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Are vaccines the light at the end of the tunnel?


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One other major pharma company (Sanofi) has agreed to manufacture 100 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine in one of their facilities in Germany.  

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/27/europe/sanofi-vaccine-doses-intl/index.html

 

And another one (Novartis) is in discussions to do the same.  All good news!

https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/u-s-eyes-manufacturing-tie-ups-to-boost-covid-19-vaccine-supply-via-defense-production-act

 

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15 minutes ago, D C said:

Skeptical that true asymptomatic cases are that abundant.  Essentially every false-positive is factored in as an asymptomatic-positive.  They seem to acknowledge that only in passing.  

 

 

It has been of interest to me about how an asymptomatic person is actually defined.  Infected (PCR or antigen positive) but no fever?  Is it a self-definition?  People evaluate their own symptoms with a wide range of outcomes.  What is a non-symptom to one is a dramatic symptom to another.   And some people are perhaps ignoring or dismissing symptoms outright.  The whole range of human reactions involved I think.  Symptoms might be highly subjective to the individual.  All in addition to your point about false positives being at least a factor.

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4 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

It has been of interest to me about how an asymptomatic person is actually defined.  Infected (PCR or antigen positive) but no fever?  Is it a self-definition?  People evaluate their own symptoms with a wide range of outcomes.  What is a non-symptom to one is a dramatic symptom to another.   And some people are perhaps ignoring or dismissing symptoms outright.  The whole range of human reactions involved I think.  Symptoms might be highly subjective to the individual.  All in addition to your point about false positives being at least a factor.

Exactly. I know someone who essentially said his wife "Had NO symptoms at all.... just a runny nose".  Wait... what?  

 

And what's the reporting structure?  The people I personally know who have had covid mostly just isolated and recovered at home with no medical attention.  Nobody was inquiring as to their symptom status.  

 

Plus I don't trust the stated testing accuracy.   If someone tested 3x in one week using different labs with truly no symptoms and went Mon=Positive, Wed=Negative, Thurs=Negative, my conclusion is that the Monday test would be false. The 'system' doesn't have a box for that. A positive is a positive. 

 

 

Edited by D C
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On 1/25/2021 at 12:26 PM, zitsky said:

Has J&J been tested against variants?

Not sure... Remember the variants are fairly new -- J&J are trying to finish the Stage 3 trials to get the emergency authorization. I was talking with a pharmacist friend who said she believes these vaccinations may be annual ritual - like the flu vaccine. Also, due to the vaccines being done so quickly, no one knows how long the effectiveness will last... Time will tell... 

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Hi TeeRick -- Fancy meeting you on here... Sorry we didn't get to Iceland...😭 Maybe next year...😁 Hope you and your family are doing well.. Everything is status quo in S. FL... Hoping to take the sabbatical and retire out of that... I have had enough fun in school this year.. Take care and stay safe..

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2 hours ago, TeeRick said:

It has been of interest to me about how an asymptomatic person is actually defined.  Infected (PCR or antigen positive) but no fever?  Is it a self-definition?  People evaluate their own symptoms with a wide range of outcomes.  What is a non-symptom to one is a dramatic symptom to another.   And some people are perhaps ignoring or dismissing symptoms outright.  The whole range of human reactions involved I think.  Symptoms might be highly subjective to the individual.  All in addition to your point about false positives being at least a factor.

The REACT study here in the U.K. provides a picture of the levels of infection in the general population I.e. not tested because of symptoms, and therefore indicates the proportion of asymptomatic people in that group which can be extrapolated to the general population. Looking at the data coming out of the study, I am not sure if this figure is released but it will be there in the figures.

Edited by downsmead
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52 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Looks like the "two dose" Novavax vaccine is doing well in their UK trials with the exception of a much lower rate against the South African variant.

 

Novavax Says COVID-19 Vaccine Is 89.3% Effective in UK Trial, Less in South Africa | Top News | US News

It apparently protects 89% and is effective for the new UK variant.

What worries me is that according to the news tonight, the EUROPEAN commission are demanding more Astra Zeneca vaccine from UK and need more paper work to be signed before they release more of the Pfizer vaccine from Belgium destined to be sent to the UK. 
There are millions of Seniors who are waiting for their 2nd dose.

Well done Brexit.

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3 hours ago, D C said:

Skeptical that true asymptomatic cases are that abundant.  Essentially every false-positive is factored in as an asymptomatic-positive.  They seem to acknowledge that only in passing.  

 

 

So you are taking the position that a paper that was specifically looked at and tested for asymptomatic cases still made mistakes and generated 30% false positives?  Even though the paper is consistent with what is being seen by both other research groups looking at the same question (using both confirmed lab results as well as contact tracing), as well as general medicine?  

 

 

 

 

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Germany's vaccine commission says that AstraZeneca's vaccine should not be given to anyone over 65 due to lack of data on that age group.  This is due to the small number of trial participants in that age group.  They (STIKO) is recommending it only for those in the 18-65 age group.

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29 minutes ago, nocl said:

So you are taking the position that a paper that was specifically looked at and tested for asymptomatic cases still made mistakes and generated 30% false positives?  Even though the paper is consistent with what is being seen by both other research groups looking at the same question (using both confirmed lab results as well as contact tracing), as well as general medicine?  

 

 

 

 

False positives and positive cases falsely identified as lacking any symptoms whatsoever. Confirmation bias perhaps?

Yes. I'm skeptical.

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Dolly Parton, who personally donated one million dollars to Vanderbilt Univ in TN for vaccine development, (she also received a mention for this in New England Journal of Medicine) has not even gotten the shot yet.  She just turned 75 yo on Jan 19 and had been offered it, said nope, not going to jump the line, I will wait my turn.  

