I heard the UK government celebrating that it had given single doses of vaccine to 15 million people yesterday, and that it intended to deliver many more such single doses before it actually gives the second, required, dose that delivers vaccination to almost anyone.
The breathless announcements, mindlessly repeated in the media, fuelled right wing demands that the country be taken out of lockdown just as Boris Johnson admitted that even sending schools back would push R back above 1, and so guarantee the need for another lockdown.
What I did not hear was the data that I wanted. Amongst the reports of falling cases what was not said was how many were becoming ill despite having had a vaccine. Nor was it said which vaccine they might have had. And the same was not said for deaths.
And yet it is impossible that this data is not known now. And if the desire was informed debate it would be published. There is now more than enough data on this to know efficacy, and variations in it.
So why does the government not want us to be able to appraise its policies? And why too does it not want us to be able to appraise our risks from having differing vaccines? What could its reason for keeping us in the dark be?
Could it be that there is something it does not want us to know?
Could it actually be that there is very little vaccine effect as yet, precisely because people have not actually been vaccinated? Is it that only lockdown is working in the UK, unlike say, Israel, where double dosing is the norm?
My very strong suspicion is that there is very good reason to be suspicious of the government’s silence in this data. The only thing that the government is seeking to mange right now is the news media reporting of its vaccine policy, and not its actual success in controlling the virus itself.
There are occasions when the absence of data on a critical issue when that data must exist is reason in itself to doubt the agency controlling that information. This is one such occasion.
My guess is that the government already knows its policy choice is failing, but is too frightened of the madness in its own party ranks (as ever) to admit this, and so we will be kept in the dark until the next upsurge is locked into the system.
And who will they blame next time?