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Fragile Bird

Covid-19 #25: The Prisoner’s Dilemma

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Remember the discussion we had recently, maybe in the last thread, I forget, about the length of time it takes to make the mRNA vaccines? At least a month, a length of time some people found hard to believe?

I’ve mentioned I watch CNBC in the mornings, they do a lot of updates on vaccines because people want to be informed investors. They just reported news from Pfizer. Pfizer has announced they are working to speed up vaccine production. Until now the average time to make their vaccine has been 110 days.

Let me repeat that - the average time to make the Pfizer vaccine has been 110 days. With experience under their belts now they plan to get that down to 60 days.

Sanofi signed a contract with Pfizer to help with the end packaging, getting vaccine into vials, where, it was reported, “the bottleneck was occurring”. I don’t think that’s where the bottleneck was at all. The fact is the process is new and nobody had made a human mRNA vaccine before, and never in such quantities.

Edited by Fragile Bird
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@Chataya de Fleury,

So not kidding about your sister though? :P

I got the Pfizer vaccine. The shot was completely painless, didn't even know the nurse did it. One of my aunts is a RN and she told me as a kid to just let your arm go limp and look away and it will never hurt. So far that's largely been true with a few exceptions. Interestingly the nurse also told me I should workout this afternoon to help reduce the likely soreness I should expect tomorrow. I did a 20 minute yoga sessions just before I went in, so maybe that played a role in it not hurting at all. 

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I'm very grateful to have gotten my first dose of the moderna vaccine yesterday - don't have any side affects whatsoever... actually makes me a little nervous that it might not be working. Would almost be grateful for just a small fever to know it was kicking in!  

Speaking of which, has anyone seen any data on if alcohol and/or weed can impact the effectiveness of the vaccine? I celebrated a little bit at home after getting the first shot and now I'm wondering if that might have had an impact...

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I read somewhere that pain medication can be a problem (stuff like ibuprofen). Alcohol should be fine though.

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9 minutes ago, JoannaL said:

I read somewhere that pain medication can be a problem (stuff like ibuprofen). Alcohol should be fine though.

I think they would have said not to drink within a given timeframe if they were worried about it. I also celebrated afterwards with a small glass of scotch. 

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well my father in law got told not to drink 2 weeks before and after the jab.

Edited by Filippa Eilhart

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2 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

@Chataya de Fleury,

So not kidding about your sister though? :P

I got the Pfizer vaccine. The shot was completely painless, didn't even know the nurse did it. One of my aunts is a RN and she told me as a kid to just let your arm go limp and look away and it will never hurt. So far that's largely been true with a few exceptions. Interestingly the nurse also told me I should workout this afternoon to help reduce the likely soreness I should expect tomorrow. I did a 20 minute yoga sessions just before I went in, so maybe that played a role in it not hurting at all. 

Totally not kidding about my sister ;)

Yup, my pharmacist who gives me my flu shot every year says the same thing about going limp and also working out afterwards. Vacuuming the house is my go-to. Clean house as a side benefit :)

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"Israel Is the World’s Most Vaccinated Country. Why Are Cases Rising?"

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/02/why-are-cases-rising-in-israel-the-most-vaccinated-country.html

Quote

 

....While Israel races ahead on putting shots in arms, the country is also seeing a spike in cases, with almost 74 out of every 100,000 Israelis testing positive for the virus, compared to about 40 out of every 100,000 Americans. On Thursday, the death toll in Israel crossed 5,000....

Naftali Bennett, the former defense minister who coordinated much of the nation’s initial virus response and is now running to replace Netanyahu, accused the government of adopting a strategy that, in his words, can be summed up as, “We’re not going to manage the crisis in this country, we’re going to put all our eggs in the one basket: vaccines,” he told Intelligencer.

“Israel’s entire strategy relies on the hope that no variant will escape the vaccine,” he continued. “If a mutation that can bypass the vaccine appears tomorrow, we’re in trouble.” 

