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About Padraig

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  1. That makes a lot of sense. Thanks. 8 cases is very small and the rate of cases per dose is a lot lower than AZ. I'm a bit worried about what Ireland will do though. We are a little conservative, which is good for vaccine uptake, but bad for deciding what is a "safe vaccine". We waited for all the big countries in the EU to make a decision on AZ and then followed suit (but there is still no flexibility with AZ for Under 60s except for 2nd doses). And we are doing the same with J&J. So good to know that Germany is not applying restrictions. Or Luxembourg! The US will be announcing something today also on J&J. I doubt there will be many restrictions there either. So if nothing negative comes to light from all these countries, we may act consistently with the data. The worry presumably is that the UK variant will become less common once more people are vaccinated (since it does a good job against that variant), which could give the South African variant room to grow, since it is more resistant to the vaccine? But people will hopefully get milder COVID, even if they do get the South African variant. Leap's article support that.... More people get asymptomatic COVID than symptomatic. And probably reasonable to assume that more people will get mild sympotomatic COVID than severe COVID (but they wouldn't have the data yet to prove that).
  2. But there is no age restriction? AZ is limited to over 60s here. If J&J is treated the same, then its effectively useless. I think France have gone with 55 (for now). Germany hasn't released a figure yet (I think). The UK has released a lot more info on these blood disorders. Based on that, age and gender don't seem to be contributing factors. You should restrict from younger people because they are less likely to get bad cases of COVID (and thus, the balance of risks around using AZ is poorer), not because they are more likely to get this blood disorder. https://www.rte.ie/news/uk/2021/0422/1211516-uk-astrazeneca/ Yes. In South Africa, the Novavax vaccine fell from 60% efficiacy to almost 40% (IIRC) based on whether a patient had HIV. That was against the South African variant. By the way, do they know how bad the Indian variant is yet? Similar to the South African one? Or even worse? Or better.
  3. I wish they had daily figures. Or at least, I couldn't find it there. I'd like to see how trends are developing. ourworldindata tries to do daily trends but it is a little hit and miss. And yes, I imagine Ireland will do rather well with uptake, although it wouldn't stay at 99.9%! That is very impressive. I wish we would try something a bit more radical. We were doing reasonably well until April but the AZ/J&J issues have left us flailing. So while we are seeing an increase in vaccination, its lower than other countries. What has Luxembourg done with J&J? We wouldn't decide until next week. Yes. The idea of opening up those big indoor activities without masks seem a bit away yet, but I could be surprised I suppose.
  4. Herd immunity is a rather nebulous target. You can't compare the last couple of months with an environment with potential "herd immunity" because in that environment there are little to no restrictions (presumably). People are behaving like they did pre-COVID and COVID would still not be spreading. I've not seen a figure as low as 60% but perhaps I have missed something. Strikes me as very optimistic though. But it might depend on what a person means by "herd immunity". COVID could still be spreading but not in a potentially uncontrolled way? Sure, that might be 60%. Or if all the vulnerable people are vaccinated, then fatalities are likely to be extremely low? Maybe that is at 60% also. I don't know. I imagine the UK wouldn't have much trouble hitting herd immunity either way (assuming it doesn't turn out to be 95% or something equally ridiculous). Regulators will sign off on the over 11s being vaccinated in the next couple of months. France might be more resistant but having a few good country examples of the benefit of vaccination should help a lot. The rep of Pfizer/Biontech should help too. And yes, simply knowing people have been vaccinated... Just a bit of info on the vaccine cocktail.
  5. They could have set up a plant producing it in France also. But you are right. There could be many reasons why the EU has decided not to sign up for Valneva. Contracts are definitely going to be tighter. But I still hope the EU find a few different technologies to invest in! You can't be too safe. I found the below interesting on the clots story. First time I saw somebody talk about fixing the presumed problem. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/apr/20/possible-link-between-johnson-johnson-vaccine-and-rare-blood-clots-says-regulator Herd immunity will require vaccinating kids, which seems like it will happen this summer. Pfizer and Moderna are well on the way but it does add a bit more time to reach that stage. I imagine AZ wouldn't look at that option though. More research will be required first from them. Moderna is looking at a cocktail. So is Novavax. I imagine Pfizer must be also.
