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Cause for cautious optimism?


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All, the rollout of the vaccine is likely going to have some bumps in the road.  It has to because we've never looked at vaccinating so many people so quickly and also recognizing you need two vaccinations. I believe one is three weeks after the first and the other one is four weeks after the first.

 

Yes I do believe some from the Government are a bit optimistic on how quickly this will all happen.  While some are saying by May/June anyone who wants it can get it I am thinking more like third quarter.

 

With that said many who sail Crystal do fall in the over 65 and that should be sooner.

 

I do believe with one message, strong communications which includes benefits and what the side effects are and really promoting this more people will get it in the USA than the polls show.  But the key is that there are no surprises.  The good news is most of the experts say the vast majority of side effects do show up in 30 to 60 days so most have been identified in the trials.  But we shall see.

 

Larry my doctor has a bit of a different take than your as do some that I follow but where we live Pfizer would work well.  The challenge I am talking about is in very remote areas and of course third world countries. But I suspect overtime they will learn more techniques for all of this.  This Pfizer one is pretty unique compared to those who require it to be cold.  Anyway, let's hope it all works out.

 

In the USA I really like the idea of the three former President's having the vaccine and being shown on the news getting it.  I also believe word of mouth will help.  And I believe making it part of patriotism will help. 

 

We all have to remember that even with the vaccine at least for quite awhile the recommendation from the health experts is to wear the mask, social distance, and wash hands thoroughly and often.

And people need to get serious about all of this because we have just begun the darkest of times which the experts say will be quite a bit worse in the USA over the next 30 to 60 days.  I suspect other places where people are complaining such as parts of Europe are going to have a tough time.

 

In terms of fatalities the new couple of months or more are going to bring as many deaths daily as we had on the horrific day of 9/11.

 

I am also very worried about those on the front lines in hospitals and others such as EMS and Police and Fire.  They are overworked, don't have enough PPE and when they get home it is putting a big strain on themselves and their families.  Often there is concern by the spouse that the people might have the virus and will impact the family.  We owe these people and those who perform so many other important roles including those in transport and at food stores and in various food processing plants a lot.  Too many of them have gotten the virus with many dying trying to help others.  We can show our appreciation following the guidelines as well as hopefully there will be more money and other incentives for them.

 

Keith

 

 

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1 hour ago, rafinmd said:

What is the latest estimate of a timeline for Canada?

 

Roy

 

In typical Canadian fashion, it is all over the map. The PM has said March/Spring/January or maybe September. Health Canada does not even have an expected approval date, yet our Premier is complaining he can't get a firm date, while the Alberta Premier says they will start administering shots on Jan 3!!

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1 hour ago, Keith1010 said:

In the USA I really like the idea of the three former President's having the vaccine and being shown on the news getting it.  I also believe word of mouth will help.  And I believe making it part of patriotism will help.

I especially like the idea that the three former Presidents represent both major parties.

 

Roy

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Just read that Pfizer is having supply chain problems & will now be able to ship only 1/2 the amount promised by the end of this year.

 

My BIL, an MD at a major medical facility in NY, has not even been told when he and the other medical staff are to get their jabs.

 

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2 hours ago, Roland4 said:

 

In typical Canadian fashion, it is all over the map. The PM has said March/Spring/January or maybe September. Health Canada does not even have an expected approval date, yet our Premier is complaining he can't get a firm date, while the Alberta Premier says they will start administering shots on Jan 3!!


Yes, but they all expressed their opinions, Politely.

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3 hours ago, FlyerTalker said:

 

Careful.  That's not "approved" information.  The conformity folks will be around soon.

 

Right you are!  Not only such folks, but FACT CHECKERS as well!

  • A trio of scientists drafted the “Great Barrington Declaration,” which says that people without underlying medical conditions should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal, while the vulnerable should remain protected.

  • The document was swiftly denounced by top health officials and thousands of researchers and scientists around the world, who called the approach unethical and nearly impossible.

https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/oct/27/facebook-posts/great-barrington-herd-immunity-document-widely-dis/

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I am quite sure I will be getting the vaccine when it is available to those 65+.  What I am concerned about is the logistics of administering the vaccine, and insuring that the 2nd shot is received.  When I got my flu shot this year at a local pharmacy, my husband and I went mid-day when there was no one else waiting for shots.  It still took us over 1/2 hour before we were done.  For the Covid vaccine, it can't take that long for each person to be innoculated.  It would be an impossible situation, with long lines, which just discourages people from waiting.  And we already see long lines of cars for people to get tested.  I have heard that the armed forces may be used, which will provide more manpower, but giving 600 million shots just to  Americans is truly an immense task!

