of those in power, like Chinese President Xi Jinping, for example.

Fact #5 : English Piracy Has No Relevance To Spanish Abuses

The viral post falsely claimed that English pirates attacked Spanish galleons filled with gold and silver, because they looked down on the native people of the Caribbeans and Americas.

That’s an astonishingly silly claim. Pirates attacked Spanish galleons because they were after the cargo, not because they had something against the native people.

Whatever the pirates may think of the native people is irrelevant. They were not remotely interested in the abuses that the Spanish conducted in their theft of gold and silver from the Incas.

This is no different from how robbers are only interested in taking your money, and not at all interested in whether you earned your money through hard work, or stole it from someone else.

Fact #6 : Russian Assets Only Frozen After Invasion Of Ukraine

The viral post falsely suggested that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was planned by the West, as a way to steal Russia’s money.

Not only was the money not stolen at all, Western countries had repeatedly threatened sanctions if Russia invaded Ukraine.

The West tried to prevent Russia from invading Ukraine. Russia explicitly chose to ignore their threats, and invade Ukraine.

Fact #6 : China Has Publicly + Unilaterally Threatened Taiwan

The viral post falsely suggested that the West is planning to target China next for its riches, by goading China to shoot first at Taiwan.

That’s another silly claim. The West does not need to goad China to do something that it is already doing – repeatedly provoking tensions with Taiwan, even publicly threatening military action.

China and its 50 Cent Army have also been actively creating and disseminating fake news and threats not just against Taiwan, but against other countries and Western nations.

Read more : Did China Threaten West With Waterloo In South China Sea?
Read more : US Withdraws After Chinese Jamming Attacks?

Fact #7 : US Cannot Refuse To Repay Its Loans

The writer falsely claimed that the US will sanction China’s ownership of $1 trillion worth of US debt if China attacks Taiwan. That’s nonsense.

China has steadily purchased US Treasury securities as an investment, and a way to push down the value of the renminbi (RMB).

These securities are backed by the “full faith and credit” of the United States, and is considered one of the world’s lowest-risk investments, because they have never defaulted on a payment.

If the United States defaults and refuses to pay China what it’s owed, it would suffer a massive hit to its reputation and credit rating, and the yield rate of its debt would skyrocket.

Even though China owns $1.065 trillion worth of US debt (as of October 2021), that is only 3.68% of the $28.9 trillion US national debt.

It would be idiotic for the US to risk over 96% of its rock-solid bonds, by refusing to repay China for its ownership of those bonds.

This fake news appears to be part of the disinformation campaign conducted by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛) to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Please SHARE this fact check with your family and friends, so they know the truth!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Fact Check : Gandhi vs. Professor Peters On Wisdom + Money

Take a look at the viral confrontation between Mahatma Gandhi and Professor Peters, and find out what really happened!

 

Viral Confrontation Between Gandhi And Professor Peters

This viral confrontation between Mahatma Gandhi and Professor Peters have gone viral for many years.

It’s very long, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts…

Funny side of Mahatma Gandhi . 😃

When Mahatma Gandhi was studying law at the University College, London, a white professor, whose last name was Peters, disliked him intensely.

One day, Mr. Peters was having lunch at the dining room when Gandhi came along with his tray & sat next to the professor.

The professor said, “Mr Gandhi , you do not understand, a pig & a bird do not sit together to eat.”

 

Truth : Gandhi And Professor Peters Confrontation Did NOT Happen

As hilarious as the viral confrontation between Mahatma Gandhi and Professor Peters is, it never happened, and here are there reasons why…

Fact #1 : There Is No Record Of Such A Confrontation

Gandhi’s authoritative autobiography – The Story Of My Experiments With Truth, did not mention ANY confrontation with ANY of his lecturers.

He certainly did not mention any professor called Mr. Peters in his autobiography. Neither do the many biographies written about Gandhi.

