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Vaccine Efficacy Questions

Next up on the vaccine news front are some concerns about efficacy. In a very surprising statement, Gao Fu (the head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention) said at a conference in Chengdu over the weekend that that the protection figures of the Chinese vaccines are “not high”. He called for research into extra doses, changes in dosing schedules, mixing of different varieties of vaccine in those schedules, etc.  This comes after news of countries like the UAE offering a third dose of the Sinopharm vaccine to some patients.

That said, the WHO has stated that the Sinopharm and Sinovac have both submitted data to show “levels of efficacy that would be compatible with those required”. But that, I believe, means that they at least clear the 50% efficacy floor – getting hard numbers on their actual protection has not been easy, though. Here’s a recent preprint from Brazil that estimates that efficacy in patients who received at least one dose of Coronavac (the Sinovac vaccine) against infection with any variant of the coronavirus came in at 50% for symptomatic infections. Chile is another country that has done a strong job in vaccinating its population, but largely with Sinovac, and there are questions about how well that’s working out. I think that even 50% efficacy is a lot better than nothing, but it’s possible that the Chilean results show how how such a vaccine can keep more people out of serious trouble (good) while still allowing for continued spread in the population (not good). The Chilean government says that they’ll be releasing more data on this soon, so we’ll come back to the topic.

Gao’s statement got a lot of headlines, and it appears that the Chinese government was not happy about it. Discussions about it seem to have been taken down on Chinese social media sites, and Gao himself issued a much less forthright statement hours later. The government has made much out of “vaccine diplomacy”, seeing a chance to raise China’s profile in many countries around the world, but right now, it’s not clear if that’s working out. That UAE story above, for example, mentions that Malaysia declined an offer of 500,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine from the UAE stocks.

The “Sputnik-V” vaccine from the Gamaleya Institute has had far fewer questions about its efficacy than the Chinese candidates, although I haven’t seen much real-world data so far. Slovakian authorities, though, are saying that their deliveries of the vaccine seem to have come from a number of completely different production batches (with different dosage forms) and have questioned how the efficacy might change across these. In response, Russia has asked Slovakia to return their doses, due to “numerous contract violations”. India has just authorized the vaccine for emergency use there, with Dr. Reddy’s as the local supplier and more companies to come.

There’s a second Russian vaccine, EpiVacCorona, which is much less well known – Olga Dobrovidova writes about it here at Science. The only paper on it is in a small Russian journal, and describes a Phase 2 trial with 86 patients, without any estimate of efficacy. But there have been letters to the Russian health minister from people who had had this vaccine during trials and who have been tested with commercial antibody kits and found no coronavirus antibodies. EpiVacCorona is a protein-subunit vaccine, and the agency developing it says that it’s in a 3000-patient Phase 3 trial now.

232 comments on “Vaccine Efficacy Questions”

  1. Peter S. Shenkin says:

    The issue of whether 50% efficacy is useful is conflated with the definition of efficacy. If it’s 50% against appearance of symptoms, it could still be highly efficacious against severe symptoms and/or against deaths, as we’ve seen in other cases (where efficacy against symptoms was about 70%, IIRC).

    So we might be looking at the wrong statistic.

    1. TimF says:

      That’s true, but in reality, when we are told that being vaccinated is good for stoping the occurrence of variants, vaccines with 50% efficacy are not going to that. It could be even worst, because it’s a leaky vaccine, where infecction occurs at high levels, and the most infectious strains are the prevalent, not necessary the most infections (in regards to no vaccine). So the variants will come from the most infectious strains of virus.

      1. Big Fool says:

        I think we’re getting overly fussy here. Unless there’s a choice between this vaccine and another one with a higher level of efficacy, this vaccine should be administered as long as it is safe.

        Assuming it is 50% effective against symptomatic Covid, and it makes people who do get infected have milder cases, this is way better than being unvaccinated, and having it be the population’s immune systems against the virus.

        I was willing to get the BCG vaccine last year if the research had demonstrated only that it would make an infection milder.

        The variants seem to get cooked up by people, often immunocompromised, who have very long cases. Anything that reduces that will cut down the chance of a vaccine-proof variant. As a secondary benefit, some of the people won’t get Covid when they would have and some will have milder cases. reducing human suffering is what this is about.

        Now if they are staring at a choice of a better vaccine right away, that’s a different story. But I don’t think that is the case.

        As has been said before, we can’t let perfection get in the way of good.

  2. RAD says:

    Interesting. Via Google Translate, the Chilean vaccination site has some interesting information about CanSino:

    The CanSino vaccine is of Chinese / Canadian origin and has a reported efficacy of 65.7% in asymptomatic cases and 90.98% in severe cases.

    It is the most massive clinical trial that has been carried out in Chile on vaccines against covid-19.

    Who can get the vaccine?

    People between 18 and 60 years old.

    How many doses are required?

    Just one dose.

    When will your application start?

    Between May and June 2021.

    The CanSino vaccine is a one-dose adenovirus platform vaccine like J&J. Unfortunately, Canada is not longer involved due to geopolitics. The Canadian National Research Council-owned facility in Montreal, originally slated to produce the CanSino vaccine, will produce the Novavax vaccine later this year.

  3. “But there have been letters to the Russian health minister from people who had had this vaccine during trials and who have been tested with commercial antibody kits and found no coronavirus antibodies.”

    The likely reason for this is if they used common antibody tests that test for the N protein (or some other protein) and not the spike protein that is targeted by all the vaccines.

    1. Derek Lowe says:

      This vaccine has both N and S protein subunits in it, though.

      1. FoodScientist says:

        I wonder how often the distributers just sell the vaccine(“it fell off the back of a truck”)to someone willing to bring a briefcase of cash to them.

        China did what China’s good at with sinovac. They copied a slightly older method of production that they were confident would at least kind of work.

        China getting all their citizens to exclusively use smartphones for banking/internet/ect. It seems like the only way Covid could have been beaten globally, tracking and tracing.

      2. Not-an-epidemiologist says:

        The actual paper is less than clear about this, but they’re certainly not using the whole of the Spike protein, and I’m not convinced they’re using all of the N protein either. Assuming that the trial participants were unblinded and even knew whether they’d received the vaccine (??), the simplest explanation for a lack of seropositivity is surely that the tests used antigens not covered in the vaccine design.

        The immune response to the vaccine shown in that paper was pretty horrible, however (way worse than convalescent sera). This is not Novavax.

      3. Druscilla says:

        Interesting… Do you have any literature recommendations that may help me better understand the differences in antibody tests? My father is a dialysis patient who received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine early this year. Part of his monthly bloodwork at the dialysis center now includes COVID antibody tests. His most recent antibody bloodwork is 1/3 of what it was after the second dose.

        Also, is there any research looking at the rate of change in antibodies amongst those vaccinated? I’m wondering if there is any biological basis for hemodialysis impacting titer levels. Apologies if these are dumb questions… I work in behavioral epidemiology, so serology/immunology is far outside my expertise.

        1. Marko says:

          My guess is it’s just normal decay of antibody levels over time. 1/3 of a whopping post-vaccine titer is still a whopping titer. In this paper on Moderna vaccine immune durability, they showed a half-life of 53 days for anti-RBD antibodies, measured from 43 days after the first of the two doses. Thus, after two half-lives, or 43+53+53 = 149 days (~5 months) post-dose#1, you’d only expect to see about 1/4 of the antibody titer you’d have seen at day 43. And, of course, there’s a lot of individual variation. I wouldn’t worry about it, unless the initial titer was unusually low to start with, in which case the problem is not antibody decay or clearance, it’s poor response to the vaccine.

          https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2103916?query=featured_home

  4. Andrase says:

    I live in the Country (Hungary/Europe) where booth the Chinese ‘inactivated’ from Sinopharm (BBIBP-CorV, the ‘Beijing’ and not the ‘Wuhan’) and the Russian ‘Sputnik V’ used for vaccination. Actually i get my first jab of ‘Sputnik V’ a week ago.

    Regarding the Sinopharm. Practically we know nothing. I collect some IgG ‘Spike’ ‘blood’ test values in Hungary and also from Serbia (so, the ‘news’ going in ‘whisper’, Facebook, Reddit groups, etc.). As far as i can summarize: IgG ‘Spike’ values i not so high, some cases is zero (below the measurement equipment lowest threshold). Its a 2 shot regime, 28 days between that, and another 28 day when its ‘provide protection’ as the news ‘promise’.
    Practically all negative before the 2nd shot. Usually after 2nd shoot: in 0-1 week still nothing, 1-2 week some positive values come up (may half or less the cases), week 2-4 usually come, but some case still zero.
    However, values not so high AU/ml (positive limit >50) values, in the range of 60-200-600-1500-3000, average may something like 400-600. But all data as i get, mostly the age groups not known, etc. As i see at the moment, usually below age 70, and usually they with some other diseases. I also heard some cases where older peoples go thru Covid after/around the 2nd shoot, with medium-serious (but /wo Hospitalization). So, no-one know. Actually most of the 2nd shoot is given only in the last weeks.
    Local Regulatory Authorization of the Vaccine is a joke (practically political decision).
    But Frankly, everyone in fear.

    Regarding Sputnik: Shipments usually get some delays, and usually below the expected amount, but still a bit better than the AZ/OX shipments. PR and acceptance not bad. No-one know anything (i call it ‘surprise’ vaccine). At least i not ‘heard’ serious cases, however still some death in the 60 age range around/before the 2nd shot happen as far as i heard. But most cases (as i heard) a bit older peoples (age 50-65) pass thru the Covid mild/not serious, but still get it. I heard households, where the wife get Pfizer, and not catch the Covid, man with Sputnik get the Covid, but it’s got thru mild effects.
    Local Regulatory Authorization of the Vaccine is a joke (practically political decision).
    Frankly, no-one know anything, but at least less fear (what may illogical). The vaccination in ‘larger’ scale just begin with that in the last weeks, so may we know a bit more after approx 4 weeks form now.

  5. Ys says:

    Although coronavac may not be the best in class. It’s not fair to call it a 50% vaccine, compared to, say moderna’s >90%, based on the Brazil preprint.

    1. The study is done with health care workers.
    2. It’s a two dose regime but this study is one dose?
    3. Cases were confirmed by PCR vs by symptoms ( Moderna etc).
    4. Not a well balanced dose/control group.

    Again news network does not want to mention these. All they want to show is it’s inferior because it’s made in China.

    1. Chris Phillips says:

      “Cases were confirmed by PCR vs by symptoms ( Moderna etc)”

      The preprint says they estimated efficacy against both symptomatic and asymptomatic infections – at 50% and 35% respectively. But as so often, the media reports don’t mention the statistical uncertainty, which is huge – confidence intervals of 11.3 – 71.4% and −6.6 – 60.5% respectively.

  6. ralph says:

    Curious to hear the author’s take on concerns about Pfizer/Moderna/AZ efficacy against B.1.351.

      1. Not-an-epidemiologist says:

        Quoting from that thread (by the Adi Stern, the last author of the preprint):

        6. We think that this reduced effectiveness occurs only in a short window of time (no B.1.351 cases 14+ days post 2nd dose), and that the S.A. variant does not spread efficiently. Thus, even more of a reason to get vaccinated and drive down cases to zero!