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Here in NYS and city they plan to start vaccinating December 15 or so, they will get the first delivery and start with health care workers, nursing home residents and first responders then on to the general population starting with 65+. The local government has an aggressive plan based on the premise that a virus free state/city will have a boom economy. This will help the cruise industry because beside all the clean certified ships they need a place to load/unload the passenger's and NYC was a busy port all year long. The regulars here were NCL, RCCL, Celebrity, Carnival, Cunard with just about everyone now and then. Time will tell but it is positive news in a sea of bad!!

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One important point which has not been made clear to the public is that we have no idea what is the real-life efficacy of these vaccines nor the duration of this efficacy.  Based on this, it could be a terrible mistake if people who receive the vaccines start acting like they are fully protected.

 

It would be great if the actual population-based efficacy turns out to be as promising as the preliminary studies suggest, and it would also be great if the vaccine efficacy is long-lasting.  However, we don’t have any data to confirm this, and it will take an actual vaccination program and long-term follow-ups for us have a better idea about it.

 

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA (messenger RNA) based vaccines, NO mRNA vaccines have ever been used outside of a research study.  I am certainly hoping that this approach will be very helpful, but the fact is that we have NO idea how long the acquired immunity from mRNA vaccines last.

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A key item President Elect Biden covered today when asked by a reporter is that while a lot of planning has gone into how to get the vaccines to the states the planning that is needed is how to get the vaccine into our arms.  This is critical  IMHO. 
 

As to what happens after each person gets the vaccine they need to follow the current science recommendations which include social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands.  Poseur this is consistent to what you said and the key is communicating and reinforcing this in communications.  I feel confident this will happen and  hopefully people will follow this. 

 

Keith

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13 hours ago, Psoque said:

One important point which has not been made clear to the public is that we have no idea what is the real-life efficacy of these vaccines nor the duration of this efficacy.  Based on this, it could be a terrible mistake if people who receive the vaccines start acting like they are fully protected.

 

Efficacy is going to be a major concern over a lengthy period.  These hastily developed vaccines may not provide protection for very long. 

To date several million American have tested positive for COVID-19 and many of them experienced only mild symptoms.  Unfortunately, little attention has been paid to the matter of acquired immunity in such cases.  Are they likely to have subsequent immunity, and, if so, for how long?

A friend tested positive for COVID-19 in March and experienced a mild case of COVID-19 at that time.  Since she frequently donates blood, she learned that she had antibodies when she donated blood in June and August.  When she donated in October her antibodies had significantly declined, and that was about six months after her March positive test.

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40 minutes ago, Jim9310 said:

When she donated in October her antibodies had significantly declined, and that was about six months after her March positive test.

I would expect the level of antibodies to decline significantly once the infection is resolved.  The issue is whether or not her immune cells "remember" the antigen so that they can quickly resume making the antibody if they see the virus again.  It would be a waste of resources and probably dangerous to retain an "acute" high level of all the antibodies that your body knows how to make all the time.

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5 hours ago, Jim9310 said:

 

Efficacy is going to be a major concern over a lengthy period.  These hastily developed vaccines may not provide protection for very long. 

 

 

To date several million American have tested positive for COVID-19 and many of them experienced only mild symptoms.  Unfortunately, little attention has been paid to the matter of acquired immunity in such cases.  Are they likely to have subsequent immunity, and, if so, for how long?

 

 

A friend tested positive for COVID-19 in March and experienced a mild case of COVID-19 at that time.  Since she frequently donates blood, she learned that she had antibodies when she donated blood in June and August.  When she donated in October her antibodies had significantly declined, and that was about six months after her March positive test.

 

Our doctor said the same as your friend experienced that the testing she's had done for patients who had COVID-19 found at six months the antibodies were gone or pretty much gone.

 

I am a believer we take a step at a time.  I'm not going to worry how long the vaccine will last.  We will leave that up to the experts when the knowledge is available.  If we have to get the vaccine yearly, every six months or whatever we will do just that because assuming the vaccine is 95% effective and assuming when it is not the side effects are much less severe this will put us in a much better place.  

 

The good news is it is amazing what has been done in the way of vaccines in less than a year.  If the news ones don't last long then while we get followup dosages this will buy time for the vaccine makers to look for new methods which might last longer.

 

I am just happy they came up with these solutions.  Early on many said they wouldn't come up with a vaccine and only a month or so ago it was thought if it was 70% effective that would be Herculaneum.  Here we are at around 95%.  The half a glass is quite full IMHO.

 

Keith

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In terms of expectation obviously we have learned that Pfizer won't deploy as much month one (this month) as originally projected). 