On Thursday, at a cabinet meeting convened to debate the future of a partial, fraying lockdown, which is scheduled to end on Sunday, Netanyahu acknowledged that “the British mutation is running amok in Israel,” driving 80 percent of Israel’s recent COVID-19 fatalities....

The advent of the British strain has been a game-changer for Israel. “The vaccines are a big success,” Ayman Seif, Israel’s deputy corona czar in charge of anti-COVID measures in the Arab community, told Intelligencer. “We began to see their effects, but it is not enough to curb the rise in contagion brought by the mutation.”....

... A government study showed that 44 percent of cases diagnosed in Israel between Thursday and Friday were found among citizens younger than 19. Only 6.2 were found in those ages 60 and older. Rahav said that hospital beds left free by the inoculated over-60 population are being filled by the under-50 crowd. “The British variant of the coronavirus brought us to our knees,” she said. Her hospital’s COVID wards remain at capacity, with ever younger patients.

Nadav Eyal, a columnist for the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, and the author of Revolt, a book about the uprising against globalization, said: “We’ve gotten to this weird point because the Israeli government didn’t listen to the experts who explained that even going at full speed, it couldn’t protect an entire population by vaccinating, which is always a linear process, while the virus itself kept growing exponentially in the population.”....

The danger confronts any country that chooses a primarily vaccine-reliant policy before COVID-19 is finally vanquished. With vaccines slowly wending their way to communities around the world while the virus itself runs rampant, Israel’s coronavirus conundrum is unlikely to remain within its borders.

“When historians look back,” Eyal says, “they will see that science and scientists rose to the moment, but politics failed almost everywhere, and made it much worse. In the competition between science and its achievements and the damage done by hollow, corrupt politics, they will say that in the short run, politics inflicted huge damage on society, and cost lives.”

 

 

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Alcohol definitely suppresses the immune response. But we're looking at a response over a couple week period, so unless you're drinking constantly.... 

Fwiw I never get a big reaction to vaccines, but I've had serum antibodies checked to see if I need a booster for various stuff for work a couple times. Always been fine. Wouldn't stress.

@Fragile Bird yes, I am still slightly incredulous at the manufacturing time of the mRNA vaccines. I was chatting to colleagues at work who teach molecular biology about it, they were gobsmacked too. One of the big points of the mRNA vaccines were they were meant to be nimble. Early days I guess.

Edited by Impmk2

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26 minutes ago, Filippa Eilhart said:

well my father in law got told not to drink 2 weeks before and after the jab.

I feel confident that's not accurate. I was scheduled for my jab less than a week ago, and I only got it because I work at a hospital. There were signs everywhere saying if you aren't an employee or born after today's date 65 years ago, GTFO. Each patient was given a check list of behaviors they've taken in the days leading up and any symptoms they were experiencing. There was no mention about alcohol or drug consumption. I think they would have mentioned something if there was an issue.

Funny enough, I guess I got the good side-effect The Bride missed out on.

36 minutes ago, Chataya de Fleury said:

Totally not kidding about my sister ;)

Yup, my pharmacist who gives me my flu shot every year says the same thing about going limp and also working out afterwards. Vacuuming the house is my go-to. Clean house as a side benefit :)

Lol.

We're simpatico on the cleaning part. My home office area and kitchen have never looked better. The robot did its part too, I guess. 

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5 hours ago, Fragile Bird said:

Are we making decisions that help everybody?

Carry on!

This is one of those instances where I would trust an AI to make the best (or optimal) decisions for the world at large, rather than a bunch of individual or collective group of flawed politicians who sometimes get their insights from blockbuster movies.

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34 minutes ago, Impmk2 said:

Alcohol definitely suppresses the immune response. But we're looking at a response over a couple week period, so unless you're drinking constantly.... 

Fwiw I never get a big reaction to vaccines, but I've had serum antibodies checked to see if I need a booster for various stuff for work a couple times. Always been fine. Wouldn't stress.

