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Are vaccines the light at the end of the tunnel?


Ken the cruiser
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I thought that 95% efficacy meant that each individual had a 95% chance of being protected against getting COVID after vaccination kicks in.  I get a "medpage" each day - which is enlightening.  What I read today is that the 5% represents people who would not be protected at all.  Can someone confirm, deny or clarify? Not that it really matters but....

 

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are thought to be 95% effective. That’s impressive and way more effective than experts predicted, but it also means 5% of people who receive these vaccines won’t become immune. That may seem like a small number, but in a population as big as ours, that’s still a significant number of people.“That still means hundreds of thousands, depending on what [population] scale you’re looking at, could receive the vaccine and not be protected,” Ogbuagu said.

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6 minutes ago, mimbecky said:

I thought that 95% efficacy meant that each individual had a 95% chance of being protected against getting COVID after vaccination kicks in.  I get a "medpage" each day - which is enlightening.  What I read today is that the 5% represents people who would not be protected at all.  Can someone confirm, deny or clarify? Not that it really matters but....

 

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are thought to be 95% effective. That’s impressive and way more effective than experts predicted, but it also means 5% of people who receive these vaccines won’t become immune. That may seem like a small number, but in a population as big as ours, that’s still a significant number of people.“That still means hundreds of thousands, depending on what [population] scale you’re looking at, could receive the vaccine and not be protected,” Ogbuagu said.

 

I'd like to see the whole quote. The inverse is also true, which I'd suggest is the 95% glass full approach we need from an Associate Professor of Medicine at Yale.

 

Statistics are a reflection of the past, not a predictor of the future. One of the most important rules of all statistical analyses. In the Phase III clinical trials, when you compared the numbers of symptomatic cases of COVID19 in vaccinated versus non-vaccinated participants, there was a 95% reduction in symptomatic cases in the vaccinated population in this trial. Period. That's what the statistical analysis was designed to show. I'll have to go back and re-read the results (I don't recall any severity scoring, for instance), but all other interpretations are arguably extrapolations. There will be more data as they continue to assess the populations through completion of the trial, but as of the dataset presented for the EUA, only 5% of the symptomatic cases were in the vaccine group (again, note past tense).

 

The assumption is those ratios will continue in the future, and data may ultimately show a reduction in symptom severity in the vaccinated participants (if memory serves that was an endpoint for AZ; don't remember for Pfizer and Moderna), which is another dynamic beyond the "95% reduction" metric.

 

Is "it's complicated" an OK answer? Because I'd argue it is.

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3 minutes ago, mimbecky said:

Sorry, my mistake it wasn't from a medpage, it was an AOL today story.  Scroll to "the time it takes to get protection varies"

 

How Long It Takes For The Coronavirus Vaccine To Work (aol.com)

 

 

 

Yeah. A good overall discussion, but there's a great numerical pull quote that's not untrue, but probably not helpful. And not unlike other vaccines or drugs. It's why no reasonable public health professional thinks we're going to be able to suddenly drop other public health controls until we really see the impact.

 

I'd argue we're at a very hopeful point, but it's going to be months at a minimum, and probably years, before we really understand the full impact of vaccination. The world will be ready to return to 'normal' before the vaccine campaigns really support it. That's actually what happened in 1920 or so with the Spanish Flu.

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18 hours ago, markeb said:

 

I thought about discussing this, but it's not needed tonight...

 

There has to be something else! The weather is predicting snow in the DC area on Wednesday. High adventure! And I have a very nice Washington State Rhone blend beside the computer (mostly Syrah) and that's always a good thing! On top of that, I found a Penfolds trying to bob up in the rack, so tomorrow could be good, too.

Zoom Partay!!!!

We went to Burgundy a couple of years ago and we have a few lower level white Burgundys from that trip that we really need to drink, you're on!

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I'll go back to my theme of saying that there is a measured clinical efficacy (95%) for both mRNA vaccines and then there is effectiveness.  The efficacy is actually great and at the top end for all vaccines in use.  But the real thing we care about is effectiveness of the vaccine.  That is what counts.  High efficacy should lead to higher effectiveness.  Only way to learn about the effectiveness is after it is injected into millions- so actually very soon.  Then we will see how these vaccines hold up in the real world.  Will their immunity be long lasting?  Will yearly doses be needed?  Are more side effects to be discovered? Can they be used in children? Infants? Can they make a major impact on deaths and hospitalizations?  Can they prevent or significantly reduce transmission? Stop the pandemic?  Allow for resuming normal activities like cruising?

