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Another Vaccine Home Run: Moderna Vaccine Is 94.5% Effective
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From CNN:

Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine is 94.5% effective, according to company data

By Elizabeth Cohen, CNN Senior Medical Correspondent

Updated 7:11 AM ET, Mon November 16, 2020

(CNN)The Moderna vaccine is 94.5% effective against coronavirus, according to early data released Monday by the company, making it the second vaccine in the United States to have a stunningly high success rate….

Vaccinations could begin in the second half of December, Fauci said. Vaccinations are expected to begin with high-risk groups and to be available for the rest of the population next spring.

Last week, Pfizer announced that early data show its vaccine is more than 90% effective against the disease.

In Moderna’s trial, 15,000 study participants were given a placebo, which is a shot of saline that has no effect. Over several months, 90 of them developed Covid-19, with 11 developing severe forms of the disease.

Another 15,000 participants were given the vaccine, and only five of them developed Covid-19. None of the five became severely ill.

So Moderna’s sample size was 95, very similar to Pfizer’s 94. As I pointed out in my Taki’s column, Pfizer very likely could have stuck to its original plan and announced the success of its vaccine before the election (perhaps on Monday, November 2). Whether that would have switched 1 out of 200 voters from voting for Biden to voting for Trump in the 3 states with less of a margin for Biden than 1.0%, which would have led to a 269-269 Electoral College tie and probably a Trump victory in the House voting as state delegations (or perhaps a breakdown in the process with Nancy Pelosi becoming President), is interesting to speculate upon.

In contrast, Moderna’s trial got off to a slower start than did Pfizer’s and its sample size was smaller. They never talked about announcing results in October as Pfizer often had. I haven’t look at their clinical protocol, but my vague impression was their first interim analysis was slated for when 53 cases had been found among their volunteers, not Pfizer’s aggressive plan for a first interim analysis at 32 cases and a second at 64, neither of which was done.

Also, both firms were slowed by the success of their vaccine. Say Pfizer placebo group of 20,000 subjects got a case of wu flu at a rate of 1 per 10,000 per week. So after 8 weeks, the placebo group would have 16 cases, halfway to the first interim analysis’ 32 cases. Now, if the vaccine was total useless, the vaccine arm of 20,000 subjects would have also gotten about 16 cases, so the first interim analysis would be triggered after 8 weeks.

In contrast, if Pfizer’s vaccine was 100% efficacious, then the control arm would have no cases, and it would take 16 weeks for the placebo arm to produce 32 cases.

Instead, both vaccines were apparently somewhere around 95% effective, which made finding enough cases almost as slow as in my toy example of 100% effectiveness. This may have fooled stock analysts into issuing warnings about Pfizer’s price on the grounds that their failure to announce the planned first and second interim-analysis in October was due to the vaccine doing okay but not reaching the criteria for being declared a success from a small sample size. Instead, cases were coming in more slowly, but then when it looked like Pfizer would finally have enough for an announcement just before the election, they halted lab processing of samples to claim deniability: We didn’t KNOW we had 32 cases in the lab, so we didn’t have a “material development” requirement under SEC rules for telling investors.

If Pfizer had announced its vaccine’s success just before the election, The Establishment would have gone into a frenzy of anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorizing, so it was probably the smart call to piss off Trump rather than the media and the guy up 8 points in the polls, even if Pfizer might have to settle some lawsuits from investors over their cover-up.

Initially, there won’t be enough vaccine for everyone. The highest priority groups, which include health care workers, the elderly, and people with underlying medical conditions, will get the vaccine first.

“I think that everybody else will start to get vaccinated towards the end of April,” Fauci said. “And that will go into May, June, July. It will take a couple of months to do.”

So these two messenger RNA vaccines reduce susceptibility to getting COVID by over 90%. A big question remaining is how much do they reduce infectiousness. If they are equally effective at reducing outbound as well as inbound dangers, the vaccines would really do a number on R-nought.

But we don’t know that at present. They ought to do a “human challenge” trial on a Navy ship crewed solely by healthy 20-something volunteers: give everybody on board vaccines. Then after 28 days, inject half with the virus, and see how many of the other half get infected asymptotically. This would be a quite safe experimental design, with only one COVID case expected per every 20 infected, and those volunteers chosen for youth, vigor, and lack of risk factors.

While the two vaccines appear to have very similar safety and efficacy profiles, Moderna’s vaccine has a significant practical advantage over Pfizer’s.

Pfizer’s vaccine has to be kept at minus 75 degrees Celsius. No other vaccine in the US needs to be kept that cold, and doctors’ offices and pharmacies do not have freezers that go that low.

Moderna’s vaccine can be kept at minus 20 degrees Celsius. Other vaccines, such as the one against chickenpox, need to be kept at that temperature.

That means Moderna’s vaccine can be kept in “a readily available freezer that is available in most doctors’ offices and pharmacies,” Zacks said. “We leverage infrastructure that already exists for other marketed vaccines.”

Another advantage of Moderna’s vaccine is that it can be kept for 30 days in the refrigerator [i.e. a few degrees above freezing], the company announced Monday. Pfizer’s vaccine can last only five days in the refrigerator.

I suspect Pfizer’s vaccine would work OK logistically for mass inoculations: e.g., a thousand cars line up in the Dodger Stadium parking lot. But it’s great news to have the less unwieldy Moderna vaccine.

iSteve commenter Jack D writes:

As Steve suggests, the Pfizer vaccine could be distributed to places equipped to handle it and given out on mass vaccination days in big cities and dense suburbs, etc. while the Moderna vaccine could be sent to more rural locations and given out 1 dose at a time at chain drugstores, etc. who already have ordinary freezers. Basically you would send the Pfizer vaccine to the blue counties and the Moderna to the red ones.

TBH, the Pfizer requirements are not that rigorous – my local supermarket has a chest freezer from which they vend dry ice and Fedex and UPS move millions of packages every day. If Omaha Steaks can mail you frozen steaks on dry ice (and they can) then Pfizer can mail frozen vaccines.

The Pfizer vaccine only needs 80 C below freezing for long term (6 month) storage. Dry ice can keep it good for a couple of weeks or so. This isn’t 1970 when every mail order product ad came with the fine print: “Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for shipping & handling.”

From Moderna’s press release:

The 95 COVID-19 cases included 15 older adults (ages 65+) …

It would be useful to know the breakdown among the 15 COVID cases among elders: 5 vaccine / 10 placebo would not be as good as 1 vaccine / 14 placebo. But, at worst, it’s at least 50% effective among people over 65.

The interim analysis included a concurrent review of the available Phase 3 COVE study safety data by the DSMB, which did not report any significant safety concerns. A review of solicited adverse events indicated that the vaccine was generally well tolerated. The majority of adverse events were mild or moderate in severity. Grade 3 (severe) events greater than or equal to 2% in frequency after the first dose included injection site pain (2.7%), and after the second dose included fatigue (9.7%), myalgia (8.9%), arthralgia (5.2%), headache (4.5%), pain (4.1%) and erythema/redness at the injection site (2.0%). These solicited adverse events were generally short-lived.

So, it’s not cost-free. Still …

Preliminary analysis suggests a broadly consistent safety and efficacy profile across all evaluated subgroups. …

The Phase 3 COVE study was designed in collaboration with the FDA and NIH to evaluate Americans at risk of severe COVID-19 disease and completed enrollment of 30,000 participants ages 18 and older in the U.S. on October 22, including those at high risk of the severe complications of COVID-19 disease. The COVE study includes more than 7,000 Americans over the age of 65. It also includes more than 5,000 Americans who are under the age of 65 but have high-risk chronic diseases that put them at increased risk of severe COVID-19, such as diabetes, severe obesity and cardiac disease. These medically high-risk groups represent 42% of the total participants in the Phase 3 COVE study. The study also included communities that have historically been under-represented in clinical research and have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The study includes more than 11,000 participants from communities of color, representing 37% of the study population, which is similar to the diversity of the U.S. at large. This includes more than 6,000 participants who identify as Hispanic or LatinX, and more than 3,000 participants who identify as Black or African American. …

Unlike Pfizer, which was rich enough not to take direct subsidies from the US federal government, but did sign a nearly $2 billion purchase agreement with the Administration, Moderna took just under a billion dollars in direct subsidies and a $1.5 billion purchase agreement:

BARDA is supporting the continued research and development of mRNA-1273 with $955 million in federal funding under Contract no. 75A50120C00034. BARDA is reimbursing Moderna for 100 percent of the allowable costs incurred by the Company for conducting the program described in the BARDA contract. The U.S. government has agreed to provide up to $1.525 billion to purchase supply of mRNA-1273 under U.S. Department of Defense Contract No. W911QY-20-C-0100.

 
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  1. Now we have Janssen, Sanofi, and an Indian manufacturer also joining in this week with announcements of Phase III trials.

    If the earlies vaccines have to be rationed, perhaps multinational pharma corporations should do it proportionally. For example, if 3% of Pfizer’s sales last year were to France, then perhaps France should get an option on 3% of the doses manufactured by Pfizer in 2021. Countries could then trade their options with each other, if they had offers for vaccines that they did not need or want, like trading pollution credits.

    • Replies: @Hangnail Hans
  2. Here’s a hypothetical.

    Supposing there was a deadly new virus, and the only country that had an effective vaccine was Cuba.

    Would the US be the only country that could not have access to the vaccine?

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    , @epebble
  3. Thoughts says:

    As long as getting vaccinated is optional, then congrats to all of these companies.

    If there are people who are in the high-risk group who feel the need to risk it with the vaccine…go for it.

    There’s no need for someone like me to get vaccinated.

    I don’t know about you guys, but doesn’t it just feel like Covid vaccine was too easy? I feel like it should have been harder to develop?

  4. Wake up says:

    I want to thank all the Black Scientists for this vaccine breakthrough.

    • Agree: Adam Smith
    • Replies: @415 reasons
  5. slumber_j says:
    @Thoughts

    Given that the types of coronavirus we most famously contend with all the time cause the common cold, and given how lucrative a vaccine for those would be, and given that such a vaccine doesn’t, technically, exist… Well, yeah, I do have my suspicions about these vaccines.

    My teenage daughter has type 1 diabetes among other autoimmune disorders, and while our younger son doesn’t yet, he’s at genetic risk. I’m definitely not happy at the prospect of injecting this stuff into them.

  6. 94.5%?

    The machines running the Matrix are just messing with us now.

