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Are vaccines the light at the end of the tunnel?


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15 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

My curiosity is when are the pharmacies going to be allowed to play a more active roll, as shot giving is one of their day-to-day business practices? I've been hearing Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Publix (in 3 states) and CVS as well as a few other locally based pharmacies are ready. Is it up to the state to include them in the their distribution process or does each company negotiate with the feds/pharmaceutical companies to get on their distribution list? I've got the feeling it's a whole different process when it comes to getting the annual flu shots distributed to your local pharmacy?

 

Many doses here are distributed to large hospitals who vaccinate their PR staff, Board members and social workers who work at home not front line health workers.. 

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15 hours ago, TeeRick said:

Very much expected. Tested positive but not ill.  That will occur about 5% of the time according to the clinical data.  Why is this a surprise requiring media attention?  Because it is a congressman?   This will happen with 5 out of every 100 people receiving two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.  Transmission prevention has not been proven and it has been thoroughly discussed on this thread and broadly in the media. 

I have a question about this. It was my understanding that the 5% were people who actually developed Covid symptoms which initiated the testing. Fortunately they were predominately mild cases. If that's the case then the number of asymptomatic people in the study could have been higher than 5%. Whether those people can transmit the virus is unknown at this point as well. I haven't done a deep dive into the data like many of you have so I may be wrong here.  

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1 hour ago, hcat said:

I think this aspect of immunization limitations should be more widely publicized .  Many think getting the two shots  is the end of it.  Folks can still get Covid  ( maybe less serious case) and can  pass it along so continued vigilance is needed. Still need our masks and distancing.

 

 This may be being  downplayed so folks won't skip getting the vaccination..

Yes this probably needs to be an education campaign. 

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus.  The actual viral disease is COVID-19 or COVID.  The D stands for Disease.  We use the terms virus-positive interchangeably with COVID or COVID-19 broadly.  But not quite correctly so it is confusing to most people.   This distinction is important for understanding the vaccines.

 

Vaccinated individuals might still become virus positive, and for the mRNA vaccines after two doses,  about 5% of those might have mild symptoms of COVID the disease.  Clinically these 5% were not seen to develop more severe COVID disease leading to hospitalization or death.  We do not know yet about Transmission of virus after vaccination in the 95% or in the 5% groups.  So yes masking still required particularly to protect the non-vaccinated.  Also keep in mind that the mRNA vaccines were not tested in populations that had significant variant viruses yet so if tested a bit later (like J&J) they might have had overall efficacy less than 95%.

 

So if you get the J&J vaccine (one dose) which has 72% efficacy overall in the US, that is 7 out of 10 people vaccinated were protected from getting moderate to severe COVID disease after 28 days.  And against variant strains about 6 out of 10 are protected from getting moderate to severe COVID disease after 28 days.  And importantly they report 100% effectiveness from getting severe COVID disease requiring medical intervention (hospitalization, ICU) and from death after 28 days.  So bottom line is that 35 -40% of those vaccinated will have some form of mild to moderate COVID disease symptoms but no hospitalization or death even against the variant viruses (S.Africa, UK, Brazil).  No idea yet about prevention of transmission. 

 

https://www.jnj.com/johnson-johnson-announces-single-shot-janssen-covid-19-vaccine-candidate-met-primary-endpoints-in-interim-analysis-of-its-phase-3-ensemble-trial

Edited by TeeRick
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39 minutes ago, JL87 said:

I have a question about this. It was my understanding that the 5% were people who actually developed Covid symptoms which initiated the testing. Fortunately they were predominately mild cases. If that's the case then the number of asymptomatic people in the study could have been higher than 5%. Whether those people can transmit the virus is unknown at this point as well. I haven't done a deep dive into the data like many of you have so I may be wrong here.  

