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The Germans are right then, obviously

Public Health England has defended the Oxford vaccine as safe and effective for older people, rejecting Germany’s claim that there is insufficient data about its impact on over-65s.

If PHE says it it must be wrong then, eh?

49 thoughts on “The Germans are right then, obviously”

  1. That turd Hand2Cock is supposed to be privatising it now instead of disbanding it and seeding the ground with salt. Another Tory promise broken.

  2. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    There is insufficient data on safety of all the vaccines in all people. The biggest efficacy variable, vastly more important than any prevention of infection, transmission, or of severe/fatal disease course, is that millions of people terrorised into giving up on life for almost a year might allow themselves out of the house once they have had it.

    The whole thing will go down in history as the greatest medical fraud ever perpetrated, the worst and most expensive peacetime policy error ever made by supposedly democratic and liberal states. And that on the back of an actual real problem. Come and read this post again in 10 years and see what we think.

  3. I’ve been calling it a medical solution to a political problem.

    I don’t plan at present to take the vaccine myself, same as I don’t take the flu vaccine whenever it’s offered.

  4. BiG

    The whole thing will go down in history as the greatest medical fraud ever perpetrated, the worst and most expensive peacetime policy error ever made by supposedly democratic and liberal states.

    This x 100. I guess it still really is “an error” ….

    I can’t remember if others linked this earlier:

    Back in April! Obviously there is no money in this for Pharma, but – by not responding to studies such as this with further research – does the NHS have substantial blood on its hands?

    How much would it cost, simply to monitor D levels of a larger sample in hospital (with or without the Wuhan Flu) and do some analysis comparing other factors (age, other illnesses, etc).

  5. Teacake

    I don’t plan at present to take the vaccine myself, same as I don’t take the flu vaccine whenever it’s offered.

    At the moment, that’s my view exactly.

    As someone else said, I’m perfectly happy to donate mine (if offered) to someone with greater need. Someone in Germany or Italy (or Africa), if they can’t get a shot but desperately need it?

  6. I don’t plan at present to take the vaccine myself, same as I don’t take the flu vaccine whenever it’s offered.

    There are no social penalties for not taking a flu vaccine. It is highly likely there will be social penalties for not taking a Covid-19 vaccine. That difference may affect your plans.

  7. Remember that there is a growing tide of people calling for vaccination passports, “influencers” such as Blair, that totalitarian guy from the ASI,etc etc. It will probably be enacted by the Visegrad countries – who have handled the disease in a state of extreme paranoia. It will probably be picked up by the EU – was there ever a bad idea they have not endorsed? Biden is doltish enough to go along with the flow. That’s Florida, Spain, Portugal, France, Prague out of the picture unless you have been jabbed. You are left with Blackpool and Weston-super-Mare

  8. …or your own back garden where you can grow root vegetables which you will need to feed yourself after the Great Reset.

  9. Bloke in China (Germany province)


    I don’t find any conspiratorial, or even halfway money-driven thinking on the R&D side of pharma that I live in. Some people aren’t aware of their own unconscious biases, particularly confirmation bias, but I guess none of us are really capable of eliminating bias in our own thinking. I have still never met anyone who would foist an ineffective or dangerous product on people. When ever anyone has suggested brushing something under a carpet, it’s never happened on my watch – there are too many checks and balances in place for it to be worth even trying, and I have reminded a couple of customers of that on occasion. The constant pharma conspiracy theory, which has been around a lot longer than covid, is just that, more theory than actual conspiracy. On the R&D side. What happens in the C-suite, who knows.

    It’s far more common to see slam-dunk phase 3 trials cancelled for commercial reasons (we know with almost complete certainty the product will work, but we need to do the trials to prove it, and after that there won’t be enough time left on the patent clock to justify the investment). This leaves patients either not getting products that are useful, or more often having to pay out of pocket because their insurers won’t fully reimburse “off label” use. This is actually a far bigger scandal, in terms of loss of utility to patients, than any attempt to force through registration of bad drugs. But it is insoluble because the immediate answer is to have longer patent protection, which is politically impossible.

    The vaccines are probably all fine, because vaccines are by and large astonishingly safe. Efficacy is less certain. But we don’t have the data that we would usually have to license such a product, not specifically for these vaccines.