        It’s all looking pretty encouraging right now re. variant escape potential, or lack thereof.

        (And it’s funny/sad how most of the media has used this research to run with the exact opposite message.)

        1. Not-an-epidemiologist says:

          (ugh, awkward typo. Although I like this work, I’m not sure Adi Stern has reached definite-article status yet …)

        2. Garfunkel says:

          My interpretation of a very short period of time and this ladies are polar opposites:
          14+ days post second dose may be a very long time i.e. a persons lifespan.
          “and that the S.A. variant does not spread efficiently.”
          evidence she presented for this is the opposite in vaccinated individuals, Ben-Gurion is closed to foreigners and let’s see how this holds up in the real world under real conditions
          “Thus, even more of a reason to get vaccinated and drive down cases to zero!”
          Logic is what exactly here? I don’t get it. Let’s see.

  7. Ronnie says:

    Surprising data from a small analysis from Israel indicatse that Pfizer’s vaccine might not protect against the South-African variant.:

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/4/11/s-african-variant-can-break-through-pfizer-vaccine-study-says

    1. Not-an-epidemiologist says:

      Might not protect fully against B.1.351, I think you meant to write (based on very small numbers). I (and I suspect many others) have been waiting anxiously to see whether Israel would experience an additional wave of variant infections in their vaccinated population now that restrictions are being eased. This has clearly not happened (yet), despite B.1.351 very clearly being present in the population.

      I actually see these data as more encouraging rather than otherwise, but let’s see what the situation looks like in a month or so.

  8. Victoria Pires Barracosa says:

    Reading a little more about the subject, it appears that a lot of countries in Latin America bought other vaccines (Russian and oxford vaccine) but these haven’t arrived. The Chinese vaccines aren’t cheap so all the talk about vaccine diplomacy is kind of silly. They are just the only ones giving Third World countries vaccines quickly and not treating them as a complete afterthought (probably because they can’t sell them in Europe.)

    1. BelgianChemist says:

      Well, the EU at least exported around 2/3 of the doses it produced. Granted, lots of them we snatched up by other developed countries.

      1. dearieme says:

        The EU doesn’t export anything. Factories in the EU export. Presumably in accord with contracts.

      2. Victoria Pires says:

        My country has a contract with AstraZeneca and they said the doses would only get here in 2022 (not very useful). That’s why they went for the Chinese and russian vaccines ( now Russia is selling to Europe so the vaccines don’t get here and we sign the contract first).
        If the EU actually exported that many it was probably to the USA and Canada.

      3. Chris Phillips says:

        In fact the EU prevented AZ from fulfilling a contract for export to Australia from production within the EU. So it was fulfilled from production in the UK instead, instead of going to the UK. That was at about the same time as the EU was claiming the UK was exporting no vaccines, to bolster its claim that AZ should be forced to export some of its UK production to the EU!

        Frankly, the EU needs to decide whether it thinks every country or grouping of countries should provide for itself, or whether it thinks there should be an international market. At the moment it seems to want to have it one way when it suits the EU, and the other way also when it suits the EU. In other words, both ways to suit the EU.

      4. Brussels bureaucrat says:

        Article from NY times about vaccine protectionism.

        https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/10/world/europe/eu-exports-covid-vaccine.html

        E.U. Exports Millions of Covid Vaccine Doses Despite Supply Crunch at Home

        1. Victoria Pires Barracosa says:

          Good article
          Basically most of the anglo American press has being demonizing anybody who does vaccines they don’t use (russia China) or try to do the same as them as the EU (block the export of vaccines)
          Shocking (this is sarcasm).
          Australia has a very low case load and haven’t suffered so much due to covid. They shouldn’t be the first in getting vaccinated. It’s not a good global extrategy.
          Good for Italy.

          1. Brussels bureaucrat says:

            Victoria,
            I largely agree, but I also believe there is a very important difference between the way the EU is being portraid in the press in the US and the UK, respectively.

            In the UK press there is a strongly biased view of the EU due to Brexit – to such an extent that many people in the UK actually believe that the EU is protectionistic with respect to vaccines, whereas the opposite (!) is true. I post a link to the nice paper about vaccine protectionism once again:

            https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/10/world/europe/eu-exports-covid-vaccine.html
            E.U. Exports Millions of Covid Vaccine Doses Despite Supply Crunch at Home

            In the US on the other hand, I believe there just the usual indifference with respect to whatever is going on in old Europe (NYtimes is one of few exceptions).

            But the EU also need to be better at communication in these matters! For example, very few people know that the “Pfizer” vaccine was developed by the German company BioNtech, whereas everybody knows that the AZ vaccine was developed in the UK. Also, the entire world was informed when the US decided to lend Mexico and Canada 4 million vaccines, whereas hardly anybody knows about the 40 mill vaccines that the EU has exported (including 20 mill pfizer/BioNtech to the UK). Someone previously posted this very interesting note:

            17 March 2021, Brussels
            Statement by EU President von der Leyen
            “We have this export authorisation scheme since 1 February – so it is six weeks – and since then, in these six weeks, we have received hundreds of requests for exports – in numbers, more than 300 requests for export – 314 have been granted, only one has been refused. If you put that in numbers of doses: In that time – these six last weeks – 41 million doses have been exported to 33 countries.”
            https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/STATEMENT_21_1222

            The EU press people need to get in the game!

          2. Brussels bureaucrat says:

            Victoria,
            I largely agree.

            But I also believe there is a very important difference between the way the EU is being portrait in the press in the US and the UK, respectively.

            In the UK press there is a strongly biased view of the EU due to Brexit – to such an extent that many people in the UK actually believe that the EU is protectionist with respect to vaccines, whereas the opposite is true. This might also be the case in Australia?, since large part of the newspapers in the UK and Australia are owned by the same people. Another fact that may be overlooked in the Australian press is that at the time when the Italians blocked the vaccines, hundreds of Italians died from Covid every day, not a single person died daily in Australia…

            Here is a link to the nice paper about vaccine protectionism once again:

            https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/10/world/europe/eu-exports-covid-vaccine.html
            E.U. Exports Millions of Covid Vaccine Doses Despite Supply Crunch at Home

            In the US on the other hand, I believe there just the usual indifference with respect to whatever is going on in old Europe (NYtimes is one of few exceptions).

            But the EU also need to be better at communication in these matters. For example, relatively few people know that the “Pfizer” vaccine was developed by the German company BioNtech, whereas everybody in the world knows that the AZ vaccine was developed in the UK. Also, the entire world was informed when the US decided to lend Mexico and Canada 4 million vaccines, whereas hardly anybody knows about the 40 mill vaccines that the EU has exported (including 20 mill pfizer/BioNtech to the UK and 8 million to Israel). Someone previously posted this very interesting note:

            17 March 2021, Brussels
            Statement by EU President von der Leyen:
            “We have this export authorisation scheme since 1 February – so it is six weeks – and since then, in these six weeks, we have received hundreds of requests for exports – in numbers, more than 300 requests for export – 314 have been granted, only one has been refused. If you put that in numbers of doses: In that time – these six last weeks – 41 million doses have been exported to 33 countries.”

          3. Chris Phillips says:

            “But the EU also need to be better at communication in these matters.”

            If that’s a euphemism for “the EU needs to stop telling blatant and demonstrable lies about legal contracts it has negotiated and signed” then I am in 100% agreement with you.

            At the very least it was a shortcoming that the EU breached the confidentiality clause in the AZ contract to release the text that demonstrated it had been lying! Oh dear.

        2. J says:

          Thank you. There are complicated supply chains across the world.
          https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/pfizer-eu-covid-vaccine-threats-uk-b925289.html
          There are other articles available which put this into context also.

        3. J says:

          Australian order and Papua New Guinea situation

          https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/australia-urges-eu-to-send-1-million-covid-vaccines-for-papua-new-guinea/

          Various other articles available on this incident.

  9. mw says:

    I wonder if the publication in preprint of non-human efficacy of CoVac501, a self-adjuvanting peptide vaccine conjugated with TLR7 agonists, against SARS-CoV-2
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.04.10.439275 prompted the the willingness to admit the less than stellar results for CanSino.

  10. mw says:

    Perhaps the early results of CoVac501 in NHPs softens the blow of the less than stellar results for CanSino.
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.04.10.439275
    “CoVac501, a self-adjuvanting peptide vaccine conjugated with TLR7 agonists, against SARS-CoV-2 induces protective immunity”

  11. Chem Hiring Tips says:

    Whenever I see a PI listed on a paper, I say, ok that’s the lazy POS that gets the name in the big lights. Now, i look at who did the actual work and who is the brains behind that work. That’s who I will hire.

  12. Ghyu says:

    The data from Chile show how the Chinese vaccines are saving lives in the real world. Chile has one of the highest rates of infections compared to its neighbours, but very low deaths and I haven’t seen any reports of large numbers of vaccinated Chileans dying despite vaccination. Sinovac is clearly good enough for now, we can all get vaccinated again with mRNA vaccines once they’re available. We have no chance of actually eradicating the virus, so why wait for a potentially better vaccine?

    1. David E. Young, MD says:

      If you look at the “data” China has had about 4,000 new cases in the past 6 months. That is what they report. How could you even do a study on a vaccine if that is all the new cases?

      (Not that I believe that number. I don’t. Never did.)

    2. Chemist says:

      I believe it is possible to essentially eradicate this virus! See Australia, NZ, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, China, Japan… In fact, it’s the cheapest and safest way forward. And maybe together with vaccines the only way to get us out of this mess permanently.

  13. JJ says:

    I’m suddenly very concerned about the JNJ shot I’ve received. Can anyone please enlighten me please? Does the JNJ use the same spike conformation as the AZ or is it similar to mRNA? Are these clotting related issues exclusively the result of the viral vectors? How come we’ve seen what seem like similar unconfirmed cases with mRNA? What’s going on? This is very bad news for the credibility of vaccines that we were assured were safe and effective. What the hell is going on.

    1. Chris Phillips says:

      Please calm yourself. The worst-case estimate of risk of fatality for the vaccine is 4 in a million.

      If you’re in your 50s, your chances of dying from natural causes on any particular day of the week are about three or four times greater than that.

      To be fair, if you’re only in your 20s, that worst case estimate for the vaccine would be about equal to the chances of your dying of natural causes in any given three-day period. But do you normally lie awake at night worrying about whether you’re going to die of natural causes in the next week?

      1. JJ says:

        It is difficult to be calm having been lied to about these risks, after reading more into this many deaths that happened around the same time as vaccination seem very similar like the young mom in Utah and the doctor in Florida. All the news stories said there was no connection with the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. I would not be so sure now that these are safe

        1. John Wayne says:

          You weren’t lied to about the risks. The blot clot risk is so low it didn’t become obvious until larger groups of people were given the shot and monitored. Ignorance is vastly more likely than some sort of conspiracy that would have to involve thousands of people.

          1. JJ says:

            I was told that these vaccines were proven safe and effective. I was not told ‘so far’, go back on the internet and read plenty of these lies. Either they were not proven safe or I was lied to. It’s pretty simple.

