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Big Vaccine Study in Scotland Suggests AstraZeneca Works Better with One Dose, Pfizer with Two
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There’s now a preprint of a study of the efficacy of both the Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines among over one million people in Scotland. It looks like the British “first doses first” plan was a clever way to save the reputation of the British AZ vaccine after it underperformed in a clinical trial mandating two doses (fortunately, a foul-up led to some participants in AZ’s clinical trial only getting 1.5 doses, which worked better than 2 doses). Unlike AZ, the otherwise similar Russian Sputnik vaccine uses two different vectors for fear that the second dose would trample on the good effects of the first dose.

In the new Scottish study, a single dose of AZ reaches an impressive 94% vaccine efficacy (VE) (i.e., the vaccinated are only 6% as likely as the unvaccinated to wind up in the hospital due to covid) by 28-34 days after a single dose.


Unfortunately, AZ dosing only didn’t begin until January, so the sample size after 21-27 days (when 84% VE was achieved) is small. And it’s too small to from 35 days on, so we can’t tell yet whether AZ needs a booster second shot to maintain that 94% VE in the long run that was achieved among a small sample size from 28-34 days.

The data on the Pfizer vaccine, however, suggests that a booster dose is helpful. The vaccine efficacy of a single dose of this mRNA vaccine peaks at 85% from 28-34 days out, but then falls to 64% efficacy after 42 days.

So the Israeli and American strategy of giving the tested two doses of Pfizer three weeks apart, as was tested in the clinical trial, seems like a pretty good idea.

Keep in mind that this wasn’t a perfect apples to apples comparison: AZ was given primarily to the elderly while Pfizer was also given to middle-aged people with major health problems. And Pfizer vaccinations started four weeks before AZ.

No word on side effects was included in this preprint.

 
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  1. Kyle says:

    This is nominally an HBD blog, so why has it become uncouth to suggest survival of the fittest? Or is it only IQ that counts? If zero community spread is the bar of success, then success is impossible. The virus will be endemic forever. Face masks forever, bi-annual vaccines forever. White collar work from home forever. Schools out, forever.

  2. I had AZ on Wednesday. 72 hours later I had some inflammation exacerbating recent ills which took 12 hours to pass. My immune system kicking off I suspect. Gone now.

    The concern over AZ was that it only worked well in the young. The Scots experience pushes the age of protection up to 70. Most over 70’s had Pfizer.

  3. @Kyle

    That’s why it’s called the “new normal”.

  4. SDMatt says:

    Hey Steve, what are your thoughts on Alex Berenson’s interpretation of the Scottish study?

  5. Sean says:

    In the new Scottish study, a single dose of AZ reaches an impressive 94% vaccine efficacy (VE) (i.e., the vaccinated are only 6% as likely as the unvaccinated to wind up in the hospital due to covid) by 28-34 days after a single dose.

    This sounds not very impressive when one considers that only the old folk and people with a diagnosed serious preexisting condition have been vaccinated in Scotland so far. In all of mainland Scotland:

    By law, you must stay at home except for essential purposes.

    You can meet 1 person from another household outdoors for certain reasons. This applies, for example, in a private garden or a park.

    You must not go inside other people’s homes, and other people must not go inside your home.

    There are some exceptions. You can still visit inside someone’s home if:

    your 2 households form an extended household, sometimes called a ‘social bubble’
    you have to provide informal childcare, for example looking after your grandchildren. You can check Parent Club for more information about childcare during coronavirus.
    you’re a tradesperson who needs to carry out essential work.
    You can travel up to 5 miles from the boundary of your local council area for exercise.

    In Scotland at present no one is supposed to be going out for non essential reasons at all, and no gatherings are permitted even outside. All hospitality industry hotels and pubs are shut down and non essential shops are closed, one must shop alone for food always masked, and only really young children are permitted to go to school. Clearly, those who have got the vaccine so far compared to those who have not is apples and oranges, because it is the young who are (covertly) going to be mixing undistanced and drinking together in their houses.

    • Thanks: That Would Be Telling
    • Replies: @Aardvark
    , @Reg Cæsar
  6. HA says:
    @Kyle

    “This is nominally an HBD blog, so why has it become uncouth to suggest survival of the fittest?”

    Put it on a ballot and see who votes for it. You could probably lift some of the talking points from a Cormac McCarthy novel, if that’s any help.

    “If zero community spread is the bar of success, then success is impossible.”

    It’s not the bar of success. We don’t lock down for TB because the loss of life from locking down would be immensely greater than the reduction in deaths from TB (of which there were about 500 last year in total). Depending on which calculation one looks at, the number of excess dead due to the lockdowns range from 15% to about a third of the total. (Again, if you have a better model that indicates it’s 100% or so, which is what I’ve heard often enough on this site, put that calculation down and see who votes for it in peer-review.)

    So that alone puts an upper bound as to how long the lockdowns can last. And I suspect that once everyone who wants a vaccine has had a chance to get one, locking down, or whatever else, in order to save those who can’t be bothered with that will become a survival-of-the-fittest issue of another kind, except that one WILL pass political muster, but I guess we’ll see.

    • Troll: Je Suis Omar Mateen
    • Replies: @BenKenobi
  7. How many of those getting vaccinated had already recovered from CV and thus were already immune ? Hard to know , since 60% of those infected with CV never have any symptoms, so they would have no way to know that they already defeated CV and have immunity.

    Here in the US about 40% of the adult population has recovered from COVID. 115 million Americans have recovered from COVID, 40% of the 250 million Adults have recovered from CV. This is why cases have fallen rapidly over the last month…almost 40% the people getting vaccinated already had immunity.

    60 million American Adults have been vaccinated thus far….an additional 100 million immune from previous CV infection and 40 immune from the vaccines equals 140 million adults with immunity which is 55% of the adults in the US. Getting close to herd immunity which is the reason cases are falling fast, not enough susceptible people left to fuel another wave.

    The 80 million Americans under the age of 20 were never at risk of being hospitalized with COVID…very few Americans remain at risk today which is why hospitalizations and deaths are falling rapidly.

  8. Scots are an unusual race, indeed:

    Scottish woman bit off man’s tongue in street brawl — then seagull ate it

    In mental health news, Disney has attached a trigger warning to this:

  9. Goatweed says:

    The Confederate flag trigger warning from disney?

    disney became an improper noun.

  10. “In the new Scottish study, a single dose of AZ reaches an impressive 94% vaccine efficacy”

    LMAO. Only pansies go to the hospital for the sniffles. This is quite obviously a placebo effect and nothing more.

    94% effective at discouraging bedwetters from running to the hospital for sniffles is impressive in a way, I spose.

    • Replies: @Rooster10
  11. @Kyle

    The vast majority of the people dying of COVID are past reproductive age, so suggesting a policy of “survival of the fittest” in terms of evolution is “not even wrong”. You’re really just arguing that we should be indifferent about the lives of old people. Easy enough if you’re young, heartless, and don’t know any old people, but not everyone is going to be on board with that policy.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @Mike Tre
  12. @Philip Owen

    “I had AZ on Wednesday. 72 hours later I had some inflammation exacerbating recent ills which took 12 hours to pass.”