  7. So, it’s not cost-free.

    We’ve been hearing a lot from people who are in the Moderna Phase 1 and 3 trials. For 1, which is all about dosing, the company tried doses of 25, 100, and 250 mcg, a whole order of magnitude between the lowest and highest. 250 mcg was way too high, the handful who got it suffered, but aside from one officially and genuinely “severe” reaction of lightheartedness and fainting (indirectly dangerous) per one participant it was of the “go see urgent care tomorrow” severity. Phase 2 tried 50 and 100 mcg on hundreds of patients, and Phase 3 went with 100 mcg, per the one major thing these vaccines are skipping for now, fine tuning of the dosing.

    Lots of Phase 3 participants say set aside the day after the second dose because you’ll need it, but otherwise “man up,” or as I like to say, it more wacks the immune system with a stick than pokes at it. And while Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s efficacy data is based on small enough numbers I wouldn’t make much of the current 5% difference, their results to make clear this new technology is effective, and safe enough to make applications to the FDA for Emergency Use Authorizations, with all that name implies.

    Extraordinarily good news that it’s possible to vaccinate for COVID-19. And with these vaccines, given how close their new technology is in mimicking real virus infections by hijacking cells with their mRNA just like the mRNA in SARS-CoV-2. Nothing extra like the cheaper DNA virus vector vaccines that are right behind them in Phase 3 trials, only supplying the generic material that codes for the spike protein. In theory, ignoring the lack of dose fine tuning due to this being a real emergency, these should be the safest vaccines ever, but of course only experience will prove that.

    Which we’ll get steadily more of as the Phase 3 vaccine arm subjects get followed beyond the FDA’s required for an EUA two months after the second dose, and the highest priority cohorts get it, first the most vulnerable, and those most likely to accidentally give it to the most vulnerable, “first responders” and healthcare workers. We can reasonably hope at this point the efficacy and safety data will say they’re suitable for the general population, and most of those worried about the safety of these vaccines won’t have an opportunity to get them for some time.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
    , @Jack D
  8. @Jonathan Mason

    If the earliest vaccines have to be rationed, perhaps multinational pharma corporations should do it proportionally.

    As a progressive Democrat, I have a much better idea.

    In Moderna’s trial, 15,000 study participants were given a placebo

    Simply give placebos to all the white supremacists, er I mean white people.

    Win-win, amirite? Most won’t get sick anyway.

  9. @slumber_j

    Given that the types of coronavirus we most famously contend with all the time cause the common cold, and given how lucrative a vaccine for those would be, and given that such a vaccine doesn’t, technically, exist… Well, yeah, I do have my suspicions about these vaccines.

    The reason no one has tried really hard for a vaccine for “the common cold” is that there’s so very many viruses and virus strains that cause it, over 200. Per Wikipedia, 30-80% of cases from rhinoviruses that have 99 known “serotypes” (using blood serum technology AKA antibodies to distinguish between them). Only around 15% are caused by the “normal” human coronaviruses, of which there are 4 known.

    The flu is around 10-15% of the cases, and as you might know, the current vaccine state of the art for it is four strains (of two species, guessed 6 months in advance of flu season). Imagine what it would take to vaccinate for 200 strains of viruses, we need significantly new approaches, and given the severity of it, making an “eternal” flu vaccine is what I understand we’re focusing our efforts on.

    In response to @Thoughts’s concern it’s “too easy,” not really, especially since coronaviruses are unique among RNA viruses in having a proofreading mechanism which really cuts down on their mutation rates, and since the arrival on the world stage of ultra-lethal SARS and MERS we’ve been working on coronavirus vaccines for what was viewed an an inevitable new one like COVID-19’s.

  10. Jack D says:

    So, it’s not cost-free.

    Don’t be ridiculous. A minor headache or some soreness in your arm for a couple of days is nothing compared to the risk of dying from Covid.

  11. @That Would Be Telling

    aside from one officially and genuinely “severe” reaction of lightheartedness and fainting . . . .

    I assume you meant “lightheadedness ” “Lightheartedness” would be an excellent side effect. We could all use a little more of that.

    • LOL: Gordo
    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  12. @Hypnotoad666

    Oops! The perils of being bad at spelling and not looking closely enough at the results of using Firefox’s spellchecker. The connotations of “lighthearted” are of course wrong, but with two vaccines now having passed the fires of Phase 3 trials our hearts should be indeed be lighter.

    We’ve got one of the traditional solutions to a severe disease, two companies now so Pfizer/BioNTech’s success wasn’t a one-off, and there’s every reason to believe that some of the other technology approaches will be effective (safety, and long term safety of these two will by definition take time). With the moderate refrigeration requirements of Moderna’s vaccine, we’ll be able to get this mess under control in 2021-2 for much of the world.

  13. @Jonathan Mason

    Here’s a hypothetical.

    Supposing there was a deadly new virus, and the only country that had an effective vaccine was Cuba.

    Would the US be the only country that could not have access to the vaccine?

    Here’s a better hypothetical:

    Supposing Florida has an excess of foreigners, and there is spare sunshine in Cuba.

    Would it be ok for Florida to ship some of ours there?

    We kid, we kid.

    ~~~

    But seriously Mason, you’re talking like Zeke the freak Emanuel, you have this bizarre “intellectual” need to make the simple complicated.

    There’s nothing “special” about vaccines. They are like other good things and should be treated like other good things.

    To answer your hypothetical, Cuba’s–the Cuban government’s–job is to look after the welfare of the Cuban people. So first off the Cubans would get vaccinated. Then presumably the Cubans would be sending their vaccine to friendly nations. Maybe they’d decide to negotiate with the United States for normal friendly relations in return for the vaccine. Who knows? But the point is this hypothetic vaccine belongs to the Cubans to do with as they please, in their interest.

    Pfizer apparently self-funded their vaccine, but has a contract for so many doses with the US. Moderna’s vaccine though–sounds like–was funded by the US taxpayers, with some sort of contract attached. If the US is part of some sort of joint vaccine funding, development, distribution compact with other nations–not aware of any–that’s fine.

    But if Biden (Jill or Joe, whoever is in charge) decides to send a US financed vaccine to save the huddled masses of Africans–or Indians, Brazilians, Mexicans … Canadians especially!–before every American who wants to get vaccinated has be allocated their shot, then the Republicans should impeach Biden. And for that matter throw out Zeke-the-freak and any other nattering nabob who can’t grasp the concept of “nation”.

    This is fundamental. People have “nice things” only when the people who create and build the “nice things” have and maintain the right to enjoy them.

    That’s true for your home or automobile. It’s true for your schools and country clubs. It’s true for your neighborhood or nation.

    Minoritarians hate this. They believe their nice things–if any–are theirs, but your (white gentile) nice things … must be “shared”. They must be allowed to glom on. They must be let in. Rapist ethics. Intelligent and moral people see that for the moral atrocity that it is.

    • Agree: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @Jack Armstrong
  14. We should have elections more often — it’s amazing how many medical breakthroughs come to light just the week or two after, isn’t it?

  15. very disappointing that few are demanding free market access to the vaccine. Why do people have to wait for FDA approval? Why can’t vaccine injections be purchased for cash now by an informed consumer willing to accept all risks?

    • Agree: Travis
  16. which vaccine can be manufactured at a faster rate? Having politicians decide which interest group can be inoculated first is kind of annoying.

  17. @Thoughts

    There’s no need for someone like me to get vaccinated.

    Don’t worry, given that you are reading Sailer on Unz, your “social credit” score under the Biden-Harris administration, will drive your “vaccine priority score”–like mine–to the bottom.

    They’ll have vaccinated 7 billion plus people, have set aside three or four billion more doses for new generations of precious Africans, will be capturing and injecting the last few Andaman Islanders before you or i would qualify for a shot.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  18. Anonymous[297] • Disclaimer says:

    Why didn’t Moderna release its results earlier? At 32 or 64?

  19. The 94.5% figure is all the more impressive because the study went out of its way to include representative samples from important subgroups, including the elderly, those with chronic conditions, and blacks. All of these subgroups should push the effectiveness downward, as compared to a group composed of volunteers not so selected, which would skew heavily toward the younger, healthier, and whiter.

    My impression is that Pfizer didn’t make a similar effort to target these groups, so that its numbers for efficacy should skew higher. While Pfizer was careful not to provide the exact number for efficacy, instead saying only that is was above 90%, I suspect that it was in fact in the high nineties.

    But now both Pfizer and Moderna will be eager to tout the best results they have because of the competition. We will likely get more insight into what’s really going on behind the scenes, and less hiding of results.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  20. theMann says:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/trump-covid-adviser-only-way-stops-if-people-rise

    Some good news! And don’t walk it back dude, the Governor of Michigan has a date with the gallows.

    Done feeding any of you information on the vaccines. If you want an experimental vaccine with an extremely bad track record in trials, for a “disease” that is a gigantic nothing burger, probably just a cumulative B1, C, and D vitamin deficiency, just get the “vaccine” then.

    And accept the consequences.

    • Agree: Adam Smith
    • Replies: @HA
    , @Blubb
  21. One thing I don’t entirely understand is why the manufacture of the vaccines is limited as it is.

    Presumably, manufacturing is the real gating factor in getting out the vaccine to people. The distribution chain seems readily able to handle much more (except perhaps at the very local end?). For example, the Pfizer vaccine is going to be sent to local zip codes via containers each of which includes 5,000 doses. Those containers are the size of a suitcase. But for 30M dose per month, we’re talking 1M per day, which amounts to only 200 such containers. Those containers will be shipped via FedEx and UPS. This should be a trivial problem for those carriers, given their current overall capacity.

    But what’s holding down manufacturing? They lack equipment to open more lines? They don’t have enough personnel?

  22. Anonymous[292] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnotherDad

    will be capturing and injecting the last few Andaman Islanders before you or i would qualify for a shot.

    Haha!

  23. Anon[183] • Disclaimer says:

    Oh what Steve Sailer would give to be on a ship full of only 20-something sailors

    • Troll: FPD72
  24. Sandmich says:
    @candid_observer

    The vaccine needs to be kept cold, like real cold, and it turns into cheese if kept at room temperature for any length of time (24-48 hours). This vaccine is different from regular old flu vaccines which is cured in eggs and is instead engineered using procedures I’ve not read up on. Something…smells about the whole thing. First Pfizer gamed the results due to politics (i.e., they lied by omission), and now I’m supposed to believe that this company, which lied for no good reason, and has a huge financial stake in all of this, is being completely on the up-and-up with some experimental vaccine?

