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Padraig

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  1. Ah ok. I thought you were talking more generally. I did see some mention that the FDA is starting to look at lowering the booster age (from 65 to maybe 40) but nothing decided on that yet. Israel has boosted 44% of its population. A lot. And COVID rates have declined significantly. But it took 2 months to get its last wave under control. So some of that decline is just the normal ebb and flow of COVID. Although, a booster obviously had a positive effect also. The FDA has also said it will ask its outside experts to meet in late November to scrutinize Merck's pill to treat COVID-19. So that might be approved in early December. https://fortune.com/2021/10/14/fda-will-not-make-a-decision-on-merck-covid-antiviral-pill-until-december/
  2. For all over 18s? Rather than over 65s, which should be available over the next 2 weeks? Pfizer/BioNTech has also submitted data to the EMA for its child Covid-19 vaccine, The dose is a third the adult size. I think the US is supposed to be approving that in early November? https://www.irishtimes.com/business/health-pharma/pfizer-biontech-submit-data-to-ema-for-child-covid-19-vaccine-1.4701531 True!
  3. True. Based on "has it ever been worse", Russia would definitely stand out badly right now. Although, you should look at the fatality time series for Romania. It is beyond scary. That really shouldn't happen in a country with 19m people and access to vaccinations. The thing with Russia (and the US) is that its sheer scale means that it will never look "the worst" on a per capita basis but it is also unfair to look at sheer volumes. Both are almost inevitably going to be in the top 10 for the latter. Of course, they are not just in the top 10, they are 2 and 1 respectively. I see also that Moderna is a step closer to getting approval in the US for boosters. Its a 3 step process though ironically. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/expect-fda-panel-boosters-moderna-johnson-johnson-vaccines/story?id=80561477
  4. Fair. I didn't mean to pick on Hungary. As you say, there are countries that are doing much worse. But RhaenysBee brought it up just before and I looked it up the stats. Hungary is interesting because for months we were all surprised about how well it was doing (one of the best in Europe). It is still better than most but it has declined. Although, even its decline has been relatively moderately paced. Anyhow, its all relative. How do you define good? Better than peak COVID? How do you define bad? When numbers start increasing again? The worst countries in the world right now are in the greater Caribbean area. And Bulgaria/Romania.
  5. I think that is already starting to happen. Spain, France and Italy still look fine but places like Denmark, Netherlands, Ireland are showing signs of a new bad trend. And while Hungary's overall case numbers are still ok, fatalities are bad enough now. Around 75 people dieing every week for a country the size of Hungary is not good. Western Europe looks much more secure on that metric. Vaccination matters. But yes, the bordering countries with Hungary are very bad. https://reopen.europa.eu/en
  6. Curevac (if people remember them) has formally withdrawn its vaccine from the approval process. The results were poor, so I suppose that was inevitable. It is working with GSK on a next generation vaccine, which is supposedly stronger, but it wouldn't be tested until mid 2022. https://www.irishtimes.com/business/health-pharma/curevac-to-drop-covid-vaccine-candidate-and-focus-on-next-gen-shot-1.4698280 Rumours about Novavax not getting approved until around mid-2002 now. Crazy. Not sure what happened there. Sanofi is supposed to have results before year end, so after its own tribulations, it may emerge surprisingly from the pack. And Russia is denying stealing its Sputnik vaccine from Astrazeneca. Hilarious. https://fortune.com/2021/10/12/russia-denies-stealing-astrazeneca-blueprint-to-make-sputnik-v-covid-19-vaccine/
  7. Right Seems to be a paperwork issue. One form doesn't agree with another form. The WHO is looking at approving it but that process has been dragged out because of issues like that. And one of their factories didn't reach certain standards. It doesn't mean that the vaccine itself is bad (as mentioned). Just that organisations like the WHO want to ensure that everything is above board before they recommend giving the vaccine to millions of people worldwide. WHO approval might encourage people in Russia to use it. Sputnik has also struggled with supply. Novavax could be very useful in this regard. Side effects are supposed to be mild compared to the mRNA vaccines. But getting approval is taking forever there also. And I doubt it will get approval for children/teenagers immediately when it does get adult approval. Yikes. The level of vaccination in those countries is ridiculous, given the ease of access. The fatalities are not encouraging people either. Somebody mentioned Germany in the last thread. While their vaccination rate isn't embarrasing, it is noticeable lower than a lot of other countries in Europe. I am surprised.