    We don’t have that data because of the lack of time, no other reason. These must have been the easiest phase 3 trials in history to carry out – millions of willing volunteers, but they have not been watched for very long. That time factor also mitigates against trying to find baseline factors that influence risk of a severe or fatal disease course, let alone whether manipulating them (you mention Vitamin D) would reduce that risk.

    Pharma works on the basis of weighing up benefit and risk – a positive benefit to risk ratio has to be in place, and robustly demonstrated, before you even get to the next stage, which is individual informed consent to treatment on the basis of a doctor saying “I think this benefit to risk ratio is positive for you as an individual”. Clinical trials come up with a one-size-fits-all answer, which is useful, but is only ever context for an individual treatment decision.

    We should apply the same logic, at the very least, to any society-wide intervention, especially one where you don’t have the right to withdraw consent to the intervention (i.e. lockdown and masks). There’s no question that providing vitamin D would be a far cheaper (and far more consensual) action than lockdowns.

  10. @Bloke in China (Germany province) – January 29, 2021 at 9:11 am

    Come and read this post again in 10 years and see what we think.

    I don’t need 10 years… I’m in full agreement with you, and have been since about last June!

  11. PJF/Diogenes

    “Social penalties/Vaccine passports”

    But.. 9 months ago I remember very clearly that those warning of vaccine passports were the most deranged conspiracy theorists on the internet. We all agreed that these sort of people were talking complete nonsense and should immediately be censored, put into straight jackets and locked up, for their own safety? Now, what else were they claiming…

    btw, how much did the NHS spend on that grand IT project – the one that didn’t work? All assuming that everyone receiving jabs is accurately logged in the first place.


    It’s a good point. I suspect – if they are successfully implemented, internationally (a digital database?) – that vaccine passports may be the least of our concerns.


    Thanks, that’s interesting.

  12. BiG

    “The whole thing will go down in history as the greatest medical fraud ever perpetrated, the worst and most expensive peacetime policy error ever made by supposedly democratic and liberal states. And that on the back of an actual real problem”

    What exactly are the “medical fraud”, The “policy error” and the “real problem”?

  13. Is this a bit of a case of Germans rigidly sticking to procedure and being incapable of using a bit of initiative?

    Like they see it’s a small sample with just one case in both groups and determine it’s impossible to judge the efficacy, so they just shut it down.
    Whereas in UK etc they see this but then think well… the science says it should work, it works fine in everyone else, we know it’s safe, we’re in a national emergency, so on balance of probabilities and risk let’s just go for it for now and get more testing done as we go forward.

  14. Donguan, It’s sort of both..

    Given the tests and test results, there simply isn’t enough data to make a firm statement about efficacy and safety for the 65+ bracket.
    And german scientists tend to be sticklers for facts and certainly can’t be strongarmed to “moderate their opinion” as a group. The UK may be able to trot out the sycophants, but Germany…. nope…

  15. Bloke in North Dorset

    I found this explanation quite plausible when the 8% figure came out:

    There is, it is true, very little clinical data on the Ox/AZ vaccine in older people. That is because they were recruited later to the trial and in smaller numbers. But there is good clinical data in younger age groups. And you can analogise from those younger groups to the older ones by “immunobridging”.

    To do this, the Oxford/AstraZeneca trial looked at other measures: whether the numbers of neutralising antibodies, T-cells, B-cells and so on go up after the dose. You do that in older people as well as younger people. With some diseases and vaccines – notably flu – the immune response is much weaker in older people than in younger people; but with Covid, or at least with the Ox/AZ vaccine, the immune response remains surprisingly consistent.

    The trouble is that you don’t know whether these proxy measures really correlate with protection. Often they do, but without clinical data you don’t know.

    So you “bridge” from a group in which you have both the clinical data and the immunogenicity data — in this case younger people — to a group in which you only have the immunogenicity data – in this case older people. You assume (with good reason, because it has worked so often in the past) that that will give you a reasonable picture. And that isn’t an 8% efficacy.

  16. Theo

    What exactly are the “medical fraud”, The “policy error”

    It’s BiG’s comment but I’ll chuck my two pennies in fwiw.