 

Joe Biden touched on the other issue in an extensive interview on CNN on Thursday with Jake Tapper when he was asked what he thought about the planning for the distribution of the vaccines.

 

He said the planning is terrific for getting the vaccine to the States and commends the work on this.


What he said is lacking is there is not a plan to get the vaccine into the arms of each person and that will be a major focus of his task force but we start behind the curve on this.  I am not surprised as we have never heard how this will be done.

 

Better to know now so the work can get moving on this.

 

So it won't be a walk in the park but hopefully in-time they will work all this out.

 

Realistically it is a mammoth task but the good news as Dr. Fauci says often is help is on the way and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We will get there and the saying Patience is a virtue rings true.

 

I just hope and pray that people in the USA and in other parts of the world where the virus is out of control will listen to the scientists and follow what they ask us to do.  In the USA they are saying no travel for Channukah, Christmas and New Years and no social gatherings.  I concur with this.  The amount of sacrifice this involves to me is a nit in comparison to saving lives including our own.  Also, if one doesn't care about themselves once again please think about all of the people on the front lives who are stretched as far as one humanly can go and the facilities which are now out of ICU beds.  Remember each day we will lose just in the USA more people than we lost on the horrific day of 9/11.  So we can all do our part IMHO and for us if we do that will mean a return to cruising something I know many on this board looks forward to.  

 

Keith

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8 hours ago, Jim9310 said:

 

Efficacy is going to be a major concern over a lengthy period.  These hastily developed vaccines may not provide protection for very long. 

 

 

To date several million American have tested positive for COVID-19 and many of them experienced only mild symptoms.  Unfortunately, little attention has been paid to the matter of acquired immunity in such cases.  Are they likely to have subsequent immunity, and, if so, for how long?

 

 

A friend tested positive for COVID-19 in March and experienced a mild case of COVID-19 at that time.  Since she frequently donates blood, she learned that she had antibodies when she donated blood in June and August.  When she donated in October her antibodies had significantly declined, and that was about six months after her March positive test.

 


That’s one of my mind’s biggest worries, in terms of unknowns.  We know reinfection in a matter of months is possible because we’ve caught cases incidentally, but because we don’t test asymptotic people broadly in the US, and some of the reinfections have remained asymptotic (or the second infection was symptomatic and the first one wasn’t, but could be determined through the antibody genetics), we don’t have nearly enough data on what this looks like.  
 

Again, we’re not using testing in nearly the ways we need to in order to get the data we need.

 

7 hours ago, SusieQft said:

I would expect the level of antibodies to decline significantly once the infection is resolved.  The issue is whether or not her immune cells "remember" the antigen so that they can quickly resume making the antibody if they see the virus again.  It would be a waste of resources and probably dangerous to retain an "acute" high level of all the antibodies that your body knows how to make all the time.


I’m really glad you call out this point...  You were one of the first people to remind me that antibodies are only one part of a person’s immune response, and just because the body has slowed production, doesn’t mean it doesn’t (or does) remember what to do when it sees the virus again.  That’s a different variable, for us to figure out.

 

Vince

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20 hours ago, ryndam said:

I just read this article on Seatrade Cruise News concerning rapid virus screening tests. Here is the link for those that may be interested.

 

https://www.seatrade-cruise.com/environmental-health/multi-unit-covid-19-breathalyzer-system-can-screen-1000-cruisers-hour

 

Rob

Yesterday there was another rapid test announced, it is based on CRISPR and then a cellphone camera for detection.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/12/201204155410.htm

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19 hours ago, Jim9310 said:

 

Efficacy is going to be a major concern over a lengthy period.  These hastily developed vaccines may not provide protection for very long. 

 

 

To date several million American have tested positive for COVID-19 and many of them experienced only mild symptoms.  Unfortunately, little attention has been paid to the matter of acquired immunity in such cases.  Are they likely to have subsequent immunity, and, if so, for how long?

 

 

A friend tested positive for COVID-19 in March and experienced a mild case of COVID-19 at that time.  Since she frequently donates blood, she learned that she had antibodies when she donated blood in June and August.  When she donated in October her antibodies had significantly declined, and that was about six months after her March positive test.

 

I am not even attempting to explain everything about viral immunity in this post, but presence of detectable and often high levels of antibodies during an infection is typical, and some or all of these antibodies (usually there is a mixture of various antibodies generated during an infection/immunization)  can go away (or more accurately, become undetectable) after clearance of the infection/vaccine antigens.  However, that does not mean there is no lasting immunity.  Depending on the infection/vaccine, persistently detectable antibody can be indicative of persistent immunity, but in some infections/vaccines, immunity can still be lasting without any detectable antibodies.  It's even more complicated because presence of antibodies during an infection does not guarantee adequate immunity, and persistent antibodies may actually mean either re-infection or persistent/chronic infection (because of lack of adequate immunity), depending on the pathogen.