If Gandhi himself did not mention this confrontation, and there is ZERO RECORD of such a confrontation, how did the writer know of this amazing story? Was he/she there over 130 years ago when it allegedly happened?

Fact #2 : There Is No Record Of Professor Peters

Mahatma Gandhi arrived in England to study at the University College London (UCL) in late October, 1888.

There is no record of a Professor Peters teaching law at the University College of London.

Swapnajit Mitra contacted UCL about this urban legend, and found out that there is no record of a Professor Peters back then.

Fact #3 : Those Are Pictures Of Gandhi With Lord Mountbatten

This viral story is sometimes shared with pictures of Gandhi sitting down with a white man, suggesting that he made up with Professor Peters.

The man in those pictures is actually Lord Louis Mountbatten – the last Viceroy of India.

They were taken in 1947, during their discussions about India’s transition from British rule to independence.

Fact #4 : Gandhi Likely Did Not Study Long At UCL

Paul Ayris, CEO of UCL Press and Chief Library Officer of UCL History, helped Swapnajit Mitra look into Gandhi’s history at UCL and found “very little evidence” remained :

  • His student record card: This records his name as “Mahatma Karamchand GANDHI,” later amended to “Mohandas.” Since Rabindranath Tagore called Gandhi “Mahatma” only in 1915, evidently, this card was not written at the time Gandhi was acutally in London. To seal this argument, two addresses are given on the card, for 1927 and 1939, well after Gandhi left London.
  • Two entries in the Professors’ Fees Book for 1888-1889: Here Gandhi is listed under Henry Morley for classes in English.
  • An entry in the calendar for 1889-90 (which lists the students for the previous year): This gives his name as “Gaudhi.”

Andrew Lewis pointed out in the Summer 2002 UCL Laws Newsletter that Gandhi’s name does not appear in any surviving class registers, and that the study of law at the university in the 1880s did little to advance a professional legal career in England.

Lewis concluded that Gandhi could well have arrived with the intention of studying for his degree at UCL, but left to study for the Bar at Gray’s Inn, (a place where prospective law practitioners used to go at that time) presumably once he realised this was where he needed to be in order to qualify.

Fact #5 : Gandhi Was Shy And Tongue-Tied

Despite being a great orator later in his life, Gandhi was shy and tongue-tied while studying in England.

In his autobiography, Gandhi stated that he “always felt tongue-tied” and “the presence of half a dozen of more people would strike [him] dumb.

He also stated that he retained “this shyness” throughout his entire stay in England.

A lecturer, Dr. Oldfield, once asked him, “You talk to me quite all right, but why is it that you never open your lips at a committee meeting?” even though he was elected to the Executive Committee of the Vegetarian Society.

Once, Gandhi was asked to speak on the merits of vegetarianism, and despite preparing a speech in writing, he could not even read it. In the end, someone else had to read the speech he wrote.

I had not the courage to speak and I therefore decided to set down my thoughts in writing. I went to the meeting with the document in my pocket.

So far as I recollect, I did not find myself equal to reading it, and the President had it read by someone else.

It is incredulous that someone as shy as Gandhi was at that time, would be capable of such brilliant repartee and sarcasm.

This is ultimately just an inspirational but FAKE STORY misappropriating a dead famous person’s name to make it go viral, while ensuring he is not around to dispute it.

It is good for a chuckle or two, but always with the understanding that this incident never happened, and is a complete lie.

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS, by sharing this fact check out, so other people won’t be fooled by it!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Are 90% of COVID-19 Deaths in England Fully-Vaccinated?!

Is it true that 90% of COVID-19 deaths in England are of fully-vaccinated people?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : 90% of COVID-19 Deaths in England Fully-Vaccinated!

The Expose UK has gone viral with yet another piece of COVID-19 misinformation.

This time, they are claiming that 90% of COVID-19 deaths in England are of fully-vaccinated people!

