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DireWolfSpirit

Covid- Thank you, Next! Get out of our lives.

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Posted (edited)

I also posted this in the Canadian Politics thread.

The most bizarre story I've heard all week is that the mayor of Windsor, ON has been negotiating with Michigan officials (the mayor of Detroit?) to take vaccine doses that are about to expire and be destroyed and use them for Canadians. The plan is to shut down the Windsor-Detroit tunnel, as it is owned by each municipality, paint a line at the border (there are signs there), and have US medical personnel stand on one side of the line and have Canadians stand on the other side and stick their arms out for a vaccine shot. I kid you not. More than 1300 Canadian medical personnel, nurses and doctors, cross the border every day to work in US hospitals, and they have been horrified to see how many vaccine doses are being destroyed as they expire. 35,000 doses were destroyed last week alone. Michigan hasn't even hit 50% with first doses as of today, though they do have 42.8% fully vaccinated. No word if Health Canada has approved this wacky vaccine distribution scheme.

I guess that Michigan, like other states, has pretty well hit their limit? I understand that vaccinations have not even picked up in the lottery states.

Ontario is at 60.8% of the province vaccinated with one dose (69.3% of those 12 and older), but of course, only 7% fully vaccinated (8% for those 12+). The goal is to have 75% of the population vaccinated  with one shot by the end of June, which is doable if our pace holds steady, and to have 20% fully vaccinated, which definitely looks achievable. 

Edited by Fragile Bird
Sp

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Ooops, three posts in a row!

I was just going to bed and heard the last half hour of This American Life, which gets played on the CBC late at night. The show was about death and grief, and the last story was about a 33-year old woman who died of complications from Covid-19, a long-hauler. She decided to write her obituary as the end came near, and TAL, with the permission of her family, had the obituary read out by an actress. Her name was Leiah Danielle Jones, and she lived in Charlotte, North Carolina. It's very moving.

https://www.thisamericanlife.org/738/good-grief

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On 6/5/2021 at 8:46 PM, Week said:

Concern over the efficacy of the Sinopharm vaccine continues -- Bahrain, an early adopter, is recommending a third shot of the BioNTech vaccine.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/06/china-ramps-up-vaccinations-as-other-countries-back-away-from-its-vaccines/

 

In UAE too. We're still testing around 200k daily, and have a positivity rate of below 1% - hovering around 0.80%. Even so, daily cases are still in the late 1000s or higher. The first vaccine rolled out here was Sinopharm (UAE was part of the phase 3 trials for this one), and most people got Sinopharm shots. Later, Pfizer was introduced and I was lucky enough to get it.

A couple of months ago health authorities announced providing a 3rd dose for the especially vulnerable who'd got Sinopharm, and now they've announced that anyone who got Sinopharm can soon get Pfizer. Really makes me wonder about the efficacy of the former, even though there was a recent article in the Lancet (I think?) that seemed to confirm it was decent - I think late 70% maybe? 

Thing is, life has been pretty much back to normal here for many months now: no lockdowns, everything open etc. but there hasn't been an alarming spike, And the robust testing and low positivity rate are good indicators but still, if we compare this to Israel which has a similar small population and has used Pfizer, there's a marked difference in case #s, though I don't know how much they're testing daily. 

Worrying given that Sinopharm has been doled out to quite a few countries that don't have the resources to buy and store large quantities of other vaccines - it will also be part of Covax now it's had WHO approval. 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Fragile Bird said:

The plan is to shut down the Windsor-Detroit tunnel, as it is owned by each municipality, paint a line at the border (there are signs there), and have US medical personnel stand on one side of the line and have Canadians stand on the other side and stick their arms out for a vaccine shot. I kid you not. More than 1300 Canadian medical personnel, nurses and doctors, cross the border every day to work in US hospitals, and they have been horrified to see how many vaccine doses are being destroyed as they expire. 35,000 doses were destroyed last week alone. Michigan hasn't even hit 50% with first doses as of today, though they do have 42.8% fully vaccinated. No word if Health Canada has approved this wacky vaccine distribution scheme.

I love this idea.

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I double-checked the new vaccine rules today and I am in the group that can get a second dose now. It’s 9 weeks today since my first shot of Pfizer and I’m wondering if I should book an appointment now or wait until the 12th week.