  25. Thoughts says:

    I have another question…

    In the other post, one of Steve’s commentators gave the link to his blog referring to the fact that

    1) The more cycles (cycling whatever) they do on the test, the more positive Covid tests you get

    2) After the vaccines are rolled out, labs will do less cycles on the tests, leading to more Negative Covid tests and thus Vaccine Success

    How do we know that this conspiracy is b.s.?

    I dislike Elon Musk but he was kinda hinting towards this.

  26. Curious that vaccines against the novel Covid virus can be developed in mere months, whereas a vaccine against the HIV virus, the cause of AIDS — and don’t so much as suggest otherwise, or else! — is still, after sixty years or so of combined efforts by the Federal government and Big Pharma to develop one, just around the corner.

    • Replies: @gcochran
    , @HA
  27. @candid_observer

    One thing I don’t entirely understand is why the manufacture of the vaccines is limited as it is.

    I don’t understand it in detail, but what I’ve read is that it’s the sort of supply chain limitations you’d expect when we propose to create 15 billion doses on top of what’s normally produced (see for example these chart of flu doses distributed in the US 2008-9 or 1980-1 to 2019-20).

    Operation Warp Speed is also necessarily limited it how big it makes the bets on any one vaccine candidate, you know the vultures will complain if any of the candidates fail and the doses produced have to be thrown away. If those go all the way to packaging in vials, that will limit up to now and for a while how many can be produced by Pfizer and Moderna. If not, it’ll be that much longer before doses are ready, although there is some wiggle room from this point of efficacy and not quite enough safety data, to EUA application, to FDA approval of “Trump vaccines” on an emergency basis.

    So I’ve for example read there’s only 5-6 companies that make the glass vials; on top of a lot of obvious things like not shipping them with glass particles inside (have read of more than a few recalls from that problem somewhere in the manufacturing process), they’ve got to not crack under fairly fast temperature changes at the end of the process, like from fridge or freezer to human hand. Even the distribution chain is going to be stressed depending on how far you view it to go, I’ve read that my state needs to round up more people who are qualified to give injections (it’s not entirely trivial).

    Another obvious bottleneck is the machinery to package vials while creating or maintaining sterility, that sort of thing tends to have non-trivial lead times, and I would guess more than a few new manufacturing lines are still in the process of getting set up, and certified. The latter must be emphasized, there’s few things to equal manufacturing failures that have bad consequences for people who get vaccinated to put a pall on the whole thing.

    See what happened when one out of five or so companies making the first polio vaccine failed to inactivate them properly. 200,000 children injected resulted in 40,000 cases of polio, 250 bad, and 10 deaths. This helped to prompt a change in emphasis to the Sabin live virus vaccine, which has some fantastic public health advantages while also causing a small number of cases of polio when one or more attenuated strains regain their pathogenicity after passing through enough people.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
  28. @That Would Be Telling

    Thanks TWBT.

    Thought it general knowledge that the “vaccine for the common cold” problem was that there is no “common cold” but several different types–rhino, corona, flu, etc. etc.–and hundreds of strains.

    Did not know about the “proofreading” mechanism in coronaviruses. (Ten months in this mess and i still haven’t learned a bunch of basic stuff.)

    ~~

    Way down on the list, but i think this is another area of valid critique of Trump.

    Every nationalist or just globalization critic has been aware of the risk of global pandemic. Didn’t know this was coming this year, but was absolutely sure it was coming some year. We’re lucky the Xi virus is so mild. (We didn’t see it play out, but SARS v.1 seemed to be much more lethal.)

    Being prepared to stop it from getting into *your* nation and ready to deal with it when it does should be a top ten bullet item on every nationalist agenda.

    Specifically:
    — ability to rapidly close your border, but still handle any essential trade
    — ability to quickly quarantine large numbers; including both quarantine hospitals and handling “not yet known” cases of your citizens returning from abroad or known to have been exposed; being able to quickly convert some military base facilities is a good option
    — supplies to cope produced in-house or stockpile
    — subsidized continual vaccine research; you keep a fast vaccine development ecosystem always up and running; it can work on “the common cold” and other problems and be ready to switch quickly to deal with any threat.

    (And of course the ability to coherently tick through this list when doing “politics”–speeches, debates, position papers, etc.)

    The coronavirus vaccine research that ramped up with SARS should have been well-funded and pushed forward, while you fire all the “quarantines are racist”, “hate is a public health crisis” parasites. Yes, this requires good bureaucratic management, ergo hiring 1st class bureaucratic managers. But that’s what a President needs to be able to do.

    This cost of this stuff is really small potatoes in the gargantuan US budget. And is easily paid for by trivial steps like closing down all refugee admissions and programs and jacking up deportations.

    Protecting of your nation is nationalism 101.

  29. J.Ross says:
    @Thoughts

    Are you talking about the ease of developing a useless vaccine against a rapidly mutating bug or the deadliness of a cold variant that kills almost nobody or the meaningfulness of figures regarding an infection for which no honest test exists?

    • Troll: Corvinus
  30. See, all you had to do was elect Joe Biden, and the vaccines start falling off a truck. Amazing, isn’t it?

    • Replies: @CCZ
  31. In the category of kind ‘seems important’:

    On how to survive COVID until the vaccine is available, Professor Akiko Iwasaki of Yale Medical School gives of this gem of a Twitter thread.

    There is an microscopic video demonstration of how much better the respiratory immune system works at high humidity than at low humidity.

    Prof. Iwasaki urges people to humidify their living spaces in winter. She also urges the World Health Organization to establish humidity guidelines.

    Separately but along the same lines, Wired Magazine is reporting on the need to of humidifying to help fight COVID this winter:

    “Covid Winter Is Coming. Could Humidifiers Help?”
    Megan Molteni
    https://www.wired.com/story/covid-winter-is-coming-could-humidifiers-help/

    • Replies: @Thoughts
  32. vhrm says:

    The Russian vaccine “Sputnik V” also seems to be in the same ballpark.

    But of course they’re evil, irresponsible, jumping the gun, and lying, not like OUR side of diligent, selfless, careful, and nice smelling pharma companies.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/11/11/russia-says-sputnik-v-covid-19-vaccine-is-92-percent-effective

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/11/health/russia-vaccine-sputnik-coronavirus-intl/index.html

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  33. Dumbo says:

    I’m not good at math, but help me here, it’s 95% so far based on the 95 or so people who got Covid symptoms afterwards. Out of 30,000 (15,000 with the vaccine and 15,000 the placebo).

    From those 95, 5 got Covid even with vaccination, and 90 got Covid from the group without vaccination. But 90 people seems a little sample to base that success rate, when so many more people were tested. Also, how do we know if more people in one group or the other got more exposure to the virus? Is there a way to test this, short of purposefully contaminating all the patients with Covid? But are they allowed to do that? What do “bioethicists” say?

    “The precise effectiveness of the vaccine may change when the full results are analysed”
    https://www.bbc.com/news/health-54902908
    https://www.bbc.com/news/health-54873105

    • Replies: @Lot
  34. Jack D says:

    This is very good news given the less rigorous storage requirements and the equal or greater effectiveness vs. the Pfizer vaccine.

    As Steve suggests, the Pfizer vaccine could be distributed to places equipped to handle it and given out on mass vaccination days in big cities and dense suburbs, etc. while the Moderna vaccine could be sent to more rural locations and given out 1 dose at a time at chain drugstores, etc. who already have ordinary freezers. Basically you would send the Pfizer vaccine to the blue counties and the Moderna to the red ones.

    TBH, the Pfizer requirements are not that rigorous – my local supermarket has a chest freezer from which they vend dry ice and Fedex and UPS move millions of packages every day. If Omaha Steaks can mail you frozen steaks on dry ice (and they can) then Pfizer can mail frozen vaccines. But New America is dysfunctional in many respects so I could see how the Pfizer vaccine would pose a challenge in some areas while the Moderna vaccine is less challenging.

    The big bottleneck will be manufacturing, especially if they would like to vaccinate the entire world population so having as many manufacturers as possible is a good thing. It’s good to have competition for many reasons. Salk and Sabin hated each other (the narcissism of small differences) and trash talked each other’s vaccines but the competition between them created a push that resulted in more people being inoculated than if there had only been 1 vaccine. If for some reason one of the vaccines turns out to have manufacturing problems or unexpected side effects develop later then losing that vaccine will not put us back at square 1.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  35. Mr. Anon says:

    (CNN)The Moderna vaccine is 94.5% effective against coronavirus, according to early data released Monday by the company, making it the second vaccine in the United States to have a stunningly high success rate….

    According to data released by RJ Reynolds, more doctors smoke Camels than any other brand.

    • LOL: vinteuil
    • Replies: @Adam Smith
  36. Jack D says:
    @candid_observer

    the study went out of its way to include representative samples from important subgroups, including the elderly, those with chronic conditions, and blacks.

    “Going out of its way” resulted in delays, which had the “beneficial” side effect of pushing the results past Election Day. Also by enrolling the “diverse” Moderna collected extra Wokemon points.

    OTOH, people are literally dying from Covid every day (regardless of what the “it’s just the flu” bros say). We are headed back toward 2,000 deaths/day. So if this virtuous PCness slowed down the trials by say two weeks, it may have cost up to 30,000 lives in the US alone. If Trump had acted in some political fashion that delayed the vaccine by 30,000 lives, people would be calling for a war crimes trial.

    • Replies: @Marat
  37. @Thoughts

    Same. I have 10 years before I’ll be remotely high risk. I’m probably healthier than 90 percent of the adults in my surrounding community. Give it to them first.

    I may be required to take it for work though, who knows.

  38. @AnotherDad

    Sidebar: Dr. Jill Biden is not a physician or a Ph.D. in any biological or scientific field; so, she may have special insight or expertise in vaccinology, but it doesn’t come from her doctoral training and experience. Per the wik:

    Biden later returned to school for her doctoral degree, studying under her birth name, Jill Jacobs.[35] In January 2007, at age 55, she received a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in educational leadership from the University of Delaware.[1][44][45][46] Her dissertation, Student Retention at the Community College: Meeting Students’ Needs, was published under the name Jill Jacobs-Biden.[45]

  39. syonredux says:

    Macron seems to be aware of the world’s most important graph…..

