ghost of miles

COVID-19 III: No Politics For Thee

925 posts in this topic

On 2/1/2021 at 11:54 AM, mjazzg said:

Yes I would be prepared to do that. If my vaccination at a lower efficacy helps create a situation where overall infection rates are reduced then I'm all for that.  Lower community infection rates will mean less pressure on health services, less deaths and crucially fewer variants (as it appears that the virus mutates in areas with high community infection). Put another way, I'll be a lot happier with 62% protection than with the 0% I have at the moment.

And yes, give the healthcare workers the strongest protection possible - we owe them that at the very least.

 

Just to add to the discussion on vaccine efficacies, it should be pointed out that these rates were determined during clinical trials, so they depend greatly on the communities in which they were tested. I think it was the Johnson&Johnson vaccine that was tested in groups that had much more of the variant discovered in South Africa, which is suspected of being more virulent than the others, and it still demonstrated an efficacy in the upper 70s, which is fantastic for a coronavirus vaccine. It was also tested during the highest increases in cases, so there was tremendous pressure on the population from the virus, and it still managed to prevent hospitalizations from severe cases. It's possible that this one, and the Astra Zeneca, are closer in efficacy rates to the Moderna and Pfizer, if they were tested in identical populations.

I would recommend to anyone to get whichever one is available.

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On 20.2.2021 at 0:27 PM, GregK said:

 

Just to add to the discussion on vaccine efficacies, it should be pointed out that these rates were determined during clinical trials, so they depend greatly on the communities in which they were tested. I think it was the Johnson&Johnson vaccine that was tested in groups that had much more of the variant discovered in South Africa, which is suspected of being more virulent than the others, and it still demonstrated an efficacy in the upper 70s, which is fantastic for a coronavirus vaccine. It was also tested during the highest increases in cases, so there was tremendous pressure on the population from the virus, and it still managed to prevent hospitalizations from severe cases. It's possible that this one, and the Astra Zeneca, are closer in efficacy rates to the Moderna and Pfizer, if they were tested in identical populations.

I would recommend to anyone to get whichever one is available.

Let's keep fingers crossed it is so.
But this situation and the ensuing discussion is a mess. I have no reason to believe there are different AZ vaccines depending on the region of the planet. But it is a fact that for whatever reason news reports (NOT on fake sites, mind you!) about reactions to the vaccination that turned out more severe with the AZ vaccine than with the others have abounded lately. Sweden has temporarily stopped using the AZ vaccine in some regions because there were doubts (IIRC they had inexplainable reactions too) and one recent report here does not sound good: An entire crew of an emergency aid task force was vaccinated with the AZ vaccine and then so many of them came down with symptoms bad enough to force them to stay home and quarantined that they had to close down that station and order replacement staff from other stations to keep the service up and running at all. This does not sound like the usual tiny percentages of people showing symptoms. What isn't exactly faith-inspiring is that the first report of this on a news platform sounded fairly dramatic whereas the second one on their platform (that replaced the first one) sounded much more toned down ("orders from above"??).
And now the discussion here (where the AZ vaccine is not to be administered to those over 65 because of lack of clinical data about its effectiveness for that age group) is about to get out of hand anyway because polticians now clearly seem to be panicking because many in the population are wary of being forced to take that "2nd rate vaccine". AZ definitely is better than nothing but the lower effectiveness even against mild cases unfortunately is a fact and REMAINS a cause to worry). And now, with more AZ doses arriving, they seem to focus on the health care staff as one group to get this AZ vaccine in the first place. Adding insult to injury because - again - most around here (me too) stilll believe that this group of persons working at the limit in a higher-exposure and therefore higher-risk environment need to be given the vaccine with the highest efficiency of them all and nothing else.
Politicans, though, seem to target this group (who are among those due now after vaccination of the elderly has progressed far, it seems) because they are afraid vaccine doses supplied will perish if reluctance remains high. But is this the way to do it? Their communication at times sounds like they resort to all sorts of argumentational contorsions to tell veryone how good the AZ vaccine is after all. Reminds historically aware persons a bit of those "hang on" statements of early 1945. This is what worries me most - the state of panic of those in charge. And, though I really hate to say this, would the public be told the whole story if there were problems that at least increase the residual risk?
And sorry to say, GregK, if what you say about the groups included in the clinical trials (and their potential lack of representativity) were true, then these clinical trials were even more of a rush job than some claim they were. Not good either.

