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JoannaL

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  1. Very interesting article in the Guardian about biosecurity of BSL- 4 labs: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jun/15/covid-escaped-lab-or-not-biosecurity-laboratories from the article: "So even if you do not believe that the current pandemic was the result of a gain-of-function experiment gone wrong, it doesn’t mean that this type of work couldn’t be the source of the next pandemic." "According to a database maintained by the American Biosafety Association (Absa), since 2003 there have been four incidents of researchers being exposed, but not necessarily infected, while working in a BSL-4 lab. Concerns about whether labs are conducting their research safely, securely and responsibly are not new, or of relevance solely to labs in China – as revealed by a comprehensive study on global BSL-4 labs that we recently completed." "Our research identified nearly 60 BSL-4 labs in operation, under construction or planned across 23 countries, including seven in the UK. Given recent concerns about biosafety, it is worth noting that three-quarters of these labs are located in urban areas. " "Our study also revealed that there was significant room for improvement in the policies in place to ensure that these labs were operated safely, securely and responsibly. Only about one-quarter of the countries with BSL-4 labs received high scores for biosafety and biosecurity – as measured by the Nuclear Threat Initiative’s Global Health Security Index. " "The vast majority of countries with BSL-4 labs do not conduct oversight of the type of gain-of-function research that has been a central feature in the debate on Covid-19’s origin, as potentially responsible for the possible leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology." I think, this is bad, and like after tschernobyl, the world should look more closely which technologies it does allow and where. Percaution and prevention are necessary for the future. I personally would much prefer the lonely island solution for BSL-4 labs. Or perhaps cruise ships could be redesigned with 14-days quarantine to ship in and out. the article ends: "Covid-19 was a wake-up call about the vulnerabilities of our modern, globalised societies to a novel respiratory virus. Preventing the next pandemic should be a priority for all countries. Ensuring that research with hazardous pathogens, especially those with potential pandemic properties, is conducted safely, securely and responsibly must be a key element of that strategy"
  2. The numbers are really depressing for a country which vaccinated that much. do we have reliable efficacy data for sinovac yet (actually we should its also on the market half a year or so?, but I dont remember seeing them). Perhaps its not working against the gamma variant? I think I read something about problems in indonesia with sinovac too? But there the delta variant should be the problem not gamma?
  3. Thats really great news! so even when the delta variant will have taken hold in the EU it may be that our vaccination effort will be enough to stop it from building a wave.
  4. Sure its the summer. While our expert seem not to agree how much the summer helps (between 20% and 60% R-reduction so big difference in expert opinion) they ALL agree that corona will be back in fall. so for me that means summer (the outdoors, so not the summer in air condition regions of the world) helps a lot. In Germany the virus went away so quickly after a grimm April, that we stumbles into openings without any forwarning (e. g monday school only open for half the class, mask wearing (because the incidence rate for the last week was over 100) to Tuesday all class no mask wearing (because the rate next week was under 35). It was quite disconcerting (but in a good way). Now it looks great but we do have to get accustomed to it yet. The delta variant has not yet arrived here (3. week of May 3 %, 4. week of May 2,5 %), but also last time alpha first hit the UK then Ireland and Portugal and then creeped into the rest of the EU.
  5. Thats an US problem and it is mind blowing! Here everyone gets time off to get the vaccine and everyone gets paid sick leave (up to 6 weeks for whatever reason). the US really must reform their system. That takes time. But at least the US (if not the employer) could pay in this case the sick leave after vaccination, if that would help with vaccine uptake.
  6. I agree with you that it is difficult to measure the exact number of fatalities. At least we count everyone who died "with" Covid, and we also don't stop after 28 days after a positive test as other countries. Additionally monitoring excess mortality seems also a good way to get a feeling for the magnitude of a problem. Long covid is also real, but I do not know of good studies yet how big the problem really is and how persistent it is. This really has to be studied!! Also it is certainly true that a lot of people who survived Covid aren't well, but no one here said otherwise. About the overwhelmed or not overwhelmed discussion, I think the system could cope here ok with the problem, but it certainly was not business as usual. Some hospitals became "Covid" hospitals and got in some kind of emergency state, and did less other procedures here as well. the other hospitals in the area had to take their cases of cancer and heart attacs and only just now (so last or this week) most of these hospitals started to go back to normal status.
  7. no, we are not, but we are monitoring excess mortality and most months its negative (less than in the average last 5 years).
  8. Herd immunity is a good thing and it will help save lives, I agree with you that we should try to accomplish it. But why are you angry at the children for not doing their duty (when they get only risk from vaccination and almost no benefit) and not about the adults who will not get vaccinated (though they would get a personal benefit out of it)? Is it not more a duty for the adults to help the community than for the children?
  9. I am quite surprised by this numbers. It must be different numbers for differnt countries. (But why?) . In Germany we had quite a lively discussion about vaccination of the 12-15 year old, because there is a conditional approval now from the EMA,which our health minister jumped on, but our national approval committee said more or less clearly that they will not follow and they will not recommend vaccination. they say they have not enough data yet. Since the benefit (not getting Covid) is not a high benefit for children, the risk for taking the vaccine must be extremely low, and for this they need more data (higher pool of participants, long term studiies). So no recommendation in Germany. 12-15 year old may take it though from now on (as with AZ under 60 year old its allowed just not recommended). In course of this discussion I got the German data for deaths since March 2020: Germany 83 mio inhabitants, 88000 died of covid of these 13,7 mio under 18 year old , 8 died of Covid
  10. Ah, I didn't know that. If India complained (for whatever reason?) then it would not be right to continue to name the variant such. I get that.
  11. We (in Germany) called the alpha, beta ,gamma and delta variant: British, South African, Brasilian and Indian until now (so from four different continents). so if this is done everywhere why is it that there is only Anti-Asian violence ( and not here in Europe as far as I know). I think because naming the region is not (was never) the problem, it must be something else (e.g. Trump). Having four variants from four continents can even be educative, - even a quite braindead person can see that there is no pattern to blame here.
  12. I do not know if this is really necessary. We here have called the new "alpha" variant "English" variant or "British" variant all the time, but I did not see any mobs descending on poor British shopkeepers. And this is how it should be: a virus and a variant of a virus come from somewhere. To name the place it came from does not (should never) lead to prejudice of the people who live there. It does not make sense that naming the variant should lead to prejudice and somehow I feel like the WHO is validating this (totally brainless) relation between place and people by forcing a renaming (like there is someting to hide when there is nothing to hide)
  13. When we started with AZ (before the side effects were known) we vaccinated a lot of younger women (health care workers, primary school teacher and child nursery carers). The estimated number of people under 60 who received AZ at the beginning is 2 mio. All of them are recommended to take Biontech or Moderna for second dose. But for the over 60 year old the recommedation still stands to continue with AZ. the efficacy is high in this age group (see UK studies) and no new dangers resurfaced that I know of?
  14. I know that some part of the side effects can be to adjuvants (other helper materials which are in the vaccination mix) and not only to the actual vaccine. So I wouldnt be sure.
  15. Yes this will be happening, and its a good thing, afterwards we have herd immunity...
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