    Medical fraud – A low IFR respiratory virus, being passed off as akin to the plague, or “the biggest crisis since the war”.

    There is a lot one could elaborate on but take deaths per capita in the UK. 2020 was no worse than (say) 2000. I don’t remember the horrors of 2000, other than that the stock market tanked. There is an important point there. A number of Covid deaths that took place in the last year wouldn’t have happened a couple of generations ago, because we weren’t perhaps as capable at keeping some ill people alive for as long. So comparisons that invoke “since the war” are just exaggerated.

    Policy error – Follows self evidently from the above.

    The UK’s pandemic planning in place at the start of 2020 never envisaged putting healthy people under house arrest. And that planning document accepted, in a downside scenario, up to 300K+ people dying and in very short order. It effectively got chucked in the bin because, as Pantsdown freely admitted (to the Times), they realised – after watching China and Italy – that they could “get away with it”.

    It’s here if you are interested:

    Enforced lockdowns (as opposed to good advice and guidance, honesty and transparency, etc) have delivered very little medically, have been disastrous economically, and have risked destroying our cultural values, liberties and freedoms if they haven’t already – how on earth does some of this stuff ever get put back in its box? Cost/benefit – they’re having a larf. At least a couple of orders of magnitude out, if using QALYs.

    As someone else pointed out, if this really was as serious as made out, then why has it needed a 10 month (and counting) marketing campaign to frighten everyone witless. When shit is real, the grown up response is “stay calm, there is no need to panic”. This time, it’s been the polar opposite, and at every possible opportunity. Boris isn’t going to let up until 1) everyone has taken their medicine, and 2) he’s sufficiently convinced that everyone loves him enough for having saved them, and hence that getting re-elected won’t be a problem. Personally, I would call that a fraud – but happily accept our mileages will all vary?

  17. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    What exactly are the “medical fraud”…

    The relentless promotion of covid as something substantially outside the envelope of a regular seasonal influenza-like infection, as something that poses a lethal threat to everyone, and the terrorism of constant publication of context-free numbers of cases/deaths that are intentionally not comparable to cases/deaths due to previous seasonal influenza-like infections because these cases/deaths are counted in a different way.

    We have covid deaths, we have somewhat more than we would have got from an influenza (the low level of baseline immunity to covid vs influenza is probably the biggest real concern), but unless covid is also miraculously curing stroke, MI, dementia, cancer, etc, we have a large number of deaths misattributed to covid. So the number of deaths reported from covid is fraudulent.

    A further part of the medical fraud is that everything we know about viruses and epidemics has been jettisoned. Our “baseline scenario” for covid should have been prior knowledge about these things, not a worst-case assumption. Unfortunately we for some reason went with the worst case assumption, so it’s been alleged at various times that:
    Almost everyone is susceptible to covid
    Almost everyone will get it absent a vaccine
    You can get it repeatedly and infection confers little/no immunity
    There is no prior immunity from exposure to common cold coronaviruses
    The fatality rate is an order of magnitude higher than influenza
    Case numbers will rise exponentially
    There are many (and more important) things to add to this list, time permitting.

    …The “policy error”…

    Instituting lockdowns, school and shop closures, and travel restrictions, with the arguable exception of the first one.
    Instituting mask mandates.
    Both of these fly in the face of decades of science and pandemic planning.

    and the “real problem”?

    That we do actually have a new bug going around, we know which people are at greatest risk from it, we now know better than a year ago how to treat severe cases, and it would be wiser to spend our resources on whatever it takes to stop those at risk, frankly, anyone who would prefer to “shelter in place” from getting it, rather than on physically, psychologically, financially, and socially destroying many billions of years worth of healthy life.

  18. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    Incidentally, I except the first lockdown because it was probably worth the experiment. We now see from places with lockdown versus none, strict versus lax, that the timing of the incidence peak is all over the place with respect to the institution of lockdown. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say lockdowns have zero efficacy at preventing transmission. That’s what it looks like to me. Look at the different states in Germany, lockdown everywhere simultaneously for the last ~7 weeks, some places (MV) now with skyrocketing cases, others (BV) with cases plummeting. Epidemics hit different places at different times, which is why everyone was criticising Sweden 6 months ago, but now Germany with terrible lockdown is in a much worse position. Britain got hit last spring, Slovakia this winter. Within Germany we even had media pointing at Saxony when it was having high case numbers and saying it’s because they all vote AfD!

