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Are vaccines the light at the end of the tunnel?


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3 hours ago, Crazy planning mom said:

So, do you think it will be relatively safe to travel in August?  I have limited time to travel with

my son.  We are supposed to cruise Alaska in June but thinking that's going to be a no go.

So, planning a land trip in Alaska for August.

Here is my situation for illustration.  We have a cruise in Norway end of August.  I really am hopeful that we can make that one.  I have not cancelled it or shifted it.  It depends on when we can start our vaccine shots. If we can get our two vaccine injections at the latest June 1 and July 1 we will be good to go by Aug 1.  Our cruise is Aug 26th  Now will Norway let us travel there?  Who knows at this point.

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3 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

Here is my situation for illustration.  We have a cruise in Norway end of August.  I really am hopeful that we can make that one.  I have not cancelled it or shifted it.  It depends on when we can start our vaccine shots. If we can get our two vaccine injections at the latest June 1 and July 1 we will be good to go by Aug 1.  Our cruise is Aug 26th  Now will Norway let us travel there?  Who knows at this point.

We are in almost exact situation.  Aug 28th, depart from and return to Barcelona.  Will Spain, Malta, Turkey and Greece let us in??? Hopefully we can have received the vaccine by summer and the rest will play out as needed.

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4 minutes ago, LGW59 said:

We are in almost exact situation.  Aug 28th, depart from and return to Barcelona.  Will Spain, Malta, Turkey and Greece let us in??? Hopefully we can have received the vaccine by summer and the rest will play out as needed.

Yes the best we can hope for at this point.

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12 minutes ago, LGW59 said:

We are in almost exact situation.  Aug 28th, depart from and return to Barcelona.  Will Spain, Malta, Turkey and Greece let us in??? Hopefully we can have received the vaccine by summer and the rest will play out as needed.

 

My situation is a tad better with my cruise in October and final payment due the end of July.  I'll only pay if my wife and I are inoculated by then.  I hope you're fortunate and you're able to go.

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2 minutes ago, K.T.B. said:

 

My situation is a tad better with my cruise in October and final payment due the end of July.  I'll only pay if my wife and I are inoculated by then.  I hope you're fortunate and you're able to go.

Thank you, we will def get vaccinated, would not consider boarding without and I don't think cruises will allow it.  We are considering moving the Aug 28th to an identical cruise, but on EDGE not APEX in Oct.  Good luck to you, stay safe and I hope you get on that ship in Oct!!! 

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1 minute ago, KnowTheScore said:

 

The people moaning are NOT anti-vaxxers.  Labelling them such is really really poor.   They are for the most part genuine sensible concerned people who want the FULL information in order to make an informed choice.  The loner people keep trying to suppress their concerns with silly names and memes the stronger their concerns are going to be and continue.  If you want to win those hearts and minds then you need to take their concerns seriously.

 

Your initial statement quoted above is also not correct.    We don't need anywhere near 70% of people immune for herd immunity.  Plenty of scientists have already been very vocal to say it can be achieved with as little as 20%.

 

There is still so much unknown about the vaccines that this notion that suddenly everything will be back to normal is just wishful thinking.

 

There are over 30 individual strains of SARS-COV-2 already (there were 12 as far back as March)

How can the vaccines possibly have been developed to cover all those strains?   They were being developed before some of those strains appeared.   My guess is that like Flu vaccines they will only cover a small number of strains.  If that's the case then it's going to be a long time before things change and it's more likely that Covid will be just like Flu, with seasonal strains and scientists desperately trying to second guess which strains are likely to be in circulation each year.

The vulnerable in that case will need routine vaccinations year on year like Flu.

 

Kinda odd don't you think that the media hasn't been raising this issue of different strains?

You keep saying the same thing over and over and over...we get it already, the anti-vaxxers need us to show them some love.  Sure that's right average Joe or Jane cruiser is going to do that.  

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58 minutes ago, KnowTheScore said:

 

Oh dear.  Still persisting in calling ordinary concerned citizens "anti-vaxxers".   No hearts and minds won there then.  Keep shouting from your lily pad.  Surely someone will take notice some day.  Meanwhile the mature world will continue to have the debate

Yes I am and I will continue to look forward to your sage advice. 

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8 hours ago, TeeRick said:

Maybe 50% vaccinated will make a major impact.  We should not just assume they are the only group in the population immune to the virus. 

 

Consider the following.  How many in the US have had SARS-CoV-2 viral infections?  According to JHU over 14 million in the US today to date and that number is an undercount by far.  CDC and others estimate it could be 5X that number right now (70-75 million). If their immunity can be counted in the overall herd immunity that is an important factor. 