          2. PrivateObvious says:

            @JJ
            We’re not in third grade anymore, this is real life. Nothing in real life is 100% safe, but that vaccine is pretty close. A few nasty side effects per million doses is smaller than the chance of being carjacked and shot while driving in several major cities in the USA, less likely than slipping in the shower and cracking your head, and less likely than being hit by lightning. It’s also 1000 times lower than the risk of post viral syndrome after the flu or after this bug.
            If you demand the impossible, it’s best to stay home and play video games, in which you can rework reality to suit whatever fear or fantasy.

          3. John Wayne says:

            The vaccines are “safe and effective.” Something in your brain changed that statement to “100.000000% safe and effective,” and that is never true about anything. You lied to yourself.

          4. LeeH says:

            John – you do realize that you’re debating a bot, no?

        2. Smokerr says:

          You were not lied to.

          Data was limited and frankly still is.

          What is your risk of a crash driving today? What is the risk of death or injury?

          You don’t think about it because is normal background stuff (I believe current death rate in driving is 30,000 a year in the US)

          Current death rate in hospital due to negligent practice is 250,000 a year. I have had one operation, my wife two and they tried to kill my brother (full on what they knew was wrong and lethal and did it anyway)

          Yes its bad, Covd is bad and if you draw the short straw on Covd and die or you have a Vaccine reaction that is hugely personal to your family and the end and be all.

          Its all a balance and sometimes the best choice you can make and none is risk free.

          1. JJ says:

            So why not just tell people the truth. Do not say proven safe and effective. Say the truth. Based on limited data so far they are proven safe and effective is very different. Say we do not know if they will be safe long term. Do not lie

        3. theasdgamer says:

          JJ, you realize that you’re debating a sheep, no?

      2. JJ says:

        If there was a so called abundance of caution approach should the powers that be not have cautiously included the people who died closely after they were given a vaccine where the official line used was that there was no evidence of an association. We need to look back at all of these cases. Peoples lives matter

        1. theasdgamer says:

          If there was an abundance of caution, vaccine manufacturers would not have needed special legal protections for the vaccines.

          Most of the people arguing are just really clueless.

          1. eyesoars says:

            If there was an abundance of caution, vaccines would be another four years or more out, and the pandemic would just be hitting its stride.

            Nobody pretended about this; please go beat your strawman somewhere else.

          2. theasdgamer says:

            bbbut these vaccines are “safe and effective”

            one wonders if there will be ADE events down the road like we saw in the syncitial and dengue fever vaxxs that failed testing after three years

            none of the rats I know are planning to take any vaxxs

            if the risks were actually low, there wouldn’t have needed to be any special legal protections

            let’s not downplay the risks

  14. Chris Phillips says:

    Remarkably, an outbreak of the South African variant in South London, so far involving only a few dozen cases over a couple of months, showed up in surveillance of waste water.

  15. bewd says:

    news from Brazil suggests more than half of patients being treated in intensive care last month were under 40.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-latin-america-56723439

  16. Jeff W says:

    Derek, can you keep an eye out for what appears to be a coronavirus vaccine developed by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) which started Phase 1 clinical trials last week? This vaccine “has potential to protect broadly and proactively against multiple coronavirus species and strains.”

  17. John Schilling says:

    Sounds like the Chinese (and Russians) used something close to the techniques we’ve always used to crank out a mediocre ~50% vaccine for the seasonal flu in about six months, and in about six months cranked out a mediocre 50% COVID vaccine. Pfizer, Moderna et al used newer and better techniques that took longer but produced a ~95% effective vaccine.

    Color me unsurprised by any of this. Looking forward to the hypothetical future when safe and effective mRNA vaccines, etc, can be cranked out in 3-6 months.

    1. theasdgamer says:

      95% effective means what? There’s a 95% chance you won’t get covid?

      I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn for sale, cheap.

      1. a s says:

        That’s right.

        https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7013e3.htm?s_cid=mm7013e3_w

        Of course, it’s a lot more protection that necessary. For yourself you only need to not get more than mild symptoms and for an epidemic you only need to reduce the spread enough. Flu vaccines aren’t nearly this good and they’re still good enough.

        The flu shot isn’t faster to develop either – apparently it took a whole two days to create both mRNA vaccines, the rest of the year was spend ramping up manufacturing and on trials. It’s easier to test flu shots because it’s basically the same thing as last year so there isn’t as much testing required by governments.

      2. Chris Phillips says:

        “95% effective means what? There’s a 95% chance you won’t get covid?”

        Good grief. It’s like somebody lecturing people on their grammar – over and over again – and then blithely asking if anyone can help him learn to read!

        In words of one syllable – if you have the jab, there is that much less chance that you will get sick.

        1. theasdgamer says:

          No, 95% effective means that 95% of the people developed an immune response after the vaccine–fever, aches, etc.

          1. Chris Phillips says:

            No – it – does – not – mean – that – it – means – ex – act – ly – what – I -said.

            Ig – nor – am – us.

          2. bewd says:

            What the 95% actually means is that vaccinated people had a 95% lower risk of getting COVID-19 compared with the control group participants, who weren’t vaccinated. In other words, vaccinated people in the Pfizer clinical trial were 20 times less likely than the control group to get COVID-19.

          3. Chris Phillips says:

            One would think that things like the definition of vaccine efficacy were sufficiently clear that even the anti-vaxxers wouldn’t try to invent their own alternative meanings, but apparently not.

            I wish comments that are indisputably misleading could simply be removed.

          4. theasdgamer says:

            Chris Phillips,

            I am currently a skeptic about the covid mRNA vaccine, specifically, because the history of mRNA vaccine trials is very negative. Your claim that I am an anti-vaxxer shows dodginess in your critical thinking skills.

        2. theasdgamer says:

          Got a paper to back up what you say about Pfizer vaccine’s effectiveness?

          1. theasdgamer says:

            Thank you, bewd. That was helpful.

            I’m curious about the details about what the article’s “laboratory confirmation” meant–was it PCR or RAT and was there any viral culturing?

            Without viral culturing, it’s impossible to have any confidence in PCR or RAT.

            Again, thanks.

          2. theasdgamer says:

            You know, bewd, I’d have thought that the vax manufacturers would have nailed down diagnoses with viral culturing. Raoult was doing that in Mar 2020.

            Maybe they did viral culturing, but didn’t report the data. Who knows? Worth asking them.

          3. Big Fool says:

            There’s also a pretty good observational study on the Pfizer vaccine: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2101765

            It has 600,000 in the vaccinated group and 600,000 well-matched controls.

            94% effectiveness against symptomatic Covid.

          4. Chris Phillips says:

            theasdgamer

            I’m just trying to explain to you what the definition of “vaccine efficacy” is.

            It seems to be beyond your understanding.

          5. theasdgamer says:

            Big Fool,

            That 94% effectiveness assumes that PCR tests are reliable. I have seen no evidence that viral culturing was done to verify the PCR test.

  18. Cassandra says:

    This make it up as you go along vaccination mess is really embarrassing for science and medicine. Thalidomide and medical experiments punishable by hanging at the Nuremberg trials now look like a trip to Disney. VIPIT or VITT (improved terminology by people who probably denied it existed not so long ago) was an unknown unknown, what’s expected to follow that?

    Plead not ignorance when the historical teachings of science enter into the realm of a horrific reality.

    This huge and stupid experiment is genocide waiting in the wings. There are many more unsavoury twists and turns that this massive experiment could yet uncover. A new global wave of autoimmune disease or other unexpected debilitating long term effects, vaccine induced super variants emerging and spreading and indeed ADE are things that the public should rightly be warned about, it’s already bad enough that informed consent has been withheld from millions of clinical trial participants and many have perished. Nuremberg code has been run through the enigma machine!

    You can’t unvaccinated yourself and look already at what has unexpectedly emerged.

    Efficacy won’t hold up either so this really is a zero sum game, oh to be a human guinea pig.

    Inform your own opinions – links here are collated fact and informed opinions.

    https://themostbeautifulworld.com/blog/vaccine-studies?rq=32%20studies

    Laugh and mock all you like …. but this is shaping up to become a major catastrophe.

    1. LeeH says:

      Actually, your ridiculous rant is the embarrassment.

      Oh, by the way. Apollo really screwed you. Not only does no one believe you, but your “prophecies” are delusions.

      1. theasdgamer says:

        Your claim of omniscience puts you in the funny farm category.

        1. Cassandra says:

          I don’t claim omniscience, just plain old common sense. Ironic that you should mention the funny farm – along with orphanages these were once testing grounds for experimental vaccines. Now the world has clearly gone mad.
          Consider these facts:
          1. Phase 3 studies of vaccines take many years as is necessary to uncover long term safety issues. AZ and JNJ look like flunking already, mRNA still highly questionable. Moderna – a long time in the clinic and next product (save for a Covid variant vaccine, if they last the test) is years away.
          2. Failure rates in Phase 3 are traditionally very high – more probable than success
          So common sense rather than omniscience is all that’s needed to predict failure! Consequences and stakes involved are at an all time high.
          Maybe you should take a sanity check

          1. bewd says:

            to quote Derek’s earlier post
            “Why wasn’t this picked up in the clinical trials? Numbers, again. The thrombosis risk is still tough to estimate well, but might be roughly around 1 in 100,000. That means that in a clinical trial that doses some 20,000 people, you are simply not going to pick up this signal. No one has ever run a controlled trial (for a vaccine or for anything else) large enough to get good statistics on an incidence rate like that. You’re simply not going to see it, until you get out into a much larger population, which means after approval. That may not be fun to think about, but it’s been the case with every drug that has ever been approved. AstraZeneca and Oxford have made mistakes in the testing and rollout of this vaccine, but this problem isn’t on that list.”

          2. WST says:

            “2. Failure rates in Phase 3 are traditionally very high – more probable than success”

            …so your common sense tells you that a successful Phase 3 is really a failure, because this is what you would expect. That sort of common sense is not that common.

            In the mean time vaccines are saving tens of thousands of lives in UK, US, Israel, EU, and a bit in South America already.

            I’ll be glad to hear you over next decade at the Hyde Park Corner.

          3. Cassandra says:

            Hey WST, These vaccines should not even be in Phase 3 as preclinical work was not properly conducted. Warped speed indeed. Unfortunately it won’t be long until more SAEs are uncovered – the stable door has been shut after the VITT horse has bolted, the collateral damage will continue for weeks, next up and predictable from small clinical studies is a major uptick in transverse myelitis – onset after vaccination ? unknown, likely? yes. Keep an eye on VAERS and please don’t try and label people as loonies and nutters. It’s not nice. Galileo, Edison, Mendel, Copernicus and Avagadro could attest if they were around. Please revisit this comment section in 12 months time, put it in your calendar now to make a reply, go on, just for posterity’s sake. Let’s see who’s crazy then.

          4. theasdgamer says:

            I was replying to Lee, not you.

  19. theasdgamer says:

    Interesting article:

    in vitro human cell lines…

    “SARS-CoV-2 RNA reverse-transcribed and integrated into the human genome.”