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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On 2021-01-24 at 1:09 PM, Dmitry said:

 

(Dmitry has nothing to do with this post, but I can't get rid of the quote from the mobile) 

As far as I know, there were two regions that temporarily halted vaccinations of health care personnel using the Astra-Zeneca vaccine, but after a couple of days and a closer look at the reactions, they started up again. No new alarming reports so far. 

Edited by Daniel A

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So I understood the report in the news. But it is odd in these times we live in ...

Latest news on the subject of AZ which made the headlines on many news sites this morning: The Swiss government apparently is considering reselling the AZ vaccine doses they have so far procured (5.3 million) as those in charge have doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccine.
WTF? Apart from the fact that this is not exactly the kind of news to increase confidence, what are the Swiss (who otherwise are so business-savvy) trying to achieve? Who would want stuff when the seller himself has doubts about its usability? Or are they betting on the really desperate?

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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Nestle!

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2 hours ago, Big Beat Steve said:

So I understood the report in the news. But it is odd in these times we live in ...

Latest news on the subject of AZ which made the headlines on many news sites this morning: The Swiss government apparently is considering reselling the AZ vaccine doses they have so far procured (5.3 million) as those in charge have doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccine.
WTF? Apart from the fact that this is not exactly the kind of news to increase confidence, what are the Swiss (who otherwise are so business-savvy) trying to achieve? Who would want stuff when the seller himself has doubts about its usability? Or are they betting on the really desperate?

South Africa is trying to get of theirs as well, although I don’t know if they’re trying to sell it. 

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On 2/21/2021 at 4:23 AM, Big Beat Steve said:


And sorry to say, GregK, if what you say about the groups included in the clinical trials (and their potential lack of representativity) were true, then these clinical trials were even more of a rush job than some claim they were. Not good either.

I don't understand this statement. The clinical trials were conducted in various populations around the world. Whatever variants or level of infection are in the community is what they had to work with. There was no "lack of representativity" or rush job. The Moderna and Pfizer trials took place starting in July 2020; the Astra Zeneca started later, and in different population centers.

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I think the keyword is "representativity" if you want to market and administer the product with a degree of reliability (which I feel is a key aspect for medical products). I realize time (or rather the lack of) was a major factor in this situation but this does not eliminate the problems or uncertainties if representativity is lacking (as you say yourself). Your reasoning may explain the results obtained for AZ (and therefore the resevations many have with regard to that vaccine). But isn't it understandable, then, that there are persons out there who do not fancy being treated as guinea pigs AFTER the step of clinical trials (which by nature ought to be to a certain level of comprehensiveness and therefore result in the duration of clinical trials which "normally" is longer - for not so bad cause - than it was with these vaccines)? What worries me is that indeed many in the medical profession (over here, for example) are not exactly overenthused by the AZ vaccine, and they cannot all be misinformed (as politicians scrambling to get things rolling in a situation that in many ways had been bungled by them in earlier steps of vaciine procurement are now claiming - unfairly, I feel). In fact, through their daily jobs they are closer to the problems that may result than most of us in the "men and women in the street" population are. This takes some evidence--based convincing and not pressurizing.
 

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I'm even more happy to take the AZ after this week's published research from Public Health Scotland,

"By the fourth week after receiving the initial dose, the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines had reduced the risk of hospital admissions from Covid-19 by up to 85% and 94% respectively, according to a study by Scottish universities and Public Health Scotland. A

mong people aged 80 and over, vaccination was associated with an 81% reduction in hospital admission risk in the fourth week, when the results for both vaccines were combined. 

The scientists, whose work is available online but has not yet been peer-reviewed, said the results from the two vaccines should not be compared. There was more data on people who were given the Pfizer vaccine, while the AstraZeneca vaccine had mostly been administered to older people."

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/22/one-vaccine-protection-severe-covid-evidence

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10 minutes ago, ejp626 said:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/25/acceptance-problem-as-most-oxford-covid-jabs-delivered-to-eu-not-yet-used

"Four out of five of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine doses delivered to EU countries are yet to be used on a patient, a Guardian investigation has found"

This is completely unacceptable. 

 

There are people who would literally rather die than take the AZ. Macron and others were highly irresponsible in criticising it.

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Just arrived in my in-box from the Boston Globe:

‘Your estimated wait time is 50,475 minutes’: State vaccine appointment site hits more snags
Users hoping to book appointments using the state’s vaccine finder website Thursday reported encountering excruciating estimated wait times amid a crush of eligible Massachusetts residents seeking newly available appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine.

