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More good news on the vaccine front


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6 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

The interesting thing is that if you look at the people who have gotten it, they're all people who are tested regularly due to their jobs or at-risk status. People who otherwise wouldn't have known they had it if they weren't getting tested every week. So that's a *good* thing for the vaccine.

That also supports that allowing cruise ships would aid in catching positive people who otherwise would not know they are positive.

Just as testing caught these dozen or so cases (out of hundreds and hundreds), testing would-be cruise ship guests can also catch individuals who are anomalies.  

Without the tests they go around potentially spreading to family members and others they come into contact with.   

Testing before heading to the cruise terminal is also a good thing for the community.

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I'm keeping this cruise-related, don't worry. CDC has confirmed (via a study of ~4,000 US essential workers who were monitored as they continued to work) that after two doses, the Pfizer and Moderna v

Predict the 4th wave.

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What I found odd about that article was the fact that the woman first mentioned in the story noted that several of her family members also contracted Covid after being vaccinated. Assuming they all got vaccinated at the same site, it makes me wonder if they (and probably others who went there) got a bad batch of vaccine (e.g., left out of the freezer too long) or something similar.

Statistically, you'd expect to see the numbers of positive cases scattered around like most of the report mentions (multiple states, nothing finer-grained than county level). For a half-dozen members of the same family, who the article suggests all live close to one another, to all contract the virus smacks more of a sub-par set of vials, or maybe sub-optimal administration of the vaccine, in their vaccine center than any major shortcoming with the vaccine overall.

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37 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

There will be a small percentage of people who get covid with the vaccine. Just like there's a larger percentage of people who get the flu despite the vaccine. Really not a big deal scientifically, but surely will be made a big deal in the media.

You got it.  And the media makes it a big deal, which fans the flames of people look for any excuse not to get it, and we end up with a bigger problem than the actual cases in this article.

For the CDC, while these cases happen, the difference is these people won't face life threatening conditions as a result of getting covid.  With that in mind, that definitely falls under "acceptable risk".

People got sick from colds, the flu, noro, etc on a ships in the past. A no sail order wasn't necessary for that because it really was not life threatening.  

This should be the logical conclusion based on vaccine rollout for allowing ships to sail.

Wait, let me write @twangster response to my post for him....

"Logical is the key word there. Also, @Lovetocruise2002 started her live blogs like eight months early"

Yup, you're right.

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2 hours ago, twangster said:

A 3rd wave, the impending doom of a potential 4th wave and now this:

https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2021/03/29/dozens-in-central-florida-contract-covid-19-after-being-fully-vaccinated/

I really don't see the CDC letting go any time soon.

I feel like this news story is being overly dramatic   

Everything I’ve read and watched about the vaccines has said it’s possible to get COVID after being vaccinated.  What the vaccines do is keep people out of the hospital as well as keep them alive. 
 

I got the first round of Moderna Saturday at a shot fair in a local hospital.  All the info they passed out to those of us getting our shots said this.   They were very clear that even after being fully vaccinated, we could be carriers. 

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On Walenski’s statement yesterday and her doomsday prediction …….

Look, new case numbers are rising, right? She's a smart woman and there are a lot of smart folks around her ...... drops head and sulks, "she's probably right." The pandemic is going to go on and continue to interrupt normal life for years.

Wait, I have some questions:

In what age group are cases rising? Should we be overly concerned about transmission in the 18-35 crowd where it has been clear for months that this cohort has mild symptoms from an infection? Are at risk groups dying at a higher rate because younger people are getting infected and spreading it to higher risk groups? If so, wouldn't that mean increasing deaths, CFR and hospitalizations? Where are these rising case numbers occurring? Which regions of the country and world are approaching or even reaching herd immunity and doing well? What is the impact of vaccines on serious illness, deaths and transmission rates across all age groups? Do you think it's just possible that focusing more on a vaccine drive, getting everyone in the US vaccinated might be better than doomsday predictions?

CONTEXT is completely missing and has been since the beginning of the number crunching designed to track the course of SARS2 pandemic.

The messaging coming from the world renowned CDC is counterproductive. Going forward there are discernible end points. They aren't tomorrow or next week or even next month but the US and other countries that have their vaccination programs up and running are moving toward them.