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33330870/

    1. Alex Beribisky says:

      An interesting phenomenon indeed. In vitro. Even it does occur in vivo, “the retro-inserted SARS-CoV-2 sequences are most likely sub-genomic fragments, as the integration junctions are mostly enriched at the N sequence, excluding the production of infectious virus.”

      1. theasdgamer says:

        Surely, the virus won’t be reproduced, but the immune system won’t know that.

        What if fragments get inserted into stem cells? What if fragments get inserted into germ cells?

        And this is with viral RNA. Is this more likely to happen with stabilized vaccine RNA?

        1. Alex Beribisky says:

          Even if that is the case and our immune response persists as a result of viral integration which may lead to long covid, it has been demonstrated that vaccination can resolve this issue.

          As for vaccine RNA – 1. Its lifetime in the cell is too short to be successfully reverse transcribed 2. It is not transported to the nucleus 3. Reverse transcription requires at least partially sequence-specific primers – Those are not present 4. DNA integration is mediated by an integrase complex, which is recruited to certain signal sequences. Those do not exist in vaccine RNA 5. As cellular vaccine RNA concentration is way lower than that endogenous mRNA, the likelihood of the latter to be reverse-transcribed and incorporated into cellular DNA is higher than the former. Yet, this obviously does not happen.

          1. Mike says:

            Hi Alex,
            I think the issue here is if integrating viral RNA elicits permanent epigenetic changes in peoples cells (and maybe long covid syndrome). I agree that this is much more likely with natural infection (30kb) rather than vaccines and good explanation you give. Where has it been demonstrated that vaccines can solve this issue? You may mean that vaccines could prevent this issue, I can’t see how it could be reversed. We are still leaning about this new beast

          2. theasdgamer says:

            Alex,

            I dispute your claim in 1. The vax RNA is far more stable than viral RNA.

            Good point 2. We don’t have a mechanism to get vax RNA to the nucleus. Antibodies might do it in macrophages, but that probably wouldn’t present symptoms.

            If you add an infection by a retrovirus to the mix, what happens, assuming that you could somehow get vax RNA to the nucleus? Would the viral enzymes enable the vax RNA to be transcribed and integrated into the host cell DNA?

          3. theasdgamer says:

            “transcribed” should be “reverse-transcribed”

          4. Alex Beribisky says:

            Hi Mike,

            There have been papers that did in fact suggest that vaccination alleviates the symptoms of long-covid sufferers, like this one:

            https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.03.11.21253225v3.full.pdf

            There have also been some anecdotal reports.

            https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/03/31/982799452/mysterious-ailment-mysterious-relief-vaccines-help-some-covid-long-haulers
            Imperial College is now running a trial to further investigate.

          5. Alex Beribisky says:

            Hi Mike,

            My previous attempt at replying did not pass through moderation, here is another one:

            There is some emerging scientific as well as anecdotal evidence that vaccination does in fact resolve long covid symptoms in some patients: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.03.11.21253225v3.full.pdf

            More detailed studies are ongoing.

          6. Alex Beribisky says:

            @theasdgamer

            In fact half-lives of viral and vaccine RNAs are comparable – on the scale of hours.

            “If you add an infection by a retrovirus to the mix, what happens, assuming that you could somehow get vax RNA to the nucleus? Would the viral enzymes enable the vax RNA to be transcribed and integrated into the host cell DNA?”

            There are three retroviruses known to cause human disease: HIV and two subtypes of HTLV. They are not capable of airborne transmission, so catching them is a lot more difficult than say, SARS-CoV-2 or influenza. In the unlikely event there is a co-infection, what would need to happen is that for some reason the SARS-CoV-2 genome would have to be reverse-transcribed, transported into the nucleus with/instead of the retroviral genome (for this to occur you would, again, need SARS-CoV-2 primers and a nuclear transport via some sort of a hybridization with the retroviral genome – both are essentially out of the question) and finally integration into the host genome without the signal sequences to do so while those being present in another sequence (i.e. in trans). The likelihood of this happening is virtually nil.

          7. Alex Beribisky says:

            @theasdgamer

            Thanks, an interesting read. But it changes nothing in terms of safety risk of RNA vaccines.

          8. theasdgamer says:

            Alex,

            That article undercuts your contention that the viral RNA and vaccine RNA have the same half lives. Vaccine RNA is folded to make it more stable.

            I agree that it doesn’t affect safety. We won’t have the data on safety for a few years.

      2. Mike says:

        Alex, your argument doesn’t make sense, for once I’m siding with Adsgamer – for avoidance of any doubt, what doesn’t make sense is that your idea of non native mRNA not causing lasting side/adverse effects is in question …. if introduced mRNA is seen as foreign (from Vaccine) by memory immune cells, then the autoimmune cascade can indeed become permanent – an example that’s hopefully easy for you to understand is T1DM. If you need guidance please feel free to ask

  20. J says:

    Mixing vaccine doses trial – expansion

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-56730526

  21. Cassandra says:

    For WST, with love:
    https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-5350
    History informs the future

    1. A Nonny Mouse says:

      From that article

      ….However, the rapid development of H1N1 and H5N1 vaccines is probably attributable to existing seasonal influenza research and platforms….

      This is exactly the situation we have here in that much of the research had already been done over many years for the SARS and MERS outbreak; the current vaccines were a “simple” modification of those which significantly accelerated the development process.

    2. WST says:

      Cassandra (or was it Galileo?) , you have obviously read the article and their explanation of the rapid development of the vaccines but without sharing authors enthusiasm for the technological breakthrough.
      “History informs the future” – of course and history of science and technology teaches us that progress consist often of a paradigm shifts, and that extrapolations or “analogous” thinking has limited value.
      The mRNA or vector DNA vaccines were “only” software updates to existing tested and available delivery platforms. This is why vaccine candidates were ready few days after the sars-cov-v2 genome was published. Just like a small software update turns your mobile phone platform to a flash-light or a hearing-aid.

      (…and the lady climbed her red ladder, pointed finger to the sky and shouted at few tourist “There are no vaccines !”)

      1. Cassandra says:

        Yes and just look at how effective ‘flu vaccines have turned out to be
        https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22032844/
        And look at the problems associated with previous coronavirus vaccines.
        Software update – HAHAHA when will a properly developed mRNA vaccine come out of a pipeline? Work on these started years before the pandemic in well funded companies. Get a grip.
        I hope that you revisit this exchange in 12 months, some people just need the benefit of hindsight too dumb to look and see, sucked in by group think and pseudoscience. Here’s an analogy for you in return for the software update on the phone – you crashed your car and hit a tree, I saw the ‘invisible’ black ice – it was on a bend in the shade and last night was mighty cold.

        1. WST says:

          You are certainly right.

  22. theasdgamer says:

    Bringing up old news with new data…

    It turns out that RECOVERY’s hydroxycholoquine arm had a baseline of a mean of 9 days post symptom onset.

    Sherman, what was the mean time to viral clearance? [Sherman whispers in my ear.] Oh, right, 8 days.

    Oh, but wait. Some people take weeks to clear the virus. Maybe, maybe not. Asymptomatic people test positive and _never_ develop symptoms. Something about them shedding viral RNA without shedding culturable virus. Maybe related to viral RNA having been inserted into their cellular DNA. Or maybe it’s real. Almost nobody bothers to culture the virus.

    Anyway, let’s assume that some people don’t clear the virus for weeks–these people are probably in very poor health. Shouldn’t they especially receive an antiviral early–within the first four days–to minimize coagulopathic damage and inhibit disease progression? So why didn’t RECOVERY test the case that might actually work?

    RECOVERY found a grey goose, not a black swan.

  23. bewd says:

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3825573

    Single Vaccination with BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 in Older People Induces Equivalent Antibody Generation but Enhanced Cellular Responses after ChAdOx1

    interestingly T cell responses higher with AZOxford?

  24. Chris Phillips says:

    Meanwhile Reuters reports that the EU Commission has decided not to renew contracts with AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson next year:
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronovirus-eu-vaccines/eu-commission-to-end-astrazeneca-and-jj-vaccine-contracts-at-expiry-paper-idUSKBN2C10MU

  25. bewd says:

    It added that Brussels would rather focus on COVID-19 vaccines using messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, such as Pfizer’s and Moderna’s.

    lets hope no problems crop up with the mRNA Vaccines

    1. Cassandra says:

      Hope is not a great of confidence. Now I know we are in real trouble

    1. Danish vikingj says:

      According to Danish medical authorities, 1 in 40.000 could risk side effects due to the AZ vaccine.

      Sorry, Danish only:
      https://www.dr.dk/nyheder/indland/live-pressemoede-om-astrazeneca-vaccinen

      1. Marko says:

        “We are basically in agreement with EMA’s assessment regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine. That is why it is important to emphasise that it is still an approved vaccine. And I understand if other countries in a different situation than us choose to continue using the vaccine. If Denmark were in a completely different situation and in the midst of a violent third outbreak, for example, and a healthcare system under pressure – and if we had not reached such an advanced point in our rollout of the vaccines – then I would not hesitate to use the vaccine, even if there were rare but severe complications associated with using it,” says Søren Brostrøm.”

        Assuming their risk assessment is close to the real risk, it’s hard to argue against the logic.

  26. Marko says:

    The Swedish “experiment” :

    https://twitter.com/dibbuk/status/1359566727571529736

    If this was a clinical trial, the DSMB would have rushed in long ago, guns drawn, to shut down the Swedish arm of the trial.

    1. theasdgamer says:

      Glad you showed an apples to apples comparison.

      Sweden has 6% people of color and Norway 2%. And Sweden had a mild flu season in 2019 and the rest of Scandinavia had a moderate-to-severe season. Exactly the same.

      Good show.

      1. WST says:

        The largest group of foreign born that died in Sweden were … Finns, retired migrant workers.

        keep trying

          1. Marko says:

            Not exactly an up-to-date reference there, being from June, 2020, thus missing entirely the impact of the second wave. Nonetheless, even this data supports WST’s point:

            “The Public Health Agency also looked at mortality rates among the different groups.

            These figures showed that the mortality rate was highest among people born in Finland (210 deaths, or 145 per 100,000 people), followed by Turkey (50 deaths, or 97 per 100,000 people), Somalia (52 deaths or 74 per 100,000 people), Chile (18 deaths or 64 per 100,000 people), and Lebanon (18 deaths or 63 per 100,000 people). ”

            Given that Finns comprise a larger share of Sweden’s population than those from the other countries…..

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Sweden

            ….. it’s looking like you may have scored another one of your spectacular own-goals. Well done!

          2. WST says:

            Look up the source document, table 4 , as Marko says, Finns are traditionally one of the largest immigrant groups in Sweden.

            https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/publicerat-material/publikationsarkiv/d/demografisk-beskrivning-av-bekraftade-covid-19-fall-i-sverige-13-mars-7-maj-2020/

            ( quote from St Thomas “beware of man on one book”)

          3. theasdgamer says:

            Surely, Finns are one of the largest immigrant groups in Sweden. But now they are likely mostly retired in care homes. For some reason, Finns have a much, much higher mortality rate from covid than do Swedes, despite having about the same genetic structure as Swedes. Most likely hypothesis is their age.