    If you take the Europe-Africa region, for every European country demographically disappearing, in the same period, one African country appears. We are witnessing a kind of acceleration in the twists of history

    https://www.rt.com/news/506820-macron-reforge-capitalism-inequality-france/

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
  40. Steve Sailer wrote

    They ought to do a “human challenge” trial on a Navy ship crewed solely by healthy 20-something volunteers: give everybody on board vaccines. Then after 28 days, inject half with the virus, and see how many of the other half get infected asymptotically. This would be a quite safe experimental design, with only one COVID case expected per every 20 infected, and those volunteers chosen for youth, vigor, and lack of risk factors.

    Right, exactly, a real scientific falsifiable experiment, not the Phase 3 bullshit that happens with vaccines. You could do a totally double blind placebo experiment in a rigidly controlled environment and get results fast.

    I always thought they should do this with prisoners, and commute parts or all of sentences for those who volunteer. And they’d be mostly black men with very low Vitamin D levels.

    Perfect subjects.

    But alas, as we hear over and over and OVER again about Emmet Till, so we hear OVER and OVER and OVER again about Tuskegee.

    Muh ethics!! Racis!!

    I have a dream, to quote the former pastor of Ebeneezer Baptist church.

    We bring back public hanging for certain offenses, like killing a 5 year old on a bicycle, we shoot looters and rioters, we don’t sanctify drugged up losers like George Floyd, and we do stuff that makes sense.

    I think I will have to continue to dream.

  41. Jack D says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    Lots of Phase 3 participants say set aside the day after the second dose because you’ll need it, but otherwise “man up,”

    Regardless of whether this is really true, it’s not helpful to spread this message. There is something called the “nocebo” effect – if you think something will give you adverse side effects, it will. A lot of people complain of adverse side effects from statins so they just did a study involving people who had gone off of them because of side effects. Half the time they got real statins and half the time they got placebos and when on the placebos they had 90% of the side effects that they had on the real drugs. And placebo/nocebo effects are “real” – you really do experience pain/headache/etc. that are indistinguishable from the real thing. So if you go around telling people “expect to get really sick from this vaccine” then they will, especially if they get paid sick days. Or some % of people who can’t afford to take a day off won’t get the vaccine. So this is not really a helpful message even if it was true (and based on the reporting, only a small % of recipients in fact have side effects severe enough to warrant staying home from work).

    Personally, I have hypnotized myself with the message , “I am the type of person who doesn’t experience side effects from medications.” And guess what, I rarely do.

    • Thanks: That Would Be Telling
  42. Question: last Spring as COVID worked its way through the US, initial speculation was that (as based on previous development of vaccines) it would take several years for medical science to complete and have ready a reliable vaccine vs the pandemic. Instead it took roughly 8-9 months for the US to have successfully completed an effective vaccine vs. the pandemic. Has modern medical science been able to have sped up its research since the turn of last century that a global pandemic can now be effectively contained in less than a year-to a year and a half, when previously these types of results would normally have taken nearly a full decade to achieve?

    What factors have contributed to a successful vaccine being created in relatively so short a time frame which would have been unthinkable even during last decade?

    • Replies: @Jack D
  43. Yet another vaporware announcement.

    Incidentally, the blogger’s hypothesis of a manner by which Pelosi could get elected POTUS is intrinsically flawed.

    #12 restricts the candidates, that the House may choose from, to the top-three EC vote-getters.

    I don’t see any scenario whereby Gerossi could garner even a single EC vote, much less amass enough to reach the top three.

  44. @Jack D

    Salk and Sabin hated each other (the narcissism of small differences) and trash talked each other’s vaccines….

    The differences might be greater than you think, but first note this is an almost entirely fecal-oral route disease. The Salk killed virus vaccine is in theory safer but requires more exacting manufacturing, with one very notable failure I mentioned above. Unlike the Saban it does not prevent you from getting a polio infection in your gut and spreading it to others.

    Whereas the Sabin attenuated virus vaccine is administered in sugar cubes or drops taken orally and is overall cheaper and easier without a sterile syringe and needle requirement if your transport and storage systems are up to snuff, live viruses being more delicate than “killed” ones. It provides much better immunity, and the viruses are excreted as normal (as I vaguely remember, I don’t trust Wikipedia’s current take on that), meaning you probably don’t have directly administer it to everyone in a neighborhood

    Of course it can give the real disease to vulnerable people, per Wikipedia 1 in 2.4 million. It has one major failing I mentioned above, pass the viruses through enough humans or have a Typhoid Mary situation and one or more strains regain their pathogenicity, “so-called circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV)” per Wikipedia. Starting in 2017 there have been lots more cases of cVDPV than wild type.

    Which you prefer comes down to the sorts of strategies we might be seeing as COVID-19 vaccination is rolled out world wide. For polio, you probably want to start out giving everyone you possibly can the Saban vaccine, that gets most of your population covered one way or another. Then you ideally switch to Salk style, but if you can’t get enough people that way or the other it gets complicated. See this section in Wikipedia’s polio eradication article, and note the chart on the lower right for known cVDPV vs. wild type cases.

    Dragging ourselves back to COVID-19, we don’t and probably won’t for some time know which if any of these vaccines prevent you from getting an asymptotic and infectious case like those who get the Salk style polio vaccine. Suppose one or more cheaper, more environmentally stable vaccines don’t provide mRNA levels of protection, but are preferred for a first pass in some of the 3rd World because of those former properties. There’s also one company trying for a single dose vaccine.

    Suppose the risk profiles of the non-mRNA vaccines are higher? The ones I know something about are probably inherently cheaper to manufacture, and certainly will be until maybe mRNA manufacturing gets up to speed. And of course some changes you might want to make in manufacturing will require at minimum regulatory approval, or might effectively be a new vaccine. Note also at a certain point it becomes unethical to try to test new vaccines when you have enough known good ones, you’re depending on the control arm to get a lot more COVID-19 cases to prove efficacy.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @candid_observer
    , @utu
  45. @That Would Be Telling

    It didn’t help that the monkeys used to incubate the virus had other infections which helped screw things up.

  46. Peterike says:

    94.5% ? Pretty soon we might have a vaccine as effective as Covid is INeffective at actually killing people.

  47. They ought to do a “human challenge” trial on a Navy ship crewed solely by healthy 20-something volunteers: give everybody on board vaccines. Then after 28 days, inject half with the virus, and see how many of the other half get infected asymptotically.

    Who in their right mind would volunteer for this? No way I’m taking this vaccine.

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
  48. Anon[423] • Disclaimer says:

    OT

    Remember Steve’s most notorious column, about Katrina?

    “What you won’t hear, except from me, is that ‘Let the good times roll’ is an especially risky message for African-Americans. The plain fact is that they tend to possess poorer native judgment than members of better-educated groups. Thus they need stricter moral guidance from society.”

    I have to admit, I’ve thought that Steve maybe went too far there. But I just finished the last chapter of Russell Warne’s In the Know: Debunking 35 Myths about Human Intelligence, “Myth 35: Everyone is About as Smart as I Am.”

    people have difficulty imagining what the thought process is like for someone whose IQ is more than about 10 or 15 points away from their own (Detterman, 2014). This causes problems when people at one IQ level make judgments of or recommendations to people whose IQ is very different from their own because people project their level of competence onto others. This is a special form of what is called the psychologist’s fallacy (a term first coined by James, 1890, p. 196), which is the tendency of a person to assume that others think and act more-or-less the way that they do. Ironically, highly intelligent people are one of the groups most susceptible to this blind spot in their thinking. Bright people tend to believe that everyone thinks and solves problems as well as they do, and this can have important consequences when high-IQ people deal with other segments of the population.

    He talks about Project 100,000, where soldiers with IQs as low as 71 were allowed to be sent to Vietnam (and concludes that, based on descriptions in a recent book about it, many had IQs as low as 60).

    In the medical setting:

    People with below-average intelligence often struggle to comply with their doctors’ orders for taking medication and engaging in self-care. Even basic tasks, like understanding a prescription label, are difficult for people with an IQ of 88 or lower (T. C. Davis, Meldrum, Tippy, Weiss, & Williams, 1996). More complex tasks, like managing diabetes, are nearly impossible for low-IQ people to perform correctly (Gottfredson, 2004).

    Note that more than half of African Americans have an IQ below 88.

    He says people associate with similarly smart people, and just cannot imagine that everyone isn’t basically like them.

    About the common solution for all ills of “Graduate from high school [or go to college], get a job, and get married before you have a baby,” he says …

    While these behaviors are characteristic of economically successful people (Murray, 2013), they are not as easy for people with low g as they are for average or highly intelligent people. For someone with low intelligence, high school graduation may be very difficult, and there may be few jobs available to them. Even preventing pregnancy is more difficult to low-g individuals because IQ is negatively correlated with impulsivity (Caspi et al., 2016). Preventing pregnancy requires planning, self-control, and understanding how one’s actions can have long-term consequences – things that do not come easily to people with low intelligence. None of this implies that people with low intelligence are morally deficient. Rather, my point is that these behaviors are not “simple for all people.” When high-IQ people preach about how easy it is to leave poverty by following a few life guidelines, they overestimate how feasible these behaviors are for some segments of the population.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @vinteuil
  49. Marat says:
    @Jack D

    Reminiscent of when, during the middle of Reagan’s Inauguration, all the news stations broke away to show the American hostages in Iran being released.

    Everyone knew Daddy Bush had pulled some strings (further embarrassing Carter for his disastrous rescue attempt) but no one said aloud what was painfully obvious because the greater good was accomplished.

  50. Jack D says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    We’re still at a point where we have zero vaccines that are approved so it’s too soon to think about the long run. Once the pandemic has been brought down to manageable levels then there will be time to compare the benefits and disadvantages of the different types of vaccines. It may be in the long run that the mRNA types that are first on the market will not be the best (although they look pretty damn good right now) or that some types will be more suited for Third World conditions and others better for Western countries, etc. But right now any (reasonably safe) vaccine is better than no vaccine.

  51. Mr. Anon says:

    OT – the latest front in WWT: ACLU lawyer working to ban Abigail Shreier’s book, Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. The lawyer in question is named – if you can believe this – Chase Strangio, some kind of genderfreak who looks like Charlie Chaplin.

    https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-ongoing-death-of-free-speech

  52. @That Would Be Telling

    Perhaps you can answer a question I have.

    Is there currently a virus which is never, or virtually never, contracted more than once, but is treated by a vaccine that must be used multiple times over many years?