 

The most meaningful way to know if either the infection or the vaccination results in lasting immunity is to measure the ability of that individual to fend of the infection after the first infection or the vaccination.  In the case of doing this in development of vaccines, it is commonly called a "challenge trial."  I believe there is an ongoing COVID-19 challenge trial on one of the vaccine candidates in the UK right now.

Edited by Psoque
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19 minutes ago, Psoque said:

I am not even attempting to explain everything about viral immunity in this post, but presence of detectable and often high levels of antibodies during an infection is typical, and some or all of these antibodies (usually there is a mixture of various antibodies generated during an infection/immunization)  can go away (or more accurately, become undetectable) after clearance of the infection/vaccine antigens.  However, that does not mean there is no lasting immunity.  Depending on the infection/vaccine, persistently detectable antibody can be indicative of persistent immunity, but in some infections/vaccines, immunity can still be lasting without any detectable antibodies.  It's even more complicated because presence of antibodies during an infection does not guarantee adequate immunity, and persistent antibodies may actually mean either re-infection or persistent/chronic infection (because of lack of adequate immunity), depending on the pathogen.

 

The most meaningful way to know if either the infection or the vaccination results in lasting immunity is to measure the ability of that individual to fend of the infection after the first infection or the vaccination.  In the case of doing this in development of vaccines, it is commonly called a "challenge trial."  I believe there is an ongoing COVID-19 challenge trial on one of the vaccine candidates in the UK right now.

 

Interesting. I thought I had read somewhere that while there were numerous volunteers, challenge trials for COVID were ruled out due to an absence of any means to treat a participant who actually came down with the virus.

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Regarding the likelihood of reinfection after a person recovers from COVID, there are very few documented cases.  Some people seem to never really have recovered in the first place, and those are not really a re-infection.  Maybe less than 6 proven reinfections, although of course we don't know how many undocumented cases there are.  Six cases out of 66 million infections is about one in eleven million.  Even 10 or a 100 times more cases would still be orders of magnitude less than 5% (the percent not expected to gain immunity from the initial two vaccines).  With 66 million cases world wide, 5% would be 3.3 million people.  Cut that to half or a third for the more recent cases that have not had time yet to be reinfected, and around a million people would have been reinfected by now if the immunity is only 95%.  

 

So, yes, there are a few reported cases of reinfection.  But as Oxford reported recently, it seems that most people retain their COVID immunity at least 6 months after the initial infection.  I think that as time goes on it is very likely that length of time will only increase as we get more data from people who will soon be longer than 6 months after recovery.

 

We do have to view it with caution because we don't really know the answer yet, but there is a very good chance that the immunity will last at least a year from both natural infection and also from the vaccines.  If there is a challenge study happening now, that will get us more data about the short term effectiveness of the vaccine, but we still need time to pass before we will be able to judge how long it lasts. 

 

Personally, I would say that cautious optimism on this is well justified, and hopefully much more accurate than doom and gloom.  I think the most likely future will include annual vaccinations for both COVID and the flu, and both diseases will at that point have more comparable risks.  If the mRNA technology provides even better results, maybe once we get past the pandemic it can be applied to improving the flu vaccine as well.

Edited by SusieQft
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12 hours ago, Roland4 said:

 

Interesting. I thought I had read somewhere that while there were numerous volunteers, challenge trials for COVID were ruled out due to an absence of any means to treat a participant who actually came down with the virus.

Actually, Psoque is correct. I recall this being shown on our news some weeks ago. Although I cannot recall, it is most likely to be the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine.

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4 hours ago, kool kruiser said:

Actually, Psoque is correct. I recall this being shown on our news some weeks ago. Although I cannot recall, it is most likely to be the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine.

Interesting. Thanks!

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The key to all of this will be getting people vaccinated around the world.  If a high percentage of people do not get the vaccine we will not be back to anywhere normal.

 

Whether we need to get the vaccine every year, every two years or whatever.  Whether you can get COVID-19 again if you got it who knows.  What is important to me is getting as many people vaccinated as humanly possible so we can get back to a norm.  If we need to get the vaccine yearly we will.  Every two years we will.  We will wait for the scientists to tell us and they won't know for sure until we get more history.

 

So to get as many people vaccinated will take a Herculaneum effort by many people.

 

In the USA it will take lots of vaccine.  Hopefully by the middle of next year anyone who wants it can get it.