The latest data published by the UK Health Security Agency confirms deaths are rising dramatically among the triple vaccinated population whilst declining steadily among the not-vaccinated population in England.

With the most recent figures showing the fully vaccinated accounted for 9 in every 10 Covid-19 deaths over the past month; and the triple vaccinated accounted for 4 in every 5 of them.

 

 

This Is How The Expose Misleads You About COVID-19 Deaths in England

The Expose is notorious for creating and propagating fake news about COVID-19 and vaccines. Here are just two that I personally wrote about :

In this article, I will show you how The Expose misleads you about COVID-19 deaths in England.

Fact #1 : UK Government Releases Weekly Reports

The Expose likes to claim that the UK government “quietly” published the information, suggesting that they wanted to keep it under wraps.

The truth is the UK Health Security Agency has been publishing COVID-19 vaccine surveillance reports on a weekly basis since July 2021.

These are publicly available reports that are regularly released on schedule, not secret documents that The Expose came across.

Fact #2 : Percentages Are Used To Mislead You

Statistics are tricky, because they are easily used to mislead you. As vaccination rates go up, percentages are used to mislead you on the facts.

Consider a country with zero vaccination. 100% of COVID-19 deaths will be of unvaccinated people. Does that mean that vaccines are 100% effective? Of course, not.

How about a country with 100% vaccination? 100% of severe COVID-19 cases will be of vaccinated people. But that obviously does not mean that the vaccines are 100% useless.

That’s why fake news creators like to use percentage to mislead you. They are easy to understand, but they are also easily used to mislead you.

Read more : Are Most Severe COVID-19 Cases In Israel Fully Vaccinated?

Fact #3 : Report Warned About Wrong Interpretation Of Data

The weekly COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report that The Expose referred to, repeatedly warned about wrongly interpreting the data they issued.

In every table on COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths, you will see this warning :

This data should be interpreted with caution. See information below in footnote about the correct interpretation of these figures

And below every table on COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths is this warning :

In the context of very high vaccine coverage in the population, even with a highly effective vaccine, it is expected that a large proportion of cases, hospitalisations and deaths would occur in vaccinated individuals, simply because a larger proportion of the population are vaccinated than unvaccinated and no vaccine is 100% effective. This is especially true because vaccination has been prioritised in individuals who are more susceptible or more at risk of severe disease.

Fact #4 : This Is Base Rate Fallacy At Work

As explained in Fact #3, we should expect more cases of vaccinated people getting severe COVID-19 than unvaccinated people, simply because there are far more vaccinated people than unvaccinated people.

This concept is sometimes difficult to grasp, which is why it’s being abused by fake news creators to trick you into thinking that vaccinated people are more likely to get severe COVID-19. That’s nonsense.

This is the Base Rate Fallacy at work, which Marc Rumilly demonstrates in this visualisation.

At first glance (left), it may appear that more vaccinated people are getting hospitalised than unvaccinated people.

But if you “zoom out” and look at the population as a whole (right), the risk profile is completely different. It is obvious now that unvaccinated people are far more likely to be hospitalised than vaccinated people.

Fact #5 : Data Includes Hospitalisation / Death With COVID-19

It is also important to note that the data in those reports include people who were hospitalised with COVID-19, and not for COVID-19.

For example, someone who was hospitalised for a broken leg may be found to have COVID-19, and would be counted as “Hospitalised” in these reports.

And if that person develops a fat embolism from that leg fracture and dies, he/she would be counted as a “Death” in these reports.

This was specifically pointed out in the report, as a warning at the bottom of every table on COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths :

Individuals in risk groups may also be more at risk of hospitalisation or death due to non-COVID-19 causes, and thus may be hospitalised or die with COVID-19 rather than because of COVID-19.

That is why we cannot simply jump into any conclusion based on these numbers.

Fact #6 : They Avoided Sharing Vaccine Efficacy Data

Interestingly, The Expose avoided sharing with you the vaccine efficacy data that were also posted in the same report.