 I’m pretty sure that the CDC sees Americans as not smart enough to understand the nuances, the subtleties of significant improvement in the word's chances to end the pandemic. With that end comes a return to something less than but very much like pre-pandemic life. Instead, they keep beating the “hold on for a while” drum.

The way to talk about this is by outlining the progress and the risks going forward and how to lessen their impact that might delay a return to normal life in a post SARS2 pandemic world. I found this article yesterday. It's long, detailed and very encouraging. There author defines to important pandemic related endpoints. (1) Resumption of mostly unrestricted life and commerce, (2) Herd immunity that follows and results in other than sporadic virus outbreaks that are easily controlled.

Takeaways include from the article linked below:

  • The US will probably reach herd immunity in the third quarter.
  • In anticipation of that, PH officials will start, or should start, easing mobility restrictions along with prohibitions on certain type of activities.
  • There are risks to achieving those two end points: SARS2 variants rendering vaccines less effective in preventing disease and transmission, immunity from previous infection or vaccination being of shorter duration than most anticipate, vaccine supply and/or distribution delays and interruptions among a few other.

 In this report, and contrary to the Walenski dire warnings, scant mention is made of doomsday scenarios or a need for humans to "not let their guard down" .... whatever that actually means. Hide in the basement, don't go out at all? I have no idea because the central thrust of our public health messaging is that impending doom is close. It's not on how to safely and responsibly go about one's life in the current circumstance. Specifically, with increasing vaccine availability, vaccination rates and proven reduced transmission rates the pandemic is going to end.

Read this and my advice is to take whatever Walenski and the CDC  has to say going forward with a grain of salt:
https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/...9-pandemic-end

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7 minutes ago, JeffB said:

CONTEXT is completely missing and has been since the beginning of the number crunching designed to track the course of SARS2 pandemic.

Also generally ignored throughout is the Hope-SImpson scale, a measure of seasonal viral activity based on latitude. Which predicted a slight increase in northern states through the beginning of April, then a sharp decline after that.

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I hate to keep dumping on the CDC but I feel that this is  important to understand among our group of cruise fanatics. The reason is that when confronted with arguments against a resumption of cruising, you'll be armed with the facts.

The news this morning was about travel. Lots of it. United made more money in the last month than they did since march of 2020! Surprise, people are traveling. With out a doubt this sort of thing has the potential to increase human contact and spread disease. And what is new about that! Restricting travel and mobility are prime ways to reduce the spread of a global pandemic. Fine, I get that.

Hello, humans will be human. They are generally ignoring government pleas to stay in your homes to stop COVID. This is happening everywhere on the planet not just i n the US. After a year of locking people inside their homes, shutting airports and sea ports, directing businesses to have employees not come to the office and instead work from home, closing businesses in the travel and leisure sector, citizens in various countries are saying to hell with that. I'm going to my local bar or restaurant, I'm jumping on an airplane and flying to some Caribbean island that wants us to be there or Mexican resort in Cancun or Madrid or any number of places that are saying, "come on down!" Some of that activity is being carried out carelessly and without regard for the continuing risk of SARS2 transmission and if we were gettting better messaging from public health officials the impact of that on disease spread could be reduced.

When Angela Merkle said, I'm locking all you German citizens down for the 2 weeks that include Easter, there was such outrage that she backed off a shut down entirely. The French have never been enthusiastic about Macron telling them to not go out and drink wine. Italians? Same. Then, of course we have the Swedes that took a different path of figuring out how to cope with the virus from the start, instead of trying to eliminate any risk that you might catch COVID. They seem to be doing about the same as other EU countries. Well, no kiddding. Governments ..... it's time to wake up.

What's not getting enough attention is the on-the-ground reality of the impact of vaccines. If I put together a graph of two variables, vaccination rates and serious illness on the Y axis and time in months on the X axis, color coded vaccination rates in blue and serious illness and death in red, you'd have a positive slope on the blue line and a negative one on the red with the lines intersecting sometime in May. Forget about putting case numbers on the graph but if you did you'd continue to see the predictable peaks and troughs over time with peaks getting lower and troughs deeper. It's what viruses due. It's what SARS2 has done for over a year.