 

 

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A tidbit of new info released today on the Moderna vaccine reported today in the NY Times link below.

 

"New data from Moderna suggest that its vaccine may reduce transmission. Researchers found that people who had one shot were less likely than those in the placebo group to have symptom-free infections in their noses — and therefore less likely to be contagious."

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/15/health/covid-moderna-vaccine.html

 

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Some positive cruising news from RCG Chairman Richard Fain referring to the vaccines as a game-changer.

 

"The arrival of highly efficacious vaccines is a game-changer…previously, we expected cruising to resume based on creating a virtual bubble of safety on the ship, even if the rest of the country was experiencing significant spread. Vaccines change all that."

 

Cruise Executives: Vaccines Are Game Changers For Industry (cruisecritic.com)

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21 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Some positive cruising news from RCG Chairman Richard Fain referring to the vaccines as a game-changer.

 

"The arrival of highly efficacious vaccines is a game-changer…previously, we expected cruising to resume based on creating a virtual bubble of safety on the ship, even if the rest of the country was experiencing significant spread. Vaccines change all that."

 

Cruise Executives: Vaccines Are Game Changers For Industry (cruisecritic.com)

Given the U.S. Surgeon General's statement that companies shouldn't mandate COVID-19 vaccinations, as they have been authorized but not fully approved, cruise lines might be facing an uphill battle. It will be interesting to see if the FDA, CDC and other branches of government support this perspective.

 

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-surgeon-general-companies-shouldnt-mandate-covid-19-vaccine-155349966.html

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Will be very happy to get the vaccine ASAP.   I would be a lot more comfortable on a ship if everyone is vaccinated.   It will be great when it’s required for all travel.   Folks that don’t want the vaccine will have to forego travel and perhaps being out in public.    If you are too sick to receive a vaccine you should stay away from all activities that cause you to be in contact with others for your own protection.

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27 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

Given the U.S. Surgeon General's statement that companies shouldn't mandate COVID-19 vaccinations, as they have been authorized but not fully approved, cruise lines might be facing an uphill battle. It will be interesting to see if the FDA, CDC and other branches of government support this perspective.

 

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-surgeon-general-companies-shouldnt-mandate-covid-19-vaccine-155349966.html

A bit of a difference between the situations.  The Surgeon General was referring to companies requiring vaccination for its employees.  A situation where the person would not have a choice if they chose to maintain their employment.  Such a requirement would have issues while the vaccine is in EUA status.

 

With the cruise lines it is a bit of a different situation since cruising is a voluntary activity. 

 

I would expect that the vaccines might have full approval before cruising gets out from under the current CDC restrictions.

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3 minutes ago, nocl said:

A bit of a difference between the situations.  The Surgeon General was referring to companies requiring vaccination for its employees.  A situation where the person would not have a choice if they chose to maintain their employment.  Such a requirement would have issues while the vaccine is in EUA status.

 

With the cruise lines it is a bit of a different situation since cruising is a voluntary activity. 

 

I would expect that the vaccines might have full approval before cruising gets out from under the current CDC restrictions.

I hadn't considered the possibility of cruise lines requiring vaccinations for passengers but not for crew members. 

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2 hours ago, Fouremco said:

I hadn't considered the possibility of cruise lines requiring vaccinations for passengers but not for crew members. 

They can control and test the crew members.  However, the cruise lines are not US companies, and for the most part the crew members are not US citizens.  

 

As such the question is what maritime employment rules would say.

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14 hours ago, Fouremco said:

Given the U.S. Surgeon General's statement that companies shouldn't mandate COVID-19 vaccinations, as they have been authorized but not fully approved, cruise lines might be facing an uphill battle. It will be interesting to see if the FDA, CDC and other branches of government support this perspective.

 

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-surgeon-general-companies-shouldnt-mandate-covid-19-vaccine-155349966.html

The US surgeon general just made a comment on his current view in a press interview. That is quite different than some type of official and lawful action.  No matter.  There will be no political will or otherwise for a vaccine to be mandated in the US.  Cannot even get a mask mandate in place.

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13 hours ago, Fouremco said:

I hadn't considered the possibility of cruise lines requiring vaccinations for passengers but not for crew members. 

I think crew members might need to be vaccinated in their own countries to travel internationally too.  Also I think most crew members will stand in line to get a vaccine and protect themselves.  Maybe a few will not but I think most will.

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1 minute ago, TeeRick said:

I think crew members might need to be vaccinated in their own countries to travel internationally too.  Also I think most crew members will stand in line to get a vaccine and protect themselves.  Maybe a few will not but I think most will.

