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rotting sea cow

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Everything posted by rotting sea cow

  1. I was thinking about the same lines. I'm not sure why the president of Ecuador is complaining. Just using basic arithmetic, it's clear they can afford to go shopping and buy the vaccines by themselves without much a dent in their budget. Of course, they think in saving some bucks, but usually what the cheapest turns out to be the most expensive. And gifts tend to be poisoned. Just ask Victarion.
  2. I tend to agree. A friend who is in Congo tells me that COVID is hardly an issue there. She is doing educational work related to health issues (mostly reproduction related) and besides people using masks in crowed settings, not much is being done. Social distancing is nearly impossible. It's possible that COVID hasn't reached there in full force or there are other reasons. Besides I find COVAX initiative troubling in some aspects. Rich countries donate money that in turn go to buy vaccines produced by the very same countries. The Ecuador president went out and complained about that. He doesn't get a choice about what vaccines they get or when.
  3. Is there no Spaniard in the forum to explain the reference? But forget the pandemic for a second that has forced us to wash our hands more than usual and consider this: You have been having a busy day, shaking hands with dozens of people, going up and down the shooping streets, touching hand rails, elevators buttons and who knows what else. Now you feel the urge to go to the toilet for a piss. Are you telling me you are going to touch yourself down there without washing your hands first?
  4. People should also learn to wash their hands before going to the toilet. You don't want to touch your intimate parts with hands that have touched who knows what.
  5. yes, but this isn't how trials are measured and how we are comparing vaccines. Despite variance, vaccine efficacy is measured against symptoms. We surely can expect protection against severe disease, but how much? We can only knew after roll out. Yes and yes. There are more aspect than antibodies. I think it's too late and if these mutations are giving an evolutionary advantage either in transmission and/or immune escape, there are bound to appear elsewhere. I see. So US is also playing the game, but through COVAX which indeed afaik hasn't delivered yet.
  6. I guess there is a political factor related to the lack of other options. Deliveries of Pfizer and Moderna will take longer than expected, J&J and Novavax hasn't applied yet (?) for approval and anyway have production problems. The alternatives are more politically unpalatable, namely vaccines from Russia and China. Thinking about it. Probably it has a lot to do with the later. AZ is the main tool in the vaccine diplomacy, which Europe is lagging behind Russia and China (and even India using the very same vaccine). US is not even interested in that game.
  7. They cannot know without a trial, but most likely yes. Novavax and J&J showed over 50% effective in their respective trials in SA. The only one (for now) that it showing a piss-poor performance against that variant is AZ, 22% but it could well be zero (or 50% for that matter). Sigh...
  8. That's because of the urinals and easy unzipping. I hear you. Many years ago during some summer voluntary work we stayed at a same sex school (don't remember whether for boys or girls) and we had to share the bathroom. Shower time was unfortunately segregated but otherwise sanitary facilities were shared. For whatever reason, ladies insisted on chatting whenever I was trying to empty my intestines making even more difficult to concentrate. I ended preferring going very early mornings. In general, I have no problem with unisex bathrooms. In parties often women were often going to the men bathrooms because of the waiting lines. Never saw anything problematic. I understand however those who feel in need of more privacy. Older ladies and teenager girls in particular feel that more acutely.
  9. I think people freak too much about antivaxxer. The hard-core ones are probably a tiny minority that would make them epidemiologically irrelevant. There is however a larger number of people distrustful of government actions (not without reason sometimes). Governments instead of trying to fight off the first type, should try to behave to convince the second type. Threatening vaccine deniers with making them outcast will only give reason the first type and enrage the second. Governments should focus in transparency and efficient organization of the vaccine campaign. It's still too early to be really preoccupied for the effect of antivaxxing sentiments. Roll-out the damn thing to whomever would take it and look back when you are done.