            The younger tech migrant labor seems to be coming from muslim nations, mostly. Of course, they bring their parents along eventually, who live in the same household, which is the reason for the risk to muslim immigrants.

            Avoid superficial thinking.

          4. theasdgamer says:

            I should have said “Finnish immigrants in Sweden” rather than “Finns”.

          5. WST says:

            If you really want to know the reasons for the tragic failure in Sweden’s epidemic response, here is a good starting point:

            http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00885-0/fulltext?utm_campaign=lancetcovid21&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&fbclid=IwAR0xF1Jfz1pOw0QA7DTY8hK-QTrpjXauSoBibrtUPChYOL0VA5Oky1pftKQ

  27. Law Wong says:

    I got both doses of Sinovac’s Coronavac vaccine. Side effects were virtually nil other than some very mild upper arm pain for a day (nothing like the severe arm pain an acquaintaince of mine got after Pfizer). As a relatively young person, 50%ish protection against symptoms is more than adequate, and 80% efficacy against severe disease is okay, especially in my locality, where COVID infection rates are very low. The better side effect profile makes up for the lower efficacy in my book.

    1. w says:

      I don’t know what your anecdotal reply was meant to infer about anything. I got the Pfizer last week and no symptoms other than very minor injection pain. I’m 60 YO.

  28. Cassandra says:

    Here we go. It’s started already:
    5800 breakthrough infections – fatality rate of 1.275%. Take a look at worldometer …. incidence of serious infections requiring hospitalisation is 0.4%. Does any one else see a clear ADE signal yet?
    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1264186

    1. Marko says:

      “Does any one else see a clear ADE signal yet?”

      No, I don’t think so.

      Only about 1 in 13,000 vaccinees with a breakthrough infection. Among those with infections, the hospitalization rate is reported to be ~7% and the CFR is 1.3%. Those hosp and CFR
      numbers are in a similar range as among those with confirmed infections in the unvaccinated population. While I would have expected lower hosp and CFR rates, I think what the numbers may reflect is that a tiny fraction of vaccinees develop no effective immune response and receive no protection, which would not be unexpected. No vaccine works 100.0% of the time.

      However, until more detail and statistical analysis is provided, it’s impossible to say with certainty what these numbers say, exactly. One thing is for sure, though – it’s a stretch to spin a 1 in 13,000 breakthrough infection rate as bad news.

      1. Cassandra says:

        18,306,567 Active case reported with 106,763 serious – actually 0.6% new variants have increased this significantly as it was around 0.4%. Double the death rate compared to that of serious infections in a global control group is shocking. These numbers suggest that we would be better off without the vaccine?
        How many deaths would we have expected in a matched control group?
        Are my numbers somehow wrong?

        1. Marko says:

          How many of the breakthrough infections are “active” cases? Of those, how many are “serious”?

          What’s that? You have no idea?

          Exactly. Deal with the numbers that have been provided, as provided. You’re reaching towards a predetermined conclusion.

          I delete the “active” and “serious,critical” columns in my Worldometer viewing. They’re the least informative data they provide, IMO. Comparing countries on that basis leads you in giant circles.

        2. Marko says:

          “These numbers suggest that we would be better off without the vaccine?”

          How can you look at a 1 in 13,000 breakthrough infection rate and even ponder such a question? Over the last 2 months there’s been about 4 million new confirmed infections in the US. That’s over 1% of the population, or 1 in 100. What part of a hundred-fold reduction in infection rate don’t you like, especially when the CFR is similar between the two infected groups?

          1. theasdgamer says:

            If Heneghan is to be believed, 92% of those new “infections” are merely positives due to leftover RNA fragments.

            Oh, by the way, Heneghan did a review. There were a lot of hands cooking the pot besides him.

            Are these all “conspiracy theorists”?

          2. Cassandra says:

            It looks like the CDC have something to hide-
            As previously announced, CDC is transitioning to reporting only COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough infections that result in hospitalization or death to help maximize the quality of the data collected on cases of greatest clinical and public health importance. That change in reporting will begin on May 14, 2021. In preparation for that transition, the number of reported breakthrough cases will not be updated on May 7, 2021.
            We are f*cked.

    2. Doug H MD says:

      that is likely in the highest risk cohort ! The elderly who were preferentially vaccinated, remember? In that cohort, those numbers are outstanding are they not?

      1. Cassandra says:

        “Vaccine breakthrough infections were reported among people of all ages eligible for vaccination.
        2,622 (45%) of the reported infections were among people ≥60 years of age.”
        From CDC.

        1. theasdgamer says:

          Public health employees and hospital employees were among the first vaccinated. Maybe they are the new super spreaders, lol.

          The irony in this circus just keeps growing.

    3. WST says:

      Lets try to understand the “breakthrough” numbers with what we know from the phase 3 tries (30-40k subjects) and the big Israeli study with 600,000 vaccinated an 600,000 matching control group.
      These studies confirmed round 95 % vaccine efficiency (lets use a round number, this is a back of an envelope calculation), meaning that for every 100 symptomatic cases in control group, there were 5 cases in the vaccinated group. It means that there were 19 times more infected in the control group or 5800×19=110,200 cases. Using your CFR figure there were 73 deaths in the vaccinated group.
      If you use USA CFR (wordmeter) of 1,8%, we could estimate number of deaths in the control group as 1,983, or 27 times more then in the vaccinated. We can also estimate efficiency against death as 96%, which is roughly what is the current estimate .
      So vaccinated , 5800 cases, 73 deaths
      Control 110,200 cases, 1,983 deaths

      The conclusion is obvious.

      1. Cassandra says:

        Compelling numbers, but you pulled them out of your butt. We all know how loosely covid deaths are recorded that CFR
        Do you trust clinical trial data? Pool the control arms in all the trials (use just the mRNA vaccines if you like). Now compare the CFR in breakthrough cases vs. Infections and deaths in those trials control groups (they have run longer than vaccine campaigns). Now tell me we aren’t seeing a clear signal? From what we know about ADE – that it’s likely to increase with the passage of time and knowing that circulating variants are about to be unleashed on the world when it opens back up. Please run the numbers again. How can you not see? The conclusion is obvious

        1. WST says:

          I used the numbers from your post and the article you referred to, that you did not read or need to read again and maybe once more….Rest is very simple elementary arithmetic. (..and one error, the ration is 100/5=20 times more infections in my “synthetic” control group).

          You question the clinical trials data but then want to use the data for some really unclear purpose. You did not read trial reports, it’s obvious that you would not understand it, so that’s why you ask others to pre-chew it for you so you can then rant and insult.
          There were “breakthrough” cases in clinical trials and this is how the “vaccine efficiency against symptomatic infection” was derived at 95%.

          It would have been much easier to talk to you if you would state sincerely that “I read this article and don’t understand what the numbers mean and how to relate these to the clinical trials or large scale Israeli, UK and Scotland public heath findings. And by the way, I see a word “vaccine” , what is it , how does it work, how to know it works, how to observe it’s effects in the large scale epidemiological data? ”

          corrected numbers (factor 20)
          So vaccinated , 5800 cases, 74 deaths
          Control 116,000 cases, 2,088 deaths (28 times more then in the vaccinated)

          If, in spite of the impression you make, you really want to understand something, try to redo my calculations, lookup the definition of “vaccine efficiency” and summaries of the phase 3 trials and the Israeli 1,2M health data analysis. But please, don’t get mad every time you seem to read something that you don’t understand immediately or that , even remotely, seem to contradict your opinions.

          1. Cassandra says:

            Moot point. Pull one, pull all… go Oxford University pull all the rats down with you in the sinking vaccine ship !

            WST you are a complete punk…. the CFR from Pfizer phase 3 is exactly 0% … I read it, did you ? Out of almost 300 cases in control group NOT A SINGLE PERSON DIED. Easy to understand. Much easier to understand than how vaccinated people are dying at much higher rates than unvaccinated.

            Safety concerns Re: VITT apply to ALL the mRNA junk as well as AZ and JNJ :

            https://osf.io/a9jdq/?show=view

            And BANG all the poisonous crap from operation warped speed is gone. What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander? mRNA induced death is much more acceptable than old world viral vaccine tech?

            Rushed vaccines are going to cause more deaths than those ‘saved’ from historical viral relic short term protection (under non real world conditions, but induced Abs have definitely been proven to apply positive selection pressure for variants to dominate. You can be sure that the vaccines net effects are akin to a chocolate tea pot – that is – completely useless ). WST, your stupidity knows no bounds: you’ll just have to wait a little while to find out.

          2. WST says:

            Pfizer phase 3 was too small to say anything about CFRs. This is obvious and this is why I used your CFR for the “breakthrough” and overall USA CFR from “wordometer” stats.

            I’m glad to see that you try to change the subject, is your anger a sign of a cognitive dissonance’s side effects ? Maybe you are on the thorny path to some insight.

          3. Cassandra says:

            Yes, phase 3 studies provided no demonstration of reduction in mortality. Which is the point here! Now we have the data showing the opposite of this intended effect and it’s a real conundrum for your ego. Your belief system eroding around you is the reason for you attacking the woman rather than the ball? ‘Cognitive dissonance’ what a hoot – you might even be a practitioner of some really dark, mysterious and very harmful arts, psychiatry’s darling SSRI’s and covid vaccines have many parallels (before you apply a label I’m certainly not against all vaccines, quite the opposite as I’m a big fan of all proven and logical medicines). My anger is directed only at the folly of common wisdom.

          4. Cassandra says:

            Just to be clear on this, matched controls are pretty much useless and other real world data studies are not comparable either. My concern here is that variant infections in vaccinated people are making them sicker. The idea of herd immunity is naive just look at Manaus and indeed the wider picture in Brazil. Classic covid infections were rife in Brazil (estimated at almost 80% in Manaus), yet deaths are now at an all time high and P.1 has become the dominant strain nationally. Is the higher CFR now due in part because of widespread population level antibodies to classic covid? The vaccines somewhat emulate natural infection with the classic virus, if spike protein antibodies are responsible for what seems like natural ADE in Brazil then the effect from vaccines could be even worse. P.1 can’t be contained (see how the UK variant has spread) and the same or very similar mutations could easily arise in vaccinated (added selectin pressure) and unvaccinated populations. The situation is dynamic and your analyses are rooted firmly in the past.

          5. WST says:

            The false statement “Yes, phase 3 studies provided no demonstration of reduction in mortality.” is easily debunked.

            The fatal cases of covid typically follow the sequence :
            infection ->symptomatic case->sever case->hospitalisation-> severe complications -> death

            There were roughly 150,000+ participants in the phase 3 trials of the approved vaccines. There were hardly any hospitalisation in vaccinated group, the 15-20 times fewer symptomatic had a mild disease. This shows clearly that the “death sequence” was severely broken. Protection against hospitalisation was nearly 100%.

            There were fewer symptomatic (20 times less), thus fewer potentially seriously ill and even fewer with potential fatal outcome.
            But the study was too small to put a number on the fatality reduction.

            Hope you can admit, already after first reading, that this “demonstrates reduction in mortality.”