  8. While numbers are going down in North America, I think Europe is beginning to see the start of its next wave. Obviously a lot going on, and some countries are still seeing decent declines but the overall trend has shifted negatively. Hopefully temporary. That is in terms of cases though. Fatalities hasn't shifted except in countries with very poor vaccination rates. Bulgaria and Romania are now amongst the worst countries worldwide. Romania is worse now than it has ever been. Very interesting map above. I wonder is there a European equivalent. https://reopen.europa.eu/en
  9. As it happens, there is an article in the New England Journal of Medicine on booster effectiveness today based on results from Israel. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2114255 In other words, the chance of a severe illness is almost 20 times less if you get boosted. I'm a little surprised at how positive that data is, given the troubles Israel had in controlling the Delta wave. Even today, its fatality rate is rather high (over 2 months after it started boosting). But that is presumably due to its relatively low total vaccination rate (64%) than an issue with boosters. I'm curious about whether that level of improvement is consistent across age groups but either way, very good results. There are even studies now showing that you can get the flu vaccine and a COVID booster at the same time. https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/trial-shows-sanofi-s-fluzone-and-moderna-s-covid-19-shot-perform-same-when-given-same-doctor So boosters seem to work. The biggest reason to defer getting one is that most people haven't had their first dose (we are at 46% for 1st doses worldwide apparently). OTOH, declining a booster may just lead to a wasted vaccine. It certainly doesn't mean that a dose goes elsewhere (although, it could. I'm not sure has anyone looked at that. Doses definitely get wasted though). The other factors are then about your personal risk factors and the risk factors of those around you.
  10. Makes sense. Authoritarians may turn against some capitalists but I don't think any authoritarian regime has ever turned against capitalism (ignoring the cases which began as anti-capitalists)? In fact, they have a long history of working very closely together. Authoritarians love making money. Helps them finance their pet projects. And yes, there is a risk that authoritarians will turn against your friendly capitalist but authoritarians can turn against everybody. Family, friends etc. The army is probably the biggest exception. The challenge with democracy then is that it needs a lot of work. It can easily go backwards. I'm really curious to see where Tunisia will go over the next few years. I'd be concerned right now. It probably needed a huge amount of financial investment but that doesn't really happen anymore.
  11. Huh. I didn't know. Thanks. Weird that I didn't see that mentioned before. Glad he did that over flying to space! The FDA is meeting on it next week IIRC. So not too long!
  12. An 85 year old asymptomatic person? Wow. I'm assuming that was pretty much impossible before vaccination? Although, i've never seen a graph showing how likely you are to be asymptomatic. Other news, the EMA signed off on Pfizer boosters. A light touch though, saying there is no reason not to. But leaving the decisions on who should be boosted to individual countries. https://www.politico.eu/article/complex-eu-leads-europe-to-diverge-from-us-on-coronavirus-vaccine-booster/ Lithuania takes a leaf from the US. €100 if you get vaccinated and you are over 75. Given Lithuania has done poorly so far when it comes to vaccination and it has the highest number of cases in the EU currently, I can see its logic. https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/lithuanian-government-proposes-paying-over-75s-take-covid-jabs-2021-10-06/ The Nordic countries are moving away from Moderna for younger people. I think Ontario did something like this recently. Moderna may be better than Pfizer but it comes with a cost (although I'm sure they are only doing this because they have a very available alternative in Pfizer). Moderna's proposed booster is half the normal size (but still bigger than Pfizers). https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/sweden-pauses-use-moderna-covid-vaccine-cites-rare-side-effects-2021-10-06/
  13. To echo what Rippounent said, is this what the people with money want you to think? "Behind closed doors" sounds so ominous but all policies are generated behind closed doors. The technocrats are often the medical experts, scientists etc. who are dismissed because certain monied interests find their views detrimental to their interests, and develop the narrative accordingly. "Doing my own research" becomes as valued as "expert opinion". And sure, scientists/technocrats can also be co-opted by people with money but that isn't the main challenge around climate change or COVID (for example). Its complicated...
  14. Interesting way to put it. Before COVID-19, an 85 year old had a far higher risk of dieing than a 50 year old. And COVID hasn't changed the ratio (just increased the values). Is that being researched? The US FDA has a meeting on the Pfizer vaccine for kids betwene 5-11 on the 26th Oct. So things keep moving along. https://www.politico.com/news/2021/10/01/fda-meetings-kid-covid-vaccines-514897
  15. I think we have been talking about this for the last 3 months! Lots of countries were similar to Hungary initially but fell away (very badly in some cases). But Hungary, Czech Republic and Poland have only marginally disimproved. Hope it continues! And yes, i've heard of people getting other ailments more recently also. That's what human contact does I suppose! It was linked earlier. I think by Zorral. One of the reasons people think that Moderna is better than Pfizer is because its dose is 100mg compared to Pfizer's 30mg. Probably not unrelated to that, Ontario is now recommending Pfizer to male 18-24 year olds because of a higher likelihood of (non-fatal) myocarditis in those that get Moderna. https://torontosun.com/news/provincial/ontario-now-recommending-against-moderna-vaccine-for-men-18-24-years-old Axios is questioning how fast Moderna will get approval in the US because of a lack of documentation (Pfizer got a lot of data from Israel but Moderna doesn't have a similar country available). I still think it has to happen in October. https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-vaccines-boosters-moderna-pfizer-data-9cdeffe9-e921-41ef-a34f-7ce88645ea9c.html
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