    And I know you loved every second of your short illness because it proves the fakevax is working – because it made you ill.

    Good doggie!

    • Agree: Polite Derelict
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  13. It looks like the British “first doses first” plan was a clever way to save the reputation of the British AZ vaccine

    Or this new study is a clever way to save the reputation of the British government’s “first doses first” plan

    • Agree: LondonBob
  14. Mike Tre says:
    @Kyle

    “so why has it become uncouth to suggest survival of the fittest? Or is it only IQ that counts? ”

    Fear of dying has motivated people to reveal their irrational need to tell other people how to live their lives, or else they will seek the power of the state to instead destroy the lives of non-compliers (people who think for themselves).

    You see quite a bit of that here as Sailer enables all the petty tyrants.

  15. My non educated guess both vaxines work better with zero dose?

    Age 30 and over do better with 3 shots of
    Johnny Walker Black twenty minutes apart.

    • LOL: El Dato
  16. @SDMatt

    I reported, more precisely than Berenson did, that one dose of Pfizer appears to be wearing off after 34 days.

  17. Anon[182] • Disclaimer says:

    Steve, you should really link to the study when you post things like this. It’s very helpful to your readers. The study is here:

    https://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/scotland_firstvaccinedata_preprint.pdf

  18. El Dato says:
    @Space Ghost

    That’s actually how life works though.

  19. @Kyle

    “The virus will be endemic forever” Why? Right now it seems as if vaccination puts an end to all of this.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  20. Thoughts says:
    @Kyle

    Requiring a vaccine for travel is a bit ridiculous giving the efficacy (going by Israel’s Green Passport 6 months)

    Smallpox used to be required for travel to Europe…but that lasted for 3-5 years.

    I’m curious what Israel plans in 6 months. You can’t keep vaccinating people with Pfizer twice a year. I’ve read that the normal side affects are BRUTAL for the vast majority.

    Basically you get 4 days of the flu each time you take a Pfizer vaccine (2 days of some type of headache/myalgia/swollen lymph nodes each dose)

    I know The Media wants everyone to believe that the Side Affects are the Sign of Your Immune System Working…but….When I do something/eat something/take something that causes my body to react with a Migraine….I tend to not Do It Again. That motto has Served Me Well in Life.

    It’s not Logical. It’s not healthy.

    To end the ‘Pandemic’ *cough* I get it…but…long-term…the current vaccines aren’t striking me as the way to go if Covid is the real deal *cough cough*

  21. Rob says:

    I am not an expert, but

    Russian Sputnik vaccine uses two different vectors for fear that the second dose would trample on the good effects of the first dose.

    is surprising. There have been lots of experiments with vectored vaccines in animals. Some vector/antigen pairs are effective with a single dose. Maybe they would be less effective with two doses, but no one ever tests a two dose regimen if one is effective. Maybe someone who knows the literature can weigh in? Is it just a quirk of the human immune system, like how a one shot DNA vaccine can is often immunogenic for almost any protein in mice, but induces tolerance in people?

    [MORE]

    Did AZ know the Russian vaccine used a heterologous boost? Did they not want to do something that the no-good, horrible, evil Rooskies were doing? Is the company so hollowed out that they did not have any ad vectors in the pipeline, or any virologists or vaccinologists that knew enough of vaccines? Many American drug companies have re-positioned themselves from gleam-in-chemist’s-eye to selling the pills into marketing companies. Maybe AZ really does not have anyone who knows science?

    Doing prime-boost with the same vector, especially an adenovirus, was stupid. I really wonder how many Indians AZ had working in that. Were they in such a hurry that they could not find a second ad vector? Could not mutate an adenovirus, expose incubate it with serum, infect a cell culture, and harvest the supernatant to isolate viruses that were not neutralized by existing antibodies? If they did not have time to engineer their own ad that was different enough from existing ad, then they could have purchased one that had already been created by other researchers. Probably could have found another ad serotype that had already passed a FDA safety trial. Hell, the US uses two damned ad serotypes in a military vaccine. A frickin’ oral vaccine, to boot. Can you imagine how awesome a coronavirus vaccine that could be taken orally would have been. I do not know offhand about the military’s vaccine, but ad is unenvelopec, so it can be produced in bacteria with relatively little modification. Would not surprise me if it could be freeze-dried, and so delivered without a cold chain.

    That said, while ad prime-boost with the same ad serotype is less effective for immunizing against a transgene antigen, an ad vector boost does boost antibody response to itself. In fact, at least one study found that when a foreign epitope (chunk of an antigen (protein) was incorporated into ad capsid (the shell of protein around the viral genome) protein, a homologous boost did increase the response to the transgene. So, a smarter company would have incorporated the spike protein into the capsid or fiber protein of the adenovirus, thereby allowing homologous boost. Oh, ‘you can’t incorporate a whole protein into another protein?’ I say, bullshit!, sir, utter bullshit! Split the ad protein into two
    at a surface loop, add a linker, and incorporate the whole foreign protein. Put a new promoter in front of the portion of the split gene that needs it. The tw parts of the viral protein will self-assemble. Or, switch the N and C terminal chunks and put a P2A sequence so the 2 proteins separate during translation. Actually, that would only work eukaryotes. Maybe in the bacteria, the genes could be transcribed from a plasmid, not the vector genome. Assembling a capsid from a divided capsid protein with added protein is called splitCore, and has been done with hepatitis B capsids.

    It is dumb luck that AZ vaccine works at all. Personally, I would take this ‘success,’ which is the pharmaceutical equivalent of stepping on one’s dick and tripping into a barrel of tits as indicative of the quality of the company. Two easily avoided mistakes, both homologous boost and accidental half dose, will not turn out so well, especially in pharma, where there are lots of mistakes that can be made, do not say positive things about the company. If I owned stock I would sell it. If I were the sort to play the market, I might even short them.

    I really hope America and Europe learn things from 2015-2022. Firstly, the capitalist class depend on the health of the nation as whole, especially the working class, to have a healthy nation from which to extract rents. Trump won because the political establishment has failed from 1965 to today. The success of PizzaGate/QAnon, which was, as another commenter here insightfully noticed, a counter-intelligence operation to discredit people who thought the political establishment (especially Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton) is corrupt by linking ‘Hilary is corrupt’ to ‘Hilary eats babies’ got millions of people to think, ‘of course she is corrupt, so she eats babies, too!’ is not a sign of a high-trust society. To judge by coronavirus response, America is not alone in deep rot, England, maybe most of Europe is decaying along with us.

  22. Tom Verso says:

    You were very positive about Israel’s vaccination program 2/18/21 ““Good But Not Great Vaccine News from Israel”.

