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Covid-19 #27: A Handful of Stars, A Fistful of Dollars

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Mudguard said:

Influenza is different because the efficacy of the influenza vaccine is around 50% in a good year, and can be less than 10% in a bad year.  No idea whether these new vaccine technologies can be used to improve the influenza vaccine, which largely is based on decades old tech.

 

Yeah that'd be interesting to see, but I don't hold too much hope. Big part of the problem with influenza vaccines is that you don't get a great immune response from the major surface antigens, as well as them being prone to reassortment (& mutation) with poor cross-protection. The sars-cov-2 spike protein otoh seems at first glance to be (luckily) pretty damn immunogenic in either the traditional or the newer tech vaccines.

Anecdotally I worked with a guy who was heavily involved in flu vaccine research a few years back - he maintained part of the problem (here at least) is there was a bit of a boys club in flu vaccine research field and heavy resistance from the old guard to fund research into new technologies at a university level. Hopefully that at least could change.

Edited by Impmk2

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8 minutes ago, JoannaL said:

Read about UK supplies here

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-56435549

and was very surprised to learn that they get AZ from India?

"What we do know is that for the next two weeks there is "bumper" supply thanks to a large shipment of AstraZeneca from India to supplement UK stocks."

I read that recently as well and was also surprised. Apparently 10 million doses were ordered from India. This seems to be from the same factory that the EU are assessing.

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, JoannaL said:

Read about UK supplies here

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-56435549

and was very surprised to learn that they get AZ from India?

"What we do know is that for the next two weeks there is "bumper" supply thanks to a large shipment of AstraZeneca from India to supplement UK stocks."

This is another element I don't understand about this vaccine business.  Because all day I was reading in the media that the UK is to expect a reduced amount  / shortage of vaccine in April. while supposedly ethically and -- contractully? -- its not fulfilling its obligation to ship to the EU -- the same vaccine that the EU ships the UK? 

None of this makes any sense, unless contracts for shipments and doses were contracted among a large number of manufacturers / developers long BEFORE there were any vaccines at all, so everybody charged around doing anything and everything trying to be sure to have a supply when / if vaccines were available?  And now it's all silly buggers and some countries have contracted 'for more than their fair share'  and are supposed to share with other countries -- but don't actually have any vaccine at all from any manufacturer, or way too little.

Our capitalist way with health is really the worst thing for cooperation, and therefore for human health care there is, whether health locally, nationally or globally.

 

Edited by Zorral

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14 minutes ago, Zorral said:

ts not fulfilling its obligation to ship to the EU -- the same vaccine that the EU ships the UK? 

no, The vaccine the EU was supposed to get from the UK was AZ, the vaccine exported from the EU to the UK is Pfizer.

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41 minutes ago, Zorral said:

None of this makes any sense, unless contracts for shipments and doses were contracted among a large number of manufacturers / developers long BEFORE there were any vaccines at all, so everybody charged around doing anything and everything trying to be sure to have a supply when / if vaccines were available? 

and yes, that’s exactly what happened.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, williamjm said:

Apparently 10 million doses were ordered from India. This seems to be from the same factory that the EU are assessing.

Very interesting.  I wonder how long the UK spent assessing the factory. :) 

And I do wonder what is causing the slowdown in the UK.   That's not good news, especially given how all these things are normally interlinked.  Slowdown in one place, slowdown in another.

Edited to add;  Interesting article on Sputnik.

Edited by Padraig

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6 minutes ago, Padraig said:

And I do wonder what is causing the slowdown in the UK.   That's not good news, especially given how all these things are normally interlinked.  Slowdown in one place, slowdown in another.

Nobody seems to know quite what's going on, other than that it's involving AZ because they apparently can't stay out of the news.

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2 hours ago, Filippa Eilhart said:

and yes, that’s exactly what happened.

Ah thank you! What a mess.

At least there are vaccines getting out there and into people's arms -- as far as they go.  Here in the US it has only really begun in the last couple of weeks. But as everybody is opening everything and there are new variants, and the processes are uttlerly effed, mostly still a shell game for millions and millions, particularly w/o high speed internet and / or smart phones and / or cars -- not good.

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35 minutes ago, Karlbear said:

My son who had cancer is finally eligible to get the first shot. That was by far our biggest concern in the family. If I die, well, they get a good inheritance, but him dying after all that bullshit was super stressful. 

That's got to be, well, I can and I can't imagine, what a relief for all of you.

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6 hours ago, RhaenysBee said:

That’s not the point, the point is that I can still potentially infect people... this is depressing. 

Curious to see when this shit will finally end... I still hope we might be free after another year... 

Depends what you mean by "free". Talk is this disease cannot be eradicated. Vaccination will make death and significant morbidity a rare thing though. And that might be the best one can hope for, so we'll never be free. But if by free you mean get back to a life very similar to before the pandemic, then a year or so may be reasonable, just depends on the variants how quickly vaccine can be developed and deployed, and how much cross immunity there is with the OG vaccine. 