  6. You'd still hope they could avoid wastage. Pity. Whatever about AZ and J&J (and there are 500m doses to be delivered in total between the two of them), i'm surprised that the EU is also walking away from Valneva. The mRNA vaccines have worked well so far, but I would have thought you'd still want to support a few different technologies to be safe. Valneva is an inactivated whole virus vaccine (different from MRNA and adenovirus). The only other vaccines actually ordered are Curevac (mRNA) and Sanofi (they are developing 2 vaccines, one of which is an mRNA). It is still assumed that Novavax will be ordered and that is different technology but one can't say that one company is much variety. A long interesting article about the little company who could (probably) Novavax
  7. Very interesting. I really wish the media would make more of those sort of stories. If you do a bit of reading you find out that one of the reasons for the J&J suspension in the US was that they wanted to make sure doctors would know about the correct treatments. But there is very little attention on the treatment side of things. Right. The EMA was always going to give that advice. The "good" news is that the number of cases has only increased to 8. So its very close to 1 case per million doses. Pfizer is probably close to 1 in 10 million, Moderna might be circa 1 in 20 million (but i'm guessing how many doses they have given). AstraZeneca stands out, even if still relatively rare. So we'll see what the European countries will now do. Based on the available data, there is a clear difference between AZ and J&J (somebody suggested that one way to make AZ safer was to reduce the size of the dose. I wonder is the J&J dose "smaller"), so you should be able to treat them differently. But the worry is that they will put the exact same restrictions on AZ as J&J, which will make J&J useless. (The US will almost certainly clear it for use but maybe it will apply some condition also). https://www.rte.ie/news/2021/0420/1211016-johnson-johnson/
  8. Wow. That is a huge drop. Even if Germany thought it only needed 2m more AZ vaccines, I would have thought it would still get as much as possible and figure it out afterwards. Even in Denmark, it hasn't closed the door completely on AZ apparently. Probably explains why it hasn't officially declared what it will do with the spare vaccine. The volunteer idea is a good one, except it still worries about liability if something goes wrong with those who agreed to get it. We live in a litigious society. https://www.thelocal.dk/20210416/denmark-to-consider-individual-choice-over-astrazeneca-vaccine/
  9. Given it is hoped that vaccination will hinder spread also, it will be an interesting case study! With COVID under control, they should be able to trace things very clearly. The EMA will give an update on J&J today. Largely a non-story except if they give an update on the number of relevant cases.
  10. I'm uncomfortable with that train of thought. You just need one person online to make a good meme about how "we" are being lied to. That the government is ignoring how serious this blood disorder is. Its not like a "normal" blood clot at all etc. Tie that to somebody who has actually died and you are in a bad space. I do agree that it is important to make the risk real to people (that it's very very small). I think its important to note that we do a lot riskier things every day. What ljkeane and william suggested seem less open to exploitation IMO. And yes, the AZ story is far from ideal. Ironically, this is the kind of thing that those governments wanted to avoid. They didn't want to sign off on a vaccine without sufficient data, which then ended up causing deaths. Every step individually makes a certain amount of sense but when you step back, it does read badly. PS: I'd feel very sorry if somebody reading these threads ended up reluctant to take the vaccine. I'm pretty sure that is nobody's intention here.
  11. I think you might be misunderstanding the audience for that podcast. Its clearly called Jacobin for a reason. Its a left wing take on things (their earlier bits about the housing crisis and the "double Irish" set the scene). Its not interested in a "booyah, USA, USA" narrative. Given that, acknowledging that the US throwing lots of money at the problem did help the US, is actually admirable. Rather than ignoring it because it doesn't fit their preferred narrative. I don't hold it against them that they missed the export ban either. It doesn't need to cover everything. As you say. He said this. But yes, when it comes to solutions, its Jacobin to the max. But Canada and the EU aren't immune from criticism. I might be misunderstanding this. There are two threads here. What is scientifically robust? And what will dissuade vaccine hesitancy? We are hoping that both of those threads align. For example, if one is saying that a blood clot is 100 times less likely than another blood clot but if one is ignoring that the latter is 10 times more serious, is that scientifically robust? I'd rather be as transparent as possible, rather than there be any threat that one is hiding the truth. Find another way to tell people this isn't a major risk. That's probably fair. I think more people will take the vaccine than we fear but less than we need. I don't know how to solve that. Except via what Clueless Northman suggested. And hope a variant doesn't arise that will majorly delay any return to normality. That does suck, as you say. But even in the EU, the main restriction may be flight related. Unvaccinated people will still be able to drive, take the train etc.