    But, Gilas Atzmon presented a serious challenge to the Israel program on 2/20/21 “Bibi, Pfizer and the Election”

    Now you are positive about Scotland.

    Interesting! No?

  23. Mike Tre says:
    @Space Ghost

    “You’re really just arguing that we should be indifferent about the lives of old people. ”

    So the solution is to lock young people in their homes for going on a year now, and manipulate them psychologically by forcing them to wear masks.

    You’re really just arguing that we should be indifferent to lives of young and healthy people.

    Old people (and the craven) could have just stayed home themselves until Father Fauci said it was ok to come out. But no, everyone had to suffer.

  24. Jack D says:
    @Kyle

    suggest survival of the fittest

    You’re right. It should be survival of the fittest from now on. Not only should we forget about the Covid vaccine, we should forget about ALL vaccines. Antibiotics too. And all of that money that we waste on health care – trillions! It’s all gotta go. From now on, if you’re a wimp and don’t got what it takes to survive after a car accident or whatever, too bad. I’m sick of all of your Boomer whining. Go home and splint yourself up as best you can and if you live, you live.

  25. Jack D says:
    @Thoughts

    No one knows how long the vaccine lasts. Probably a lot longer than 6 months.

    I agree that the current Pfizer/Moderna vaccine side effects are unpleasant enough that people aren’t going to want to take them every 6 months (not that 6 months is really going to be the interval) . Having those side effects ONCE is worth it (at least to me) if it saves you from Covid but every 6 months would be another matter. But that’s not how it’s going to be.

    That they were able to come up with ANY vaccine in a year is a miracle but they are going to need to work out some of the kinks – adjust dosages and calibrate them for age, depending on whether it is an initial dose or a booster and so on. Maybe they’ll do an antibody test and skip the booster if you still have enough antibodies. Maybe some of the other vaccines with fewer side effects will suffice as boosters. Eventually they’ll figure it out better than they have it figured out now. We are in the early days. Whatever it is going to be like in the future it’s not going to be exactly how it is now.

    As far as the side effects being unhealthy, I don’t think so. Having a cold and the associated headache/body aches/ fever/ swollen glands is unpleasant but AFAIK there are no long term consequences to your health – you can (and many people do) get a cold every six months and still live to 100.

  26. @Thoughts

    Requiring a vaccine for travel is a bit ridiculous giving the efficacy (going by Israel’s Green Passport 6 months)

    Don’t know why they made this decision, but obviously we don’t and can’t know how long immunity from any source, lasts until time has passed, we’re learning all this as fast as we can, one day at a time. We’ve got surrogate endpoints which suggest it’ll last a fairly long time, but that’s not the same as real data on the ground.

    Smallpox used to be required for travel to Europe…but that lasted for 3-5 years.

    I looked up one of the current vaccines and it says those at high risk should get reinoculated every three years. It’s also good against monkeypox, per Wikipedia the world’s very oldest smallpox vaccine of which the US still had stocks until 2008 was used for an outbreak of that in 2003.

    I’m curious what Israel plans in 6 months. You can’t keep vaccinating people with Pfizer twice a year. I’ve read that the normal side affects are BRUTAL for the vast majority.

    And I’ve read exactly the opposite, assuming we’re using roughly the same measure for “vast majority.” Perhaps say it’s at least 75%, although I’d go higher.

    Based on our reasonable expectations of how long immunity will really last, assuming we don’t get a true new strain out of the various worrying variants that are inevitability being created and competing better than “classic COVID-19,” Israel along with the rest of the world should have a large selection of vaccines for booster doses if and when we discover they’re needed. With different mechanisms of action even before we divide them into “active” and “passive,” we now have a very good candidate for the latter from Novavax based on its U.K. trial results. We’ll also have time to do a better job of fine tuning dosing, which could be part of the problem for those who do get “BRUTAL” adverse effects.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  27. Mycale says:

    How the hell are these vaccine studies coming out so fast and thick after only a couple months of a slow rollout, while even after a full year of more or less universal mask usage we only got one quasi-buried study on their effectiveness?

  28. Jack D says:
    @Erik Sieven

    There’s a vaccine for flu but flu remains endemic.

    There are 3 possible scenarios for a vaccine:

    1. The vaccine totally eliminates the disease (smallpox) and there’s no need for further vaccination.

    2. The vaccine MOSTLY eliminates the disease (measles) but it continues to circulate just enough that it’s necessary to vaccinate everyone once.

    3. The virus keeps mutating so that we need a new vaccine every year (flu).

    So far, Covid is looking more like #3. Every winter is going to be flu AND Covid season. They might even combine the vaccines into 1 shot. It’s still going to kill a number of the most vulnerable every winter but most people will have enough immunity either from vaccination or past infection that it won’t kill them even if they get it.

    So you won’t have half a million dead every winter, it will be a few ten thousands of mostly old people. Flu has been killing a few ten thousands of old people every winter since forever and we thought nothing of it. Society did not come to a halt. We still went to concerts and restaurants even though you could catch the flu there. It’s probably not even going to be a few ten thousands of covid deaths on TOP of a few ten thousand of flu deaths – Covid and the flu are going after the same victim groups so the same total # of people will die. Even this year hardly anyone died of flu because Covid was the superior predator.

  29. dearieme says:
    @Philip Owen

    The concern over AZ was that it only worked well in the young

    Strictly, a legitimate concern was that the number of codgers in the original trial was too low to demonstrate efficacy to a statistically satisfactory standard.

    The notion that it only worked well in the young seems to have been an invention of politicians in Brussels, Berlin, and Paris, keen to divert attention from their grotesque failure to arrange adequate supplies of the vaccine, or indeed of any vaccine.

    Oh well, what does it matter if some tens of thousands of anonymous EU citizens die that von der Leyen, Merkel, and Macron may flourish? Play a bit of Beethoven’s Ninth and think of the Fourth Reich.

  30. @Jack D

    Have pretty much agreed with everything you’ve posted in this topic through this, but suggest a refinement by more strongly adding the dimension of time:

    There’s a vaccine for flu but flu remains endemic.

    There are 3 possible scenarios for a vaccine:

    1. The vaccine totally eliminates the disease (smallpox) and there’s no need for further vaccination.

    2. The vaccine MOSTLY eliminates the disease (measles) but it continues to circulate just enough that it’s necessary to vaccinate everyone once.

    3. The virus keeps mutating so that we need a new vaccine every year (flu).

    So far, Covid is looking more like #3….

    Or one might say that with only a partial escape variant from South Africa a year plus into the pandemic, #3 doesn’t appear to be the most likely. But the response to that is the virus population hasn’t been put under strong selection pressure from (semi-)herd immunity to “classic COVID-19” from natural and vaccine immunity. We just don’t and can’t know yet, although in our favor is its unique among RNA virus species proofreading mechanism.

    Which allows for another possibility: our immune systems and vaccine developers have a knock down drag out fight with the virus for a while, assume several years, during which we need some #3 new vaccines for new actual strains. And then the virus runs out of tricks to outfox our immune systems.