    Viruses do what they do and it really seems we can’t stop them.

  19. BiG:

    What you’ve written describes my view almost exactly.

    I think the initial decisions by government — basically to shut down the economy, apart from things that’d obviously lead to immediate starvation — were poor. I do not blame them for that: they had poor advisers and they paniced. Above all, they feared TV coverage of bodies stacked up in hospital car parks, as gleefully promoted by news reports from Italy. That’s the kind of thing that hits a politician where it hurts.

    But I do blame them for pretty much every decision I’ve seen since. Because they’ve never felt able to admit to their understandable early mistakes, they’re forced to commit entirely unjustifiable new ones, and to dismiss all new information and ideas. They still defer to the proven incompetents who caused the problem.

    I am hoping that they’ll use widespread vaccination as the excuse that lets them undo the damage they’ve caused, and let everyone go back to work, if work is still there. But I fear that they won’t be willing to surrender their new powers over us. I don’t have a good reason, but I’ve got a bad feeling about it.

  20. Politicians panicked because they thought they had to be seen to do something after the media published click bait articles about the end of the world. We are now seeing the result of the politicians panicking. They will survive for a while because people will be glad to have survived the end of the world. But as more and more facts come to light, the politicians won’t be remembered as heros.

  21. The Ferguson mantra “We must because we can” is pure wickedness.
    I agree with the above, that lockdowns don’t work. Virus does what virus does. Fraud, incompetence, lust for power doesn’t quite fill the mix, however.
    If lockdowns don’t work in US & Europe, why do we believe they have worked in China? I bet they haven’t.

    After an initial panic the CCP got its act together and did what came naturally; imprison their slaves. This made good theatre to the West, and when the CCP propaganda machine declared the emergency over, they were widely believed. The steady drip of movie clips of virus teams “decontaminating” the occasional hot spot reinforces the lie.
    I hope our intelligence services are competent enough to have found out the true death toll in China, otherwise we should disband them, save the money and wait for the demographic statisticians to reveal the truth a generation later, as they did with Stalin’s crimes.
    I would hope that there was some input to the government about this but Johnson and co seem to have been Stockholm syndrome’d by SAGE, which we all know is a club, not a scientific body.
    My guess is that the true death toll in China is an order of magnitude, possibly two, larger than the official death toll. But China depends on the economy humming to keep social unrest at bay. And their beggar my neighbour view of economic advantage leads them to cover up the consequences of their flagrant disregard to food / laboratory safety.

    Why we have decided that China is a model to be imitated is a mystery. We already knew they are liars.
    And we are in the process of losing our liberty to lies.

  22. My local hospital has been hit with a FOI request to know how many have died of C19 with/without co-morbids etc since last march.

    We had all the NHS “swamped” bollocks last year and this . The local shiterag gives ever rising totals ( of false positive PCR bollocks) for the county in the several thousands and rising by hundreds ev few days.


    Which means mostly old/ill and many dying of flu which has NOT gone away whatever bullshite the MSM pushes. And of course all those dying of many various causes whose only commonality is being caught by the deceitful PCR scam test.

    “Death hath ten thousand several doors for men to take their exits” -John Webster

  23. @ philip,
    I believe that China is telling the truth here, i.e. that the number of deaths is negligible. Why do I think that? Because that is precisely what has happened here in the UK too.

    The average age of Covid death in the UK is 82, while the average age of death overall in this country is only 81. If these people hadn’t died with Covid, they would have died with something else on the certificate, on exactly the same date. They died for the reasons people die – old age, ill health, being fat, or plain bad luck.

    No one, but no one, has had or will have their lives shortened by Covid. It’s just that people do get ill and do die, fairly or unfairly, and this virus has not made the slightest difference to that fact.

    I’ve found it so hard to get this over to people. They just can’t acknowledge the logical conclusion from the average age of Covid death being higher than the average age of death overall. Even people who know this fact still treat it as little more than a joke or a curiosity.

    There are one or two who can accept the first conclusion – that lives have not been shortened by Covid; but very few can accept the corollary of that – that no lives have actually been lost to Covid. None at all. They’ve been lost to old age, ill health, being fat, or bad luck.