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14 hours ago, Fragile Bird said:

I also posted this in the Canadian Politics thread.

The most bizarre story I've heard all week is that the mayor of Windsor, ON has been negotiating with Michigan officials (the mayor of Detroit?) to take vaccine doses that are about to expire and be destroyed and use them for Canadians. The plan is to shut down the Windsor-Detroit tunnel, as it is owned by each municipality, paint a line at the border (there are signs there), and have US medical personnel stand on one side of the line and have Canadians stand on the other side and stick their arms out for a vaccine shot. I kid you not. More than 1300 Canadian medical personnel, nurses and doctors, cross the border every day to work in US hospitals, and they have been horrified to see how many vaccine doses are being destroyed as they expire. 35,000 doses were destroyed last week alone. Michigan hasn't even hit 50% with first doses as of today, though they do have 42.8% fully vaccinated. No word if Health Canada has approved this wacky vaccine distribution scheme...

An idiosyncratic plan that makes efficient use of vaccinations near expiry?

That sounds terrific, and I hope they make it work.

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3 hours ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

Do it asap, no advantage to waiting.

Instead of posting here I should have immediately tried booking, first thing in the morning! Lol, I was #2,150,271 in line.

I went for irony. My appointment is on the 4th of July, 12 weeks and 6 days after my first dose.

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3 hours ago, Fragile Bird said:

Instead of posting here I should have immediately tried booking, first thing in the morning! Lol, I was #2,150,271 in line.

I went for irony. My appointment is on the 4th of July, 12 weeks and 6 days after my first dose.

If you get infected, and you’re the host where the virus mutates enough to turn us all into zombies, I’m eating you first. 

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14 minutes ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

The state of Washington is offering 'joints for jabs'. This is not a joke (I think)

If you think all those losers whining about how angry they would be that they paid off their student loans if there's any kind of debt relief are out of line, imagine how much I'm stewing right now.

I drove 2+ hours to get a shot and all I got was better immunity and an order of "chicken riggies" (apparently the signature dish of Utica NY).  

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Not yet followed by a rise in deaths fortunately ...

Thinking about the US - I wonder if our greatest danger is the next couple of months. Red States with lagging vaccine compliance are also more likely to be hot in the summer with more indoor/AC time. States with better vaccine uptake (Wash, MA, RI, MN, VT) doubly benefit for more time outdoors now (although very hot now) through the fall.

 

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Posted (edited)

All I know for certain is that any complacency about covid-19 infections in any region of this country is hella stupid.

I am pleased as heck at our current fall off of infection and death, but again, here it is nearly summer.  And enormous numbers of public gatherings are already happening, and everyone is planning to open up everything with no restrictions whatsoever as fast as possible.  And we're begging tourists to come here, from everywhere (as they are already gathering for Gay Pride).  So I fear the fall.

In the meantime though, I am enjoying walking without wearing a mask, buying my own groceries instead of ordering them, meeting friends, even from out of town, that we've not seen in nearly 2 years, and planning a shore get-away with friends next month, after doing some research in Yikes! Miami. 

Stilll continuinh to wear masks indoors and in cr0wds, will not go to movies and such events, and will continue to wash thoroughly, etc.  In any case none of us have had even a cold for nearly 2 years, and I'd like not to start this summer.

Edited by Zorral

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4 minutes ago, Kalebear said:

This is the kind of story I want more of

 

 

Ha, nice.  I can't say I haven't, in non pandemic times, contemplated something similarly shitty: my fantasy of quitting my ski mountain job was always to rearrange the ropes that form the "maze" guiding guests to the lift line so that it just kept looping back around and they couldn't actually get on it. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Week said:

Thinking about the US - I wonder if our greatest danger is the next couple of months. Red States with lagging vaccine compliance are also more likely to be hot in the summer with more indoor/AC time. States with better vaccine uptake (Wash, MA, RI, MN, VT) doubly benefit for more time outdoors now (although very hot now) through the fall.

Another question is how long before the Delta variant takes hold in the US (or any other country)?  I presume that is being tracked somewhere.  If it can have an effect on the UK, few countries are safe.

