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  1. I participated in the Pfizer study and had the vaccines last summer.  At that point we were encouraged to expose ourselves as much as possible.  When I asked, they said that earlier studies showed the vaccine was over 90% effective.  They said they were anticipating approvals in late fall hoping to reach herd immunity sometime in the summer.  Everything they communicated to us thus far has been spot on.


    Once we reach herd immunity, the effectiveness of the vaccine is irrelevant as long as the effectiveness is over the herd immunity threshold.  The small amount of people who are not healthy enough to take the vaccine will not need it as long as they do not travel to a part of the world where the virus is prevalent.


    I haven’t seen many people saying that they are going to avoid travel, wear face masks, social distance and change their daily living habits because they are worried about contracting small pox or measles.  Both of those vaccines are appx 95% effective, same as Covid, along with a host of other vaccines and we have reached herd immunity.

    Once herd immunity is reached, it doesn’t matter if you are one of the 5% in which the vaccine is not effective because the virus naturally dies out.  Their will be no mechanism to catch the virus.  That is the entire purpose of creating a vaccine, to eradicate a disease.  The important thing is to get as many people as possible to take the vaccine to reach herd immunity.  Just like small pox, measles, diphtheria...... it will be eradicated and not present in our population.


    I volunteered for the Pfizer Covid study because I felt that a vaccine was so important.  We, along with many other first world counties, closed our economies.  As of today there 23.9 million confirmed cases of Covid in the US with 397,000 deaths, a less than 2% death rate.  The UN’s world food program is anticipating 137 million people will starve this year with much of that being a result of our first world shut downs.


    I hope everyone gets vaccinated and gets back to sailing.  When we do, we need to keep in mind that many of the workers are feeding extended families with the tips we give them.  We in the US can afford an abundance of caution, they cannot.  While we are locked in our cozy houses and shopping online, many families are starving to death and the people that take care of us on the ships have a lot of ground to make up.  Let’s all agree to be extra generous in any way we can, both now and certainly with the staff when we all start sailing again.

  2. Everyone should read the Great Barrington Declaration.  The entire declaration is worth a read.  Gives great scientific insight as to the state of COVID lockdowns and repercussions by Harvard, Stanford and Oxford in addition to 25,000 medical professionals and scientists.  Hopefully, we can get back our traveling lives!




  3. This may not be relevant to O but I ran into my neighbor out walking yesterday.  He is a high level exec for DCL.  He said they are starting up full force Dec 1.  I questioned him a bit and he said they have been executing the Dec start plan for awhile and will be ready to go.  Maybe there is hope!

  4. On 9/1/2020 at 7:59 AM, KirkNC said:

    Hate to tell you but there has never been a vaccine that’s 100% effective.  Most are around 50-60%.





    6 hours ago, chipmaster said:


    To have the antibodies doesn't mean you won't get infected, it means antibody has already active antibodies and likely a far faster and better chance at fighting it.    Nature will run it's course, your body will fight it and with far higher probability of beating it back before it can multiply and overwhelm your body.   One risk for any vaccine is that fine balance between getting the immune system to respond with minimal downside of the actual disease, funny balance the best way to get immune is exposure.   The staying what doesn't kill you makes you stronger has merit, LOL



    These vaccines are RNA vaccines.  There is no live component in the vaccine!!  The risk of being exposed to COVID by getting the vaccine is zero.  It is so important that people understand this.  The antibody response in nearly 100% of the volunteers is strong enough to prevent COVID.  Over 100,000 people have participated in the three US trials with overwhelming positive results.


    It is so frustrating when people falsely state that there is a risk of exposure to COVID from the vaccine.  Science has long evolved beyond live virus vaccines.  Also, most vaccines are better than 95% effective.  Look at Shingrex, small pox, diphtheria.......  We have eradicated many deadly diseases over the years with effective vaccines.  People who compare flu vaccine statistics to the COVID vaccine are just uninformed.  COVID has a few strains, easily covered with a single vaccine.  The flu has thousands of variations.  Vaccine development for the flu is always a crap shoot.