            You have a look at the Israeli 600,000/600,000 study, just read summary in Daily Mail .
            https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9249917/Two-doses-Pfizers-vaccine-94-effective-blocking-Covid-Israel-study-finds.html

            Look up the CDC for the US numbers.
            75M vaccinated up to 4/13 , 20% of US, 5,814 cases, 396 hospitalisations, 65 deaths (9 of the 74 were non covid), and these are cumulative numbers for the fully vaccinated, over 2 months….
            So, lets make a though experiment, just to see what would this mean if whole US was vaccinated, need to multiply numbers by 5.
            Cases = 29,070
            Hospitalisations = 1980
            deaths = 345 (there were 310 deaths yesterday alone).
            ——–
            CDC records 65 fully vaccinated deaths from the start of vaccination. It’s enough to look at the last months deaths in US, (3/12-4/12), 26,831 … for the whole population, while in 20% of vaccinated, just 65.

            This shows dramatic reduction of cases and deaths.

            UK:
            https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9470913/Coronavirus-Pfizers-vaccine-cut-emergency-hospital-admissions-75-elderly-people-NHS-study.html

            (may I suggest reading “When Prophecy Fails”, Festinger)

          6. Cassandra says:

            https://edition.cnn.com/2021/04/21/health/two-breakthrough-infections-covid-19/index.html
            News coverage of a good but small study which confirms my theory, breakthrough infections were properly investigated and variants confirmed as being involved. CDC and manufacturers are not looking too hard so kudos to Rockefeller Uni.
            Initial efficacy figures may drop off dramatically as variants spread and pray that the ADE signal doesn’t intensify. The miracles of modern scientific endeavour eh?

  29. Cassandra says:

    The CDC could surely release matched controls from the data sets provided. Do you not think it’s super important to do a sense check to see if the vaccines are actually saving lives? Deaths look very high to me, a real worry that we could be seeing ADE as I’ve kinda been expecting if you’ve read my previous comments.
    But you are correct that data without proper context is difficult to decipher. Hence why I took the largest comparative data set available and it confirmed my initial read.

    1. Marko says:

      Do deaths look “really high” to you in the UK and Israel, where they’ve vaccinated greater proportions than in the US, and where, by the way, they’re also closer to achieving normal, unrestricted living ?

      1. Cassandra says:

        If you call this normal living you are very much mistaken. Air travel is at an all time low in modern times. Globally. Movements are still highly restricted. If the apparent ADE signal is due to variants it could be amplified very quickly with dire consequences when the real world really resumes. Try book a flight into Israel…. good luck with that.
        Israeli breakthrough infections appear to favour fitter, vaccine resistant strains. This is now getting real and the denialism around here will soon evaporated. Looks like the beginning of an ‘oh shit’ moment to me.

        1. Marko says:

          OK, now I get it. You’re an anti-vax troll. Good. Now I don’t need to waste any more time on you.

          1. Cassandra says:

            Why would anyone be ‘pro’ something that does more harm than good? There is only right and wrong, fallacies and the truth. The emperor is not wearing any clothes buddy.

      2. Doug H MD says:

        OK but to be fair, do deaths look really high to you in South Africa?

        1. Cassandra says:

          SA is number 48 in the world ranking of deaths per million. Likely under tested and undiagnosed deaths there that would be caught elsewhere. Does this matter somehow? Virus or any variant doesn’t take as long as Philleas Fogg to circulate around the world. If one place has it then all will have it. Unless we stop all travel forever.
          I’d rather we actually get to the bottom of this data before dissemination of my more harm or otherwise – looks like Occam’s razor and ADE outed even faster than Cassandra’s estimations.

        2. Marko says:

          Cassandra is fearmongering that high deaths in the US reflect an ADE influence of the vaccines. If such were the case, you’d see more of that impact in the UK and Israel, instead you see a pandemic that is coming to its end, and very low death rates.

          South Africa is like any number of other areas that have ended strong outbreaks either by strong lockdowns or acquisition of natural immunity or both, and is not really a relevant comparator for the discussion at hand. They’re hardly saying ” No vaccines for us , thanks, we’re worried about ADE.” They’re as desperate as any country to get vaccines effective against the variant they’re dealing with.

          1. Cassandra says:

            Opinion is wrong. but to turn the tables – You are completely missing any data to match your thoughts. Explain your way out of the facts before making wild assumptions otherwise. “Pandemic is ending” – never heard such tripe in my life/ look back at history (fools ignore). Virus hits a truly immune naive population- look to Spanish flu. This could be worse: we’ve stirred the hornets nest now with our saviour vaccines.
            How is the pandemic ending? Where I live we’ve had almost 5 months of full lockdown and that includes school closures. Guess what infection rates are higher now than last year. It is called flatten the curve in lockdown (extend your pain BS), the area under curve will be the same in the end.
            You are a nut, you probably still believe in the magical power of vaxeeens! If you dish it out then take it. Feeble answers so far guys… completely out of your depth when you have to think on your feet? Are you waiting for a peer reviewed paper and false opinion to hide behind? Keep waiting. Busted flush. If you can worm your way out of CDC data I’m intrigued and ready to pull your straw men apart. Still so sure? Ready to promote experimental medicines? See the potential harm now? Fools rush in.

          2. Doug H MD says:

            “South Africa is like any number of other areas that have ended strong outbreaks either by strong lockdowns or acquisition of natural immunity or both,”
            this describes the UK perfectly imo

          3. Marko says:

            It’s hard to explain how something other than vaccination can explain graphs like this:

            https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ey3cBvtXMAY1Oaf?format=jpg&name=4096×4096

            See Burn-Murdoch’s twitter for similar graphs on other countries, including the US and France. In Israel , the same effect can be seen in successively younger groups due to the speed of their vaccine campaign.

            The lockdown in the UK has been essential to their success, of course. I’ve argued that we should have maintained tighter restrictions in the US. We’re paying for not doing it in ongoing 2x multiples of the per capita death rates compared to the UK.

          4. theasdgamer says:

            Cassandra,

            What I’m seeing in my US county is that vaccinations are driving down hospitalizations and deaths. We haven’t locked down and our NTI have been restricted to masking and social distancing. For a bit, our bars closed early.

            Our deaths started heading down long before the vaxxes were being given in our county in Jan., but the vaxxes had a definite impact. We were likely very close to herd immunity back in December. Not saying that the vaxxes didn’t show benefit for us in the short term.

            The next few years might show a net long term loss. I’ve got bags of popcorn ready and a new keyboard.

    1. Marko says:

      There is something of an upside to this. Consider the case of clinical trials. We’d all like to see trials for new drugs to treat Covid-19 performed in the US, UK, etc., where we’d have greater confidence in the results, rather than in the 3rd world countries with little access to vaccines. But if you reach close to 100% acceptance with your vaccine, there won’t be a high enough incidence of infection and subsequent disease/deaths to power a trial with any sort of achievable enrollment numbers. So, thanks to the as-yet-uninfected Darwin Awardees in the US, we may still have a decent chance to run some trials. However, to get them to enroll, you might need to sweeten the pot with some money, whiskey, or MAGA merchandise.

      1. Cassandra says:

        Are you Comical Ali? Into your bunker now and have a glass of whisky and play some roulette with your 6 gun. You are becoming absurd, looney. Bonkers, stark raving mad. Look at the numbers man. There’s a chasm as wide as the golden gate to bridge. You’ve lost. Blind faith has no place in science.

        History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.

        We’ve come to that juncture now. The straw man is there now …. please somebody, somewhere tear it apart! Not with simplistic anti vax labelling. I was properly anti vax as the CDC data now say so.

  30. Marko says:

    China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine 67% effective in preventing symptomatic infection – Chile govt report

    https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/chinas-sinovac-covid-19-vaccine-67-effective-preventing-symptomatic-infection-2021-04-16/

    “…The Chilean study looked at the impact of the vaccine among people in the public health system between Feb. 2-April 1…”

    Considering that this was during a period when the P.1 variant was common, this is very good news.

  31. Marko says:

    The US reaches 50% of adult population vaccinated with at least one dose:

    https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations

    ~40% of the overall population with at least one dose. If you assume that ~1/3 of the population has immunity due to previous infection, then total % immune = 40% vaccinated + (1/3 x 60% unvaccinated) = 40+18 = 58%. Reduce that by a factor of 10-20% to account for waning of immunity among seropositives and incomplete immunity among vaccinees, and you get a range of ~46-52% total immunity. Given that states like Michigan, Minn., and Pennsylvania are probably about average on these metrics, this level of immunity is clearly not high enough to prevent significantly increasing caseloads under current levels of restrictions.

    Still, recently we’ve been getting the population vaccinated with at least one dose at a rate of ~.5% per day, so in another month or two we should be bumping up against the theoretical herd immunity threshold, absent significant immune escape due to variants (not a given, obviously).

    1. Marko says:

      I’m surprised nobody has caught the obvious math error. 1/3 of 60 is 20, not 18. Initially I was thinking 30% previously-infected but bumped it up to 1/3 for simplicity, failing in that effort.

      Either way, it doesn’t change the basic picture much.

  32. Marko says:

    In addition to studying the impact of variants on breakthrough infections, we need to know what proportion are among patients like these :

    Vaccines Won’t Protect Millions of Patients With Weakened Immune Systems

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/15/health/coronavirus-vaccine-immune-system.html

    1. HAD ENOUGH says:

      Wasn’t that the whole point of vaccines? To protect those susceptible to being taken out by covid? Average age of victims is 80+ Years. Don’t get me wrong I hope to get there some day but if QOL is shitty I’ll be bringing my exit pills to the nursing home. Most covid ‘victims’ are coffin dodgers who’d be killed by other causes within 12-18 months tops in any event. Sorry now if I’ve offended anyone but this is the way of nature.

      Underlying medical conditions or immunocompromised? – if vaccines can’t help you then you should shield yourself. Don’t expect the whole rest of the world to stop for your survival.

      The prolonged draconian lockdown measures in many countries are stealing the best years of life from the vast majority of citizens. Also these restrictions are depriving many tens to hundreds of millions of people access to routine medical care. 3 million global deaths from covid so far is a very small death toll compared to the established cumulative fatal effects of most chronic diseases. Do we hide under rocks for fear of dying from heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s or COPD?

      We’ve now generally given the experimental vaccines to the “at risk” groups.

      It’s now time to let this virus rip, so we can get back to living. Prolonging this pandemic with lockdowns is costing more lives than can be saved by slowing it down. Hong Kong flu in the 60’s was broadly comparable (1M + death toll is conservative) but predated the generation snowflake health and safety culture & collateral damage from that pandemic was virtually nil. They and all other prior pandemics didn’t need a deus ex machina vaccina to exit out the other either.

    2. Tony M says:

      There have been studies on Vitamin D sufficiency and supplementation and Covid-19. A recent report to the Irish parliament stated “Vitamin D is known to assist the immune system in fighting harmful bacteria and viruses, and to reduce the risk of Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI).” Given that all vaccine use the immune system, has there been any studies done on Vitamin D sufficiency/supplementation at time of been vaccinated and subsequently and vaccine efficiency?