Some of the improvement over the last couple of months is probably due to the warmer weather.  But increasing use of AC, as you say, could indeed negate some of that.  But IMO, I think it still is a race between vaccines and the Delta variant.  Countries with high rates of hesitancy (or poor supply) could be in trouble.

Unrelated, but I stumbled upon a bit of info on how a vaccine trial is contacted.  Fascinating.  I had no idea.

Quote

On May 28, CureVac announced that its independent Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) had found no safety issues associated with CVnCoV during the first interim analysis of the investigation. Therefore, it recommended the study proceed as scheduled.

As per CureVac's study protocol, the trial could be stopped at the first interim analysis if the vaccine's efficacy reaches 85.7%. Since the study is progressing to the second interim analysis, we can deduce CVnCoV did not hit that benchmark. Conversely, the trial would have been stopped for futility if the vaccine candidate's efficacy was less than 13.3%. The second interim analysis has much narrower margins, less than or equal to 41.4% for futility and greater than or equal to 64.6% for high efficacy.

Since the trial's primary endpoints evaluate CVnCoV's effectiveness against COVID-19 of any severity, not just serious/critical illness (where vaccines tend to be the most effective), there is an elevated risk that CureVac may not hit those benchmarks during the second analysis. Keep in mind that Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine met the high efficacy threshold on the first interim analysis (against the original coronavirus strain).

If the trial continues as scheduled after the second interim analysis -- that could spell out trouble.

Link for full text

Which ties into Reuters reporting that the EU does not expect approval for Curevac till August. Ouch.

Edited by Padraig

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The Toronto-based Mastercard Foundation is donating $1.3 B over the next three years to boost the Covid-19 response in Africa. The money will be used to acquire vaccine for 50 M people, boosting the delivery of millions of additional vaccines by improving distribution and reducing vaccine hesitancy, training workers for a planned vaccine manufacturing sector in Africa and strengthening the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

I didn’t even know the Foundation was here in Toronto. It was created in 2005 after Mastercard went public on the NY stock exchange. It’s the biggest charity in Canada with almost US$40 B in assets. In recent years it’s been focused on Africa, spending more than US$4 B and opening offices across Africa, and relocated it’s president to Rwanda.

After being fairly low level in Africa last year, Covid-19 cases have really picked up. It was expected that COVAX would supply vaccine doses from India, but the factory in India is concentrating on that country until the end of the year.

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15 hours ago, Padraig said:

Another question is how long before the Delta variant takes hold in the US (or any other country)?  I presume that is being tracked somewhere.  If it can have an effect on the UK, few countries are safe.

3 weeks ago the Delta variant was at 3% in Luxembourg. 2 weeks ago it was 7% and this week it’s at 16%. Definitely making headway.

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16 hours ago, Padraig said:

Another question is how long before the Delta variant takes hold in the US (or any other country)?  I presume that is being tracked somewhere.  If it can have an effect on the UK, few countries are safe.

Some of the improvement over the last couple of months is probably due to the warmer weather.  But increasing use of AC, as you say, could indeed negate some of that.  But IMO, I think it still is a race between vaccines and the Delta variant.  Countries with high rates of hesitancy (or poor supply) could be in trouble.

6% of sequenced cases in the US is the Delta variant per Fauci. I would guess that will at least double in a week.

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/06/08/1004597294/the-highly-contagious-delta-variant-of-covid-is-on-the-rise-in-the-u-s

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17 hours ago, Padraig said:

Another question is how long before the Delta variant takes hold in the US (or any other country)?  I presume that is being tracked somewhere.  If it can have an effect on the UK, few countries are safe.

The Delta variant is interesting in that while it's only slightly more likely to infect fully vaccinated people than the original virus, it's dramatically more likely to infect people who have only had one shot of the vaccine:

Quote

"There is reduced vaccine effectiveness in the one dose," said Fauci, who is the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director. "Three weeks after one dose, both vaccines, the (AstraZeneca) and the Pfizer/BioNTech, were only 33% effective against symptomatic disease from Delta."

For the original virus, the one-dose effectiveness is definitely over 60% and probably over 70% so this 33% is remarkably low. This makes the UK and other countries that put off administering the second dose for much longer than the recommended 3-4 weeks after the first disproportionately vulnerable to this specific variant. Of course, the US is also vulnerable simply because of the vaccine hesitancy.

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