See my previous post.  The Pfizer and Moderna studies did not assess actual virus infections by PCR or other direct methods in a high enough frequency to rule out "Infected but Asymptomatic" cases in the 95% group which had no reported COVID symptoms.  So theoretically possible to transmit virus from that group.  So masking still required until further studies are done.  Or until the issue of transmission goes away by real world data - meaning the vaccines significantly reduce the number of people infected and the infection rates.  I am betting on that.

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20 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

See my previous post.  The Pfizer and Moderna studies did not assess actual virus infections by PCR or other direct methods in a high enough frequency to rule out "Infected but Asymptomatic" cases in the 95% group which had no reported COVID symptoms.  So theoretically possible to transmit virus from that group.  So masking still required until further studies are done.  Or until the issue of transmission goes away by real world data - meaning the vaccines significantly reduce the number of people infected and the infection rates.  I am betting on that.

Yes, exactly what I was saying. The 5% relates to Covid, not infection rates.

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3 hours ago, 4774Papa said:

Considering the demand for the vaccine, the states are doing a fair to good job.  Some states like West Virginia and the Dakotas are going great. Those states have vaccinated more than 10% of their population.  Here in our county in coastal Georgia the vaccinations started at our health department.  I received my second dose last Thursday.  They were vaccinating over 4000 persons a month.  For the last two weeks, the local Hospital has been vaccinating at three times that rate. Also, other places like doctor's offices, pharmacies, grocery stores, etc. are soon to start.  We are told that everyone that wants a vaccine will get theirs by early Summer.  Our county has about 86,000 population, but kids under 16 currently are not getting the vaccine.  

Kids are not getting the vaccine because they are still testing the vaccine on kids supposedly.  I assume they will get it tested/approved by beginning of summer so they could all return to school in the fall.  Currently, there are states that have their schools still open (in person learning, not online).  Isn't Florida one of the states?  Back in 1st Q 2020, the Chinese already stated that it really didn't affect the young that much.  If it did, they recovered.  Kids with commorbities may have problems.  Countries like Sweden and Brazil didn't close their schools.  

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4 minutes ago, deadzone1003 said:

Kids are not getting the vaccine because they are still testing the vaccine on kids supposedly.  I assume they will get it tested/approved by beginning of summer so they could all return to school in the fall.  Currently, there are states that have their schools still open (in person learning, not online).  Isn't Florida one of the states?  Back in 1st Q 2020, the Chinese already stated that it really didn't affect the young that much.  If it did, they recovered.  Kids with commorbities may have problems.  Countries like Sweden and Brazil didn't close their schools.  

Many states and areas in the US have schools open or have hybrid (school plus online) learning strategies right now.  It continues to be great news that most (but not all) kids have not been severely affected by the virus health-wise anyway.  Socially a different story.  As for vaccines, yes they will be tested in kids but this will be a careful stepwise (by age) process in kids.  Right now some adolescents are in clinical studies.  After these results are known, then younger kids.  It will take quite some time.  

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2 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

Many states and areas in the US have schools open or have hybrid (school plus online) learning strategies right now.  It continues to be great news that most (but not all) kids have not been severely affected by the virus health-wise anyway.  Socially a different story.  As for vaccines, yes they will be tested in kids but this will be a careful stepwise (by age) process in kids.  Right now some adolescents are in clinical studies.  After these results are known, then younger kids.  It will take quite some time.  

Many school districts in MA are doing a week in-person then a week remote.  This is good for the kids of course, but poses many challenges to working parents.

 

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13 hours ago, LGW59 said:

Lord almighty, this reads like a Harry Potter novel.  My firm (international law firm) is making it mandatory in order to return to office, YAY!  Folks who don't like it will be dealt with individually.  

What do you suggest?  Off with their heads?  Once you are vaccinated, you are protected from the worst parts of the disease - hospitalization, death, or becoming a long-hauler.  Unless you are afraid of becoming sick, just remember the thousands of diseases you can still get from every-day contact.   