    And our adaptive immune system gets a vote, for at least six months after exposure to the virus, it refines its response, and we have every reason to believe this will be true with vaccines.

  31. @SDMatt

    I now see why Berenson gets so little respect, here he’s claiming to have found out a detail hidden in the data, when the last sentence of the first paragraph of the preprint is, emphasis added:

    The aim of our study was to estimate the effectiveness of the first dose of these COVID-19 vaccines in preventing hospital admissions.

    See also this single sentence for the heading “Interpretation”:

    A single dose of the BNT162b2 mRNA and ChAdOx1 vaccines resulted in substantial reductions in the risk of COVID-19 related hospitalisation in Scotland.

    • Replies: @very old statistician
  32. Thoughts says:

    Steve, can you just smell that Jack D and That Would Be Telling are just aok filling us up with as many drugs as necessary as they play their little Science Game on our bodies.

    There’s no common sense anymore.

    ‘We’re still adjusting doses…maybe everyone will get an antibody test…maybe there will be booster shots’

    There comes a point when you have to say ‘F- It’

    We’re there now.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  33. Jack D says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    “Vast majority” and “brutal” are obviously exaggerations coming from someone who is anti-vax but it’s fair to say that Pfizer and Moderna have unpleasant side effects for a significant minority. They are mostly as the OP described – headache/body ache/tiredness/ soreness at the injection site, etc.

    I know enough people who have been vaccinated to say that these side effects are not uncommon (nor are they universal) especially after the 2nd dose and they are often significant enough to affect your quality of life for a day or three, similar to having a cold (without the respiratory symptoms). And similar to a cold, if you take a naproxen or two (or your preferred pain reliever) you get some (but not total) relief from the symptoms. This is still vastly better than dying of Covid but less than ideal, especially if you are going to have to do this every year.

    But I doubt that the future is going to be everyone getting the current Moderna/Pfizer vaccine every 6 months. In fact I’d wager that is the LEAST likely scenario.

  34. Thoughts says:
    @Jack D

    No one is dying of Covid

    Some people with pre-existing health conditions are dying of Covid.

    Everyone else…we’re fine.

    AND….

    Common Sense says that a vaccine that gives you health problems for 1-3 days is not a Good Thing.

    You wanna know why Alcohol gives you a headache? It’s because it’s bad for you.

    But I guess in your world Alcohol gives you a headache because it’s giving you a Much Beneficial Immune Response.

    This is not a Scott Adams analogy argument…This is a ‘We don’t know what this vaccine is doing and we’re taking The Media’s word for it that the Headaches and side affects are Good Things when Common Sense tells us Otherwise’

    The person at the car dealership the other day was covered in Hives after taking the first dose of the vaccine and very upset as a result and planning on going to the doctor.

    Basically we’re supposed to listen to the Media and Trust the Media and when we are Covered in Hives say ‘We’re So Grateful…better than a disease that wouldn’t have any affect on me’

    When is the madness going to be called out for the Obvious Madness it is?

    • Replies: @Jack D
  35. Steve Sailer: “I’ve never met a vaccine I didn’t like!”

    That Would Be Telling: “Me neither, boss!”

  36. epebble says:
    @Jack D

    Flu has been killing a few ten thousands of old people every winter

    Influenza has been killing 25,000 to 50,000 people every year during 2010-2020.

    Covid-19 looks like influenza on steroids. A conservative estimate would be 50,000 to 100,000 deaths per year once we reach steady state.

  37. Aardvark says:
    @Sean

    This whole affair with SARS-COV-2 has been the best gift ever to the control freak. It even brings out the dormant control freak in people who never really exhibited it before.

  38. @Jack D

    I know enough people who have been vaccinated to say that these side effects are not uncommon (nor are they universal) especially after the 2nd dose and they are often significant enough to affect your quality of life for a day or three, similar to having a cold (without the respiratory symptoms). And similar to a cold, if you take a naproxen or two (or your preferred pain reliever) you get some (but not total) relief from the symptoms.

    Note here, unless it’s contraindicated or your doctor says otherwise, you really want to take acetaminophen/paracetamol for a vaccine reaction, that’ll address the pain without undesired effects for developing immunity you get from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like naproxen, aspirin, and ibuprofen.

    Hmmm, I was hearing this from a MSM article of people in the Moderna Phase III trial who were pretty sure from the adverse effects it had unblinded it for them. But it was more “set aside one day after” I think the second dose especially, and “toughen up,” maybe not quite as bad as your no doubt higher quality assessment (you didn’t start with a narrative like the authors of that article).

    This is still vastly better than dying of Covid but less than ideal, especially if you are going to have to do this every year.

    But I doubt that the future is going to be everyone getting the current Moderna/Pfizer vaccine every 6 months. In fact I’d wager that is the LEAST likely scenario.

    Indeed, one of the gravest failings of the anti-vaxxers is assuming absolutely no agency on the part of the vaccine people. First try kills all the test animals, or lately it’s cats, well, obviously we’ll just try the same thing for humans! Instead of, you know, doing a little bit of searching to find out how many years of research starting back in the 1960s with the first crude RSV vaccine had resulted in our believing we’d cracked the SARS type coronavirus ADE problem.

    Enough so that Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna started their Phase I human trials at the same time as their animal ones. And with 44,544,969 people receiving at least one dose in the US, 13.4% of our total population, we’d know by now if they were wrong and didn’t notice it in their clinical trials. Which circling back to the anti-vaxxers, reinforces their idiocy by not noticing how quickly this problem occurs once the vaccinated get challenged by the real thing.

    And you’re of course right about the current mRNA vaccines, although boosters from Janssen or Noravax in the US and perhaps others will be obvious alternatives. I’ve read in the context of getting the most people at least some immunity ASAP, the powers that be and Moderna have been reconsidering the lower dose from their Phase II trial (TL;DR: Phase I 25, 100, 250 mcg, II 50 and 100, III and now the standard 100 mcg). For that matter, might want to check ClinicalTrials.gov periodically to see if one or more are being done to fine tune anyone’s vaccine that’s ready for or gotten an FDA EUA, which at the moment is the two mRNA ones and the one jab version of Janssen’s.

    The latter of which will be addressed by the FDA advisory committee Friday, February 26th, although no briefing materials are available as I type this.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  39. @Rob

    Did AZ know the Russian vaccine used a heterologous boost? Did they not want to do something that the no-good, horrible, evil Rooskies were doing? Is the company so hollowed out….

    You know so much about this topic, but don’t know that a woman lead (but not dedicated to a career of science), half women team at Oxford developed the platform and did the initial testing of it for COVID-19? I guess their PR isn’t as good as I thought, or you’re thankfully pretty immune to pretty lies. I have no idea when Gamaleya created their platform, it would be interesting to find out.