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10 minutes ago, D C said:

False positives and positive cases falsely identified as lacking any symptoms whatsoever. Confirmation bias perhaps?

Yes. I'm skeptical.

 

What do you think it really is?  The study is on the lower end of most estimates.  Most estimates are more in the 40-60% asymptomatic range.

 

You think 1/3 is too high? and the other studies are even more wrong?

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1 hour ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Looks like the "two dose" Novavax vaccine is doing well in their UK trials with the exception of a much lower rate against the South African variant.

 

Novavax Says COVID-19 Vaccine Is 89.3% Effective in UK Trial, Less in South Africa | Top News | US News

I am concerned that it's only 49 percent effective against the new strain.

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5 minutes ago, Crazy planning mom said:

I am concerned that it's only 49 percent effective against the new strain.

Just remember, and someone else can correct me, but I beleve all of the other approved vaccines were approved before they even knew about the African variant. So, for me, 89% sounds pretty good, especially when it includes the UK variant.

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3 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Looks like the "two dose" Novavax vaccine is doing well in their UK trials with the exception of a much lower rate against the South African variant.

 

Novavax Says COVID-19 Vaccine Is 89.3% Effective in UK Trial, Less in South Africa | Top News | US News

News report on TV said that NovaVax vacine  is less than 50% effective against variant 501V2. This is apparently based upon clinical trials there were running in South Africa where is present.

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2 hours ago, Crazy planning mom said:

I am concerned that it's only 49 percent effective against the new strain.

So, are you not going to get your vaccination?  By the time Moderna or Pfizer comes up with a new booster shot in the fall or later for the South African variant, it may well be it could be 49% effective for a new mutant strain that shows up once they start testing.  This happens with our flu shots.  

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5 hours ago, neilrr said:

Not sure... Remember the variants are fairly new -- J&J are trying to finish the Stage 3 trials to get the emergency authorization. I was talking with a pharmacist friend who said she believes these vaccinations may be annual ritual - like the flu vaccine. Also, due to the vaccines being done so quickly, no one knows how long the effectiveness will last... Time will tell... 

Pfizer has indicated that their vaccine should be good for from 12 to 24 months.

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6 hours ago, 4774Papa said:

Pfizer has indicated that their vaccine should be good for from 12 to 24 months.

I bet on every twelve months - into the future 😉

Edited by Porky55
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J&J announces vaccine 70% effective in US  less in other areas (South America and South Africa with the higher numbers of variants).

 

Not exactly what we were hoping for. 

 

Though being a single shot I expect that it will get a lot of use.

Edited by nocl
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47 minutes ago, nocl said:

J&J announces vaccine 70% effective in US  less in other areas (South America and South Africa with the higher numbers of variants).

 

Not exactly what we were hoping for. 

 

Though being a single shot I expect that it will get a lot of use.

Beyond what we were hoping for, isn't it?  Not in comparison to the mRNAs, but more than we hoped for when they were all in development.  Wasn't 60% considered to be an amazing accomplishment if they performed that well?

 

Still blows influenza vaccines out of the water.  And we need to remember that someone who tests positive and has the sniffles for a few days is one of those other 30% for which it 'failed'.  

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1 hour ago, nocl said:

J&J announces vaccine 70% effective in US  less in other areas (South America and South Africa with the higher numbers of variants).

 

Not exactly what we were hoping for. 

 

Though being a single shot I expect that it will get a lot of use.

Here's a link to a CBS article with some of the details.

 

Johnson & Johnson says its 1-shot COVID vaccine effective in trials - CBS News

 

I particularly liked this comment regarding those in the trial that unfortunately did get COVID:

 

"After day 28, no one who got vaccinated needed hospitalization or died regardless of whether they were exposed to "regular COVID or these particularly nasty variants," Mammen said. When the vaccinated did become infected, they had a milder illness."

Edited by Ken the cruiser
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It is appearing that we will be living with the virus for the years to come.  However, if we can reduce the impact of getting the virus, by not having to be hospitalized or die from it, that is a very positive step forward.

 

While not perfect, it should help us get back to a relatively normal life, which is what we are all looking for.   Looks like masks will be something we will have for the months/years to come, similar to other countries.

 

It will be interesting how the agencies will distribute the vaccines.   Will the vaccines with the higher efficacy go to the higher risk group and the younger, lower risk get the other vaccines.

 

 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, D C said:

Beyond what we were hoping for, isn't it?  Not in comparison to the mRNAs, but more than we hoped for when they were all in development.  Wasn't 60% considered to be an amazing accomplishment if they performed that well?

 

Still blows influenza vaccines out of the water.  And we need to remember that someone who tests positive and has the sniffles for a few days is one of those other 30% for which it 'failed'.  

This raises an interesting question that I have wondered about more and more as the vaccines began to rolled out.

What if, with some combination of natural immunity, acquired immunity from vaccination and mutation by the virus, Covid settles into a long term situation like flu - ongoing disease that is mild but annoying in most people, low but persistent death rate with most deaths being due to the acute infection starting a chain of events, but with a few people actually dying of overwhelming direct infection/immune response - can/will we as a society accept that and return to normal? Will masking and more importantly social distancing be required if Covid settles into a death/hospitalization rate comparable to flu? Can we tolerate that to have a normal life? Remember that you could see headlines “Death rate from infectious disease twice the rate in 2010”. - well of course, Covid didn’t exist then.

 I think we will reach an equilibrium point eventually where a new normal exists and the pandemic is declared over, just not sure what life will look like then

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Given that J & J and Novovax arent quite as effective as the MRNA vaccines, cant I get one of those less effective vaccines if thats what available to me but then later on get the Moderna booster?  If the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are more effective wont going forward wont all the Covid vaccines be produced be MRNA vaccines?

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