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35 minutes ago, deadzone1003 said:

What do you suggest?  Off with their heads?  Once you are vaccinated, you are protected from the worst parts of the disease - hospitalization, death, or becoming a long-hauler.  Unless you are afraid of becoming sick, just remember the thousands of diseases you can still get from every-day contact.   

What do you suggest?  Off with their heads?  Silly comment

 just remember the thousands of diseases you can still get from every-day contact.   Really?, had no idea.?  Next thing you're going to tell me is smoking can cause cancer!

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One other thing and if this has been brought up, I apologize. In both the Pfizer and Moderna studies, the relative risk of developing Covid was about 95% less in the vaccinated group. This doesn't mean you have a 5% chance of developing Covid unless everyone you come in contact with has the virus. In both the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups, the absolute risk of developing Covid was extremely small. This will of course fluctuate over time with virus prevalence, but a person who has been vaccinated will have an absolute risk of far less than 5%. 

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Interesting article about the possible long term resistance to a new Covid 19 infection after recovering from the disease itself.  Maybe the same mechanism will be true for the vaccines.

 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/01/210121131909.htm?fbclid=IwAR0YRoce4dwkBAkt0ehfzCOFr9BV15tQiElsFpfmUU_3wyJiyaYHkAIrmqY

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5 hours ago, TeeRick said:

IMO, the perception of good job or not seems to depend on the state and county you are in and to some extent if you have been vaccinated already.  Those who have been vaccinated already perhaps feel that their state is doing a good job.  Those on waiting lists maybe agree or disagree.  The vast majority who cannot even get on a waiting list would disagree.

After spending over fifteen hours over the last two weeks trying to get an appointment through four different counties  (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando) and Publix pharmacy, I just managed to book one through the second county website I tried today (Hernando). (Booked the second appointment at the same time).

 

My county, Citrus, still is using the Hunger Game approach - announces a date and place, first come, first served.

 

It just shouldn't have been this difficult. 

 

At least I won't be trying at 6 AM this Wednesday when the Publix site opens (I tried and failed two days this past week).

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4 hours ago, deadzone1003 said:

Kids are not getting the vaccine because they are still testing the vaccine on kids supposedly.  I assume they will get it tested/approved by beginning of summer so they could all return to school in the fall.  Currently, there are states that have their schools still open (in person learning, not online).  Isn't Florida one of the states?  Back in 1st Q 2020, the Chinese already stated that it really didn't affect the young that much.  If it did, they recovered.  Kids with commorbities may have problems.  Countries like Sweden and Brazil didn't close their schools.  

Our local schools are open and have been since September.   Parents can opt for in class or distance zoom learning.  The vast majority of parents locally picked in class and our schools are doing very well.  There have been some virus cases, but among students is rare.  I know a couple of Elementary School teachers in our neighborhood and they say that when distance learning was the only option early in 2020 that a small percentage of kids, mostly from poorer families pretty much abandoned the distance learning.  It was a small percentage, less than 5%, but still not good.  Those kids are the ones that will be hurt the most from not attending classes. 

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1 hour ago, 4774Papa said:

Our local schools are open and have been since September.   Parents can opt for in class or distance zoom learning.  The vast majority of parents locally picked in class and our schools are doing very well.  There have been some virus cases, but among students is rare.  I know a couple of Elementary School teachers in our neighborhood and they say that when distance learning was the only option early in 2020 that a small percentage of kids, mostly from poorer families pretty much abandoned the distance learning.  It was a small percentage, less than 5%, but still not good.  Those kids are the ones that will be hurt the most from not attending classes. 

Thanks for the info.  I would expect the % of kids in the inner cities is alot higher than 5%.  

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10 hours ago, Roger88 said:

The demand is super high and honestly, I have a strong feeling that it was tested somewhere in Africa or India before they decided that it is so soon safe to use in Europe and the USA. Dont you think so? 

No

 

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were not tested in Africa or India. Their testing program is well documented.  