    Per ClinicalTrials.gov, Oxford has been trying since the middle of 2012 to do something useful with it, but also per that site they’d never tried it on more than 40 people at a time in Phase I trials before last year. Conveniently they started a MERS vaccine candidate Phase I trial in mid-December 2019, and based on their blended Phase I/II COVID-19 trial that MERS trial determined the dosage. AZ is a partner brought in rather late in the game as these things go, is selling it at cost, and is not responsible for a lot of the clown show this has become. Like the 1,800 or more subjects that got a half dose as their first, which was only discovered after the low side effect profile caused further investigation (and Steve, as far as I know the initial higher efficacy promise of this dosing pattern didn’t pan out).

    A note about Janssen’s single (human) adenovirus vector vaccine: it is intended to be the very best single dose, requires no more than normal medical refrigeration, let’s vaccinate one billion people in 2021 vaccine possible. One reason that while they started their Phase I testing around the same time as Moderna, they’re so much later in their first FDA EUA application, they took their time to get it as right as possible. They’re also trying two doses of the same thing eight weeks apart, if that’s better it’ll be gravy.

    The Gamaleya gambit of using two different (human) adenovirus vectors seems completely obvious to me, so I suppose hard questions should be addressed to Oxford and the formal PR team and informal PR network that got so many countries to make such huge bets on it. Half of the doses for initial purchase for the US Operation Warp Speed (OWS), the four other huge up front bets plus Pfizer/BioNTech were only 100 million doses to start with, although that will perhap goes twice as far for Janssen.

    • Replies: @Rob
  40. @dearieme

    The concern over AZ was that it only worked well in the young

    Strictly, a legitimate concern was that the number of codgers in the original trial was too low to demonstrate efficacy to a statistically satisfactory standard.

    If only it was a single Phase III trial. The AZ/Oxford clown show eventually presented results on December 8th from four different trials not including the US. For the official two doses at a three week interval, the equivalent of a less than 12,000 subject trial with 5,800 each in the experimental and control arms, although they presented more data from people who’d gotten “at least one dose.”

    The EU isn’t the only entity scrabbling, the U.K. made a bigger bet on Oxford’s vaccine than they should have in 20/20 hindsight, politically at least, except that’s mostly a product of Oxford being first out the gate by using their mid-December 2019 Phase I MERS vaccine candidate trial to design their blended Phase I/II trial, and thus also being up to speed on making SARS type coronavirus vaccine candidates. The U.K.’s other bets are as far as I know panning out well, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna of course, but of course also subject to manufacturing constraints and now EU politics for Pfizer.

    I assume their Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is looking at Novavax’s candidate which not long ago was reporting good efficacy results, and it’s an old modern technology vaccine, protein grown in bug cells like Protein Sciences now Sanofi, plus an adjuvant from trees rather than sharks, not novel to manufacture in quantity like the mRNA and viral vector vaccines. I know less about it, but a still promising French bet was made that wasn’t Sanofi/GSK. The latter is one reason the EU is so screwed now, everyone expected their same type as Novavax vaccine to work, but it didn’t for the elderly so V2.0 Phase I etc. trials start Real Soon Now, maybe they’ll have something by the of the year.

    One other wrinkle for the U.K. which I suspect is an input into their “one dose ASAP for everyone”: no one is putting more effort into tracking the development of variants, at last count doing about the same amount of sequencing as the rest of the world combined. This certainly implies they’re prepared for a variant that turns out to be a new strain for which reformulated vaccines will be required. Oh, yeah, while Janssen and Novavax show at least OK efficacy for the South African variant, AZ/Oxford is a compete dud, although the numbers from memory for subjects is 10,000, 4,400, and 2,000 respectively so that result isn’t as statistically strong … but the numbers for infections were like 20/19, very symmetrical.

  41. @dearieme

    The same arguments were deployed in the UK. That’s wher Berlin picked them up. The same arguments were also deployede against Sputnik V whichis very similar to Astra-Zeneca. Both AZ and Gameleya messed up their initial trials. The different firms are quite good at planting uncertainty about rival products.

  42. @That Would Be Telling

    don’t you get it that the sort of person who gets the vaccine is also the sort of person who HAS NO HUMAN INTERACTION WHATSOEVER and all you demonstrated was that the vaccine may have sorted those people out and given them a gold star???

    As Greg Cochran, no genius himself, likes to say, sometimes it gets old being reminded the world is full of morons

  43. @Sean

    In Scotland at present no one is supposed to be going out for non essential reasons at all, and no gatherings are permitted even outside.

    Surprising they didn’t do this after Dunblane.

    …only really young children are permitted to go to school.

    Hmm…

    Scotland is about a sixth as dense as England, between Indiana and Georgia (the state). Lots of room for social distancing.

    “With a population density of just 70 people per square kilometer [182/sq mi], Scotland is also the most sparsely populated country in the UK.”

    Scotland – Statistics & Facts

    In the interest of US/UK comity, I just applied malt vinegar to my corndog.

  44. Rob says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    You know how a lot of loons are really obsessed with vaccines? They’re antivaxxers, but I am a loon who’s totally into vaccines.

    [MORE]

    I did not know the Oxford team was heavily female, but anyone capable of doing the R&D should have known about heterologous boost. It is all throughout vaccine literature. DNA vaccines, vectored vaccines… everything but live-attenuated benefits from heterologous boost.

    One thing with vaccines, ‘dirtier’ vaccines work better. Take a viral protein and engineer it to be expressed by bacteria. Kill the bacteria and inject the lysate, endotoxin and all. That is very likely to get an immune response. It will cause an immune response to a lot of other proteins, too. Engineer the bacteria to express a chunk of that protein (a peptide) that you want the immune response to target. Purify the crap out peptide until there is virtually nothing else in shot besides saline buffer and the peptide. Inject that? Very likely to cause tolerance. The whole protein would be more likely to be antigenic.

    So for subunit (peptide) vaccines, they have to use an adjuvant. Something that activates innate immunity. Activating innate immunity is necessary to get adaptive immunity going. Viruses and pathogenic bacteria, Protozoa, too, have PAMPs, pathogen-associated molecular patterns, that trigger receptors. These range from bacterial flagellin to certain DNA sequences that are more common in prokaryotes and viruses, and double-stranded RNA. Uncapped long RNA is also a trigger. Various carbohydrates and lipids, too.

    One trigger for innate immunity is large size (tens of nanometers) and repetitive structure of proteins that can cross link B cell receptors. Adenovirus has that in spades. Very immunogenic. So Ad is both vector and adjuvant.

    First shot of ad with a transgene infects cells and the cells produce more adenovirus and the transgenic protein that we actually want an immunity to.

    But, we don’t particularly want anti-ad antibodies, because they inactivate the virus, enter cells with the virus and then mark it for destruction…so when you boost with the same adenovirus serotype, the immune system destroys the vector without much expression of the transgene, so the boost only boosts immunity to the af, because it is an immunogenic without even being translated. A homologous boost is not much different from boosting with DNA free virus-like particles.