      1. theasdgamer says:

        People only care about what will generate revenue for pharma.

        There’s no money in supplements or repurposed treatments.

        So there’s the RCT hurdle to overcome and only pharma can afford big RCTs.

        1. Albert says:

          In fairness big pharma have trialled off patent drugs for Covid. AZ should be given credit where it’s due with inhaled budesonide DPI https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(21)00160-0/fulltext
          This is evidence enough that a long proven very safe drug should be routinely used in primary care to prevent deterioration from onset of mild symptoms.

          1. theasdgamer says:

            Trialed off patent antiviral drugs with useless late treatment trials? This is called “poisoning the well.”

            Sure, budesonide is off-patent, too. Similarly dexamethasone. Do they compete with expensive vaxxes or new antivirals?

      2. Not-an-epidemiologist says:

        (This comment weirdly failed moderation twice, god knows why. I’m going to try to post this one last time because I find this interesting, even if nobody else does.)

        Vitamin D is thought to boost the innate immune system but suppress the adaptive immune system (especially antigen presentation and T-cell proliferation).  This is a key argument for the link between vitamin-D deficiency and a variety of autoimmune diseases (most notably MS).  Here’s a somewhat ageing Nature Immunology review from 2008 on the subject.

        Based on that, you’d think there might be an argument for being vitamin D deficient around the time of your immunisation.  However (and thankfully, because that would be a right pain to achieve), the admittedly rather limited studies on this suggest that it doesn’t make a difference (here’s one example).

        So, it doesn’t seem to do anything for vaccination.  But keep taking vitamin D if you’re deficient or at risk of being so, because it’s seriously good for your bones, and having a healthy innate immune system never hurts.  (And maybe it helps fight covid, but the research on this has been so appallingly bad or MIA that I now suspect it doesn’t.)

  33. Marko says:

    News about the Oxford challenge studies:

    Trial to study effect of immune system on Covid reinfection

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/apr/19/trial-to-study-effect-of-immune-system-on-covid-reinfection

  34. J says:

    Dr. John Campbell’s video on 18th April might interest some people. If you are not in full screen he provides summary information and links in the description area.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FpMpYJ2AAU

    My continuing thanks to the medical and scientific experts (‘In the Pipeline’) for their source data and explanations.

  35. J says:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56806103

    India now put on travel ‘red list’ by UK

  36. bewd says:

    https://sputnikvaccine.com/newsroom/pressreleases/sputnik-v-demonstrates-97-6-efficacy-according-to-the-analysis-of-data-of-3-8-million-vaccinated

    SPUTNIK V DEMONSTRATES 97.6% EFFICACY ACCORDING TO THE ANALYSIS OF DATA OF 3.8 MILLION VACCINATED PERSONS IN RUSSIA

  37. Marko says:

    Researchers Find Low Levels of Protective Immunity Following Most SARS-CoV-2 Infections in the Community: Preliminary Findings from the SCAN Study

    https://www.ipr.northwestern.edu/documents/reports/ipr-rapid-research-reports-scan-study-12-april-2021.pdf

    I think I’ll wait until this passes peer review. Look at the qualifications of the contributors. Look at the disclosures. Based on my experience perusing Northwestern’s past economics research, my spidey-sense tells me there may be an underlying agenda here (like selling a full two-dose vaccine regimen to the world’s rapidly growing population of seropositives).

    1. Doug H MD says:

      This seems in direct conflict with numerous other studies does it not?

      1. Marko says:

        Yes. I have questions about their methodology. They accepted dried blood specimens from first-dose recipients as early as 9 days post-dose, as described in this preprint:

        https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.03.04.21252913v1.full.pdf

        The one-dose vs two-dose comparison studies are rarely apples-to-apples. If you really wanted to do a fair comparison, you’d sample both groups at the same time removed from the first dose, say ~6-10 wks. Of course, in the US, this isn’t possible because everyone is held to the 3 or 4 wk. second dose schedule, but maybe they could do the study in the UK, where both delayed and non-delayed second dosing has occurred, I believe.

        As you say, most other studies have shown a strong response to one dose in seropositives, so I view this one as an outlier, possibly explained by shoddy study design.

  38. Marko says:

    Large clinical trial to study repurposed drugs to treat COVID-19 symptoms :Using an ACTIV master protocol, the trial will focus on potential interventions for mild-to-moderate illness.

    https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/large-clinical-trial-study-repurposed-drugs-treat-covid-19-symptoms

    1. theasdgamer says:

      Only reason for mild-to-moderate is to poison the well. You should know this by now.

      1. Marko says:

        “Enrollment is expected to open in a few weeks to up to 13,500 participants who are at least 30 years old, have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection and have experienced two or more mild-to-moderate symptoms of COVID-19 for no more than seven days. ”

        Seems reasonable to me. I don’t know how you can expect to catch people any earlier than that or without symptoms to take an at-home treatment. Power to detect differences in hosp/death will likely be an issue with so many drugs involved and without restricting enrollment to an older cohort.

        The choice of drugs in the study may say more about any designed-to-fail aspects.

        1. theasdgamer says:

          Please ignore my previous comment in this thread.

          Sorry, misread your comment and the study.

          How many drugs will be tested in the study you reference and what will be the sizes of the groups?

          Clearly, Mokhtari had a large treatment group and we have _some_ confidence in the signal, despite the treatment being mixed between early and late. Biggest problem is that the percent 85+ y.o wasn’t matched between treatment and control. Control percent 85+ y.o. was about 50% larger, relatively speaking. But the numbers weren’t huge, so statistical methods can be used to adjust for the disparity.

      2. theasdgamer says:

        What is the mean time to achieve max viral load for covid?

        What is the mean time to achieve viral clearance for covid?

        What is the mean time for covid to progress from mild to moderate, assuming it does progress?

        None of the doctors who are actually treating covid outpatients with antivirals agrees with you.

        Not Zelenko

        Not Tyson

        Not Fareed

        Not Procter

        Not Gold

        Etc.

        Dr. David Young, who posts here, says to begin treatment with antivirals within two days of symptom onset.

        The CDC said to treat high risk flu patients early with antivirals–even before getting a lab confirmation.

        No, you are not reasonable.

        1. Marko says:

          “No, you are not reasonable.”

          In another thread, you’re touting this recent hydroxychloroquine study with positive results, even though their enrollment criteria is virtually identical to the proposed NIH study above :

          https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1567576921002721

          You’re nothing if not inconsistent.

          1. theasdgamer says:

            Sure, you’re just as likely to detect a signal from a large study as from a small study. Good point. Your logic: 29,000 = 299

            Obviously, it’s better to remove the late treatment noise–especially for a small study.

            An antiviral RCT on 299 low risk patients is a joke.

            If the 299 patients were high risk, that would be a real test. But most doctors would find that unethical. So, it’s big numbers of low-risk patients or nothing, it seems. And treat within 2 days of symptom onset to boost the signal if you are testing small numbers of low-risk patients. But you would have to test about 800 low risk patients to see a signal in hospitalization and 1200 patients to see a signal in mortality.

    1. theasdgamer says:

      The scam is in the numbers…secret cycle thresholds for PCR tests. Wonder why the authorities won’t reveal the Ct’s they use? Nothing to see here, move along, move along.

      1. Not-an-epidemiologist says:

        Never thought I’d see qPCR terminology become mainstream. Secret Ct values! Amazing …

        Next thing will be Taqman vs. SYBR Green gang wars.

      2. WST says:

        “Wonder why the authorities won’t reveal the Ct’s they use?”

        few minutes with uncle google reveal that different PCR assay manufacturers have calibrated their equipment to some CT values
        The details are in equipments’ EUA

        google “”FDA rt-pcr thresholds panel””

        1. theasdgamer says:

          Are those Ct values set at the factory?

          And why don’t public health authorities want to reveal Ct values?

          Have any of you read Heneghan’s paper?

          “Viral cultures for COVID-19 infectious potential assessment – a systematic review”

          Heneghan reviews studies of PCR tests in the light of symptomatic covid and using viral culturing to determine whether PCR tests actually detect infectious virus. According to Heneghan, 92% of positives where Ct is greater than 35 cannot be cultured. And PCR will return positives even after viral clearance.

          https://academic.oup.com/cid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/cid/ciaa1764/6018217

          So, yes, it makes sense to ask public health departments to reveal the Ct’s for labs where they send their samples.

        2. theasdgamer says:

          I googled and looked. Confirms my argument.

          Ct values are set around 40. Probably 99% of positives can’t culture virus.

          Thank you.

    2. Marko says:

      This guy. Perhaps Nugent, if he’s unlucky. We’re seeing the process of natural selection operate in real time. The vaccine-hesitant will provide plenty more examples going forward:

      High-profile Norwegian conspiracy theorist who said COVID-19 was a hoax dies from the virus after hosting illegal house parties

      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2021/04/high-profile-norweigian-conspiracy-theorist-who-said-covid-19-was-a-hoax-dies-from-the-virus-after-hosting-illegal-house-parties.html

      1. theasdgamer says:

        Maybe we’ll see selection in those who take the vax several years down the road. And in the failure to be certain to use covid antivirals early.

        My family seems to have passed the test so far. And so have my friends–both young and old. And we are social and do dancing, bars, and parties. And I haven’t worn a mask for months. The risk is low, now, in my county.

        But selection from covid takes place _after_ reproduction, typically, so it’s not much of a Darwin Test. But young people dying from the vaxx _is_ a Darwin Test and they failed it. So your argument lifts you on your own petard.

        1. Marko says:

          If you don’t like “natural selection”, call it “natural cleansing”.

          1. theasdgamer says:

            Read my comment again.

        2. Cassandra says:

          Aren’t you so scared of dying that you would risk taking a vaccine with as great or greater chance of mortality (depending on your age) and unknown future side effects and efficacy? And Fauci says you should be wearing TWO masks…. the equivalent of trying to catch mosquitoes with two overlapping chainlink fences. Glad to see that there are some sensible people left, we might meet up in the post-apocalyptic world once the immunised have been selected out.

          1. theasdgamer says:

            Maybe once the vaccinated have been selected out. Young people who perhaps haven’t reproduced.

            Funny how some people think that old people reproduce, not young people. Or maybe they don’t understand that selection occurs before reproduction, not after.

            The penny never drops for some.

          2. theasdgamer says:

            You know, there seems to be an awful lot of scientists and clinicians who never look at test limits or limitations sections of clinical journal articles or try to understand the progress of a disease, including when viral load maxxes and when viral clearance occurs.

            If you fail to understand the limits of PCR testing, you will have a _huge_ error in all your thinking that relies on PCR data.

            And if you fail to understand that late treatment with an antiviral is worthless, you might be fooled by late treatment studies.

            If you fail to understand when viral load maxxes and clears, you won’t even have a clue about the previous question.

            It’s really quite bizarre to see this. These guys might be knowledgeable about their field, but they are absolutely clueless when it comes to critical thinking.

          3. Derek Lowe says:

            Cassandra, to be honest, I would be very glad if you and asdgamer would find somewhere else to meet right now. You’re not making converts here.