It’s not surprising though, because they show that the vaccines protect against hospitalisation and death, even against the Omicron variant.

They also show that a third (booster) dose significantly increases protection against both Delta and Omicron variants.

Vaccine Effectiveness vs. Delta Variant

Status 2 Doses 3 Doses
0-3
months
4-6
months
Over 6
months
0-3
months
4-6
months
Over 6
months
COVID-19 Infection 65-80% 50-65% NA NA NA NA
Symptomatic Disease 65-90% 45-65% 40-60% 90-99% 90-95% NA
Hospitalisation 95-99% 80-90% 70-85% 95-99% NA NA
Death 95-99% 90-95% 80-99% 95-99% NA NA

Vaccine Effectiveness vs. Omicron Variant

Status 2 Doses 3 Doses
0-3
months
4-6
months
Over 6
months
0-3
months
4-6
months
Over 6
months
COVID-19 Infection NA NA NA NA NA NA
Symptomatic Disease 25-70% 5-30% 0-10% 50-75% 40-50% NA
Hospitalisation 65-85% 55-65% 30-35% 80-95% 75-85% NA
Death NA NA 40-70% 85-99% NA NA

Don’t risk your life or your family’s lives on the bad science and misinformation promoted by The Expose.

Please help me fight fake news, by sharing this fact check with your family and friends!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Did Britain End COVID-19 Vaccine + Face Mask Mandates?

Did Britain end its COVID-19 vaccine and face mask mandates?

Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Britain Ends COVID-19 Vaccine + Face Mask Mandates!

This message has gone viral on WhatsApp, claiming that Britain has ended its COVID-19 vaccine and face mask mandates.

It’s rather long, so just skip to the next section for the facts…

Experimental Shots No Longer Mandated!!!

2 minute speech by UK PM Boris Johnson says it all.

20th Jan 2022 !!!

Britain will NO LONGER MANDATE the Covid-19 vaccine shots and use of face masks!

Britain to ‘Treat Coronavirus Like a Cold’ Ends all Covid Restrictions

 

Truth : Only England Ended Face Mask + COVID-19 Pass Mandates

This is yet another example of antivaxxers twisting actual news to create a false narrative.

Fact #1 : Great Britain Consists Of England, Wales + Scotland

First, we need to understand that Great Britain consists of England, Wales and Scotland, while the United Kingdom consists of Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

This is important because both Scotland and Wales have their own legislatures, their own Parliaments. Therefore, they may implement different rules from England.

Fact #2 : England Ends Plan B Measures, Not Britain

On 20 January 2022, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that Plan B measures for England will end.

This announcement only affects England, and not the entire Great Britain as the fake news claims.

Fact #3 : Plan B Restrictions Are Temporary

The fake news suggested that these restrictions were in place for the last 2 years. That’s completely misleading.

These Plan B restrictions only started on 15 December 2021 to combat the Omicron surge. That means they only lasted 6 weeks, not 2 years.

In addition, Plan B restrictions can always be restored. It all depends on the situation.

Fact #4 : England Ends Face Mask + COVID Pass Mandates

England will drop these Plan B restrictions on Thursday, 27 January 2022 :

  • Face masks are no longer mandated in public places, but people are still advised to wear them in enclosed or crowded spaces, or when meeting strangers
  • Secondary school students are no longer required to wear face masks in classrooms.
  • The mandatory COVID pass (NHS COVID Pass) is no longer required for nightclubs and large public events, but organisations can choose to require it if they wish.
  • People are no longer advised to work from home, and should consider returning to offices.

Fact #5 : Wales + Scotland Are Maintaining Some Restrictions

Both Wales and Scotland are maintaining some restrictions that are being lifted in England :

Wales

  • COVID passes are still required for large events, cinemas, nightclubs and theatres.
  • Face masks are still compulsory in schools, on public transport, and in shops and hospitals.