    Het boost is especially important with adenovirus. Not only does ad set off innate immunity, antibodies to ad develop. Not only can antibodies bind the virus and inactivate it, Since ad is naked, antibodies can bind to it and enter cells with the virus. Then the antibodies trigger TRIM21(?) and get ubiquitynilated, and the virus gets sent to proteosomes, which display adenovirus proteins, not the transgene, which you actually want!

    If they incorporated the spike protein into the capsid, so that protein was displayed to T cells like the and capsid. Also, the repetitive pattern of spike on the surface would cross link B cell receptors, boosting response to COVID.

    I totally agree that Oxford needs to be shamed over this. Probably the people responsible cannot be fired, but they can be taken out of the loop of important research and development.

    Greg Cochran has said that very smart people do not go into vaccinology. But this is not that sort of problem. Using het boost with vectored vaccines is standard. If they downloaded a couple papers about using ad vectors, and then just copied everything, they would have done it. I think we hbd sorts blame wokeness and AA for things like this, but I really hope it was a problem with that particular team, and not a typical failure mode of female biomedical teams, because there are a lot of women in biomedicine.

    I cannot stress enough how they should have incorporated the COVID spike in the capsid itself. Cannot stress how they should have aimed for an oral vaccine. An oral ad vector overcame pre-existing systemic immunity in mice. Maybe that would work in peopke, too?

    We need longer-term goals with ad vectors. Optimize them. Incorporating whole transgenic proteins in the capsid or fibers without eliminating infectivity. Even if the capsid has to be a mosaic of altered and wild type proteins.

    The second is making some ad serotypes less antigenic. Mutate B and T cell epitopes. It has been done with a therapeutic protein. Less antigenic ad Megan’s homologous boost could work better.

    Manipulating ad’s immunogenicity so boosts are not necessary. This might be difficult, but maybe just reducing CpG and UpA nucleotides. Or upping them. Reduce lysine residues to block ubiquitinylation.

    Increasing ad packaging capacity would be great. Some group made adenovirus-associated virus with greater packaging capacity just by increasing cationic residues on the inside of the capsid. Would this be possible with ad?

    Live attenuated vaccines often do not require prime-boost. Getting vectors to work more like ‘normal’ LAV could go a long way towards one-shot vaccines.

    I hope we actually learn something from COVID. Like, be able to produce lots of doses of vaccines quickly. Or, have merit-based teams work on important projects.

  45. @very old statistician

    In related news, people who showed up for the free Mike Tyson autograph session at 2 Vegas casinos on 12/31/2019 were 75 percent less likely to lose random fights in random bars in the next 12 months than people who walked by the autograph session and said “not for me dude”.

    Mike Tyson doubled his autograph price the next New Years Eve, explaining that an autograph from him protected people from losing random bar fights.

    (Btw I do believe the current 75 percent effectivity for the double doses in Israel, but that is only because I saw the numbers and because they vaccinated almost entire cohorts).

  46. Jack D says:
    @Thoughts

    Some people with pre-existing health conditions are dying of Covid.

    Well then we have nothing to worry about since no one in America is old or obese or diabetic or anything. We’re all 29 years old, slim, athletic and as healthy as horses so we all have nothing to fear from Covid.

  47. Jack D says:
    @very old statistician

    Wouldn’t it be amazing if Pfizer did a trial where they randomly assigned half the recipients the real vaccine and half a placebo and then waited to see what % of each group got Covid? That would satisfy even a VERY old statistician.

    Oh, wait they did that and the odds of getting Covid were reduced by 95% in the vaccine group. The results we are seeing in Israel merely confirm what we already know from the trial results.

    • Replies: @very old statistician
  48. Jack D says:
    @Rob

    so when you boost with the same adenovirus serotype, the immune system destroys the vector

    The obvious solution (which the Sputnik team used) is to used a DIFFERENT adenovirus for the 2nd dose. I have no idea why the Oxford folks didn’t do this. It’s a bloody obvious move. I hope and pray that they had some good reason for not doing this and not just because they had fallen into a state of idiocracy.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  49. @Jack D

    time will tell if you were wise to believe that they were telling the truth and that I was foolish to think I was able to see through their distortions, chump.

  50. My 98 year old mother got the Moderna vaccine and had no reaction whatsoever.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  51. Jack D says:
    @Foreign Expert

    Old people have the fewest reactions. The reactions are a byproduct of your immune system kicking in against the virus and old people have the weakest immune systems.

  52. @Rob

    First shot of ad with a transgene infects cells and the cells produce more adenovirus and the transgenic protein that we actually want an immunity to.

    These adenovirus vector vaccines are “replication deficient,” but I haven’t looked into them to find out just how that works, if they for example produce adenoviruses like normal that escape the host cell, but these can’t infect other cells. If so, that would further underline how different vectors should be used for a two dose regimen, and strengthens your next point I quote:

    I cannot stress enough how they should have incorporated the COVID spike in the capsid itself. Cannot stress how they should have aimed for an oral vaccine.

    As (the largest, per Wikipedia) non-enveloped viruses, the former indeed sounds like a very good idea, don’t know what the three designers did (not paying close attention until one of them of higher efficacy than the single Janssen jab becomes available in the US). The latter sounds like a good idea, although no one appears to have had such a platform ready when COVID-19 started roaming the earth.

    Thanks for all of your excellent comments.

    • Replies: @Rob
    , @Rob
  53. @Jack D

    so when you boost with the same adenovirus serotype, the immune system destroys the vector

    The obvious solution (which the Sputnik team used) is to used a DIFFERENT adenovirus for the 2nd dose. I have no idea why the Oxford folks didn’t do this. It’s a bloody obvious move. I hope and pray that they had some good reason for not doing this and not just because they had fallen into a state of idiocracy.

    I’d also think they should have gotten a clue when it seems that every Phase I trial they did starting in 2012, more than ten, I’ll count them next time, failed to yield results worth further trials. This whole clown show sounds like going through the motions, cargo cult science and idiocracy, not legitimate compared to Gamaleya who did the thing so obvious us non-specialists immediately recognize its worth, or Janssen with its different best single jab goal for which one vector is of course fine.

    Didn’t remember to mention that Janssen had previously used this platform for an Ebola vaccine that passed an European Phase III trial, although it wasn’t the one used in the most recent big outbreak (not the brand new one just now). Which of course put them miles ahead of Oxford; so far Janssen’s only generally known failing is the usual teething pains in going from making thousands to millions of doses, they’ve said they won’t hit their target/promise of 12 million for the US by the end of this month.