WTO seems to have come to a conclusion on the likely source of the virus: https://www.livescience.com/who-says-china-wildlife-farms-may-be-source-covid-19.html

Quote

After a months-long investigation, the World Health Organization (WHO) has found that wildlife farms in China are likely the source of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These wildlife farms, many of them in or around the southern Chinese province of Yunnan, were likely supplying animals to vendors at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, where early cases of COVID-19 were discovered last year, Peter Daszak, a disease ecologist on the WHO team that traveled to China, told NPR. Some of these wild animals could have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 from bats in the area.

 

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But here in the US the variant whatever that mostly infected Us, came out of Italy . . . not China.

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11 hours ago, Zorral said:

 

None of this makes any sense, unless contracts for shipments and doses were contracted among a large number of manufacturers / developers long BEFORE there were any vaccines at all, so everybody charged around doing anything and everything trying to be sure to have a supply when / if vaccines were available?  And now it's all silly buggers and some countries have contracted 'for more than their fair share'  and are supposed to share with other countries -- but don't actually have any vaccine at all from any manufacturer, or way too little

 

This is what happened. IIRC Matt Hancock said that he was inspired by Hollywood films to make sure the UK ordered far too much ofnwhat was inevitably going to become a scarce resource. IIRC the UK had ordered something like 410 Million doses from a dozen different manufacturers before a single one had entered phase 3 trials

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Posted (edited)

Bad news from Curevac: No, no, not the really bad news...

But their Phase III which was scheduled to be finished about now, will take a month longer. This is because it was designed for the wildtyp and now encounters the british, south african and brasilian variants. They are doing a lot of sequencing and redesigning to get results for all three now.

What about the AZ study in the US? Data should be out now?

For Germany, I was long in denial about the third wave. for weeks (since the beginning of February) the numbers were down, though the experts warned . Last week now we went into exponential growth, variant at 75%

Edited by JoannaL
insert one sentence

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2 hours ago, JoannaL said:

Bad news from Curevac: No, no, not the really bad news...

But their Phase III which was scheduled to be finished about now, will take a month longer. This is because it was designed for the wildtyp and now encounters the british, south african and brasilian variants. They are doing a lot of sequencing and redesigning to get results for all three now.

Well.  Boo. :)  But, I can see the logic.  The British variant is especially prevalent right now.  The South African one seems to cause the most trouble right now.   And more will arise.

It was mentioned that AZ has finished its US study.  They must be at the final analysis stage before publication and presentation to the US FDA?

I'm curious to see what is going to happen with Novavax over the next month also.  It is preparing its application (to the UK anyhow).  But I don't think an order was ever finalised between the EU and Novavax.  It has suggested that it is very prepared for production.

And yes, cases have gone up nearly everywhere in Europe.  Portugal is the one of the few countries that is still seeing a strong decline in numbers.  2 months ago it was getting medical help from Germany.  Now it is the best country in the EU!  What a strange disease.

When we had this conversation before, we wondered about seasonality.  While seasonality may be a factor, variants is certainly a far bigger one seemingly.  And people probably being less vigilant, reduced restrictions etc.

7 hours ago, Zorral said:

But here in the US the variant whatever that mostly infected Us, came out of Italy . . . not China.

I think I remember reading that the variant that became dominant here was from Spain.  So China, to Italy, to Spain, to Ireland!  (Although, not 100% sure I remember that correctly).

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Padraig said:

And yes, cases have gone up nearly everywhere in Europe.  Portugal is the one of the few countries that is still seeing a strong decline in numbers.  2 months ago it was getting medical help from Germany.  Now it is the best country in the EU!  What a strange disease.

Well I think that's why Portugal is doing well at the moment. It had a bad outbreak, possibly driven by the UK variant, went into a fairly strict lockdown and it's now seeing the benefit of that. Countries that have been more open are struggling more.

ETA: On the importance of getting lockdown strategies right apparently the delay in the UK going into lockdown in December could have lead to 27,000 extra deaths.

Edited by ljkeane

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I get that.  Ireland did something similar, although not as successful.  I wonder can we partly blame schools.  We opened some schools 2 weeks ago.  Portugal are only doing that this week I think.

So I get that the wild volatility have good explanations.  Still a crazy story.

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26 minutes ago, Padraig said:

And yes, cases have gone up nearly everywhere in Europe.  Portugal is the one of the few countries that is still seeing a strong decline in numbers.  2 months ago it was getting medical help from Germany.  Now it is the best country in the EU!  What a strange disease.

When we had this conversation before, we wondered about seasonality.  While seasonality may be a factor, variants is certainly a far bigger one seemingly.  And people probably being less vigilant, reduced restrictions etc.

 

I still believe in seasonality. We have now about the same weather as in November when the second wave hit. It will at least be another month to see if there is a seasonal factor. In May the weather is much warmer and this Covid -wave better be over - because I really am done with this ...

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