  10. Quoting from memory, so correct me if I'm wrong. There are three compelling pieces of evidence for increasing trasmisibility 1.- Higher affinity to the ACE2 receptor (computational work) plus lab evidence (in vitro) that the variant is out-competing the wild type in cell cultures. I don't remember reading anything with animal models. 2.- Increase viral loads in nasopharyngeal swabs. 3.- Serotype replacement rate of the variant B.1.1.7 in comparison to the wild type, which led to the estimate of a increase of R0 of about 0.7 in comparison to the wild-type. A huge and scary jump. However, there are limitations and confounding factors in all cases. Computational and in vitro work are often hard to translate into in vivo and human. Viral loads might be seasonally dependent (we all heard those stories of lower viral loads in summer). The replacement of variants might be just because of a founder effect like superspreading events. I read a compelling hypothesis about how hectic work in UK ports ahead of the Brexit might have played a role, exactly in the places where the variant started to spread. The later is important because virologist and epidemiologist as well as health authorities often ignore the social conditions that help the virus to spread. We need to have people on the ground to understand what is going on. As @Heartofice points out other factors might influence this. So, I think it might be more transmissible but I'll still wait for more clear evidence over a longer period of time.
  11. I'm somewhat skeptical that the B.1.1.7 variant is significantly more infectious than the previous ones.
  12. I remember reading somewhere that NZ is using some policies first planned in the 60s in the event of a full scale nuclear war. The assumption was that NZ was unlikely to be directly affected by the confrontation but the collapse of the international system would have dire consequences and thus careful planning was necessary. Do you know what I'm talking about? Countries should really need to stop mindlessly trusting in globalization and make sure that they can survive through some other global catastrophes at least in key areas like health, energy and food security.
  13. This is crazy, because if there is a country which can go on without vaccines this is NZ. Contrary to most of the world, the cost benefit of a three frigging days lockdown is very clear. You stay at home few days and then you can continue your life as usual with the big bonus of saving a lot of lives. Over most of the world is not that clear. We are going from lockdowns to lockdowns, some of them no working and we get thousands of deaths regardless. We do not see the time when we can stop using masks or meeting regularly with coworkers or going to a bar or the children going to schools without a lot BS besides. These guys do not know what they have
  14. The issue is how low or high should be the bar for those mandatory vaccines. If it's against polio, measles, mumps, etc is a story. It's against the flu quite another. In the first set of diseases vaccines have been extremely successful, in the second their performance is quite mediocre. We don't know yet in what category covid19 vaccines will fall. Again, by mandating vaccines this early, they might shooting in the foot and giving a false sense of security.
  15. Yeah. Australia and NZ shouldn't loosen the grip until next spring, when they should have their risk population vaccinated. The risk of creating an outbreak is too high, vaccines or not. It is different with S. Africa and S. American countries. There winter is approaching fast and the best way to face it is too have at least their risk population vaccinated. Chile and Argentina are going into that direction.
  16. There is something called "heterogeneous herd immunity". In the case of COVID, when a big chunk of the most socially active population have gotten infected, it gets hard to create further transmission chains. This is of course unstable as people are changing their behaviour in response to the perceived threat. The first projections back in March 2020 with millions of deaths until 70% gets infected are impossible, even if people and governments do nothing (which is also impossible). The reason is the period for infection is limited, people aren't instantaneously infected and people have a limited social circle. So, you have waves. And there is a seasonality factor.
  17. I don't think it will happen, even if it's in the mind of many politicians who misunderstand what these vaccines do. As far the evidence goes, vaccines are unlikely to stop transmission chains. As noted above, vaccines have still a 1-in-10 chances to fail. And there is the whole issue with the mutants... I think many politicians are extrapolating the success of the classic vaccines (smallpox, polio, measles, etc) to any vaccine. Which is wrong. I've read for example the efficacy of the flu vaccine is anywhere between 15% to 50%. I got myself a bad case of the flu a year ago despite vaccination. Also, do not forget the political aspect aside. Forcing them down the throat will only enrage the population. How long until another populist take the lead and get elected based on that platform? I think it will be counterproductive, but with politicians one never knows.