    How safely can we conclude that if a Covid patient almost never recontracts the disease, then likewise someone receiving these vaccines will never contract it again?

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  53. @That Would Be Telling

    The flu is around 10-15% of the cases, and as you might know, the current vaccine state of the art for it is four strains (of two species, guessed 6 months in advance of flu season). Imagine what it would take to vaccinate for 200 strains of viruses, we need significantly new approaches, and given the severity of it, making an “eternal” flu vaccine is what I understand we’re focusing our efforts on.

    And mRNA vaccines are the way to do this.

    For both corona and rhino viruses, the key is finding the conserved protein structures from strain to strain, on the binding elements. Coronavirus spikes are a lot more “spikey” and as a such their protein conformations are more exposed. Rhinovirus spikes, on the other hand, are more akin to pimply bump like protrusions. and there’s a lot more density to the protein configuration, which makes it tough for antibodies to “get in there” and neutralize the binding properties.

    I think it will take quite a while to have an eternal flu vaccine across all rhinovirus species, but we may able to knock off big chunks of the 200 strains, especially the more virulent ones that exacerbate asthma and childhood flu.

    • Replies: @gent
  54. Anonymous[369] • Disclaimer says:
    @vhrm

    The Russian vaccine “Sputnik V” also seems to be in the same ballpark.

    But of course they’re evil, irresponsible, jumping the gun, and lying, not like OUR side of diligent, selfless, careful, and nice smelling pharma companies.

    None other than Unz Review’s own Anatoly Karlin was a guinea pig for this Sputnik V.

    While I’m no medical doctor I think some of the side effects of the Sputnik V vaccine might be dripping and snarky condescension.

    • LOL: utu
    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  55. Wake me when there’s a protein-based vaccine. This mRNA stuff is an entirely different animal. Hijacking one’s cellular machinery to produce virus proteins, which in turn activate an immune response, sounds a whole lot more risky than an ordinary vaccine. How long will one’s own cells continue to produce these proteins? Sounds like an invitation to an autoimmune disorder.

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

    A minor headache or some soreness in your arm for a couple of days is nothing compared to the risk of dying from Covid.

    The press release says that the “minor headache” and “some soreness in your arm” were rated as severe (grade 3) adverse effects, along with fatigue, joint and muscle pain, and affected 5% to 10% of those who took the second dose. The authors of the press release themselves do not use the word “minor”: only you do.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  57. gent says:
    @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia

    I’m not letting your consumer product alter my genome. Period. mRNA vaccines are not a good solution.

  58. Anonymous[270] • Disclaimer says:

    So, basically, Moderna, NIH and FDA colluded to not announce the results of the pre-planned analysis before Nov 03.

    Surprise!

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  59. @candid_observer

    Is there currently a virus which is never, or virtually never, contracted more than once, but is treated by a vaccine that must be used multiple times over many years?

    From looking at the CDC vaccine schedules, all of them required multiple inoculations, but not exactly “over many years” and not past childhood. At first glance you’d think the ones for chicken pox and shingles are an exception, but it’s too early to tell, it was approved by the FDA in 1995, so the oldest of them are only 25, very few will be getting shingles by then. However the herpes viruses are very sophisticated and very well adapted to humans, so I don’t think we’d be surprised if what you ask was required.

    Flu violates your first condition, that’s due to us including our bodies not being able to make an “eternal” immune response, be it to the Type A or B species, or any vaccine we’ve been able to come up with. But we’re working on it, although I assume quite a bit less while we have to entertain Corona-chan.

    The vaccines for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) do require regular booster shots, but those are against two bacteria and the toxin produced by tetanus that causes lockjaw. An ugly way to die, get a booster every 10 years, and if you get the right/wrong sort of injury, a booster if it’s been more than 5 years since your last.

    How safely can we conclude that if a Covid patient almost never recontracts the disease, then likewise someone receiving these vaccines will never contract it again?

    I would assume pretty safely, depending of course on the quality of the immune system response a vaccine induces. See the previous discussions on polio, the killed virus vaccine doesn’t stop you from getting infected, just from getting really sick if you do.

    But do we know this about SARS-CoV-2? At best I would imagine we can only make educated guesses. This is a new (sub-)class of viruses to receive intense attention only recently starting with SARS, and SARS died out, and MERS has not infected very many people, so until this years we’ve had very limited human data (but more with animal models). I’ve read we have serological evidence that indicates long lasting immunity from both Moderna’s vaccine and maybe Pfizer’s, or getting a bad enough case the adaptive immune system has to finish it off.

    That’s the “new” system that’s only 500,000 years old that uses antibodies, and it’s pretty wild. It includes “memory cells” that get primed by your initial case that set up the body to quickly produce a lot of antibodies in case of another infection. Pretty obviously, there wouldn’t be room left in your blood vessels for red blood cells if every infection you got left a full complement of antibodies ready to attack, I’ve read that initial host of “Death to SARS-CoV-2!!!” antibodies fades after around 2-3 months from the end of the infection.

    And there’s of course the issue of people’s immune systems fading as they get old; see the flu vaccines for them that have 4 times the antigens the rest of us get. But I believe that’s a different sort of thing, a general, not associated with any particular pathogen loss of immune system competence. And I don’t know how much it applies to their memory cells and the rest of that system, flu vaccines are of course trying to prime your body for what counts to it as an infection from a mostly novel virus.

    • Replies: @gcochran
  60. Anonymous[264] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    People with below-average intelligence often struggle to comply with their doctors’ orders for taking medication and engaging in self-care. Even basic tasks, like understanding a prescription label, are difficult for people with an IQ of 88 or lower.

    I’m not surprised at this at all. I’m pretty smart, and I’ve found it challenging to accurately follow doctor’s orders on different occasions. I’ve had to follow very complicated medicine schedules for two of my dogs at various times over the years. To successfully do so, I had to create charts to make sure I was giving them the correct medicine, in the correct dosage, at the correct times. After my son had his tonsils and adenoids removed, carefully following all of the post-operative directions to reduce the chance of any complications kept me on my toes and involved reviewing the directions numerous times and keeping careful track of how much and how often he drank, ate, and took pain medicine.

  61. epebble says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    No; Foreign policy is mostly pragmatic. There are examples where we worked with supposed adversary when it was essential. FDR and Churchill co-operated with Stalin during WW2. George W Bush removed all sanctions on Pakistan (for making nukes) and poured billions of $ for access to Afghanistan for war. NASA found a need to use Russian rocket launches to access ISS and worked out a deal. In fact, our Spy satellites are launched with Rockets that use Russian engines that were created to make missiles to blow up U.S.A.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/space/why-does-u-s-use-russian-rockets-launch-its-satellites-n588526

    https://www.vox.com/2014/5/5/5674744/how-nasa-became-utterly-dependent-on-russia-for-space-travel

  62. So the plan is to give an experimental vaccine to hundreds of millions of people (eventually billions) in the course of few months based upon a study involving 95 people with virtually no knowledge of the long term effects? Checks out.

    On the plus side, we now have implemented a global system of biometric monitoring of all humans.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  63. Jack D says:
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    They were able to decode the complete genome of the virus in only a few weeks, which would have been impossible in the past.

    Based upon knowing the code for the RNA which codes for the formation of the spike protein, they were able to make a vaccine based upon synthetic messenger RNA, another new technology. When they inject you with mRNA, some of your cells go to work making the spike protein (which is not the complete virus – the spike protein alone doesn’t make you sick) and then your body’s immune system detects the spike protein as something that is not supposed to be there and it goes to work making antibodies for the spike protein. Later, when some real Covid enters your body, your immune system is already primed to attack the spike proteins (which are what the Coronavirus uses to get inside your cells) immediately so the Covid is destroyed before it can multiply and make you sick.

    • Thanks: Thoughts
  64. Anon[240] • Disclaimer says:

    This news will come as a big relief to Taiwan, with its tragic 553 cases and 7 deaths. No locally transmitted new cases since April, but you never know when there might be one.

    • Agree: utu
  65. Jack D says:
    @Clifford Brown

    The study involved thousands of people. Out of the thousands who received the vaccine (and few of those thousands had any side effects and none any serious ones) or the placebo so far 95 have gotten covid and 95% of those who got covid received the placebo and not the real vaccine.

    We now have implemented a global system of biometric monitoring of all humans.

    I have no idea of what that means. What does being vaccinated have to do with biometric monitoring? Unless you are nuts you have already been vaccinated for many different diseases. I just got a flu vaccine the other day, as I do every year. How is this any different?

    • Replies: @adreadline
    , @Adam Smith
  66. OFF TOPIC: The post-Floyd world marches on …

    A break in the missing-person case came only when investigators discovered human remains among the rubble of Max It Pawn, at 2726 E. Lake St., on July 20 — nearly two months after the building was torched during riots following Floyd’s death in police custody.

    Riots?!? Somebody (who probably thinks they are white) at the Minnedishu Crescent-Tribune needs re-educating good and hard.

    Next, the women tracked down NBC News helicopter footage that proved the car was already parked at the scene when the building went up in flames.

    Stewart frequented pawnshops, relatives said, mostly to buy and sell electronics. In fact, family members learned that a $27 charge at a pawnshop was among his final purchases on the day he disappeared; however, the bank statement did not say which location.

    They had a gut feeling he was trapped inside Max It Pawn and demanded that authorities search the wreckage again.

    Undocumented shopping during civil unrest isn’t easy, but you do get some really good bargains. Not sure about his Cromartie Score but he did have five kids.

    • Thanks: Lot
  67. @Jack D

    So are these new technologies you cite — these new methods that jump-started the quest for a COVID vaccine — also being used to create vaccines for other stubborn and serious diseases, or are they just very COVID-specific, at least at this point?

    • Replies: @Jack D
  68. Thoughts says:
    @Jack D

    So if the cells are making a protein…a protein that is not normally made by the Human…but it supposedly safe and nonharmful

    What about this….

    “A large number of neurodegenerative diseases in humans result from protein misfolding and aggregation. Protein misfolding is believed to be the primary cause of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, cystic fibrosis, Gaucher’s disease and many other degenerative and neurodegenerative disorders.”

    And this…

    “Protein misfolding and aggregation is the common cause and pathological mechanism of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), PD, and Huntington’s disease (HD). ”

    Having cells make a Protein that isn’t harmful the humans sounds Super Cool and Super Innovative…until you stop the think that A lot of Disease are Caused by Mis-Made Proteins

    Furthermore, disease caused by Protein misfolding sound Especially Awful

    Discuss

    • Replies: @Thoughts
    , @hhsiii
  69. bjondo says:

    How to take seriously a vaxine for Phony Balony Corony.
    Let me count the ways: ———.