@Fragile Bird yes, I am still slightly incredulous at the manufacturing time of the mRNA vaccines. I was chatting to colleagues at work who teach molecular biology about it, they were gobsmacked too. One of the big points of the mRNA vaccines were they were meant to be nimble. Early days I guess.

My colleague who gave a presentation (summary paraphrased in the previous thread) on the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines said mRNA vaccines are cheaper and easier to manufacture than traditional ones. Though maybe that was an in principle statement, as in, will be cheaper and easier once the technology is well established. We are in the relatively early days of the technology being commercialised for production at scale.

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From what I've read, more than half of the 110 day production time of the Pfizer vaccine is for testing and quality control. Its still faster than influenza (6 months) and the Salk polio vaccine (18 months), although they are of course different from the mRNA vaccine route.

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6 minutes ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

From what I've read, more than half of the 110 day production time of the Pfizer vaccine is for testing and quality control. Its still faster than influenza (6 months) and the Salk polio vaccine (18 months), although they are of course different from the mRNA vaccine route.

And, from what I have read, they are progressively shortening the time frame as they optimize their manufacturing processes.  No one in the history of the universe had ever made an mRNA vaccine to scale.  They will get better at it.  @Pebble thats Stubby had a great set of insights about two threads back about how manufacturing actually works

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Saw this in a briefing summary today

Quote

Countering criticism of its slow rollout, the Canadian government has taken some criticism in the other direction following the announcement that it will be sourcing additional vaccine through the COVAX Facility and not exclusively from the portfolio of Advance Purchase Agreements.  This criticism stems from suggestions that COVAX AMC is intended only for low and middle income countries. 

One of the few unclassified briefings I get, most are classified as confidential. So I am pretty sure I am not violating my conditions by posting this. But I won't post any of the detail just in case. 

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58 minutes ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

From what I've read, more than half of the 110 day production time of the Pfizer vaccine is for testing and quality control. Its still faster than influenza (6 months) and the Salk polio vaccine (18 months), although they are of course different from the mRNA vaccine route.

Yeah that makes sense. Like I said, early days.

Not really a like for like with time you quoted for flu though. That's from the manufacturers receiving the strain to grow, to bulk delivery, including various regulatory steps and clinical testing by individual governments. The actual time to grow each batch is a couple weeks, plus a few more weeks in house QC.

Edit: though again this probably depends on which flu vaccine you're talking about. If I recall there's also a protein subunit vaccine widely used. 

Edited by Impmk2

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Interesting measure of COVID in the world. Sept/Oct last year arrivals into the country were testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 at less than 10 per week. Arrivals have stayed more or less the same since then but number of positives per week now sits at about 40. Not surprising but for countries like NZ, Aus, Taiwan etc it indicates a significant increase in risk of the virus leaking out of the quarantine system without there having been a substantial change in how the quarantine system is run. So not surprising that we had a leakage a couple of weeks ago, and so has Aus.

Dunno if it's been mentioned in the previous thread, but the implication of the current vaccines not producing effective immunity vs some of the new strains is that people who had the original COVID (i.e. most people who got COVID-19 in 2020) also won't be immune or will only be weakly immune to re-infection.

Edited by The Anti-Targ

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2 hours ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

This is one of those instances where I would trust an AI to make the best (or optimal) decisions for the world at large, rather than a bunch of individual or collective group of flawed politicians who sometimes get their insights from blockbuster movies.

Hah no

The AI would be programmed with a whole TON of fucking biases that you're almost assuredly unaware of, and make choices that are both biased and shitty based on those things. It would be really good at showcasing some of the stupidest biases we have, but it would be completely balls to head stupid about actually making those choices.

And a general AI would basically almost certainly make choices that are most beneficial to itself. 

Put it another way: we are incapable of making something particularly smarter than we are, or making something more fair than we are, because anything that was smarter or fairer would be culled by us thinking that what it was deciding was stupid. Anything that makes it out of that will be by definition just as stupid and unfair as us. 

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