 

It will take a major effort to put the vaccine in the arm of each person and do it not once but twice.  States will likely need help from the federal government which could come from the military.  They will need money too.

 

States will need to create databases if they have not done so already or use databases they have now or use the one by the federal government to track who got the vaccine and which one they got and this can be used so when you return for your second dosage you will get the correct one.

 

And another biggie we will need a campaign to encourage people to get the vaccine.  In the USA half the people are reluctant.  The campaign needs to be based on fact which means facts must be shared on side effects both in terms of the percentage of people in the trial who got side effects and what the side effects were.   While side effects are provided with all prescriptions and on the CDC site for things such as vaccinations it will be key to communicate this to everyone.  I think our former Presidents getting the vaccine and being video'd getting it is terrific along with the President Elect.  Other people getting video'd would be great from actors/actresses, vocalists, sports players, people young and old and of all races and nationalities and others in leadership positions.  

 

A big challenge is sheer volume.  Take New York.  It has taken nine+ months to test the number of people who likely will need to get the vaccine and not get it once but twice.  What I am saying is this is a major effort.

 

So it's nice to know all the other stuff such as whether or not you can get COVID-19 again or how often you will need the vaccine, but the key to our getting back to some type of Norm and things like cruise ships sailing again and all the other things which people miss right now will be the vaccine.  A lot of work still remains. As our President Elect said it is one thing to have the vaccine, but the big challenge ahead is getting it into people's arms.

 

In the meantime COVID-19 is running wild so everyone please be safe.  All it takes is making one mistake by letting your guard down for a moment and this can be the different between getting or not getting the virus.

 

In the spirit of the holiday season please try to do something for your local first responders and those at the medical facilities.  There are many things we can do to thank them and on top of this we can thank them even more by not getting COVID-19 and adding to the already max'd out facilities.  

 

Keith

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3 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

The key to all of this will be getting people vaccinated around the world.  If a high percentage of people do not get the vaccine we will not be back to anywhere normal.

 

Whether we need to get the vaccine every year, every two years or whatever.  Whether you can get COVID-19 again if you got it who knows.  What is important to me is getting as many people vaccinated as humanly possible so we can get back to a norm.  If we need to get the vaccine yearly we will.  Every two years we will.  We will wait for the scientists to tell us and they won't know for sure until we get more history.

 

So to get as many people vaccinated will take a Herculaneum effort by many people.

 

In the USA it will take lots of vaccine.  Hopefully by the middle of next year anyone who wants it can get it.

 

It will take a major effort to put the vaccine in the arm of each person and do it not once but twice.  States will likely need help from the federal government which could come from the military.  They will need money too.

 

States will need to create databases if they have not done so already or use databases they have now or use the one by the federal government to track who got the vaccine and which one they got and this can be used so when you return for your second dosage you will get the correct one.

 

And another biggie we will need a campaign to encourage people to get the vaccine.  In the USA half the people are reluctant.  The campaign needs to be based on fact which means facts must be shared on side effects both in terms of the percentage of people in the trial who got side effects and what the side effects were.   While side effects are provided with all prescriptions and on the CDC site for things such as vaccinations it will be key to communicate this to everyone.  I think our former Presidents getting the vaccine and being video'd getting it is terrific along with the President Elect.  Other people getting video'd would be great from actors/actresses, vocalists, sports players, people young and old and of all races and nationalities and others in leadership positions.  

 

A big challenge is sheer volume.  Take New York.  It has taken nine+ months to test the number of people who likely will need to get the vaccine and not get it once but twice.  What I am saying is this is a major effort.

 

So it's nice to know all the other stuff such as whether or not you can get COVID-19 again or how often you will need the vaccine, but the key to our getting back to some type of Norm and things like cruise ships sailing again and all the other things which people miss right now will be the vaccine.  A lot of work still remains. As our President Elect said it is one thing to have the vaccine, but the big challenge ahead is getting it into people's arms.

 

In the meantime COVID-19 is running wild so everyone please be safe.  All it takes is making one mistake by letting your guard down for a moment and this can be the different between getting or not getting the virus.

 

In the spirit of the holiday season please try to do something for your local first responders and those at the medical facilities.  There are many things we can do to thank them and on top of this we can thank them even more by not getting COVID-19 and adding to the already max'd out facilities.  

 

Keith

Keith

I cannot agree more with all that you say. we can but hope that most will agree.

More good news from this side of the pond. Today we have given the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine to the first few of those on our priority lists with a progressive rollout in the days and weeks to come. Of course, this will take some time to complete what is being described as our biggest vaccination programme ever. Still , about 10 months from first development to actual vaccination. Amazing !!

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