  5. 1 hour ago, Mapleleafforever said:

    Will they notify you upon trial completion whether you got the actual vaccine or the placebo? 

    Yes, upon approval by the FDA, all participants that received the placebo had to agree to immediately receive the vaccine.  This way there is no risk of participants seeking out vaccines from other companies and continuing with the study as we are followed for two years.

  6. Also, between the US and the UK about 150,000 people have participated in COVID vaccine trials.  Exactly zero people have died. Exactly zero people have had long term side effects.  A handful, less than 5 people, have required hospitalization, most when in phase 1 trials when the dosages were being calculated and high dosages were administered.


    Zero out of 150,000 plus people have died or had significant side effects from the vaccine.  In that same period of time, over 100,000 people have died from COVID with another several hundred thousand being hospitalized.  Which is causing more harm, releasing the vaccine or holding it for further study.

  7. On 10/4/2020 at 1:56 PM, flyguyjake said:

    The vaccines may not have the 80% efficacy needed to extinguish the pandemic. It's been reported that these vaccines will only provide a 50-65% efficacy. FDA said the minimum for approval is 50%. If the vaccines only provide 50%-60% efficacy we will still have to maintain the same covid prevention protocols such as social distancing and wearing masks. Personally I would get a vaccine but I think it's been promoted as a magic cure and it will definitely not be that.

    This is absolutely false information.  I am in the Pfizer study in Orlando.  Our vaccine study phase 3 with 45,600 people, is well documented as is Moderna, phase 3, plus J&J, just completed phase 2, all near 100% effective at producing antibodies well above what is required to ward off COVID.  It produces viral loads similar to Shingrex or small pox, nothing like the flu which is comparing apples to broccoli.  Covid is a stable virus with a small number of variants of similar structure, all can easily be covered by a vaccine.  The flu has thousands of strains.


    I received the vaccine and the booster.  I have had my antibodies tested several times and will again this week.  I believe I had the vaccine as several hours after the injection and the booster, I began to develop “tetanus shot arm.”  Very sore for a few days.  I also felt under the weather the next day.  Half of our group had the same symptoms, the other half had no symptoms.  We were told and it was stated in our informed consent forms that the placebo is simple saline and nothing would be added to mimic side effects of the vaccine.

    Honestly, I have been vilified for participating in this study and reporting the positive results.  I don’t care if anyone is unhappy with my first hand, in the study, experience and the excellent results that have been published.  There are some people who just love the drama and negativity of all that is COVID.  I do, however, take exception to the spread of completely false statistics.

  8. Wow, that’s some serious research.  I must be the only person here who has a full time job.

    FYI, our placebo is “simple saline”  NaCl 0.9%.  Volunteers were not given hypotonic saline which is a much more concentrated saline solution.  We did ask that question and were told that the placebo could not be altered from simple saline.


    Symptoms are  fairly unmistakeable.  It’s not like a muscle or tendon hurts from the injection and the substance.  It is fine for the first 10 hours or so them progressively gets worse over the next few days.  That‘s exactly what  happens when a viral response is building.  

    FYI, everytime we go in for a check up, we all poll each other.  We are not supposed to but we all sit around in a room together for 45 min before we can be examined for reactions.  We are all curious so it’s just human nature that we compare notes.  

    Our trial is 50/50 vaccine/vaccine booster to placebo/placebo.  Coincidentally, we have been nearly 50/50 for having our arms ache for a few days for both vaccine and booster.  Many arm ache people also felt flu like symptoms and were very tired the next few days where non sore arm people had neither.  It would be really coincidental if most everyone with sore arms happened to get the flu the next day. 


    One guy who did not have a sore arm or flu symptoms was sure he had the vaccine because he said he had crazy dreams that night.  Didn’t sound logical but I guess you never know.

