Will the Secretary of State set out the range of assumptions of virus spread and severity of illness used in his covid-19 response planning?

Rt Hon Sir John Redwood MP (Wokingham) (Con): To ask the Secretary of StateĀ for Health and Social Care, if he will set out the range of assumptions of virus spread and severity of illness used in his covid-19 response planning.

Maggie Throup, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care: TheĀ Scientific Advisory Group for EmergenciesĀ (SAGE) provides advice to the Government on its response to theĀ COVID-19Ā epidemic. Its operational subgroup, Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M-O), modelled potential scenarios for the Omicron variant using a range of assumptions on indicators. These include parameters such as the transmission advantage and intrinsic severity of the Omicron variant over the Delta variant. SPI-M-O modellers use contemporaneous academic studies when setting their assumptions.

Such modelling is regularly updated to reflect changes in assumptions as and when more detailed studies are released. Where there is uncertainty in a parameter value, sensitivity analysis is used to explore the range of impact and inform the Governmentā€™s response. Given the large number of assumptions made for the parameters that feed into the modelling, the latest underlying assumptions used by SPI-M-O academic groups is available at the following link:


TheĀ UK Health Security AgencyĀ (UKHSA) also informs the scientific advice presented to the Government. The UKHSA undertakes studies and risk assessments on selected emergent variants, assessing transmissibility, immune evasion, growth advantage and infections severity based on available data from the UKHSA and academic partners. Variants are selected for assessment on the basis of growth, and the number and type of genetic mutations present. Risk assessments are updated regularly until stable assessments are reached and are available at the following link:


Detailed analyses of the indicators are published in the Technical Briefings, which are available at the following link:



  1. Peter
    March 9, 2022

    A fuller response to the question than many previously featured on here. However, it does not directly address the belief that they simply assumed the worst possible outcome and over reacted.

    1. DavidJ
      March 11, 2022

      Indeed; I’m reading a book by one who was involved. “The Year the World went Mad” by Mark Woolhouse. Seems to be an honest account so far.

  2. Everhopeful
    March 9, 2022

    Dr Richard Hatchett, the head of CEPI said: “The Global Pandemic Preparedness Summit is an important milestone on our journey towards making pandemics a thing of the past.

    “We have a window of opportunity to learn from the terrible experiences of the past two years and build a world that is prepared to tackle the next pandemic threat.”

    The UK government has pledged Ā£160m to kickstart what it calls the ‘100-Days Mission

    Oh great! Just great! Jabs rushed into existence in 100 days!! God help us all.
    When are they going to find time and Ā£Ā£Ā£Ā£s to fight their bloody war?
    I saw that yesterday Parliament was packed to the gunnels, braying and virtue signalling.

    1. DavidJ
      March 11, 2022

      Indeed but all becomes clear when one considers the aims of Boris’ mates in the WEF.

  3. Nottingham Lad Himself
    March 9, 2022

    139 people died in relation to covid 19 on Monday – an annual rate of over 40,000.

    I personally have known four people who died of it, none of whom had any reason to expect to die soon before they caught it.

    What a pity it is, that the fatalities cannot be confined to the anti-vaccination mumbo-jumbo spreaders and other obscurantists.

    1. L Jones
      March 10, 2022

      NLH – by ”mumbo-jumbo” I presume you mean the report that’s just been released by Pfizer regarding the many adverse effects of its product?

      1. DavidJ
        March 11, 2022


  4. Donna
    March 9, 2022

    If SAGE consulted Gypsy Rose Lee they’d have got a more accurate prediction than the flawed (deliberately flawed?) models they used.

    Parliament must force reform of the Public Health Act and make it impossible for a bunch of politically-motivated scientists, mathematical modellers and a rogue Government to close down our economy and suspend our Civil and Human Rights over a virus ever again.

    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      March 9, 2022

      Why are you suddenly so bothered about Human Rights?

      You want the Act scrapped and for the UK to withdraw from the Council Of Europe, don’t you?

      What suspension of them would you have been prepared to accept if 180,000 had been killed not by a virus but by foreigners?

      Would you have raged against curfews or searches of private property for instance?

  5. Bryan Harris
    March 9, 2022

    Talk about economical with the facts – Do ministers ever give real answers?

    In talking about Covid we should be pursuing more specific questions on the lines of:

    – What is the governments long term planning on vaccinations, and how do they view a new German law that requires all of it’s citizens to be vaccinated?
    – what plans are scheduled to be in place to make it illegal in the UK not to be vaccinated?
    – How many vaccinations have been purchased and how many years are they due to last?
    – With discussion in the European Parliament on removing signature to the the UN treaty on Human rights because some of the clauses are inconvenient, Can HMG confirm that a) the UK is not planning to get out of it’s responsibilities by removing it as a treaty; b) the current review of UK Human Rights will not water down rights by assigning authority to third parties or indeed using verbose language that leave too much open to interpretation (So that it can mean what ever the accusers want it to mean).

    1. L Jones
      March 10, 2022

      And also – how much heed will be paid to the Pfizer reports on vaccine adverse effects?

  6. Mickey Taking
    March 9, 2022

    Surely the answer could have been simpler and more accurate than the contrived weaving of words to get off the hook? Could have been ‘the wild guesses are all we have’.

  7. Maylor
    March 9, 2022

    Perhaps the qualifications and experience of the scientists involved in making these assumptions should also be checked ?

    Also, whether their views were influenced in any way by outside considerations ?

  8. Christine
    March 9, 2022

    It is clear to me that SAGE is not fit for purpose. Their forecasts have been wildly inaccurate. Many of them aren’t even qualified to be giving advise on pandemics. On the other hand many real experts have been silenced. It’s time to look at the evidence for and against vaccination particular in children. Who is examining the recent report into vaccine adverse effects? People have been brainwashed by this Government and the MSM and no longer question what they are told. We deserve better.

  9. L Jones
    March 10, 2022

    ”Who is examining the recent report into vaccine adverse effects?” Not the mainstream mania. Just a few concerned individuals who will no doubt be ignored. Most people won’t even knows this Pfizer report has been published, or that there is more on the way. (John Campbell, always very pro-vax, has a good straightforward analysis on Youtube – well worth a watch.)

    1. hefner
      March 10, 2022

      people should look at it themselves and make their own minds:
      cdc.gov, ā€˜Vaccines & Immunizations: Reactions & Adverse Eventsā€™

      ā€˜Donā€™t need a Weatherman
      To know which way the wind blowsā€™
      Subterranean Homesick Blues, Bob Dylan

  10. X-Tory
    March 10, 2022

    Sir John, on the subject of Covid, have you read about the latest research from the University of Birmigham and their spin-out company, NitroPep? Here it is: https://sciencebusiness.net/network-updates/university-birmingham-new-antimicrobial-filters-can-kill-sars-cov-2-and-other

    This is an excellent new type of air filtration system, which is quick-acting, can be retro-fitted to existing heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, and controls all airborne diseases. Will you now encourage the government to adopt this throughout their buildings (hospitals, schools, offices, etc) and to mandate it in other public settings (shops, cinemas, theatres, restaurants, trains, planes, etc)? As the article says: “NitroPep Ltd is now further developing the filters to deliver them as a product on the market”, so they are at the stage where government help would accelerate their production and use. It is British-designed, British-made, and helps prevent disease – if the government does not support this then they are absolute morons.

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