  24. – The average age of Covid death in the UK is 82, while the average age of death overall in this country is only 81. If these people hadn’t died with Covid, they would have died with something else on the certificate, on exactly the same date.


    – I’ve found it so hard to get this over to people.

    That’s a relief.

    – They just can’t acknowledge the logical conclusion from the average age of Covid death being higher than the average age of death overall.

    If the average age of Harold Shipman’s victims was over 81, he should have been found not guilty?

  25. @PJF
    Back in July 2020, the Office for National Statistics published data on ‘Pre-existing conditions of people who died with COVID-19’. They reported that, of the 50,335 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in England and Wales between March and June 2020, 45,859, 91.1 per cent, had at least one pre-existing health condition, with a mean average of 2.1 conditions for those aged 0 to 69 years of age and 2.3 for those aged 70 years and over.

    How many more years are you proposing that those individuals would have lived beyond 82 (already a year greater than the national average)?

  26. @PJF
    Your insightful analysis, along with the UK Government’s publicity campaigns, have reminded me of an old legal adage:

    “When you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. When you have the law on your side, argue the law. When you have neither, pound your fist on the table as hard as you can.”

  27. Somerset

    When you hit 82 (I know it’s only an average), your average chance of making it to 83 is over 90%.

    Because you did a lot of the hard graft in making it to 82 in the first place…

    Average age of death being 81 means that, at age 0, you roughly have a 50% chance of making it to 81 (depending on country etc).

    See if this helps:

    I can’t be bothered to find one for the UK.

  28. JK277

    When you have neither, pound your fist on the table as hard as you can.

    I thought PJF’s response was delightfully restrained in the circumstances..:)

  29. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    If you hit 82, covid reduces the probability that you will hit 83 from 90% to about 85%.

  30. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    If you hit 32, covid reduces the probability that you will hit 33 from about 99.7% to about 99.67%

  31. @PF
    Tha’s not the relevant statistic. You’re including the 82-year-olds with a clean bill of health.

    What is your chance of living longer if you survive to 82 with an average of more than 2 pre-existing health conditions? Only 8.9% of Covid deaths have had no known pre-existing health condition.

    According to the death certificates the most common conditions were, in order, dementia/Alzheimer’s, ischaemic heart disease and influenza/pneumonia.

  32. Somerset

    It was purely to illustrate the problem of your slightly unambiguous post at 5.59pm?

    OK, different approach. If you really believed what you said, then logically there should have been no increase in total mortality in 2020. “No one, but no one, has had or will have their lives shortened by Covid.” But there was an increase in mortality. Very roughly, there were 13.5 months of deaths (or so) rather than the usual 12 . Therefore some people clearly did die before their time. And we know a good number of those were with comorbidities dying with or from Covid. I don’t want to go into the quantums, how manymore years on average those with comorbidities might otherwise have lived, that’s a whole lot more difficult, as I’m sure you would agree. Unless you perhaps have actuarial or other evidence to illustrate what that could be?

  33. And btw, if someone gets flu and dies as a result, maybe from pneumonia, they also had their life cut short. They weren’t going to die at that point, if flu hadn’t paid them a flying visit.

    Maybe we’re simply talking at cross purposes with regard to terminology.

  34. 2019 saw the lowest rate of age-standardized mortality in the UK ever. That was bound to have had some sort of effect on the next year. The result was that the 2020 rate of age-standardized mortality returned to that of 2008/9. This is worth a glance to put what happened last year into context:

    I think Bloke In China’s stat is the closest I’ve seen to an actuarial one (that Covid only reduces the chances of an 82-year-old seeing their 83rd birthday from 90% to 85%), Again, though, that includes all those who reached 82 with fewer than 2.3 other health conditions. The figure we need is that of the 82-year-olds grappling with multiple health conditions, and what Covid does to their life expectancy. If the reduction is a mere 5 percentage points when you include those in good health too, I can’t see how such unfortunates could have had their life expectancies reduced by any meaningful amount, whether they contracted this virus or not.