    OK, now let’s consider which of two lies is true.

    Since I have only one comment per 24 hrs or so, let me add:

    Queen’s Gambit somewhat woke:

    homosexuals, lesbian encounter, wonderful Jews,
    Christians ridiculed, black heroine saves the day.

    ————————————————————————

    Trump won by huge margin. In case corruption
    overcomes, Trump should rename WH to, “Trump Plaza”.

    Biden can move into a hospice.
    Will be short term.

  70. @Macumazahn

    Wake me when there’s a protein-based vaccine. This mRNA stuff is an entirely different animal. Hijacking one’s cellular machinery to produce virus proteins, which in turn activate an immune response, sounds a whole lot more risky than an ordinary vaccine.

    How strong and through an immune system response do you want against something this lethal? Do you worry about the measles, mumps, rotavirus, rubella (German measels), and early in life chicken pox vaccines? They’re “ordinary” and are all live virus ones, doing a great deal more to the innocent cells they hijack than these very limited, very precise mRNA vaccines.

    How long will one’s own cells continue to produce these proteins? Sounds like an invitation to an autoimmune disorder.

    Only until your body produces an adaptive immune system response, upon which they get terminated with extreme prejudice.

  71. Jack D says:
    @adreadline

    It also says, “These solicited adverse events were generally short-lived.”

    Translating this into English, most people will have little or no side effects. 1 out of 10 or 20 will feel kinda rotten for a day or two – the proverbial “flu like symptoms” (not the respiratory or digestive ones) – they will feel achy and tired and have a headache. Probably taking a pain reliever ( some Tylenol or Motrin) will alleviate these symptoms greatly. If not, they will go away in a day or two anyway.

    In exchange for the possibility of having 1 rotten day, you will (with 95% certainty) become immune from a disease that might kill you or leave you with lingering after effects (or even it it doesn’t, you might spread it to your grandma or your co-workers or your customers and kill one of them). This is a deal that I am very willing to take but YMMV.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  72. @gent

    I’m not letting your consumer product alter my genome. Period. mRNA vaccines are not a good solution.

    Just how is mRNA going to alter your DNA without reverse transcriptase (RT) being slipped into the vaccine?? Even then, the adaptive immune system response will kill these cells with extreme prejudice. I think you’re saying you’ll only accept a protein or killed virus vaccine, looks like that’ll limit you to PRC or Russian vaccines. The much later in the process Western ones that fit your criteria are so late they probably can’t be ethically Phase 3 tested.

    Quick primer: DNA -> mRNA -> proteins, you need hacks like RT if you want to go in the opposite direction. As we do for the gold standard RT-PCR test, it first uses RT to covert the sample RNA into DNA, that’s much more robust and we have much better tooling for it, including of course PCR amplification.

    • Agree: Jack D
    • Replies: @anon
  73. @Jack D

    Now substitute the word COVID for the word Cancer—given time, can medical science decode the genome for a disease like cancer? And then replicate the results, as in, finding the cure? If yes, then that’s the best news of the new century.

  74. ltravail says:

    In Moderna’s trial, 15,000 study participants were given a placebo…90 of them developed Covid-19, with 11 developing severe forms of the disease…Another 15,000 participants were given the vaccine, and only five of them developed Covid-19. None of the five became severely ill.

    Per the NFLPA, from Aug 1 – Oct 17, 47 NFL players and 71 other personnel were confirmed positive cases…from more than 450,000 tests administered…NONE have been reported to have become severely ill.

    So remind me again what the hell this vaccine is for, if of the 128 NFL players and staff allegedly testing “positive” virtually all were “asymptomatic” or did not require hospitalization, or even bed rest?

    In the Moderna (and Pfizer) test, were the 30,000 participants (15k for the placebo, 15k for the trial vaccine) deliberately exposed to the virus under controlled laboratory conditions to test for transmission rates and vaccine effectiveness? Could they quantify and distinguish between virus loads in individual test subjects who tested “positive” and those who became “severely ill”?

    I’m sure any reasonable person can calculate the bullshit load in all this far better than the pharmas are able to measure covid virus loads…

    • Agree: Je Suis Omar Mateen
  75. @Jack D

    Out of the thousands who received the vaccine (and few of those thousands had any side effects and none any serious ones)

    Again, the press release says that 5%-10% (presumably roughly 750 to 1,500 of the 15,000 subjects) of those who received the second dose of the vaccine had side effects judged severe, although they were “generally short-lived”. Logically, more of them might have had only “mild to moderate” side effects, so you’re not being accurate when saying “few of them had any side effects”, unless you have information I don’t know of not present in that press release as it is right now.

  76. Anon[120] • Disclaimer says:

    Article about a huge drop in Covid testing this month, along with a huge increase in cases. This looks very fishy. Looks like propaganda, in fact. The two should not be diverging like this.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/there-has-been-sudden-huge-drop-covid-testing-us

  77. @Mr. Anon

    I luv old advertisements…

    • LOL: northeast
    • Replies: @Sam Malone
  78. Anonymous[297] • Disclaimer says:

    What happens if this thing mutates?

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  79. It is depressing that people believe this drivel.

  80. JimB says:

    Whether that would have switched 1 out of 200 voters from voting for Biden to voting for Trump in the 3 states with less of a margin for Biden than 1.0%, which would have led to a 269-269 Electoral College tie and probably a Trump victory in the House voting as state delegations (or perhaps a breakdown in the process with Nancy Pelosi becoming President), is interesting to speculate upon.

    All the vote switching happened after hours. I don’t think earlier release of the Pfizer vaccine results could have affected the outcome of the election, only the size of Biden’s fake winning margin.

  81. Has anyone else here ever seen “Jack D” and “That Would Be Telling” together? Maybe at a pharmaceutical trade show?

  82. Lot says:
    @Dumbo

    The math isn’t hard. It reduced the chances of infection from 1 in 157 to 1 in 3000. Or reduced expected cases in the vaccination group from 95 to 5, a reduction of about 95%.

    “But 90 people seems a little sample to base that success rate”

    It’s a question of precision and size of confidence intervals, but if the study was conducted properly, it is more than large enough to conclude it is more than 90% effective.

    • Replies: @Dumbo
  83. Jack D says:
    @gent

    It doesn’t “alter your genome”. It doesn’t allow the government to track you. It won’t turn you into a Communist or a zombie. I understand that people are naturally suspicious of anything new, especially something that gets injected into your body, but get over it. It’s just a jab. Unless you are insane, you already have received a bunch of vaccinations in your life. Some of them even contained live (if attenuated) viruses that are potentially a lot more dangerous than mRNA vaccines.

    Pretty soon we will be reading stories about gents who adamantly refused to get the vaccine and then they got Covid and died. But maybe if they are lucky, before they died they infected half their loved ones and some of them died too. Don’t let that be you.

  84. ‘…Whether that would have switched 1 out of 200 voters from voting for Biden to voting for Trump in the 3 states with less of a margin for Biden than 1.0%…’

    Whether that would have changed the margin at all is quite unknowable.

  85. @slumber_j

    So these two messenger RNA vaccines reduce susceptibility to getting COVID by over 90%.

    Let’s review the math here. If you take the vaccine, your odds of being infected by the virus decrease by 90%. That sounds good. But 99.90% of people who catch the virus survive anyway. Therefore, the “miracle” vaccine is only increasing the survival rate by about .09% (i.e., from 99.90% to 99.99%).

    And that is before considering deaths that will result from vaccine side effects. The net effect on mortality rates from the vaccine seems like it will be miniscule at best, and might even be negative.

  86. BB753 says:

    Steve, do you really trust big pharma’s own data? I don’t. And how did they come up with a vaccine for a virus that’s not being isolated yet, according to the CDC? It’s guesswork, at best.

  87. What seems to be missing here is details on how the test subjects were exposed to COVID. To make the bold assertion of efficacy, they have to do a lot more than just jab 30k people and see how they fare in the wild.

    You would almost certainly need a human challenge trial to state a 95% efficacy with a meaningful confidence interval around a meaningful confidence level. Have they decided it is ethical to do that with COVID yet, or are they content to just throw shit up against the wall and see what sticks with us plebs?

  88. @That Would Be Telling

    coronaviruses are unique among RNA viruses in having a proofreading mechanism which really cuts down on their mutation rates

    Very interesting. I had been wondering why the ‘rona wasn’t mutating into something more benign like the usual influenza epidemic does.

    On the other hand, if coronaviruses are less likely to mutate, I suppose that increases the odds that covid-19 was engineered rather than arising through natural mutation. But I’ll save that rabbit hole for some other time.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  89. @Hypnotoad666

    @slumber_j

    So these two messenger RNA vaccines reduce susceptibility to getting COVID by over 90%.

    Let’s review the math here. If you take the vaccine, your odds of being infected by the virus decrease by 90%. That sounds good. But 99.90% of people who catch the virus survive anyway.

    Ignoring that your math is bogus because you’re ignoring the “over 90%” bit, and that the endpoints are symptomatic COVID-19 or not, is morbidity chicken feed? Surviving is not the only relevant endpoint for getting the wild type virus; what have people been learning about long term effects? All I know is they’re all over the body, some are very bad, and perhaps up to 20% of men report testes pain, and in investigating that some cases are long lasting there.

    Therefore, the “miracle” vaccine is only increasing the survival rate by about .09% (i.e., from 99.90% to 99.99%).

    And that is before considering deaths that will result from vaccine side effects….

    Your willingness to write off the nation’s most vulnerable is duly noted. But why borrow trouble WRT to side effects, especially if you’re not even going to be eligible for a vaccine for months? There absolutely will be some, that’s the way things go with human immune systems, but one good theoretical thing about these two mRNA vaccines is that they very closely mimic the real virus. So we have reasons to believe their side effect profile will be favorable compared to getting the real thing, which of course has to be determined in practice, one day of new history a day.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
  90. @Hypnotoad666

    The math is different if you’re in a high risk group.

    I haven’t checked the latest figures for those over 75, but they may approach 5% mortality. That is not a trivial number. Taking this vaccine may reduce that number to 0.5%, perhaps lower. That’s a very big deal.