  54. Jack D says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    As far as taking NSAIDs goes, advice is mixed. Like so much else around these vaccines, the answer is not really known. Some say not to take NSAIDs BEFORE getting the vaccine but afterward, when your immune system has already clearly recognized the vaccine (as evidenced by the fact that you now have a raging headache) is OK. Before is like confiscating your kid’s stereo before he has a chance to play it. Afterwards is like asking him to play a little quieter after he has already woken you up. But no one really knows – the studies so far are small and inconclusive.

    https://www.aarp.org/health/drugs-supplements/info-2021/pain-relievers-covid-vaccine.html

    Personally, I find I get little or no pain relief from acetaminophen (Tylenol) not to mention that the stuff is toxic to your liver.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  55. @Rob

    As far as taking NSAIDs goes, advice is mixed….

    On general principles it would still seem safest to avoid taking them at any point in the vaccination process, before and after for a couple of weeks or so, unless otherwise directed by a doctor.

    Personally, I find I get little or no pain relief from acetaminophen (Tylenol) not to mention that the stuff is toxic to your liver.

    For almost all people, I’m pretty sure we’re pretty sure if you don’t exceed the limits, 1,000 mg a dose, 4,000 mg a day for no more than ten days without consulting your doctor, it’s extremely safe. The liver toxicity comes from one of its metabolic pathways requiring the synthesis of a precursor to subsequent step. If the liver falls behind in that synthesis then the toxic molecule it’s needed for builds up to levels that will kill it and then you. Last time I checked up on it this doesn’t start until 10,000 mg in one dose. However “your mileage may vary,” and being wary of it, really, wary of all drugs and biologics is the right posture.

    NSAIDs have their own problems, for example they’re all organic acids so they’re rough on your gut and inhibit platelets from doing their thing, and thus can kill you from causing bleeding in your gut. Also have a lot of other side effects; while I tolerate ibuprofen well, I avoid it unless I specifically want to suppress inflammation, but for me acetaminophen/paracetamol does a good job of suppressing pain.

  56. Jack D says:

    On general principles it would still seem safest to avoid taking them at any point in the vaccination process, before and after for a couple of weeks or so, unless otherwise directed by a doctor.

    Absolutely on before, unless perhaps you are already taking them anyway for another condition.

    While “consult your doctor” is generally good advice, in this particular case your doctor is not going to know more than you are.

    While it is noble to put up with pain in the interest of a better vaccine response, as a practical matter if you have a raging 11 on a scale of 1 to 10 headache you are going to want relief. Telling people not to take an effective pain reliever because it may or may not lessen the immune response may backfire in the end because people are going to hesitate to take a booster or be revaccinated if they expect that the result will be several days of debilitating discomfort without even being able to take a pain reliever that is effective for them. And others who see their friends or family members suffering without pain relief may hesitate to be vaccinated at all, especially if they are already on the fence. As you can see here, there are already many who are on the fence or not inclined to be vaccinated and telling them that they are just going to have to grin and bear the side effects is not conducive to getting them off the fence. If there is a really damn good and well proven reason for doing so, then so be it but I don’t think we are there.

    There has already been enough incorrect advice issued in connection with Covid based on thin or no sources (“You don’t need a mask – save the masks for doctors”). I really think that we have to be on more solid ground before we start making further recommendations which may or may not have any basis in reality. Turning vaccination from something between a non-event and mild discomfort to a couple of days of intense discomfort based on thin science is not in the overall best interest of getting everyone vaccinated and if necessary re-vaccinated.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  57. Jack D says:
    @Thoughts

    There comes a point when you have to say ‘F- It’

    Apparently your point is before you have received any vaccine at all.

    Personally, I get a flu shot every year. No one (who is not nuts) seems to think that this is against common sense. I really wish that we didn’t have to get shots for flu or Covid or anything (although it’s only once a year and the whole thing takes maybe 5 minutes including the paperwork – there are diabetics who have to jab themselves 4 times a day). Getting a shot is not a particularly pleasant experience. But when the alternative is possible sickness or death, it’s going to have to be a pretty big imposition before I say f’-it.

  58. @Jack D

    It is toxic to the liver if taken in excessive doses, or if your liver is already compromised (medical terminology for fucked up by years of boozing).

    You could try taking extra strength Tylenol, which means tablets of 500 mg instead of the usual 350 mg. So the actual dose is a 1000 mg versus 700 mg.

    Having said that personally I do not care for acetaminophen as it gives me nausea, and would prefer to take Ibuprofen or Naproxen ( Naprosyn) for pain or inflammation, though acetaminophen maybe better for quickly bringing down a fever.

  59. @Jack D

    The “save the masks for doctors” meme was really stupid.

    Medical facilities are obliged to buy their supplies from licensed medical suppliers, and cannot just go to Walmart to buy masks. It is forbidden by Medicare and all kinds of other regulatory bodies.

    Members of the public, on the other hand, cannot easily go to licensed medical suppliers and obtain supplies.

    Any intervention to make sure that medical personnel got masks and that the general public did not should have taken place higher up the supply chain at the level of the manufacturers who could have been directed to only supply them to licensed medical suppliers.

    But then that was typical of the kind of shoot from the hip attitude of the Trump administration. It was all about twits tweeting and never about doctors doctoring.

  60. Jack D says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Sorry but the “save the masks” thing came from CDC and the Fauci crowd, not the Trump guys. This was back when the Dem mayors were still doing their “make sure to eat out in Chinatown and hug a Chinaman to prove you’re not racist like Trump” thing. Whatever Trump was fer they were agin. They were against masks before they were for them. All memory holed.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  61. MGB says:

    The average age at death for those who died with Covid-19 in Scotland was 79 for men and 84 for women. Elsewhere in the NRS report it showed that life expectancy in Scotland is 77.1 for males and 81.1 for females.

    The report says the age profile of those dying with Covid was significantly older than that for deaths in general.

    Brilliant analysis of the effectiveness of competing vaccines in Scotland. Months into the roll out and they’ve already gotten to the bottom of it. Really impressive stuff.

  62. Rob says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    Replication deficient usually cannot replicate their genome and/or or create infectious visions, though they may express viral genes. The ad genome is DNA, so these might not express any adenovirus genes, but my guess is that they do. They are just there as an adjuvant, priming the immune system to respond to proteins, and as a vehicle to get the transgene into the cell, out of the endosome, and into the nucleus. An adaptive immune response to the virus is a bug. That’s why there should be a concerted effort to remove B cell epitopes from at least one, preferably several serotypes of ad.

    We need to do that because COVID is still evolving and might be with us like a super-flu, more contagious and deadlier than the flu. If we are going to need a shot for new variants, we will probably run out of adrnovirus serotypes. We could use mRNA vaccines, but that is pretty expensive, high-infrastructure option for less developed countries.

    The good news about mRNA vaccines is that production is pretty much identical for every pathogen. That is almost true of adenovirus vectors, except that obnoxious anti-vector immunity.

    You know how we have embryonic stem cells that are treated with something, or whatever, to replicate, but stay embryonic stem cells until they get a signal to develop? It would be great if we could have cultures of whatever chicken cells divide to become eggs that we could turn into eggs.without going through a chicken stage. Be even cooler if we could turn those eggs back into pre-eggs without going through a chicken stage.