 

If crew members need to be vaccinated in their own country that could be a very long wait.

 

Especially considering the unexpected problems we are having in high income countries to get the vaccine out.

 

Vaccination stopped near me because staff have tested positive for covid-19

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-55324640

 

It would be comical if it was not so serious. 

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11 hours ago, nocl said:

They can control and test the crew members.  However, the cruise lines are not US companies, and for the most part the crew members are not US citizens.  

 

As such the question is what maritime employment rules would say.

 

We need Chengkp75 to weigh in on the maritime employment rules.

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54 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

The US surgeon general just made a comment on his current view in a press interview. That is quite different than some type of official and lawful action.  No matter.  There will be no political will or otherwise for a vaccine to be mandated in the US.  Cannot even get a mask mandate in place.

With a different POTUS and perhaps a different Senate, no one really knows what the future will look like in the US as far as mandates.  Not going to get into a pro/con of either side, just stating the fact that things will definitely be different.

 

I agree with your comment- just because someone puts forth a point of view does not make it "official".  I personally doubt there will be any US mandate overall, but I do think some companies will require the vaccine.  They are in a damned if you do; damned if you don't situation.  If they don't require it and someone spreads the virus at their office they could be sued.  If they do require it and one of their employees has a severe or fatal reaction to the vaccine they could be sued.  Lose/lose.  The only way to mitigate that is to have some type of law passed to protect the companies from law suits but doubt that will happen with our severely divided government.

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I've been following the LIVE coverage of the FDA Panel review of Moderna's EUA submission, and even though most of it has been over my head, it's been very interesting and eye opening.

 

WATCH LIVE: FDA Panel Reviews Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine Ahead of US Decision – NBC New York

 

For example, I now know the difference between a blinded crossover versus an open crossover. 😉

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7 hours ago, nomad098 said:

 

If crew members need to be vaccinated in their own country that could be a very long wait.

 

Especially considering the unexpected problems we are having in high income countries to get the vaccine out.

 

Vaccination stopped near me because staff have tested positive for covid-19

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-55324640

 

It would be comical if it was not so serious. 

Alrighty then, maybe mass vaccination centers are not the way to go - I agree, tragicomedy.

I would advise the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy...not sure what to do about the person who comes in to administer the vaccinations with one of those pesky temperatures of 102...

Yes, I'm being sarcastic, but any group of more than 10 people, the risk of this happening will just go up. The answer though is vaccination.

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The FDA Vaccine Advisory committee just voted 20-0 to recommend the Moderna vaccine for EUA approval in the US. Hopefully the FDA issues its approval and it happens by this weekend.  And then 6 million doses get shipped right away to join the vaccine party!

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10 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

The FDA Vaccine Advisory committee just voted 20-0 to recommend the Moderna vaccine for EUA approval in the US. Hopefully the FDA issues its approval and it happens by this weekend.  And then 6 million doses get shipped right away to join the vaccine party!

And I am happy to say that several attorneys at the law firm I work at were involved in this!!  Patent attorneys, but with chemistry, science and medical degrees.  We had a Zoom meeting today and they were through the roof ecstatic!!!  

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13 hours ago, LGW59 said:

And I am happy to say that several attorneys at the law firm I work at were involved in this!!  Patent attorneys, but with chemistry, science and medical degrees.  We had a Zoom meeting today and they were through the roof ecstatic!!!  

And they should be ecstatic!  Thank them for us.  These vaccine efforts have been just remarkable and they require an extended team.  All kinds of people and skills and efforts.  And for a small company like Moderna they need to coordinate across a lot of their extended team to make everything happen.  Great for them and for us!

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On 12/17/2020 at 8:06 AM, TeeRick said:

The US surgeon general just made a comment on his current view in a press interview. That is quite different than some type of official and lawful action.  No matter.  There will be no political will or otherwise for a vaccine to be mandated in the US.  Cannot even get a mask mandate in place.

 

IMO, what the US surgeon general says has no bearing on what private corporations do.   As it stands right now (and I quote from a CC article) "if the ship's medical personnel determine that you're feverish, contagious or otherwise ill, they have the authority to prevent you from boarding."  So they have the right to dictate who gets on board.  If they require people be vaccinated, they can do it.  People can be as pissed as they want and I can see numerous lawsuits over it, but in the end they DO reserve the right to refuse people to board for any reason, especially if impacts passenger and crew safety & health.

 

Personally speaking, and I've said this before, I'll be getting vaccinated as soon as I am able to do so.  Period.  If cruise lines require it, I won't fight it.

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