    Once again, I am beyond amazed at the lengths that people will go to be negative and disprove any sort of good news on the vaccine front.  It’s like they want to be miserable.  I bet that everyone on this forum had a small pox vaccine, no questions asked. Who had Shingrex, hepatitis, diphtheria.....  How did the COVID vaccine get such a bad wrap when it has the largest worldwide vaccine development effort in history behind it.

    Everyone on this forum loves cruising.  We should all be COVID vaccine cheerleaders so we can get back to our traveling lives.  The attempts to discredit the vaccine here are astounding,  ie: can’t trust J&J, they had a baby powder issue, although, if you need a heart catheter, J&J would be your first choice.  Or..... can’t trust Pfizer, they are funding their own research, yet I bet that person reaches for Advil several times per week, or maybe a Z pack when ill, or ooohhhlala ***** to spice up particularly boring COVID day.


    Lets all BE POSITIVE!!!!!!!!!

  9. 13 hours ago, ErwinSchrodinger said:

    If it’s is a double blind study, how do you know if you got the vaccine or the placebo?

    The placebo is saline.  If you get the vaccine, several hours after getting the injection, your arm begins to ache similar to a tetanus shot and it lasts for a few days.


    We all asked the injector if they could put something in the placebo to mimic the sore arm viral response.  We were told absolutely not as the release we signed was for either the vaccine or simple saline solution.  I had  “tetanus shot arm ache” for several days with both the initial injection and the booster. It’s fairly unmistakable. 

  10. How many cases are irrelevant.  How may deaths per capita shows us the true measure of danger.  

    My niece has COVID right now and she is bored to tears, can’t smell but otherwise feels fine.  My step daughter had it in May, she cleaned her house from top to bottom during her quarantine.  Neither was very sick.  Florida’s death rate is dropping which is great for such an elderly population.  It’s lower than New York, Illinois, California, Michigan.....  most all other large population states and we are living pretty normally here.

  11. I’m certain MSC and TUI are both sailing as they have been reporting live, leaving passengers in port who don’t comply with rules etc.  I’m not sure who else is sailing as I don’t sail any of those lines.  I’m sure someone here know which ships are operating????  I think the Grandiosa and Magnifica.  I have no idea what the TUI ships are named.  I didn’t realize that I have prepare briefs for my posts.  I retired from the courtroom several years ago.

  12. Here in FL where many of the cruises originate, the state has been open for business since late May.  We peaked in late July/early August and our death rate is at 66 per 100,000, the same or less than many states that are still completely locked down.  We also have one of the oldest populations in the country. There is no rhyme or reason to the number of per capita deaths in various states (our only certain statistic)

    I have been flying throughout the entire pandemic.  In March, flights were empty, my flights to and from Orlando have been full for the past two months and restaurants are very busy.  We spent a weekend at the beach a few weeks ago and our hotel was full.  We’ve been to Disney numerous times which, on the other hand, is never crowded. 


    All the experts and politicians have ideas about how to run the country during the pandemic but COVID has a mind of its own.  Many ships are sailing without issue and some have had large outbreaks.  I think everyone has to decide what level of risk they are comfortable with, just like going to restaurants, shopping, hotels, theaters.....  I’ll for sure be on one of the first ships out as soon as sailings are announced and I can book, but I’ve had the vaccine so it’s not really an issue here.

  13. Cases are going up and deaths are going down.  Sounds like great news to me.  The number of cases is irrelevant, the percentage of fatalities is critical.  A vaccine is right around the corner.....


    This one , according to CNN (J&J) is 99% effective after phase 1 and 2 trials.  Pfizer trials are complete, Moderna has two weeks left and data is being analyzed in both.  J&J is a month or two behind.



  14. The shore excursions restrictions hopefully will be short term at best.


    CNN is reporting that another vaccine ( J&J) data is showing 99% effectiveness after phase 1 and 2.