Scotland

  • COVID certification is still required for some venues, including night clubs.
  • Organisers of large events must check the COVID status of at least 50% of attendees, or 1,000 people, whichever is larger.
  • Face masks are still compulsory on public transport, and most indoor spaces.

So the claim that Britain no longer has those mandates is, well, false…

Interestingly, the fake news actually includes a link to this information. So the fake news creator is well-aware of this fact, but chose to lie to you instead.

Fact #6 : COVID Pass Mandate Only For Night Clubs + Large Events

The fake news claimed that the COVID pass was required to enter business premises, schools and churches.

That’s an outright lie. The COVID pass mandate only applied to :

  • nightclubs,
  • unseated indoor events with 500 or more attendees,
  • unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees, and
  • any event with 10,000 or more attendees.

Fact #7 : Vaccine Passport Includes Recent Negative Test Results

The term “vaccine passport” isn’t accurate, as the domestic NHS COVID Pass includes recent negative test results.

In other words, even unvaccinated people can obtain a domestic NHS COVID Pass, if they tested negative for COVID-19 recently.

Fact #8 : UK Never Had A COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

The fake news claimed that Britain will no longer mandate COVID-19 vaccinations.

That’s utter nonsense, because there was never a COVID-19 vaccine mandate in the UK to begin with.

No one in the UK is forced to get vaccinated against COVID-19. That’s why there are still about 6.25 million unvaccinated people in the UK – 9.3% of its population.

Fact #9 : UK Has Very High Vaccination Rates

There is, frankly, no need for a COVID-19 vaccination mandate in the United Kingdom, because they have fully-vaccinated over 83% of their population.

In other words, the United Kingdom has the option to live with COVID-19, because most of their people are protected against COVID-19.

If they get infected with COVID-19, most cases will be mild and will not require hospitalisation. The risk of severe disease and death is greatly reduced by vaccines.

If you want the chance to enjoy the same freedom, it’s very simple – get vaccinated against COVID-19!

Fact #10 : COVID-19 Vaccines Are NOT Experimental

Once the COVID-19 vaccines successfully completed their clinical trials and received their EUA, they were NO LONGER EXPERIMENTAL.

The conditions to receive the EUA is similar to that of a full approval. The only real difference is the post-study follow-up :

  • EUA : At least half of the participants in the studies must be followed for at least two months after vaccination.
  • Full FDA Approval : All of the participants in the studies must be followed for at least six months.

Read more : What’s The Difference Between Full FDA Approval vs EUA?

Help us stop the spread of fake news! Please SHARE this fact check with your family and friends!

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

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Can COVID-19 Vaccination Damage Our Immune System?

Does COVID-19 vaccination permanently damage our immune system, and prevent us from getting protection against other viruses?

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : COVID-19 Vaccination Damages Our Immune System!

A WhatsApp message has gone viral, claiming that the UK government has admitted that COVID-19 vaccination permanently damages our immune system!

The claim is rather long, so just skip to the next section for the facts…

🔥🔥 BREAKING NEWS

UK Government admit that the vaccines have damaged the natural immune systems of the double jabbed.

The British government has spilled the beans about that fact that once you get double jabbed, you will never again be able to acquire full natural immunity against Covid variants – or possibly any virus.

So let’s watch the ‘real’ pandemic begin now!

 

Truth : COVID-19 Vaccination Will NOT Damage Immune System

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created by anti-vaxxers to scare people, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : UK Government Did Not Say Vaccines Damage Immune Systems

The UK government did not say that “vaccines have damaged the natural immune system of the double jabbed“. That is a complete lie.

Fact #2 : COVID-19 Vaccination Boosts Natural Immunity

The claim that COVID-19 vaccination prevents “full natural immunity” against COVID-19 variants is NONSENSICAL.

COVID-19 vaccination may provide different levels of protection for different variants, but it does NOT prevent you from gaining “full natural immunity”, if you get infected anyway.