 

You are implying that pharmaceutical companies go to poor country and use the people there as test cases.  That is not correct.  Clinical trials are run in accordance with a strict set of ethics guidelines.  

 

Often the Monitoring and Safety Board is also referred to as the ethics board.

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4 hours ago, deadzone1003 said:

Thanks for the info.  I would expect the % of kids in the inner cities is alot higher than 5%.  

Probably, but our county doesn't include a large city, we are on coastal Georgia and the entire county has about 86,000 persons.

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A great and positive summary in today's NY Times news feed on the Covid vaccines.  Definitely worth a read.

 

Here is one quote from it that I particularly like concerning SARS-CoV-2.

"Yet we don’t need to eliminate it for life to return to normal. We instead need to downgrade it from a deadly pandemic to a normal virus."

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/01/briefing/vaccination-myanmar-coup-rochester-police.html

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On 1/31/2021 at 8:22 AM, TeeRick said:

IMO, the perception of good job or not seems to depend on the state and county you are in and to some extent if you have been vaccinated already.  Those who have been vaccinated already perhaps feel that their state is doing a good job.  Those on waiting lists maybe agree or disagree.  The vast majority who cannot even get on a waiting list would disagree.

Agree with you 100%.  If one has been lucky enough to be vaccinated, then perhaps they might define the job as good.  And perhaps in some areas, that would be a valid definition.  In my area, not so much.  I've signed up at my health dept., my doctor's office, all my local pharmacies.  Not a word (I am over 65, group 1b in my state)..  Our county health department keeps putting posts on Facebook talking about how great the vaccines are, how one should get them, etc.., etc..  They have not once given us any information about how to get one!  That in particular frustrates our residents.  Many senior residents in long term care have still not gotten the vaccine either, and they are in the group ahead of me.

 

I was lucky.  Took matters into my own hands and spent literally hours online working to find a vaccine and finally found one - at a pharmacy 2 1/2 hours drive from me.  I did it, and I would do it again.  Five hours in the car is nothing compared to weeks in ICU (or worse).  But in no way does this constitute a "good job" in my area.  IMHO the lack of effective communication about the specific vaccination plans is what really bothers me.  If I knew the plan, and where I might realistically fit into it (I know it is not an exact science regarding timeframes) I might have waited until contacted.  But it was such chaos I did not feel I could afford to do that.  I spent my career as an enterprise project manager.  If I couldn't communicate a plan months after I knew an event was coming I would have been unemployed.  I know timing can vary, based on how many vaccines places receive, which changes regularly.  But to not have a solid plan that can be communicated clearly as to the process and an approximate timeframe? Absolutely zero excuse for that.

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Some news I found:

 

Ivermectin has been approved by Slovakia (used to be part of Czechslovakia), an EU nation, as a prophylaxsis and treatment for covid-19.

see:  

 

This drug has been used to treat covid-19 in 3rd world countries because it is commonly available to treat parasites.  It has been used since May 2020 for the treatment of covid-19 in Peru, Brazil, Bangladesh, & India as an outpatient treatment.  Its inpatient treatment history is a bit limited.  Currently, there is no outpatient treatment for covid-19.  Is this the break in the dam?  Don't be surprised if anyone gets covid-19 on a cruise ship, you will be given this drug as an outpatient treatment.  This drug was originally not recommended for treatment for covid-19 by the NIH back in August, but the NIH has reversed itself recently and left it up to the doctor and patient.  There are numerous clinical trials throughout the world that speaks of its success though no clinical trial up to Western standards.  The drug works like an anti-viral reducing the severity of the disease, not a cure, but a drug to help fight the virus.  Probably better to have a vaccine, but if you can't, this appears to be your best bet in fighting the virus.   

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2 hours ago, TeeRick said:

A great and positive summary in today's NY Times news feed on the Covid vaccines.  Definitely worth a read.

 

Here is one quote from it that I particularly like concerning SARS-CoV-2.