    Also for Orv, we were told at the Pfizer trial that the study will be unblinded ASAP and the participants that had the placebo will be vaccinated immediately upon approval.  The reasoning is that they do not want anyone in the study to go get the vaccine somewhere else as that defeats the two year follow up participation in the trial.  This was reiterated numerous times.


    We were a 50/50 vaccine to placebo.  It didn’t take rocket science for us to figure out who had the vaccine.  If you had an aching arm for two or three days, you had the vaccine.  We asked if they could put something in the placebo to mimic the vaccine sore arm response and the Dr said no, absolutely not, the release we agreed to was for simple saline solution or the vaccine.  We polled each other at each visit and exactly 50% of us had sore arms.

    Looks like J&J is only a month or two behind Pfizer and Moderna. Hopefully, normalcy is on the horizon!

  15. I am in the Orlando Pfizer COVID vaccine study and have received both the vaccine and the booster 4 weeks later.  

    I travel every week for business and have a new grandson.  In addition, I have two disabled adult children, one with health issues, so having immunity as soon as possible was worth the risk of participating in the trial.


    This is my experience and information I have been given.


    The vaccine’s predominate side effect is a very sore arm, worse than a tetanus shot but not as bad as Shingrex.  The booster causes a bit more soreness than the first vaccine.  Also, I felt a bit under the weather the day after both injections, not as bad as Shingrex but just a little off.


    The efficacy so far is in line with major vaccines like small pox, diphtheria, Shringrex.... fairly close to 100% effective.  The virus is structurally nothing like the flu so the vaccines are completely different animals, comparing the flu vaccine efficacy to the COVID vaccine is like comparing apples to broccoli.


    The Pfizer vaccine is an RNA vaccine, there is no live virus so chances of getting Covid from the vaccine are 0%.  Moderna is the same.  I believe that Astra Zeneca is using a biological delivery system so their’s is completely different.  I can’t comment on how that works.


    The Pfizer vaccine developed so quickly because AI and quantum computing are driving data analysis.  AI and quantum computing can now quickly analyze trillions of data sets that just a few years ago took five years.  Now that same data set can be deciphered in less than one minute.  Northwestern University is a major contributor to the computing aspect.

    Our study was supposed to end today for first round immunizations but the trial was extended for two weeks.  Anyone in the Orlando area over 70 or an essential worker, if interested, give Pfizer a call ASAP.  They give you $250 for each visit and $5 per week for reporting.  The compensation is nominal and I would have happily paid them to be in the study as I am now immune to the disease.


    Approval is anticipated in October and production is already in full force.  I have no idea when it will be delivered.  The goal is to get it out before flu season is in full force, although, Pfizer has spend billions on development and every day is costing them millions of dollars so they, of course, will deliver as soon as is humanly possible.

    I read that the US government bought 400 million doses but I can not verify that as everything I read has an agenda one way or the other so I take it all with a grain of salt.


    I can, however, from my first hand experience, say that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective for me.  No one in Pfizer phase two or three has had any serious side effects and almost 100% have developed antibodies that are more than adequate to keep COVID at bay.  A few people in phase one who were given very high experimental dosages had passing out episodes but that was the most severe reaction and the current dosages are much lower.


    Thats my experience.  I hope it helps people decide.

  16. It is a great buy.   Last year I had about $1000 in onboard credit from being a shareholder.  I sold in the $50’s at a nice profit when news of the virus was rumored to affect cruising and bought back around $9.  I did the same with RCL.


    NCLH, RCL and APPL will pay for all my travels next year plus provide some nice OBC.  It’s well worth it!  Although, APPL seems to get it all the profits back as there is always some Apple gadget that we (DH) just has to get.


    RCL changes their policy to provide OBC with all sailings regardless of promotions.  NCLH does the same.

  17. I’m with Dan, near forward elevator is the best on the ship.  Too far forward (many PH3’s) and the spotlight and cameras from the bridge block the view.  Right around 1018, the spray from the hull wake keeps the balcony wet when ever the ship is moving if the seas are at all rough.  Hope this helps!

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