          4. theasdgamer says:

            Derek,

            You might have been on the side of Galileo’s opponents when he presented his theory that the earth revolved around the sun. They also claimed that Galileo wasn’t making converts.

            Galileo didn’t make many converts for decades.

            Joseph Priestly, who discovered oxygen, believed in the Theory of Phlogiston until his death and never accepted Lavoisier’s Theory of Oxidation.

            Some wag has said that science progresses one funeral at a time.

            I’m sure that you are very knowledgeable in your field.

            I have read over a hundred journal articles having to do with covid, masking, antivirals, etc. I delve into the data because I have time. And I know what are mountains and what are molehills now. I can recognize what we know and what is uncertain and the implications of both. I discuss my thoughts with clinicians and sometimes I even persuade them. Clinicians are smart and generally very humble and generally don’t have time to dig into data and they appreciate it when I do that and explain it and point them to articles that they might want to read.

            I was part of a group that analyzed the data of the retracted Lancet article on hydroxychloroquine. My contribution was noticing that standard of care changed drastically between Dec. 2019 and May 2020. I learned how difficult it would be to get that much data together in the timeframe claimed, with having to meet with the ethics committees at all the hospitals and performing data analysis, too.

            You haven’t answered a single of my criticisms of your coverage of the RECOVERY trial. Ignoring opposing arguments has never been part of the scientific method.

            You might benefit from opening a philosophy of science textbook again to refresh.

  39. Marko says:

    It appears that all adults who want a vaccine should be able to get it in the next 3-4 wks :

    https://www.kff.org/policy-watch/supply-vs-demand-when-will-the-scales-tip-on-covid-19-vaccination-in-the-u-s/

    Add another 5-6 wks for full efficacy to kick in, and another 3 wks or so for the effect to be reflected in death rates, and it means that virtually all remaining Covid daily deaths after ~mid-July will be among the anti-vax holdouts, given the tiny IFR for under-18s.

    Nonetheless, I think daily deaths by mid-July will be a small number, since caseloads should be much lower by then, with any luck.

    1. Marko says:

      The above assumes that a significant fraction of the anti-vax crowd maintains the courage of their convictions and refuses to get vaccinated. The reality will probably be that most of them remain anti-vax in their pronouncements but pro-vax in their personal practice.

    2. theasdgamer says:

      Is it July already? Because in my county deaths began decreasing in Dec. 2020 and now are at 0.00004% of the population.

  40. Marko says:

    Early detection of SARS-CoV-2 P.1 variant in Southern Brazil and reinfection of the same patient by P.2

    https://www.researchsquare.com/article/rs-435535/v1

    39 year-old with comorbidities died from the P.2 reinfection, 4 months after the mild P.1 primary infection. It’s hard to put this into any meaningful context absent more info about the frequency of Brazil reinfections and their severity.

    1. bewd says:

      reports from uk
      It appears that the first doses of vaccines have been having a dramatic effect on Covid infections.
      Some 74,000 people were admitted to hopsitals with the virus in recent months, but only 32 who had had the vaccine, according to official data.

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9493553/Just-32-Britons-hospitalised-coronavirus-vaccinated.html

      1. Marko says:

        I’m impressed with BoJo’s turnaround since earlier in the pandemic. He’s sticking to his guns on moving at a measured pace of lifting restrictions in spite of pressure to move faster. The GBD folks must be heartbroken.

        1. Mariner says:

          I think Johnson has realised that he’s been incredibly lucky that the rollout of vaccines has been effective. His government dithered, delayed and blundered so many times last year that many tens of thousands more have died than needed to.

          The emergence of B.1.1.7 has actually allowed the government to get away with their most recent blunder (big surge of infections over Christmas and New Year due to foolish relaxation of restrictions). They can blame the variant for that particular wave of deaths which wouldn’t have occurred if restrictions had been tighter.

          With this in mind, Johnson has some leeway and isn’t really under much pressure to ease restrictions early. The small wingnut grouping of MPs calling for things to open up quickly doesn’t have the influence or numbers to cause the government trouble.

          The EUs problems with vaccination certainly help as well, of course. Johnson isn’t stupid enough to look a gift horse in the mouth this time around after sending a herd of them to the knackers yard last year.

  41. Marko says:

    Top Canadian WHO adviser under fire after downplaying airborne threat of COVID-19
    Social Sharing : Dr. John Conly says N95 masks cause ‘harms,’ focus should be on physical distancing

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/canada-doctor-world-health-organization-airborne-1.5994889

    WHO should change their name to “WHO ??”.

    1. Marko says:

      More on shady WHO advisers :

      SCIENTIST LINKED TO GREAT BARRINGTON DECLARATION Embroiled in World Health Organization Conflict of Interest

      https://bylinetimes.com/2021/04/21/scientist-linked-to-great-barrington-declaration-embroiled-in-world-health-organization-conflict-of-interest/

    2. The Mask of Zorro! says:

      Same WHO who denied airborne transmission for months and said there was no evidence for masks efficacy? The former only took a tiny amount of common sense to figure out they got the latter correct on their first attempt though. N95 can’t effectively filter out PM2.5 so how can it stop a viral particle 1/5 that size? In the hands of the public N95’s are most often fake so not even that effective, perhaps even shedding harmful, toxic fibres – see here : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7773316/
      I’d hate to see what the vast majority of masks are actually made from and where they are made. The microplastics that they are shedding could easily be carcinogenic. Who’s checking the quality? Not the WHO for sure.
      Add to that that masks are recycled (just to keep the norm or obey the rules) and become magnets and reservoirs for viral particles. If you have a real RCT study that shows masks work please share. There are plenty with ‘flu that say they don’t. The real world evidence is compelling against masks – even in countries with close to 100% compliance the surge in infections can’t be hidden.

  42. Marko says:

    Neat interactive population-level immunity dashboard for US and states which combines vaccine- and infection-acquired immunity:

    https://twitter.com/joshuasweitz/status/1384701368288653312

  43. J says:

    Further passing around of Astra Zeneca vaccines in Europe.

    https://www.euronews.com/2021/04/21/denmark-loans-55-000-astrazeneca-vaccines-to-neighbouring-german-state

    Apologies if this gets posted twice (blog did not like two links in one post).

    1. Berty says:

      What happened to the 1.5 million doses that South Africa had and didn’t use? Did they donate them to Zimbabwe or Botswana?

      1. J says:

        For Berty – see article below. There is a mention of SA within it.

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-56763490

        1. J says:

          Also this article ‘Covid-19 Africa: What is happening with vaccines?’

          https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/56100076

    1. Berty says:

      “The global community has an interest in the world getting vaccinated, and fast. Otherwise, we risk mutations of a serious nature that require new vaccines. Therefore we are chasing after each new strain, trying to eliminate it before the next one arises.”
      This is the kind of logic that will see us in endless lockdowns and chasing our tails to vaccinate against variants. Fat cat pharma execs rubbing their paws together with glee

      1. theasdgamer says:

        The money is in the repeat business.

  44. J says:

    Includes links to preprints. This information might be appearing against other articles.

    https://oxfordbrc.nihr.ac.uk/national-survey-reveals-big-reductions-in-covid-19-infections-with-single-dose-of-oxford-az-and-pfizer-vaccines/

    Thank you Derek for your excellent articles and thanks to those posting useful links and commentary.

  45. Marko says:

    Impact of vaccination on SARS-CoV-2 cases in the community: a population-based study
    using the UK’s COVID-19 Infection Survey

    https://www.ndm.ox.ac.uk/files/coronavirus/ciscommunityvaccinationpaper20210417complete.pdf

    AZ and Pfizer vaccines similar in efficacy after first dose. Modest increase in efficacy after second dose of Pfizer. Validates delayed-dosing strategy. Previously infected (by PCR and/or serology) unvaccinated protected similarly to infection-naive two-dose vaccinees.

    Vaccines work well, but they’re human, not super-human, contrary to the Big Pharma shills. More and more countries will choose delayed-dosing and de-prioritizing those previously infected, and not waste two doses on them if/when they are eventually vaccinated.

    1. Doug H MD says:

      we do not use the results of lower level evidence to reshape higher level evidence/
      the only RCT trials were done with two doses. that is what we can hang our hats on

      1. theasdgamer says:

        But the foundation was rotten. The studies were rigged because no viral cultures were done. PCR Ct’s for covid were upwards of 37, while PCR Ct’s for influenza were around 27. The chances of covid being misdiagnosed as influenza were tiny, but the chances of influenza being misdiagnosed as covid were huge. Rigged.

        Now the CDC has said that PCR Ct’s are to be 28 or lower when checking for breakout cases. More rigging in favor of the vaxxes.

        Why can’t people see this? Maybe because their hands are firmly planted over their eyes.

  46. J says:

    ” One dose of COVID-19 vaccine can cut household transmission by up to half

    A new study by Public Health England (PHE) has shown that one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine reduces household transmission by up to half.”

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/one-dose-of-covid-19-vaccine-can-cut-household-transmission-by-up-to-half

  47. Cassandra says:

    CDC figures trending towards ADE in breakthrough cases…
    Latest data shows a 1.4% death rate. Wow, weren’t these vaccines meant to prevent death and serious illness?
    Can anyone explain this apart from ADE?
    We can take another look in a week… experiment is unfolding but not quite as planned?

    1. Chris Phillips says:

      “Can anyone explain this apart from ADE?”

      Yes, very simply. The trials showed something like (say) 90% efficacy against symptomatic infection, and “100% efficacy” against severe illness and death. So naturally people hoped that the 10% of vaccinated people who were symptomatically infected would be absolutely protected against severe illness.

      But in fact, because the vaccines were so effective against symptomatic infection, all that “100% efficacy” meant was that the trials lacked the statistical power to determine accurately the small proportion of syptomatic infections that would still be severe. The number of symptomatic infections was just too small to produce that kind of information.

      It was never realistic in the first place to hope that there would be complete protection against severe illness and death. That’s the simple explanation.

      But of course, vaccination is still hugely protective against severe illness and death, simply because it is hugely protective against infection as a whole. That is becoming so obvious to everyone now, that one would almost feel sorry for the anti-vaccine loonies, if they weren’t quite so stupid and malicious.

      1. Cassandra says:

        1.4% is no small number when the outcome is death! In fact this is far higher than if you had no vaccine. Your explanation is overly simplistic like your good self. Tune in for the update next week. Same bat time same bat place. And yup you’d be bat shit crazy to partake in the ongoing phase 3 study.

        1. Chris Phillips says:

          Why does it not surprise me that an anti-vaccine loony thinks 1% of a small number is larger than 1% of a large number?

          1. Cassandra says:

            The experiment has only started running. I’ll update you next week. Until then, relax you’ve got your vaxx

      2. theasdgamer says:

        90% efficacy. lol

        I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale, cheap.

        The study was rigged and the sheep fell for it.

        It all goes back to overcycled PCR without culturing any virus. False negatives on the vaxx side and unculturable positives with a misdiagnosed ILI on the placebo side skewed results.

  48. Barry says:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01222-5

    Pfizer COVID vaccine protects against worrying coronavirus variants

    1. theasdgamer says:

      So why did an infectious disease expert die from covid in India after receiving two doses of the pfizer vaxx?

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