 

Factors to consider for herd immunity include the actual population groups involved (non-exposed people, vaccinated people with immunity, people with previous viral infection immunity, and people with natural immunity).  This does not even take into account age group differences, health differences, race differences, etc.  And how long immunity lasts.  Longer for vaccinated people vs infected people?  And what about the asymptomatic "natural" immunity?  About 40% of the population according to some CDC estimates.  But we know they can still transmit the virus.  What we do not know is whether the vaccinated group or the viral infected/recovered group can still transmit the virus.  It is all so complicated!  Books will be written about this for years to come.  Or hopefully by the next pandemic anyway.

I would not consider asymptomatic cases to be lumped in with the immune. Not when you consider that they are the source for spread. Also there is documentation that even though they do not show normal covid symptoms the illness can still cause unseen damage. the studies I have seen have been on cardiac and neurologic impacts.

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3 hours ago, KnowTheScore said:

 

The people moaning are NOT anti-vaxxers.  Labelling them such is really really poor.   They are for the most part genuine sensible concerned people who want the FULL information in order to make an informed choice.  The longer people keep trying to suppress their concerns with silly names and memes the stronger their concerns are going to be and continue.  If you want to win those hearts and minds then you need to take their concerns seriously.

 

Your initial statement quoted above is also not correct.    We don't need anywhere near 70% of people immune for herd immunity.  Plenty of scientists have already been very vocal to say it can be achieved with as little as 20%.

 

There is still so much unknown about the vaccines that this notion that suddenly everything will be back to normal is just wishful thinking.

 

There are over 30 individual strains of SARS-COV-2 already (there were 12 as far back as March)

How can the vaccines possibly have been developed to cover all those strains?   They were being developed before some of those strains appeared.   My guess is that like Flu vaccines they will only cover a small number of strains.  If that's the case then it's going to be a long time before things change and it's more likely that Covid will be just like Flu, with seasonal strains and scientists desperately trying to second guess which strains are likely to be in circulation each year.

The vulnerable in that case will need routine vaccinations year on year like Flu.

 

Kinda odd don't you think that the media hasn't been raising this issue of different strains?

another case of incorrect information the 20% figure was linked to a UK paper back in July that suggested that UK was approaching herd immunity at 20%. That was clearly disproved with the recent increases in cases there.

 

As far as strains Covid strains are not like flu strains. while there have been minor genetic changes (different strains) they all carry the same antigen related to the horn that is the focus of the vaccines.

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4 hours ago, KnowTheScore said:

 

The people moaning are NOT anti-vaxxers.  Labelling them such is really really poor.   They are for the most part genuine sensible concerned people who want the FULL information in order to make an informed choice.  The longer people keep trying to suppress their concerns with silly names and memes the stronger their concerns are going to be and continue.  If you want to win those hearts and minds then you need to take their concerns seriously.

 

Your initial statement quoted above is also not correct.    We don't need anywhere near 70% of people immune for herd immunity.  Plenty of scientists have already been very vocal to say it can be achieved with as little as 20%.

 

There is still so much unknown about the vaccines that this notion that suddenly everything will be back to normal is just wishful thinking.

 

There are over 30 individual strains of SARS-COV-2 already (there were 12 as far back as March)

How can the vaccines possibly have been developed to cover all those strains?   They were being developed before some of those strains appeared.   My guess is that like Flu vaccines they will only cover a small number of strains.  If that's the case then it's going to be a long time before things change and it's more likely that Covid will be just like Flu, with seasonal strains and scientists desperately trying to second guess which strains are likely to be in circulation each year.

The vulnerable in that case will need routine vaccinations year on year like Flu.

 

Kinda odd don't you think that the media hasn't been raising this issue of different strains?

Herd Immunity Plenty of scientists have already been very vocal to say it can be achieved with as little as 20%.  20%?!?  What planet do you live on.  I'm not going to drop it here, but look at Mayo Clinic...or don't, just stop your nonsense. 🙄 

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8 hours ago, TeeRick said:

If we can get our two vaccine injections at the latest June 1 and July 1 we will be good to go by Aug 1.  Our cruise is Aug 26th 

 

8 hours ago, LGW59 said:

We are in almost exact situation.  Aug 28th, depart from and return to Barcelona.

 

I canceled May cruise to Norway but have another to Alaska mid August.  One thing I wonder is what with the vast amount of vaccines given, how quickly can proof of vaccination be processed to show through whatever system is needed.  I am not talking about a card from the pharmacy, but rather uploaded through whatever agency will end up doing this task. I assume cruise lines and flights will require some special registration, not just a pharmacy card.  Could be sweating this out last minute.

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11 hours ago, KnowTheScore said:

 

 

There are over 30 individual strains of SARS-COV-2 already (there were 12 as far back as March)

How can the vaccines possibly have been developed to cover all those strains?  

 

Kinda odd don't you think that the media hasn't been raising this issue of different strains?

 

Because so far none of the different strains have had significant changes in the surface epitopes of the Spike protein, so a vaccine will cover all the known lines.