Now, yes, we can think about things like variants that might render these miracle vaccines less effective delaying the decline in serious illness over time. But, I'm telling you, vaccination science involving genomic technology (that's the novel mRNA vaccines) have revolutionized vaccine development and production making it much easier to adapt vaccines to genomic variations in a given virus and provide boosters.

Trust me and many other experts who are saying SARS2 is going to become a seasonal thing just like H1N1 Influenza and all it's variants. But the disease burden that was very high from this virus a year ago has steadily declined over that same period and will continue to do so in the long term.

Why is this so hard to understand among government officials who are making public health policy? The smart thing to do is to tell businesses how to minimize viral spread in their places of business (already being done, e.g., airlines and the cruise industry) and, more importantly, tell citizens how to safely return to normal activities - because that's what the citizens are going to do anyway whether you tell them how to make it safe or not. The right approach is to recognize that over time in a pandemic (global) circumstance, there will be a predictable transitioning to an epidemic (regional) and then to small (local) outbreaks. At that point outbreaks are easily ID'ed and controlled (see the Ebola virus experience and many others). And, shockingly, this is exactly the circumstance expanding availability of SARS2 vaccines and the miracle technology that can adapt vaccines going forward are making obvious.

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In a minor bit of good news, Pfizer had been running a trail using their mRNA vaccine on kids 12 to 16. They just released trial results indicating it's safe. The announcement pre-dates published and reviewed data so, it's going to be a while before the FDA approves it for use in the US. Small trial size of around 3000 kids. Minor and typical side effects. Pfizer has not released data on how the kids' immune systems responded. 

Still, this is good news. Doomsayers have been bemoaning the difficulty in achieving herd immunity when kids under 16, who can become infected, be generally asymptomatic but still spread the virus, aren't being vaccinated. They can sit down now and be quiet.

Just a gut feeling but back in March of 2020, all the models were predicting pandemic outcomes that were never obtained. Science didn't know much about SARS2 then so, OK. We do know a lot more now but morons within the scientific and medical community with disparate agendas are still talking doom. Take the doomsday talk in but carefully evaluate what is being said and put it in context. We're doing fine and moving to the endpoints I mentioned in a post yesterday.

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2 hours ago, JeffB said:

In a minor bit of good news, Pfizer had been running a trail using their mRNA vaccine on kids 12 to 16. They just released trial results indicating it's safe. The announcement pre-dates published and reviewed data so, it's going to be a while before the FDA approves it for use in the US. Small trial size of around 3000 kids. Minor and typical side effects. Pfizer has not released data on how the kids' immune systems responded. 

Still, this is good news. Doomsayers have been bemoaning the difficulty in achieving herd immunity when kids under 16, who can become infected, be generally asymptomatic but still spread the virus, aren't being vaccinated. They can sit down now and be quiet.

Just a gut feeling but back in March of 2020, all the models were predicting pandemic outcomes that were never obtained. Science didn't know much about SARS2 then so, OK. We do know a lot more now but morons within the scientific and medical community with disparate agendas are still talking doom. Take the doomsday talk in but carefully evaluate what is being said and put it in context. We're doing fine and moving to the endpoints I mentioned in a post yesterday.

I'd like to see more data on that (I'm sure it's out there but there's nothing on the Pfizer site about it).  I see that those in the vaccine group had zero covid case (great of course) but the positivity rate among the placebo group was still only 1.5%.

I'm also curious about the severity of those that got covid in the placebo group. Were they symptomatic at all?

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1 hour ago, smokeybandit said:

I'd like to see more data on that.  Were they symptomatic at all?

This.

The press release lacking any data points is understandable. As I recall Pfizer did the same sort of preliminary press release thing when the trials of their mRNA vaccines were completed. The actual trial data was released about two weeks later. Then the FDA took about a month to complete their review facing a lot of pressure to issue the EUA.

I also recall that when the AZ vaccines were in this circumstance they released preliminary data and NAIAID (Fauci's show) questioned the validity of it. Whatever NIAAID was worried about should not have been made public, especially what it turned out they were worried about (10ths of percentage points). It may have been leaked by interested parties in doing vaccine damage.