In fact, it is YOUR OWN immune system that makes those antibodies, not the COVID-19 vaccination. That’s your natural immunity at work.

COVID-19 vaccination only kickstarts the process, so you will have those antibodies before you get infected.

Fact #3 : COVID-19 Vaccination Do Not Prevent Immunity From Other Viruses

The claim that COVID-19 vaccination prevents you from acquiring full natural immunity from other viruses is also FALSE.

COVID-19 vaccination merely teaches your immune system to identify the real SARS-CoV-2 virus, and learn how to make antibodies against it.

It is IMPOSSIBLE for any COVID-19 vaccine to prevent you from acquiring immunity against other viruses.

Fact #4 : Quote Is In Page 23, Not Page 24

The viral message wrongly asks you to read Page 24 of the COVID-19 Vaccine Surveillance Report (Week 42).

Based on how often the message is being shared, it looks like that NO ONE actually opened the report to read Page 24.

Instead, they all forwarded the viral message, WITHOUT READING and certainly, without first verifying the information.

Fact #5 : Roche N Assay Only Detects Post-Infection Antibodies

In Page 19 of the surveillance report, it is clearly stated that Roche N (nucleoprotein) assay only detects “post-infection antibodies“.

That’s because COVID-19 vaccines used in the UK only produce S (spike) antibodies, so any N antibodies detected would be from actual COVID-19 infections.

Hence, it’s being used to determine how many people who have antibodies from a COVID-19 infection, instead of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Fact #6 : Report Was Gauging Population Exposure To COVID-19

The quote actually refers to the prevalence of S (spike) and N (nucleoprotein) antibodies in UK blood donors, as a way to gauge the population’s exposure to COVID-19. It does not refer to the person’s immunity to COVID-19.

The full section (quote in bold) clearly refers to the surveillance of blood donors, not their immunity to COVID-19.

Seropositivity estimates for S antibody in blood donors are likely to be higher than would be expected in the general population and this probably reflects the fact that donors are more likely to be vaccinated.

Seropositivity estimates for N antibody will underestimate the proportion of the population previously infected due to:

(i) blood donors are potentially less likely to be exposed to natural infection than age matched individuals in the general population

(ii) waning of the N antibody response over time and

(iii) recent observations from UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) surveillance data that N antibody levels appear to be lower in individuals who acquire infection following 2 doses of vaccination.

Fact #7 : N Antibody Levels Should Be Lower In Vaccinated People

Fully-vaccinated people produce S antibodies that attach to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, physically blocking it from attaching to our cells and infecting them.

N antibody levels are naturally expected to be lower in vaccinated people, as the S antibodies from the vaccine reduce the viral load and the need for the immune system to produce N antibodies.

The viral message claims that this is a sign of your immune system failing. That’s utter nonsense.

This is actually evidence that the S antibodies produced by the COVID-19 vaccine have effectively reduced infections by the coronavirus.

Fact #8 : N Antibodies Do Not Block Attachment

Most COVID-19 vaccines target the S (Spike) protein, because that is what the SARS-CoV-2 virus uses to infect our cells.

The S antibodies they produce attach to the virus’ spike protein, physically blocking it from attaching to our cells, therefore blocking the infection.

N antibodies, on the other hand, will attach to the nucleocapsid (protein shell) of the coronavirus, which may not block attachment since the spike proteins remain exposed.

That is why inactivated virus vaccines like the Sinovac CoronaVac vaccine are far less effective than vaccines that target the spike protein, like the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccines.

Fact #9 : Spike Mutations Will Evade Natural Immunity Too

The claim that natural immunity is superior to COVID-19 vaccination is nonsense.

Any spike mutations that evade vaccine-produced antibodies will also evade antibodies produced through COVID-19 infection in unvaccinated people. That’s because our immune system produces antibodies according to what the virus presents to the body.