 

It's not like flu with many different strains with hemagglutinin and neuraminidase options.

 

Just cause they are both viral upper respiratory tract infections doesn't make coronavirus and influenza equal.

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13 hours ago, TeeRick said:

Here is my situation for illustration.  We have a cruise in Norway end of August.  I really am hopeful that we can make that one.  I have not cancelled it or shifted it.  It depends on when we can start our vaccine shots. If we can get our two vaccine injections at the latest June 1 and July 1 we will be good to go by Aug 1.  Our cruise is Aug 26th  Now will Norway let us travel there?  Who knows at this point.

 

13 hours ago, LGW59 said:

We are in almost exact situation.  Aug 28th, depart from and return to Barcelona.  Will Spain, Malta, Turkey and Greece let us in??? Hopefully we can have received the vaccine by summer and the rest will play out as needed.

 

I think there are a lot of us in similar situations.  We are on a transatlantic from London to Iceland/Greenland/Canada before arriving in Boston in August.  I suspect that we will be vaccinated by then but we have no idea if all of the countries will allow us to stop or if the CDC will relax the 7-day requirement by then.  Final payment for my TA is on May 3 and we have no idea if London will be open to tourists by August.  As much as I would like to be planning for a pre-cruise week in the UK, I'm not doing anything or arranging flights to London before these questions get answered.

 

I think this cruise has too many things stacked against it and likely will be cancelled.  At this point the best I'm hoping for is the same itinerary in 2022 and the ability to L&S.

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This has been active advice from our Foreign & Commonwealth Office since March 2019

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advises against cruise ship travel at this time. This is due to the ongoing pandemic and is based on medical advice from Public Health England.

Cruise ship travel means staying overnight for at least 1 night on a sea-going cruise ship with people from multiple households.

Our advice against cruises applies to international travel on a ship that is exclusively for pleasure or recreation, providing overnight accommodation and other leisure facilities such as entertainment venues or swimming pools.

Our advice does not include ferries or privately-rented boats.

The government will continue to review its cruise ship travel advice based on the latest medical advice.

If you have future cruise travel plans, contact your cruise line, travel operator, or the travel company you booked with, for further advice. For information on cruises in UK waters contact the Department for Transport: Maritimeengagement@dft.gov.uk.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office continues to support the Department for Transport’s work with industry for the resumption of international cruise travel.

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Strangely enough I had just been checking the FCO website for any updates before I read your post. No change of course.  We have a Transatlantic cruise in April and change our minds constantly about whether we will be able to go (if the cruise actually sails). Our family are dead set against taking a 10 hour flight and being on a cruise ship for 16 nights. We booked in the US so can get our money back if we cancel before final payment in January. Hoping to have the vaccine, both doses before then. 

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26 minutes ago, sandancer said:

Strangely enough I had just been checking the FCO website for any updates before I read your post. No change of course.  We have a Transatlantic cruise in April and change our minds constantly about whether we will be able to go (if the cruise actually sails). Our family are dead set against taking a 10 hour flight and being on a cruise ship for 16 nights. We booked in the US so can get our money back if we cancel before final payment in January. Hoping to have the vaccine, both doses before then. 

Jeez that a really tough call, I don’t envy your position.

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20 hours ago, TeeRick said:

Maybe 50% vaccinated will make a major impact.  We should not just assume they are the only group in the population immune to the virus. 

 

Consider the following.  How many in the US have had SARS-CoV-2 viral infections?  According to JHU over 14 million in the US today to date and that number is an undercount by far.  CDC and others estimate it could be 5X that number right now (70-75 million). If their immunity can be counted in the overall herd immunity that is an important factor. 

 

Factors to consider for herd immunity include the actual population groups involved (non-exposed people, vaccinated people with immunity, people with previous viral infection immunity, and people with natural immunity).  This does not even take into account age group differences, health differences, race differences, etc.  And how long immunity lasts.  Longer for vaccinated people vs infected people?  And what about the asymptomatic "natural" immunity?  About 40% of the population according to some CDC estimates.  But we know they can still transmit the virus.  What we do not know is whether the vaccinated group or the viral infected/recovered group can still transmit the virus.  It is all so complicated!  Books will be written about this for years to come.  Or hopefully by the next pandemic anyway.

Excellent post, I have been saying this on posts for weeks and unfortunately some people didn't like what I said.

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27 minutes ago, yorky said:

Jeez that a really tough call, I don’t envy your position.

Yes, I’m very lucky I have 4 more cruises booked after that all with refundable deposits. Plus hols in The Algarve, Italy and Madeira and once we get that vaccine we’ll be doing it all. Won’t have to wait long either being an NHS worker. 