  12. Although, 6 to 8 blood clots/disorders is way lower than what AZ has experienced. There is still a danger that more will be reported, but I feared we'd already have had a big spike. I'm not surprised that Fauci mentioned today that he expects J&J to be cleared from next Friday in the US. Europe has a trickier issue though, as there is an existing precedence in AZ but if it is 3 to 4 times less likely than the AZ side effect (which is already very unlikely), then perhaps countries will be ok giving it the go ahead. I listened to most of this. Its such a complicated issue but I think it got a lot right. I thought it was going to go wrong when it started talking about a distribution problem (which is misleading) and probabilities but it added a lot more context to both of those remarks. I suppose I should have known an organisation called Jacobin would present a different view of things!
  13. I feel bad for Uruguay. It has woeful stats. Having a huge neighbour with rampant COVID made it really difficult for it. (Although, it is doing ok from a vaccination point of view). Right. I haven't seen anything about what it will have manufactured before the end of June. It probably doesn't know, given how complicated the process is, but it isn't reassuring. It has involved some big pharma companies at least. We should hear its Phase 3 results over the next few weeks though. They've tried to test it against some of the variants, so it will be very interesting to see how it has done. I'd have thought Novavax would be approved in the UK by now also. Although, it is very unlikely that the EU will see doses in Q2 from that producer. Brussels stood for the EU. But you are right, it was focused as much on Germany. But what I meant was how politics affected production. Admittedly, I can see why he'd shy away from that. Double the length of his article! By the way, this goes into the US's data problem with J&J. I don't know how it will solve that.
  14. Hmm. Glad he is recovering. This is a very user friendly podcast on the blood disorder thing. If nothing else it restates the important point that all blood clots aren't the same. Ouch. Really sorry to hear that. I would have thought if they were going to skip a shot, it would be the second shot. I did read this. I'm not sure what to make it. There are a lot of things mentioned but its not particularly coherent (if still interesting because it touches on so many things). The best point is that the EU's involvement makes it unclear who is to blame. National leaders can safely point figures at the EU, even if they were responsible. So the author isn't actually saying "Blame Brussels". That's just the normative response. (Personally, any story about vaccines should focus on production. This article doesn't delve into that at all, so it misses 50% of the story).
  15. https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2021-04-16/moderna-says-vaccines-to-canada-to-be-delayed-due-to-europe-shortfall So yes, the ramp up is causing a lot of issues. The UK is also affected. And I wouldn't be surprised if other countries suffer eventually also. It mentions that Moderna has brought in another company in Spain to make the vaccine because of the pressure on Lonza. But I imagine that was always the plan. The EU has ordered 310m doses for 2021 (IIRC). In H1 it will get 45m. There is a further huge ramp up required. Edited to add: Too slow! There has been a couple more incidents in the US of this blood disorder. But still, 8 from 7m doses (if you can believe it) is a lot better than the European rate,. See here. The EMA is supposed to give an update next week but it can only say that the vaccine is fine (unless something new emerges from the US). And then individual countries will have to decide what to do with J&J based on very little data. The New England Journal of Medicine has an article on these blood disorders also. I don't think there is anything particularly new in it (although, not my area of expertise). But one weird thing... I can't see how J&J has given out 54m doses of its vaccine. So it's a very weird thing for a prestiguous magazine to publish. In Ireland, they are now talking about moving from the over 60s to under 30s when it comes to vaccinations. I'm surprised they are talking about slightly radical ideas. There is logic to it of course. Give it to those who are spreading the disease. And Bloomberg has mentioned that Sweden is looking at getting Sputnik (only moderate amounts available). Interesting. Probably a positive sign for J&J.
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