    Coming back to the original question (what’s going on in China?) my suspicion is that the Chinese Communist Party is simply listing what we call Covid deaths as Alzheimer’s deaths, heart disease deaths, influenza/pneumonia deaths, etc., and that they’re not lying either. We in the west could do the same thing if we wished, perfectly legitimately. But instead, our leaders have found it more expedient to terrify the people and seize the opportunity to introduce them to life under Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. While the Chinese Communist Party itself has found it more expedient to go the other way and show how Socialism with Chinese Characteristics defeats Covid.

    And most of the voters, unfortunately, seem very happy with that arrangement too.

  35. Brilliant by Paul, Somerset
    2020 was a schit year ‘cos age standardised mortality shrank back to 2008 levels
    And freedom shrank back to 1978 levels

  36. No one, but no one, has had or will have their lives shortened by Covid.

    This absolutist, absolute-bullshit statement is still there, Paul, Somerset. It’s the zero that all your other contributions are multiplied by.

    The worry is it’s also a pustule that smears onto the sensible anti-lockdown position. Which is, apart from having a laugh, the only reason I bother to address it.

  37. Rocco Stevefredi, Friday nights are not when I’m going engage stupid at length. It’s enough just to try and spell rite.

    Christ, last time I checked even Mr Ecks acknowledged that Covid was at least the flu.

  38. No one said their was no such thing as C19–only that its killing power was no worse than a bad flu year–of which we have ignored many–and that it is not any sort of 1918 or 1348 2.0.

    It is being made out to be such a problem probably as a CCP cold war tactic to disrupt the world. One that has shite like Blojob frantically deceiving to save his career/ Govt and now has elements of globo elite reset/ Marxist eco-freak scam as a part of the onrushing lunacy.

    Anyway remember tomorrow is the first “Opening Day” during which shops, businesses etc who realise they will be ruined anyway will be opening up. Dets are on “Telegram” whatever the fuck that is. I don’t have an Iphone whatever but I will be walking around looking for a pub or anywhere I can patronise. Plodpork will doubtless be hyperactive and there may be a few black eyes for anti-LD forces but it is only the first of many and we will soon learn. Please help if you can.

  39. Just incase anyone runs with it the 90% to 85% thing (and other numbers for the ypunger) are illustrative guesstimates, not the result of careful calculatiom. If there is an actual actuary here they could look at how accurate they are.

  40. @ Paul, Somerset
    I have a pre-existing health condition in that I am deaf in one ear (which does reduce my life expectancy by a miniscule amount as I could, in theory, be deafened by someone shouting in my good ear just when a fire alarm goes off – but the risk of being run over by a bus while standing on the pavement is just as great). Anyone who thinks someone with a pre-existing health conditions is at death’s door does not know what they are talking about. My brother-in-law has been suffering from type 1 diabetes since 1969. Neither of us expect to die in the next year or three.

  41. @john77
    I doubt your deafness will be mentioned on your death certificate, any more than my gout will. We’ve both recently lost a former colleague (my one-time boss and I’m sure known to you) at the age of 85. He had “idiopathic* pulmonary fibrosis” which has a survival time of 2-5 years from diagnosis (almost certainly less for someone in their 80s), but if he’d tested positive for Covid within the last month, he would be in the 100,000.

    * idiopathic is wonderful quack-speak for “we have no clue what causes this”

  42. @ john77, By coincidence, I’m deaf in both ears. I do have a grim laugh sometimes at what the death toll will be if electric vehicles ever replace those with noisy internal combustion engines. Welcome to my world!

    But happily, conditions such as ours are not among those counted towards the number of Covid deaths having pre-existing conditions. Here is the list up to July 2020, including those without such a condition

  43. @ Paul, Somerset and Chris.
    My brother-in-law is more relevant. Diabetes is reckoned to be a significant comorbidity and accounts for much (possibly most) of the higher death rate among South Asians, but a sober conscientious individual can live with it for fifty years: so it is unreasonable to wave away all those deaths as being likely to occur within a few months or a couple of years.

  44. @ Paul, Somerset
    Thanks for the link: I had seen it before but forgotten.
    The no 1 comorbidity is Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease accounting for over one-quarter of the total. These two conditions have no direct connection with death from a respiratory disease – their deaths are due to infections in Care Homes. It’s a matter of opinion what percentage their QALY is of their life expectancy but the latter *was* non-zero.

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