"Yet we don’t need to eliminate it for life to return to normal. We instead need to downgrade it from a deadly pandemic to a normal virus."

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/01/briefing/vaccination-myanmar-coup-rochester-police.html

I read that this morning as well.  Good article. 

 

My reaction was admittedly one of frustration (perhaps with an expletive or two) that we have the ability to eliminate deaths and we're squandering it on healthy young people because of their chosen career.  

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1 hour ago, phoenix_dream said:

Agree with you 100%.  If one has been lucky enough to be vaccinated, then perhaps they might define the job as good.  And perhaps in some areas, that would be a valid definition.  In my area, not so much.  I've signed up at my health dept., my doctor's office, all my local pharmacies.  Not a word (I am over 65, group 1b in my state)..  Our county health department keeps putting posts on Facebook talking about how great the vaccines are, how one should get them, etc.., etc..  They have not once given us any information about how to get one!  That in particular frustrates our residents.  Many senior residents in long term care have still not gotten the vaccine either, and they are in the group ahead of me.

 

I was lucky.  Took matters into my own hands and spent literally hours online working to find a vaccine and finally found one - at a pharmacy 2 1/2 hours drive from me.  I did it, and I would do it again.  Five hours in the car is nothing compared to weeks in ICU (or worse).  But in no way does this constitute a "good job" in my area.  IMHO the lack of effective communication about the specific vaccination plans is what really bothers me.  If I knew the plan, and where I might realistically fit into it (I know it is not an exact science regarding timeframes) I might have waited until contacted.  But it was such chaos I did not feel I could afford to do that.  I spent my career as an enterprise project manager.  If I couldn't communicate a plan months after I knew an event was coming I would have been unemployed.  I know timing can vary, based on how many vaccines places receive, which changes regularly.  But to not have a solid plan that can be communicated clearly as to the process and an approximate timeframe? Absolutely zero excuse for that.

 

Similar situation in Michigan.

My in-laws literally stumbled upon a vaccination by being in the right place at the right time after choosing to drive to the hospital to do what they thought would just be a sign-up to get on a list. They got the jab within an hour.

 

My parents, on the other hand, are on every list from the local health department, to their health care provider, to both major hospitals.  Not a peep from any of them, and they all have a "don't call us, we'll call you" policy.   Haven't been able to find it at any pharmacies, either. 

 

Fortunately, Michigan has finally hit the point where 65-75 and 75+ groups have received more vaccinations than those in their 20s and 30s, so progress is (slowly) being made. 

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Since it's cold here today in Alabama, I've been pretty much following various CC threads and periodically checking my FB news feed, which mostly now contains posts from various health-related sites in AL. Go figure! Then, low and behold our Alabama Department of Public Health posted a link to their new online vaccine registration portal. So, of course, I had to try it out as our 65 and older group is eligible for the vaccine starting Feb 8th. To make a long story short, we hit the jackpot and now both my DW and I have appointments for early March. What a rush and thank goodness for Facebook as I can't imagine how else we would have found out about the ADPH portal!! 

 

I know there are many folks following this thread that haven't been able to get a vaccine yet. Hang in there because it will feel like you just won the lottery when you finally get your reservation time!! But, to hedge your bets, I would definitely suggest monitoring your applicable Health Department FB pages, as they seem to like using social media to get information out.

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I am pleased to report that the Denton TX County Health Department e mail sign up has worked well  at least for us.  We are in the 70+ group and signed up on line.  We got a number we could trace in an email response.  Every week we get an update of the last number served that week.  A lot of people in our community that signed up know their number and it is a hot topic of discussion.  We got our first  shot of Moderna at a big drive in (shot in the car) site at the appointed time.  There was a wait because of course some came early for later times but in and out in an hour.  We will be notified of our second shot appt the same way in couple of weeks.  It worked amazing well in our opinion.  Very well controlled and planned.  Such a relief.

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