As of about 9:30 a.m. Thursday, the vaxfinder site was not experiencing the same crashes users saw last week when many logged onto the site hoping to score an appointment. But many users who were placed in a “digital waiting room” that was implemented to help manage the flow of traffic reported they were given astronomically long estimated wait times, with one reported by WCVB displaying 50,475 minutes. That translates to roughly 35 days.

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2 minutes ago, David Ayers said:

There are people who would literally rather die than take the AZ. Macron and others were highly irresponsible in criticising it.

I realize it hasn't actually been approved by Canada or the US, but it should be almost any day now.  Please ship it over to Canada, as I am quite sure people here will take it.

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2 minutes ago, Dan Gould said:

Just arrived in my in-box from the Boston Globe:

‘Your estimated wait time is 50,475 minutes’: State vaccine appointment site hits more snags
Users hoping to book appointments using the state’s vaccine finder website Thursday reported encountering excruciating estimated wait times amid a crush of eligible Massachusetts residents seeking newly available appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine.

As of about 9:30 a.m. Thursday, the vaxfinder site was not experiencing the same crashes users saw last week when many logged onto the site hoping to score an appointment. But many users who were placed in a “digital waiting room” that was implemented to help manage the flow of traffic reported they were given astronomically long estimated wait times, with one reported by WCVB displaying 50,475 minutes. That translates to roughly 35 days.

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I got a photo shoot with GQ in about an hour ...

:g

 

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My 2¢ (don't know if this has been expressed in the previous 34 pages)...With this pandemic, I prioritize who should get the vaccine a little differently than most state governments. If I were king, Group 1 would be the conventional wisdom--i.e., nursing home residents and staff, and old people with serious pre-existing conditions. However, Group 2 would not be healthy people over 65 or 70--we, as a group, by and large, behave sensibly and are at minimal risk. My group 2 would be young adults, who by and large don't behave sensibly and make the pandemic worse for all of us. Then, healthy oldsters like me would be in Group 3. Now, don't get me wrong, my wife and I are taking advantage of the fact that we're eligible for the vaccine, and have received our first dose. But I think my plan would really wipe out the disease faster.

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12 minutes ago, riddlemay said:

My 2¢ (don't know if this has been expressed in the previous 34 pages)...With this pandemic, I prioritize who should get the vaccine a little differently than most state governments. If I were king, Group 1 would be the conventional wisdom--i.e., nursing home residents and staff, and old people with serious pre-existing conditions. However, Group 2 would not be healthy people over 65 or 70--we, as a group, by and large, behave sensibly and are at minimal risk. My group 2 would be young adults, who by and large don't behave sensibly and make the pandemic worse for all of us. Then, healthy oldsters like me would be in Group 3. Now, don't get me wrong, my wife and I are taking advantage of the fact that we're eligible for the vaccine, and have received our first dose. But I think my plan would really wipe out the disease faster.

This is not unreasonable, but  statistically (I think) most of the people who have died have been over 70 by a large measure. 

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34 minutes ago, riddlemay said:

 My group 2 would be young adults, who by and large don't behave sensibly and make the pandemic worse for all of us.

What makes you think that those who don't behave sensibly would begin to do so by taking a two-part voluntary vaccination that requires disrupting their daily routine?

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48 minutes ago, riddlemay said:

My 2¢ (don't know if this has been expressed in the previous 34 pages)...With this pandemic, I prioritize who should get the vaccine a little differently than most state governments. If I were king, Group 1 would be the conventional wisdom--i.e., nursing home residents and staff, and old people with serious pre-existing conditions. However, Group 2 would not be healthy people over 65 or 70--we, as a group, by and large, behave sensibly and are at minimal risk. My group 2 would be young adults, who by and large don't behave sensibly and make the pandemic worse for all of us. Then, healthy oldsters like me would be in Group 3. Now, don't get me wrong, my wife and I are taking advantage of the fact that we're eligible for the vaccine, and have received our first dose. But I think my plan would really wipe out the disease faster.

As Jim says, these younger people are less likely to get in line for something they don't feel is a threat. And given the death rates, the reality is that your age cohort are the ones most at risk for adverse to really really adverse results if you catch it. So I would say that your Group 3 should remain Group 1.

And what's this about old people with serious pre-existing conditions? I know of no place where being 65+ or whatever didn't get you to the front of a still-too-long line, comorbidity or no.