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12 hours ago, nocl said:

I would not consider asymptomatic cases to be lumped in with the immune. Not when you consider that they are the source for spread. Also there is documentation that even though they do not show normal covid symptoms the illness can still cause unseen damage. the studies I have seen have been on cardiac and neurologic impacts.

I stated that asymptomatic people still spread the virus - even though they still have their own protective immunity apparently.   Unseen long lasting effects of this virus is one very good reason to get vaccinated asap.

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9 hours ago, mimbecky said:

 

 

I canceled May cruise to Norway but have another to Alaska mid August.  One thing I wonder is what with the vast amount of vaccines given, how quickly can proof of vaccination be processed to show through whatever system is needed.  I am not talking about a card from the pharmacy, but rather uploaded through whatever agency will end up doing this task. I assume cruise lines and flights will require some special registration, not just a pharmacy card.  Could be sweating this out last minute.

Good point by I guess we will know in a few months what documentation will be required.

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22 hours ago, TeeRick said:

Maybe 50% vaccinated will make a major impact.  We should not just assume they are the only group in the population immune to the virus. 

 

Consider the following.  How many in the US have had SARS-CoV-2 viral infections?  According to JHU over 14 million in the US today to date and that number is an undercount by far.  CDC and others estimate it could be 5X that number right now (70-75 million). If their immunity can be counted in the overall herd immunity that is an important factor. 

 

Factors to consider for herd immunity include the actual population groups involved (non-exposed people, vaccinated people with immunity, people with previous viral infection immunity, and people with natural immunity).  This does not even take into account age group differences, health differences, race differences, etc.  And how long immunity lasts.  Longer for vaccinated people vs infected people?  And what about the asymptomatic "natural" immunity?  About 40% of the population according to some CDC estimates.  But we know they can still transmit the virus.  What we do not know is whether the vaccinated group or the viral infected/recovered group can still transmit the virus.  It is all so complicated!  Books will be written about this for years to come.  Or hopefully by the next pandemic anyway.

 

In the US, the epidemic will be over if less than 15% of the population become vaccinated if those 15% fall into 60+ age group. 

 

Age 65+ accounts for roughly 80% of covid deaths but only about 16% of the population.  Eliminate those deaths and the disease will be nowhere near the epidemic threshold. 

 

"Herd Immunity" is purely a hypothetical threshold. Too many models with too many inputs and assumptions for it to be discussed in any practical sense using numbers. 

 

From a cruising perspective, it would be prudent for the cruise lines to say that vaccination is required for anyone over a certain threshold. 55, 60, or 65 would make sense.   55+ accounts for over 90% of deaths.  It would be silly to disallow someone younger and at less risk to sail without a vaccine. 

Edited by D C
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39 minutes ago, D C said:

 55+ accounts for over 90% of deaths.

Unfortunately, there are many people (me and DH) who are going to be caught in that 55-64 group who are "healthy" and therefore wont have vaccine option until the very last phase in our state. Retired a few years early, not in working force so definitely last. Our health official states widely available in April.  I think that is a bit optimistic but I'd be thrilled.

Edited by mimbecky
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10 minutes ago, mimbecky said:

Unfortunately, there are many people (me and DH) who are going to be caught in that 55-64 group who are "healthy" and therefore wont have vaccine option until the very last phase in our state. Retired a few years early, not in working force so definitely last. Our health official states widely available in April.  I think that is a bit optimistic but I'd be thrilled.

Yes I am in the exact same situation and so is Mrs. TeeRick.

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10 hours ago, mimbecky said:

 

 

I canceled May cruise to Norway but have another to Alaska mid August.  One thing I wonder is what with the vast amount of vaccines given, how quickly can proof of vaccination be processed to show through whatever system is needed.  I am not talking about a card from the pharmacy, but rather uploaded through whatever agency will end up doing this task. I assume cruise lines and flights will require some special registration, not just a pharmacy card.  Could be sweating this out last minute.

Proof of vaccination will be an interesting challenge should the cruise lines not accept a card issued by pharmacies, doctors or other providers, particularly as this seems to be the approach being taken by the US government: https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/02/health/covid-19-vaccination-kit-record-card/index.html.  In the US, there is no central registry for vaccinations (see https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/vaccination-records.html) and I highly doubt that one will be created for COVID-19. Consequently, there will be no central body that can issue a separate, "official" proof of vaccination.

 

That's just in the US, and cruise lines deal with passengers from countries around the world. Here in Canada, the situation is similar to that of the US, with no central registry of vaccinations now and none planned for the future. It would be interesting to hear from readers in the UK what proof they are receiving for their COVID-19 vaccinations.

 

In the end, whether it's cruise lines, airlines or hotel chains, there will need to be some flexibility when requesting proof of vaccination. Hopefully they are monitoring what governments are planning to provide their residents as proof of vaccination, to ensure that there are no unrealistic expectations of what their customers in turn will be able to provide.   

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