    On the other hand, it’s not a big deal for, say, those under 40 without relevant chronic conditions. But it’s also true, no doubt, that they are far less likely to experience bad side effects from the vaccine.

  91. @Wake up

    https://atlantablackstar.com/2020/03/30/meet-the-black-female-scientist-paving-the-way-in-race-to-develop-covid-19-vaccine/

    The media has been playing up this narrative although I think a bit misleadingly. Looking at her authorship contributions it seems as if she is a large contributor but not really leader on either of the COVID papers she has authored (not first author or last author).

  92. utu says:

    Out of 15,000 unvaccinated 90 developed Covid-19 over several month (2-3 months?). This is 0.6% infections rate over several months within a population that presumably was thoroughly tested.

    Between Jul 1 and Oct 1 (3 months) there were 4.7 million of new cases (worldometers.info) which is about 1.4% of US population. It is believed that “the new cases” figure reported by CDC or worldometers.info severely underestimates the the number of infected (*). Why the infection rate among the volunteers for the vaccine testing is significantly smaller than among the general population?

    (*) Between Jul 1 and Oct 1 there were 84,000 deaths. If IFR=1% this means 8.4 million of infections; if IFR=0.5% this means 16 million injections and if IF<0.25% as "It's just a flu" people believe it is over 32 million of infections.

    The infection rate among the general population is at least 4 times higher than among the volunteers of the study if the study ended on October 1. If it ended later then even larger discrepancy is to be expected.

    • Replies: @415 reasons
    , @Steve Sailer
  93. Will they have to do the fine-print disclaimer like the TV ad for every other Big Pharma product? “May cause psoriasis, vomiting, restless leg syndrome, homicidal thoughts …”

  94. @gent

    I think you have a misunderstanding of the genomic system and specifically how mRNA works.

    In your normal cell operations the DNA produces the messenger RNA which codes for a specific protein sequence. It’s effectively a piece of computer code which will tell the cell how to make specific protein.

    The mRNA exists the nucleus and into the cytoplasm, where it is taken up by a ribosome — of which there are many many in each cell — and the ribosome “reads” the mRNA and assembles the assigned protein.

    That’s what will happen with the mRNA vaccine — the mRNA in the vaccine will prompt ribosomes to create the conserved protein spike, and just the spike. Your DNA is NOT affected — the process is totally separate.

    Both the mRNA and the protein spikes created will ultimately degrade in your system, but not before this “manufactured” spike protein gets recognized by the lymphatic system, and triggers the immune system to create antibodies and, hopefully, memory T cells.

    The main risk is that the presence of this foreign spike in your system will generate an excessive inflammatory response, but that risk is very low, and any inflammatory response will fade away. You have all kinds on non-human stuff floating in your system at every moment and you’re mostly fine .

    Watch below to see how mRNA works.

    By the way, all the most recent computer graphics about the protein making aspects of cellular process show dramatically that our cells and proteins are machines. They make stuff, and they do stuff.

  95. @Anonymous

    That’s less obvious than with Pfizer. Moderna got off to a later start than Pfizer and were never talking about an October announcement like Pfizer had been. I haven’t looked at their protocol, but I think their first interim analysis was planned for 53 or something like that rather than Pfizer’s 32. And cases have been pouring in over the last two weeks due to the third wave, so it’s pretty plausible they never could have made a November 2 announcement date.

    • Replies: @Lot
  96. @utu

    My guess is that Phase III trial participants are self selected for people who care a lot about not getting COVID and therefore more careful than the average person.

    • Replies: @utu
  97. @Hypnotoad666

    Very interesting. I had been wondering why the ‘rona wasn’t mutating into something more benign like the usual influenza epidemic does.

    Indeed, but one reason for it not yet developing a prevalent mutation in the population of circulating viruses is that it’s still attacking an almost entirely naive population. There’s no particular selection pressures on it yet, not a great advantage to be gained by something that transmits it only somewhat more effectively.

    Influenza is also wild in that its RNA is segmented, so a dual infection in say a pig or a human with both a pig and human flu results in hybridization, which can get you a strain that’s both zoonotic and more lethal to humans or pigs, but I suspect mostly because that part is novel to them, while part of it is well adapted to pigs or humans. So don’t sneeze on your pigs, birds, etc.!

    Note this is also how seed strains are created for old fashioned egg membrane vaccine production, and that doesn’t tend to work well or quickly for bird flu strains for the obvious reason. Thankfully “big pharma” wasn’t able to convince the FDA that the Protein Sciences splice the code for the H protien into bug cells and run them in a bioreactor approach was gratuitous. And I note after getting bought by one of those big companies, they got their production large enough to supply all of Walmart’s requirements for the 2019-2020 flu season, I found it as tolerable as the Original Formula.

    On the other hand, if coronaviruses are less likely to mutate, I suppose that increases the odds that covid-19 was engineered rather than arising through natural mutation. But I’ll save that rabbit hole for some other time.

    There’s one semi-innocent “engineering” scenario, unintended serial forcing through a number of pangolins captured in SE Asia as they were kept in cramped quarters while being moved to the PRC and stored there for a while. It’s possible.

  98. @That Would Be Telling

    Surviving is not the only relevant endpoint for getting the wild type virus; what have people been learning about long term effects? All I know is they’re all over the body, some are very bad, and perhaps up to 20% of men report testes pain, and in investigating that some cases are long lasting there.

    All the stuff on “long term effects” is anecdotal speculation with no real data.

    Your willingness to write off the nation’s most vulnerable is duly noted.

    Who says I am writing them off? Indeed, the individuals currently tallied as covid victims (e.g., nursing home patients, hospice patients, people with heart disease and cancer) are so vulnerable that the vaccine is probably as likely to push them over the edge as a virus infection. We’ll see.

    At least if the vulnerable are killed by the vaccine instead of the virus we won’t have to shut down the rest of society on the theory that it is necessary to keep the virus from getting to the few people who are actually at risk.

    • Replies: @candid_observer
  99. Bill H says:

    “Another 15,000 participants were given the vaccine, and only five of them developed Covid-19. None of the five became severely ill.”

    Given the lack of context, that could be very unimpressive. How many were exposed to the virus? What was the nature of the group, compared to the general population? Age groups? Heatth status?

  100. utu says:

    Whether that would have switched 1 out of 200 voters from voting for Biden to voting for Trump in the 3 states with less of a margin for Biden than 1.0%, […] is interesting to speculate upon.

    No it is not interesting at all. What is interesting is ballot harvesting (some of it borderline illegal) advantage and a possible vote switching by DNC machine. What is interesting is why polls (*) showed 5 to 10 times higher Biden advantage in the swing states than the election results. What is interesting is to speculate how the false polls helped to demotivate Trump voters and helped to motivate DNC machine’s election workers who made the swing state swing in their direction.

    PA +5%. vs. 1%
    MI +8.6%. vs. 2.7%
    WI +7.4% vs. 0.7%

    (*) Nov 3, The Guardian, US polls tracker
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/03/us-election-polls-tracker-who-is-leading-in-swing-states-trump-or-biden

  101. @candid_observer

    Also this will bring us well over herd immunity. So the most at risk can basically get vaccinated, stay secluded for another six months, then re-emerge into a world where they most likely won’t get COVID even if they’re exposed, and where the prevalence is super low anyways and their odds of being exposed in the first place are therefore quite low as well.

  102. @Adam Smith

    @Jack D

    Please quarantine yourself for at least a month Mr. D.

    [A statistically significant correlational of 6.3 times fine aerosol (i.e. bad news) viral shedding (I think doubled checked with culturing, vs. just RT-PCR, they did a lot of that with speaks well of their work) of those with symptomatic flu who’d taken both that year’s and the previous year’s flu vaccine. Not statistically significant if only that year’s vaccine, all I believe self-reported.]

    Please stay home so you don’t spread the flu.

    Well, ignoring asymptotic cases of the flu (which we shouldn’t), first the vaccination has to fail for the current year. They’re not super confident of their results, i.e. to call for policy changes without replication of their experiment, but it’s a very interesting datum, and one can as they have imagine mechanisms for it.

    Trying to read more into their thoughts, the prior vaccines might result in an noticeable but inadequate immune system response. Perhaps due to a partial but limited match with the strain that got them? Or are flu vaccines known to often give iffy protection even with a good match?? Note also that those who got the vaccines are a self-selected population.

    And of course flu is the only thing we regularly take vaccinations for, since neither our bodies or science can provoke an “eternal” immunity. Unlike all other common anti-viral vaccinations where you take it 2 or more times and you’re done.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  103. El Dato says:

    OT:

    ‘Founding principles HAVE BEEN LOST’: Macron blasts US media for legitimizing Islamist violence after wave of terror attacks

    “When I see, in that context, several newspapers which I believe are from countries that share our values – journalists who write in a country that is the heir to the Enlightenment and the French Revolution – when I see them legitimizing this violence and saying that the heart of the problem is that France is racist and Islamophobic, then I say the founding principles have been lost,”

    Of course the NYT will have nothing of that, as free beheadings of white people are an expression of legitimate discontent and shall not be suppressed.

    But French complaints go beyond those opinion articles and to careful journalism that questions government policy. A skeptical Washington Post analysis from its Paris correspondent, James McAuley, “Instead of fighting systemic racism, France wants to ‘reform Islam,’” drew heated objections for its raised eyebrow at the idea that “instead of addressing the alienation of French Muslims,” the French government “aims to influence the practice of a 1,400-year-old faith.” The New York Times drew a contrast between Mr. Macron’s ideological response and the Austrian chancellor’s more “conciliatory” address after a terror attack, and noted that the isolated young men carrying out attacks don’t neatly fit into the government’s focus on extremist networks. In the Times opinion pages, an op-ed asked bluntly, “Is France Fueling Muslim Terrorism by Trying to Prevent It?”

    Should Macron order that a visit be paid to NYT tower? Discuss!

    “Les ordres, c’est les ordres”

  104. @Hypnotoad666

    From the article Steve linked to:

    The COVE study includes more than 7,000 Americans over the age of 65. It also includes more than 5,000 Americans who are under the age of 65 but have high-risk chronic diseases that put them at increased risk of severe COVID-19, such as diabetes, severe obesity and cardiac disease. These medically high-risk groups represent 42% of the total participants in the Phase 3 COVE study.

    Half of these high risk groups — 6300 in total — got the vaccine. Not a single one of them has yet developed a serious reaction to the vaccine, much less have died from it. That’s some pretty decent evidence that the vaccine will be well tolerated even in high risk groups.