Regardless, just another example of poor insight and a broad understanding of statement impacts coming from the faces of our public health policy. Given the probability that there is somewhere in the neighborhood of 25% of the US population who will refuse to get vaccinated for various reasons, some good, some not so good, this kind of thing has the potential of wrongly increasing that pool and gives anti-vaxers more fuel for their fire. Think it through people. 

Anyway, the prelims are good news. Getting the study report containing the data points will be much better.

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22 hours ago, smokeybandit said:

I'd like to see more data on that (I'm sure it's out there but there's nothing on the Pfizer site about it).  I see that those in the vaccine group had zero covid case (great of course) but the positivity rate among the placebo group was still only 1.5%.

I'm also curious about the severity of those that got covid in the placebo group. Were they symptomatic at all?

This would make sense with what my 14 year old's high school has observed.  He has been attending since Sept and although there have been some cases, it has not been a whole lot - very few symptoms in those who did get it.  The reality is that this is not really a group we need to worry about based on the actual case data.

I know we need studies to confirm, but I believe at the end of the day it will be shown that non symptomatic cases generally do not transmit to others because they are not carrying enough viral load. With all things medical, there will always be exceptions.

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I'll use COVID data from FL yesterday to illustrate how important it is to contextualize that data. As word11 notes above, the reality is this is not a group (school age kids) we need to worry about ...."

  • New case numbers are up as they are in many states that, like FL, still had a lot of circulating virus even when numbers were trending downward up until two weeks ago. FL is unique in that there has been a large inflow of visitors to the state, especially in S.FL. That new cases haven't jumped off the charts is noteworthy.
  • Positivity is up to 6.7%. It had gotten down to as low as 4.8%. So, yes, there is circulating SARS-2 virus in FL..... there is circulating virus ALL THE TIME and we're not shutting things down over that.
  • 79% of new cases are in the under 65 age group with the biggest percentages of new cases in the 15-34yo range. Over 65s as a group account for just 6%. Under 15 accounts for the rest or about 13%
  • Deaths are stable, hospitalizations are down, ED visits for ILI and CLI are down. This is a clear indication that the virus is no where near as dangerous a it was a year ago and as vaccines continue to roll-out.
  • Upwards of 80% of health care and nursing home staff, first responders and over 65s have received at least one dose of a vaccine. This cohort has been generally rendered safe. 

It does not take a rocket scientist to make rational conclusions based on this data. Here are mine:

  • Most of the 79%'ers are suffering a common cold at worst or are asymptomatic. I don't think we should be concerned about this cohort as no effort whatsoever is made to protect anyone from catching the common cold or influenza. School age kids who get infected are around 98% asymptomatic. 
  • For states that made a concerted effort to prioritize vaccines to the most vulnerable, I can mount a solid argument that both vaccinated, recovered under 65s and unvaccinated under 50s, without other risk factors for COVID complications, can do pretty much what they want taking basic precautions - and in that I would include wearing a mask indoors in public spaces and avoiding congregate settings where social distancing can't be maintained.
  • The rest of the US either doesn't have circulating virus to be concerned about or are in a similar situation to that of FL.

I just don't get the defective and increasingly irrelevant PH guidance and this continuing drum beat of rising case numbers. We're at a point where that kind of data is pretty much useless in a circumstance where vaccines are becoming widely available. Starting yesterday, in FL, if you're 18 or over, you can get the shot. There's plenty of vaccine availability and plenty of places to sign up to register for an appointment and get the shot. The cost of waiting around for more certainty about this and that is just stupid..... and dangerous:

  • Car-jackings by teenagers who are generally out of school and unsupervised during the day are up 300% in some cities.
  • Gun violence, well, all you have to do is tune in to your local news, is out of control.
  • Fentanyl OD is up all over the country and not by small amounts.
  • Child abuse is up - and that's not just recently. It's been surging since last July.

But, yeah, sure, lets just wait for absolute certainty on vaccines, vaccine side effects, all of the pandemic related "science" before we start encouraging people to return to normal activities in ways that incur the lowest risk of catching the virus or spreading it if you do. 

 

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