For example, if you are unvaccinated and get a natural infection by the Delta variant, your body will produce S and N antibodies specific to the Delta variant.

If you then get infected by the Omicron variant, the Delta-specific S and N antibodies already produced by your body may not attach to the Omicron variant virus as well as it would to a Delta variant virus.

Fact #10 : Unvaccinated Will NOT Get Lasting Protection From Infection

Lest it is not clear enough – a natural COVID-19 infection will NOT necessarily impart lasting protection against future COVID-19 infections. Neither will it protect you against new variants like Omicron and beyond.

Unvaccinated people who had already survived a COVID-19 infection can get reinfected. Some have even died after being reinfected with COVID-19.

  • 1%-10% of people infected with COVID-19 do NOT develop detectable neutralising antibodies.
  • Individuals with mild / asymptomatic infections tend to have lower antibody levels.
  • Some studies have shown that waning of antibody levels occurs within several months after infection.

It is therefore folly to rely on “natural” COVID-19 infections to obtain protection. That is like going to war with an alien species without going to boot camp first.

COVID-19 vaccination is a self defence class for our immune system. It prepares our immune system for battle, so get vaccinated for the best outcome against COVID-19!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Health | Fact Check | Tech ARP

 

Support Tech ARP!

Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!

Did UK Gov Admit That Vaccines Damage Immune System?

Did the UK government admit that COVID-19 vaccines permanently damage our immune system?

Take a look at the new viral claim, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : UK Gov Admits That Vaccines Damage Immune System

People are excitedly sharing a WhatsApp message claiming that the UK government admitted that COVID-19 vaccines permanently damaged our immune system!

The claim is rather wordy, so skip to the next section for the facts…

🔥🔥 BREAKING NEWS

UK Government admit that the vaccines have damaged the natural immune systems of the double jabbed.

The British government has spilled the beans about that fact that once you get double jabbed, you will never again be able to acquire full natural immunity against Covid variants – or possibly any virus.

So let’s watch the ‘real’ pandemic begin now!

 

Truth : UK Gov Did NOT Say That Vaccines Damage Immune System

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created by anti-vaxxers, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : UK Gov Did Not Admit Vaccines Damaged Immune Systems

First, let me be clear – the UK government did not admit that “vaccines have damaged the natural immune system of the double jabbed“. That’s just made up – complete and utter bullshit.

Fact #2 : COVID-19 Vaccines Boost Natural Immunity

The claim that vaccines prevent “full natural immunity” against COVID-19 variants is also FALSE.

COVID-19 vaccines may provide varying protection for COVID-19 variants, but they do not prevent you from gaining “full natural immunity”, if you get infected anyway.

In fact, it is YOUR OWN immune system that makes those antibodies, not the vaccine. That’s your natural immunity at work.

The COVID-19 vaccine only kickstarts the process, so you will have those antibodies before you get infected.

Fact #3 : COVID-19 Vaccines Do Not Prevent Immunity From Other Viruses

The claim that COVID-19 vaccines prevent you from acquiring full natural immunity from other viruses is also FALSE.

The COVID-19 vaccines merely teaches your immune system to identify the real SARS-CoV-2 virus, and learn how to make antibodies against it.

It is IMPOSSIBLE for COVID-19 vaccines to prevent you from acquiring immunity against other viruses.

Fact #4 : Quote Is In Page 23, Not Page 24

The viral message wrongly asks you to read Page 24 of the COVID-19 Vaccine Surveillance Report (Week 42).

Based on how often the message is being shared, it looks like that NO ONE actually opened the report to read Page 24. If they did, they would have realised that the quote is actually in Page 23, and corrected the viral message.

Instead, they all forwarded the viral message, WITHOUT READING and certainly, without first verifying the information.

Fact #5 : Roche N Assay Only Detects Post-Infection Antibodies

In Page 19 of the surveillance report, it is clearly stated that Roche N (nucleoprotein) assay only detects “post-infection antibodies“.