    Actually, embryonic, fertilized chicken ‘eggs’ would be fine.

    • Thanks: That Would Be Telling
  63. @Jack D

    Sorry but the “save the masks” thing came from CDC and the Fauci crowd, not the Trump guys.

    Was his pick for Surgeon General a “Trump guy?”

    Based on how very bad Trump was at choosing people, the assumption should be “no.”

    Interesting how perhaps the most important thing in that period has been memory holed. The CDC and FDA, the latter clearly out of malice, together prevented anyone else doing testing through the end of February, with the exception of a very few lucky state labs. A total of only 4,000 people were tested, so everyone from Trump on down were flying blind until some time in March.

    (Copied from the latest James Thompson topic:) While I’m at it, for the Janssen one jab vaccine the FDA “sponsor” (Janssen) and staff briefing documents just dropped, see here at the bottom. The advisory Committee meeting on Friday the 26th will be live streamed and archived if you are interested in the sausage making, but based on the last two for the mRNA vaccines it’ll be an eight hour plus thing. Might be interesting seeing as this is a new to the US vaccine platform for COVID-19 like AZ/Oxford’s, a single adenovirus vector, not sure if anyone has tried to get one of these past the FDA previously for any other pathogen.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  64. @Jonathan Mason

    But then that was typical of the kind of shoot from the hip attitude of the Trump administration. It was all about twits tweeting and never about doctors doctoring.

    This is so far removed from reality I wonder if you paid any attention at all to this in 2020, or if you’re arguing in good faith. Because you’re not giving Trump any credit for, just off the top of my head now:

    Trying even the tiniest bit of quarantine policy.

    Endless live press conferences, where he never failed to remind us of the above, but also did some good, and was certainly “transparent” as we’re all told is critical.

    Pushing treatments that might help really quickly like HCQ, which revealed how completely evil our ruling trash are, in many states doctors were legally prevented from using their own judgement about it, you know, “doctors doctoring.”

    Going all Leslie Groves with Operation Warp Speed (OWS), which doubled our vaccine availability to date by providing Moderna what it needed to take their January 13th vaccine candidate all the way to an FDA EUA and mass production that should be shaming Pfizer. Now comes Janssen, and pretty soon Novavax. Maybe AZ/Oxford someday, ditto without the clown show Sanofi/GSK. See alternatives with the EU and Russia (the latter gravely production limited), and roughly the same thing as OWS on a smaller scale with the U.K., we’ve covered that extensively in the relevant James Thompson Unz.com topics.

    Given that this was treated by our ruling trash as possibly “the silver bullet that takes out this administration,” Saint Fauci’s pathological and self-admitted!!! lying, the deliberate incompetence of our public health community about infectious disease control, the blocking of testing early on (see above), at the absolute minimum Trump and the US have done OK.

    Remove the murderous states that deliberately sent COVID-19 positive patients to nursing homes, such as Cuomo’s Final Solution to the Medicaid problem, and we’d look and actually be a lot better, which should remind us of how much of our response was strictly in the hands of states and local governments.

  65. Jack D says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    Does this look like a Trump guy to you?

  66. MEH 0910 says:

  67. MEH 0910 says:


    [MORE]

    • Replies: @Jack D
  68. Jack D says:
    @MEH 0910

    I think these numbers are disappointing. If there are 95% effective vaccines out there, why would you take a 72% effective vaccine?

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  69. @Jack D

    I think [Janssen’s] numbers are disappointing. If there are 95% effective vaccines out there, why would you take a 72% effective vaccine?

    Because your country can better afford a single jab program that only requires medical refrigeration, which goes up to 8 C/46 F? From a public health viewpoint, it’s not bad, from an individual viewpoint, not terrible. For the near term, I think only Novavax might be able to beat it in everything only requiring one jab (probably cheaper due to using older bioreactor technology, same refrigeration profile, 89% efficacy as I recall??).

    Right now, if you’re younger in the US, it could make sense to get it instead of one of the mRNA vaccines if the latter are still unobtainium for the foreseeable future. And Janssen is trying out a two doses eight weeks apart regimen, but they very specifically worked very hard to get the best single jab vaccine with the goal of vaccinating a billion people this year. One reason their EUA application is a couple of months later than the mRNA ones, despite starting testing about the same time as Moderna.

    • Troll: Realist
    • Replies: @Jack D
  70. Anonymous[244] • Disclaimer says:

    Doesn’t this vaccine tamper with genes?

    And wasn’t this vaccine rushed through development without really understanding long-term side-effects?

    • Replies: @Jack D
  71. Jack D says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    At least for rich countries like the US I think it makes more sense to increase production of Moderna and Pfizer. After all of the damage this pandemic has caused, a few more bucks per person spent on vaccine is nothing. They can take it out of everyone’s $1,400.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  72. Jack D says:
    @Anonymous

    No and no. Next question.

  73. Rooster10 says:
    @Je Suis Omar Mateen

    The survival rate of COVID without a vaccine is 99.7%… yet they want to force us to take a vaccine that has a 94% efficacy rate… welcome to Clown World!

  74. @Jack D

    At least for rich countries like the US I think it makes more sense to increase production of Moderna and Pfizer.

    You think those two companies are not making the two mRNA vaccines as quickly as possible, especially if Pfizer really did accept help from Operation Warp Speed? New vaccine type, new production methods, especially for creating the micelles solid lipid nanoparticles, which per an unreliable source requires microfluidics which only one company in the world has mastered? They’re also physically fragile unless frozen, which could cause their real world efficacy to be lower, I’m sure some roughly handled vials are not being discarded as Pfizer requires, while Moderna says to call them. That could also result in manufacturing problems that might not all be easy to catch.

    I’m only tentatively recommending one Janssen jab as a temporary measure for certain populations while better vaccines are in short supply, or for Novavax not quite yet ready for an FDA EUA application.

    • Troll: Realist
  75. Rob says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    Have you heard of the protein ARC? It’s expressed in the brain and transfers from one neuron to another. Arc is a retrotransposon that we got to work. Arc forms capsids containing the arc mRNA, which is translated in the receiving cell.

    They are hoping they can use arc plus the bleb (I think it’s a bleb, an extra cellular vesicle) plus arc to deliver genes for therapy or vaccination with a ‘capsid’ that we’re tolerant already,

    I might fear that pumping a lot of those in with immune stimulants would break tolerance. Of course we should be testing it animals first.

    We pay a fortune for medical care in this county. They really need to produce life-altering advances. The culture has changed so much. Hepatitis C cure costs tens of thousands of dollars. They justify that on, ‘hey, it cures the disease. We can’t charge you for lifelong maintenance treatment, so it is a fair price for your life’. Which may be true, but when penicillin was discovered, they weren’t charging thousands of dollars, even though the antibiotics saved people from near certain death. I think doctors used to have the idea that there should be some consumer surplus in medicine.

    Ah, the golden age of medicine, when some treatments worked, but biomedicine had not yet turned into a voracious beast.

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