  18. @The Anti-Targ & @Impmk2 This is probably the best study on re-infecctions based on NHS data on health workers. Covid-19: Past infection provides 83% protection for five months but may not stop transmission, study finds https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n124 So, it seems that natural infection is as good as any vaccine (but arguably riskier). There are some news that point to higher reinfection possibilities with the S. African variant. E.g. Can you get reinfected with Covid-19? SA has ‘4 000 potential reinfections’ https://mg.co.za/news/2021-01-19-can-you-get-reinfected-with-covid-19-sa-has-4-000-potential-reinfections/ but I don't know if this has been properly quantified. and you probably have seen this Coronavirus digest: German nursing home sees outbreak after vaccines https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-digest-german-nursing-home-sees-outbreak-after-vaccines/a-56491823 apparently the residents are asymptomatic or have mild infections, which is good, but my take-away from all of this, is that herd immunity doesn't exist with covid-19 and we are all going to get infected, vaccines or not. Vaccines are of course our best chance to not get to the hospital, but we are going to be dealing with this for a long time. Fortunately we haven't seen any sign that ADE is happening anywhere, which is a relief. On the other hand, I wonder if the virus may still have some nasty surprises under the hood. I had a bad dream about that.
  19. Sinovac and SinoPharm are inactivated virus vaccines. S. America countries and other regions are receiving millions of doses already. The effectivity is lower than in those fancy mRNA vaccines but it might protect better against new variants. We'll see soon enough I guess.
  20. You might want to read this link. https://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2021/02/02/myths-of-vaccine-manufacturing Derek Lowe has been very illuminating in everything related to vaccines (and medicines too) during these months According to his educated guess, this is the bottleneck He also just made an article about the fabrication of adenovirus vaccines https://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2021/02/08/how-you-make-an-adenovirus-vaccine It seems simpler but there are some steps that are more art than science.
  21. Excellent title. Answer: Probably not. But neither an outside observer would know the proper answers as the game is unknown even for him.
  22. There is still a question how the AZ vaccine perform in older adults against the wild type (not the new mutants). Their data there is so sparse that led to many countries to recommend the vaccine only to people younger than 55 years old. I truly don't know what went wrong with Oxford/AZ, but there seems to be a stream of problems in an otherwise promising candidate. Or they need to fire the whole PR department. Yes, it looks bad and the Brazil variant looks worse. SARS-Cov-2.1 and 2.2 anyone? Coming down to an orderly vaccination campaign to prevent new upgrades. Not going to happen. In Europe will be politically impossible and elsewhere countries will fight claws and teeth for the vaccines. Plus others will use the available supplies for further advance geopolitical goals.
  23. Pretty much. We cannot and shouldn't speak of herd immunity until this has been clearly assessed. If vaccinated individuals are still infectious, it's matter of time until the virus reaches the unvaccinated population or those that the vaccine didn't work. That's also why vaccines shouldn't be the only focus. We need therapeutics too. Nevertheless, once the most at risk population is vaccinated, we should expect that the health emergency is relaxed, shouldn't we?
  24. They do not have - yet - a big covid-19 problem. They have successfully squashed the outbreaks, so as e.g. N. Zealand they do not need the vaccines as urgently as other countries. So, it's high time to make political deals. Notice they have vaccinated more than 30 millions, a drop in the ocean, but it might prevent outbreaks at the edges.
  25. If I understand things correctly, these are the measures of efficacy set as endpoints of the trials. The reduction of hospitalizations and deaths comes with a plus, but given the numbers involved are harder to measure. Remember the trials have at the most a few hundreds of infected in their cohorts, of which a small percentage ends in the hospital. If you are familiar with the plots of infections vs time for the vaccines, this is - allegedly - what they found. https://twitter.com/whippletom/status/1358471432762781696/photo/1 Comments elsewhere point out that of the many vaccines expressing the spike protein, the Oxford team chose to use the 'wild' type instead of the stabilized one.
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