That’s because the COVID-19 vaccines used in the UK only produce S (spike) antibodies, so any N antibodies detected would be from actual COVID-19 infections.

Hence, it’s being used to determine how many people who have antibodies from a COVID-19 infection, instead of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Fact #6 : Report Was Gauging Population Exposure To COVID-19

The quote actually refers to the prevalence of S (spike) and N (nucleoprotein) antibodies in UK blood donors, as a way to gauge the population’s exposure to COVID-19. It does not refer to the person’s immunity to COVID-19.

The full section (quote in bold) clearly refers to the surveillance of blood donors, not their immunity to COVID-19.

Seropositivity estimates for S antibody in blood donors are likely to be higher than would be expected in the general population and this probably reflects the fact that donors are more likely to be vaccinated.

Seropositivity estimates for N antibody will underestimate the proportion of the population previously infected due to:

(i) blood donors are potentially less likely to be exposed to natural infection than age matched individuals in the general population

(ii) waning of the N antibody response over time and

(iii) recent observations from UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) surveillance data that N antibody levels appear to be lower in individuals who acquire infection following 2 doses of vaccination.

Fact #7 : N Antibody Levels Should Be Lower In Vaccinated People

Fully-vaccinated people produce S antibodies that attach to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, physically blocking it from attaching to our cells and infecting them.

N antibody levels are naturally expected to be lower in vaccinated people, as the S antibodies from the vaccine reduce the viral load and the need for the immune system to produce N antibodies.

The viral message claims that this is a sign of your immune system failing. That’s utter nonsense.

This is actually evidence that the S antibodies produced by the COVID-19 vaccine have effectively reduced infections by the coronavirus.

Fact #8 : N Antibodies Do Not Block Attachment

Most COVID-19 vaccines target the S (Spike) protein, because that is what the SARS-CoV-2 virus uses to infect our cells.

The S antibodies they produce attach to the virus’ spike protein, physically blocking it from attaching to our cells, therefore blocking the infection.

N antibodies, on the other hand, will attach to the nucleocapsid (protein shell) of the coronavirus, which may not block attachment since the spike proteins remain exposed.

That is why inactivated virus vaccines like the Sinovac CoronaVac vaccine are far less effective than vaccines that target the spike protein, like the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccines.

Fact #9 : Spike Mutations Will Evade Natural Immunity Too

The claim that natural immunity is superior to vaccination is nonsense.

Any spike mutations that evade vaccine-produced antibodies will also evade antibodies produced through COVID-19 infection in unvaccinated people. That’s because our immune system produces antibodies according to what the virus presents to the body.

For example, if you are unvaccinated and get a natural infection by the Delta variant, your body will produce S and N antibodies specific to the Delta variant.

If you then get infected by the Omicron variant, the Delta-specific S and N antibodies already produced by your body may not attach to the Omicron variant virus as well as it would to a Delta variant virus.

Fact #10 : Unvaccinated Will NOT Get Lasting Protection From Infection

Lest it is not clear enough – a natural COVID-19 infection will NOT necessarily impart lasting protection against future COVID-19 infections. Neither will it protect you against new variants like Omicron and beyond.

Unvaccinated people who had already survived a COVID-19 infection can get reinfected. Some have even died after being reinfected with COVID-19.

  • 1%-10% of people infected with COVID-19 do NOT develop detectable neutralising antibodies.
  • Individuals with mild / asymptomatic infections tend to have lower antibody levels.
  • Some studies have shown that waning of antibody levels occurs within several months after infection.

It is therefore folly to rely on “natural” COVID-19 infections to obtain protection. That is like going to war with an alien species without going to boot camp first.

Vaccines are self defence classes for our immune system. They prepare our immune system for battle, so get vaccinated for the best outcome against COVID-19!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Health | Fact Check | Tech ARP

 

Support Tech ARP!

Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!