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Mark_T

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  1. We did this one the other way around in December 2019, some great memories from that trip. We had already cruised the Mekon a couple of years previous and so we didn't opt for the longer range tours from the ship such as Siem Reap or Saigon but still found plenty to see and do closer to the ports. As for the street food in Singapore is it absolutely safe, I'm there on business fairly often and eating at the hawker centres is not only safe but I'd consider it essential to get the true Singapore experience 🙂
  2. The aim of the card is to remind you about the need for the 2nd vaccination and to help make sure you get the same vaccine as the first, it has no use or purpose beyond that and would never stand up as proof of anything as they are trivial to duplicate.
  3. Highly unlikely I would have thought. The card being used has no security features and is trivial to forge if one were so inclined. The only purpose is to track which one you had and to remind you to go for the 2nd shot...
  4. These days Regent has ‘formal optional’ and even then only on 2 nights and only on cruises of 16 nights or more...
  5. This looks interesting... https://www.dw.com/en/ups-builds-massive-freezer-farms-for-coronavirus-vaccine/av-54781064
  6. True, but that is precisely why it is being talked about now, the Oxford vaccine was based on a MERS candidate which is how it got started as quickly as it did but the low prevalence of MERS has prevented the original candidate progressing to approval. We still know far too little about Covid-19 but AFAIK the possibility of challenge trials was raised originally in the context of a seasonal or at least periodic disappearance and strong reoccurrence pattern, but if that doesn't happen then the debate around challenge trials becomes moot as they should not be needed.
  7. It is not the only reason though, the other consideration is the prevalence of the virus in the wild. If the current measures being taken are successful in reducing transmission and/or if there is a mutation to a less contagious form as has happened with some other viruses, it may prove impossible to conduct a meaningful stage 3 trial and effectively stall any progress towards approval. From what I've read so far I don't think the team are aggressively seeking to run a challenge trial but I'm not convinced that such a trial is inherently a bad idea, we already routinely perform such a trial on non-consenting primates, it doesn't seem unreasonable to at least consider doing it with informed and willing humans...
  8. The Oxford vaccine is already in phase III testing, the discussion about challenge testing is not a replacement for large scale testing in this case but it is a way of dealing with the problems that occur when the prevalence of the virus in the wild drops to a point where you can't reasonably assume that enough individuals are getting exposed... Challenge testing has also been suggest for other vaccine candidates to help determine if they are effective enough to take to large scale phase III testing, that is more contentious I would say. Keep in mind that anyone involved in a challenge trial is fully informed and knows what they are getting into and still wants to proceed with the trial, nobody is going to find themselves on such a trial without that disclosure.
  9. I wasn't worried in the slightest, merely pointing out that having been on the Millennium just before Christmas, even though we had access to The Retreat, when it came to scenic cruising, it was not something those without access should feel they had 'lost' as it is a rather poor location if you want unobstructed views.
  10. The Retreat isn’t actually a great spot if you want unobstructed views for photography, there are only a couple of small areas to the side where you are not looking through the clear screens that act as windbreaks. Even with Retreat access I’d be looking elsewhere for a better spot.
  11. It all becomes a somewhat slippery slope from here on though. If having had it doesn't protect you (Not actually seen any persuasive evidence on that, just one small study so far) then neither will the vaccinations either. ... but in the end we don't necessarily need full 'protection' we just need to reduce the severity and infection rate to acceptable levels, so hopefully both a vaccine or prior infection will help achieve that...
  12. Unfortunately testing alone isn't going to be sufficient, unless you are going to insist that only those who can be proven to have already had CV-19 can cruise... Otherwise you can't let people off in the next port where there is the potential for them to get infected...
  13. Now you just have to find a retired Sales & Marketing exec to explain where the replacement customers are going to come from... 🙂 I get the concern that they are giving away too much to an expanding group, but absent any evidence to suggest that there is significant unfulfilled demand from younger less 'elite' groups, it would not seem sensible to throw away all those seniors...
  14. ... and then don't let them off the ship in any ports? ... or just sail in circles and let them look at a port through binoculars... ? ... and of course you'd have to quarantine them locally to the departure port so just add 2 weeks to everyone's vacation time... ?
  15. Firstly, many people with chronic conditions already booked before this was a consideration, so this amounts to a change in T&C for them, and secondly 'chronic' just means 'long term' it does not imply either a degree of seriousness or severity. I suspect that there are very few people over 70 that don't have at least one chronic condition, but that doesn't mean the condition has any impact on their daily lives nor that it even requires medication. These words have very specific meanings, and I don't get the sense that they are being used correctly in many cases.
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