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to say the same thing as Jim and Dan again slightly differently: it's also a tradeoff between minimizing fatalities and letting the disease die out as quickly as possible... by focusing on the older population most governments opted for reducing fatalities at the cost of living with the disease a little longer

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2 hours ago, riddlemay said:

My 2¢ (don't know if this has been expressed in the previous 34 pages)...With this pandemic, I prioritize who should get the vaccine a little differently than most state governments. If I were king, Group 1 would be the conventional wisdom--i.e., nursing home residents and staff, and old people with serious pre-existing conditions. However, Group 2 would not be healthy people over 65 or 70--we, as a group, by and large, behave sensibly and are at minimal risk. My group 2 would be young adults, who by and large don't behave sensibly and make the pandemic worse for all of us. Then, healthy oldsters like me would be in Group 3. Now, don't get me wrong, my wife and I are taking advantage of the fact that we're eligible for the vaccine, and have received our first dose. But I think my plan would really wipe out the disease faster.

Normally I'd agree because the 20-somethings do seem to be more willing to congregate, but I have to say, most of the mask protestors I see on the news every day are not the youngsters. In fact, most of them are 65 and older. They are also the most vocal about refusing the vaccine.

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What TV channel do you watch your TV news on?

 

 

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On 2/1/2021 at 8:58 AM, JSngry said:

J&J is a single shot vaccine, which is a big plus.

A single shot, and cheaper to store.  Also, could make a big deal for poorer countries that did not manage to lock up supply of the other vaccines.

On 2/17/2021 at 7:41 AM, Dub Modal said:

The pulse oximeter can help let one know when you might need to go to the hospital, because if you are consistently below 95% or something like that you need to advise the doc immediately and possibly go on to the hospital.

This is important.  Silent hypoxia (where your oxygen drops suddenly/dangerously but you don't notice) seems to happen a lot w/COVID and is dangerous.

7 hours ago, riddlemay said:

My 2¢ (don't know if this has been expressed in the previous 34 pages)...With this pandemic, I prioritize who should get the vaccine a little differently than most state governments. If I were king, Group 1 would be the conventional wisdom--i.e., nursing home residents and staff, and old people with serious pre-existing conditions. However, Group 2 would not be healthy people over 65 or 70--we, as a group, by and large, behave sensibly and are at minimal risk. My group 2 would be young adults, who by and large don't behave sensibly and make the pandemic worse for all of us. Then, healthy oldsters like me would be in Group 3. Now, don't get me wrong, my wife and I are taking advantage of the fact that we're eligible for the vaccine, and have received our first dose. But I think my plan would really wipe out the disease faster.

Disagree strongly, for two reasons.

1) Older people are MUCH more likely to die from COVID than younger people.  So prioritizing their vaccination IMMEDIATELY (or nearly immediately) makes COVID much less dangerous for society at large, even if it continues to circulate.

2) We're finally starting to get scientific evidence that the vaccines reduce COVID transmission, not just symptoms BUT - this was initially not a certainty.  So the risk with prioritizing young people was that you would reduce their morbidity (which was relatively mild) and not do much to reduce the fatality rate.

6 hours ago, Niko said:

to say the same thing as Jim and Dan again slightly differently: it's also a tradeoff between minimizing fatalities and letting the disease die out as quickly as possible... by focusing on the older population most governments opted for reducing fatalities at the cost of living with the disease a little longer

Exactly.  The reason we are freaked out about COVID, rightfully, is it kills a lot of people.  Those fatalities are concentrated among the elderly (and especially the very elderly).  Living with the disease becomes much more bearable (especially for a not-so-long time) if the number of deaths falls dramatically.

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10 hours ago, mjazzg said:

I'm even more happy to take the AZ after this week's published research from Public Health Scotland,

"By the fourth week after receiving the initial dose, the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines had reduced the risk of hospital admissions from Covid-19 by up to 85% and 94% respectively, according to a study by Scottish universities and Public Health Scotland. A

mong people aged 80 and over, vaccination was associated with an 81% reduction in hospital admission risk in the fourth week, when the results for both vaccines were combined. 

The scientists, whose work is available online but has not yet been peer-reviewed, said the results from the two vaccines should not be compared. There was more data on people who were given the Pfizer vaccine, while the AstraZeneca vaccine had mostly been administered to older people."

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/22/one-vaccine-protection-severe-covid-evidence

The Germans think otherwise.

Germans Clamor for Covid Vaccines, but Shun AstraZeneca’s Offering

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5 hours ago, Brad said:

There does seem to be a lot of irrational group think misinformation festering there, which is having a very adverse impact on their vaccination programme. Quite a percentage of idiots are also going for a complete opt out - totally ludicrous and sadly, at a cost of lost lives.

Edited by sidewinder

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