    • Replies: @Travis
  105. @candid_observer

    Did they bother to test it on those over 70?

    Also, if we reach herd immunity before they roll it out on a wide scale that another couple of billion down the drain.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  106. @syonredux

    Macron seems to be aware of the world’s most important graph…..

    Maybe because he–in the prime of life and surrounded by beautiful French girls–is childless, married to a grandma 25 years his senior.

    (Note, a very attractive grandma–who from the tree planting pics, admires Trump’s shaft–but seriously she’s even got a few years on me. And there’s no making up for youth and fertility.)

    Macron would be darn near the personification of what’s wrong with Europe … except that Merkel exists.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  107. @Peripatetic Commenter

    The alternative is multiple trillions down the drain.

    Yes, about 22% of the volunteers were over 65.

  108. HA says:
    @theMann

    “Done feeding any of you information on the vaccines.”

    You mean like that comment just two months ago where you claimed:

    No chemical structure, no “map” of the Virus.–it doesn’t exist.

    when in fact the virus was sequenced back in January? That same comment in which you told us the vaccine would turn us into “dog-boy and pig-girl”? (Because, of course, it’s inevitably the girl who gets turned into a pig — I guess that just goes without saying, eh?)

    Yeah, thanks so much for agreeing not to feed us any more of that so-called “information”. Long overdue, I’d say. By the way, how’s that militia thing going? Still trying to shame us all into joining up?

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  109. Lot says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    “ But 99.90% of people who catch the virus survive anyway.”

    The raw numbers in US are 245k deaths and 11m cases, for a 2.2% death rate, not 0.1%.

    Perhaps the 2.2% is overstated, but unlikely by a factor of 22.

    This source shows a lot of national estimates that center around 2%.

    https://ourworldindata.org/mortality-risk-covid

  110. Jack D says:
    @Known Fact

    No they are not Covid specific but the fact that Covid depends on a particular spike protein seems to make it especially easy to vaccinate against using mRNA. Other diseases (e.g. the common cold or the flu) may not be as easy to defeat.

  111. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Now substitute the word COVID for the word Cancer—given time, can medical science decode the genome for a disease like cancer?

    Search terms: “cancer” “dna” “test”

    3rd result:
    https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/types/precision-medicine/tumor-dna-sequencing

    Cancer is a genetic disease—that is, it is caused by changes in DNA that control the way cells function, especially how they grow and divide. These changes can be inherited, but most arise randomly during a person’s lifetime, either as a result of errors that occur as cells divide or from exposure to DNA-damaging carcinogens.

    Each person’s cancer has a unique combination of genetic changes, and tumor DNA sequencing—sometimes called genetic profiling or genetic testing—is a test to identify these unique DNA changes.

    You’re welcome. Please learn to use duckduckgo. Thanks.

  112. Jack D says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    I really don’t see anyone nowadays except my immediate family and they have all had the flu vaccine too.

  113. @HA

    ‘…Yeah, thanks so much for agreeing not to feed us any more of that so-called “information”. Long overdue, I’d say. By the way, how’s that militia thing going? Still trying to shame us all into joining up?’

    The FBI only pays upon delivery.

  114. Lot says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Moderna put out a lot of optimistic PR the past 6 months, and was attacked because their executives were selling a lot of stock as the price went way up.

    Typical of many articles:

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/22/investing/moderna-coronavirus-vaccine-stock-sales/index.html

    They did sell a ton of stock in a short period. Perhaps they did so because they had a lot of faith in both their vaccine and competing vaccines, so not much expected future profit.

  115. vinteuil says:
    @Anon

    Remember Steve’s most notorious column, about Katrina?

    Wow, do I ever.

    At the time, my immediate response was: why “better educated” instead of “more intelligent?”

    Why not:

    “The plain fact is that they tend to possess poorer native judgment than members of more intelligent groups. Thus they need stricter moral guidance from society.”

    I mean, one might as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb.

  116. Jack D says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Remember that lots of tax revenue depends on sales or income or property value. Whole industries have had their sales or profits driven almost to nothing – airlines, movie theaters, amusement parks, sit down restaurants, etc. If you own a big office building or a mall you have grounds to appeal your property taxes. Covid is costing governments at all level bigtime in revenue.

    • Replies: @Known Fact
  117. utu says:
    @415 reasons

    Good point. We could conclude that adhering to social distancing rule and masking can reduce infection rate by factor of 5 or even 10. Reducing R0 by that much, if everybody cared a lot for not getting COVID, is enough to stop the epidemic w/o a vaccine. Now we can see how the CDC director, the same CDC that dismisses masks in February, became a new born believer in the universal masking in September:

    “CDC director Robert Redfield said face masks may be more effective than a vaccine in preventing individual coronavirus infections”
    https://www.businessinsider.com/cdc-director-masks-better-than-vaccines-at-stopping-coronavirus-2020-9

    New Zealand, Taiwan, Japan, S. Korea did not need vaccine to accomplish what we are dreaming of accomplishing next year with the vaccine. Anti-masking and ant-lockdown crowd and “this is just a flu” crowd including the anti-vaxxers crowd from the day one were doing exactly what the Big Pharma wanted them to do.

  118. @Thoughts

    The Ministry of Truth’s propaganda vaccine for infection by clear thinking is 100% effective against resistance to tyranny.

  119. Thoughts says:
    @Thoughts

    I really think I’m onto something with comment #69

    mRNA vaccines strike me as rife for…the real effects won’t be felt for 20-40 years…

    Proteins do cause disease, and the worst possible diseases we have, the most insidious and cruel

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

    In 1955 Ochsner assured a group of physicians at Tulane Medical School that the Salk vaccine was safe. Ochsner said he wouldn’t ask them to support something he wasn’t willing to use on his own family and that he was going to give his two grandchildren the Salk vaccine right there in front of them. Which he did. A few days later, his 30-month-old grandson was dead; and his granddaughter had polio. An attending physician to the grandson also contracted polio and was crippled.

    The was Salk vaccine presumably based on dead virus (unlike Koprowski’s and Sabin’s vaccines that were based on live attenuated virus) but Salk vaccine produced by Cutter Laboratories that administers their Salk vaccine to 200,000 subjects resulted in 40,000 cases of polio must have been contaminated with live unattenuated virus.

    This was fixed and Salk vaccine turned out to be safer than Koprowski’s and Sabin’s life attenuated virus vaccines which were more effective but more dangerous. The inoculated subjects sometimes infected the not inoculated that developed the full blow polio cases as well as some inoculated. I do not know Russia’s statists that usesd Sabin’s vaccine and how many Sabin’s vaccine killed in the USSR but in Poland initially similar Koprowski vaccine in late 1950’s was discontinued and replaced with safer Salk vaccine in early 1960s. But in 1968 it was decided to use Sabin’s type vaccine to inoculate against the virus type 3 as apparently Salk vaccine did not produce enough antibodies for the type 3 virus. That inoculation resulted in 500 case of polio in 1968.

    It is interesting that Koprowski and Sabin became vaccine gurus in the Soviet Block while Salk became an American hero and savior. Both vaccines had their drawbacks and advantages. Koprowski and Sabin vaccines had a potential of transmitting immunity to offspring while Salk vaccine effectiveness was more time limited so it required booster doses (good for Big Pharma) but it was safer as the initial tragic mishaps with Cutter Laboratories due to poor technology were fixed. However later it was discovered that Salk vaccine was contaminated with simian SV40 virus and it is speculate with some support from associative studies that it could play a role in developement of some cancers in the late stage of life.

    Koprowski, Sabin and Salk were Jewish. The first two were born in Poland. Koprowski got MD degree in Warsaw before WWII. There was a lot of bad blood between Sabin and Salk. Salk seemed to posses more Jewish chutzpah than the other two. This may explain why Koprowski and Sabin had to try their luck in the Soviet Block

  121. @utu

    Presumably, volunteers are pretty interested in health matters. And the placebo people probably had a good clue they didn’t get the real vaccine because of a lack of reactions. So, the placebo people may have been extra cautious compared to the people who got a sore arm from the vaccine, which might suggest effectiveness is even higher than 94.5%.

    • Replies: @Lot
    , @415 reasons
  122. @candid_observer

    A big question is how much does the vaccine reduce infectiousness? E.g., when college students get infected but don’t suffer much, do they still pass it on to their grandparents and the like?

    Will the vaccines reduce infectiousness as well as illness?

    • Replies: @candid_observer
  123. @utu

    New Zealand, Taiwan, Japan, S. Korea

    Can anyone point out what all four of these nations have in common?

    They’re all actual or virtual islands, South Korea of course having about the hardest and nastiest border with their neighbor, one reason we haven’t signed a treaty outlawing mines.

    That said, the CDC has shown the competence in infectious disease control we’ve come to expect from our public health community for whom the topic is unfashionable, it’s much more important to ban Big Gulps and guns. One really notable difference between South Korea in particular from what I remember and the US is testing, the CDC probably through incompetence and the FDA probably through enemy together managed to limit testing through February 28th to 4,000 people, by which time it was way too late to try fine grained control of COVID-19 spread.

    As for non-N95 grade masks, is there any evidence they control the spread? There’s one hypothesis out there that they make it worse, by converting large droplets stuck in the mask into much more dangerous aerosols.

    • Replies: @HA
    , @utu
    , @415 reasons
  124. @Anonymous

    Nah, that’s a preexisting condition.

  125. HA says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    “As for non-N95 grade masks, is there any evidence they control the spread?”

    Yes.

    Studies report that the performance of cloth face masks is inferior to hospital masks (N95 and/or surgical masks); however, when double-layered, cloth masks are as efficient as hospital masks.

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  126. Jack D says:
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    You might have to make a different vaccine for each individual’s cancer, which is possible but probably too expensive. Also cancer cells have defenses that enable them to evade the body’s immune defenses. Still immunotherapies for cancer have shown some promise.

    There are a number of viruses for which there is currently no vaccine. mRNA vaccines might prove useful against some of them. MERS, Lyme, West Nile, Zika, hep C, RSV, even the common cold. Perhaps a better flu vaccine. I would expect mRNA vaccines against viruses before we get a cancer vaccine.

  127. @HA

    You expect me to not read/skim the study you link to?

    the following guiding question was established: “How effective cloth masks are at absorbing particles that cause COVID-19 and other respiratory infections?”

    That’s not control of transmission of COVID-19. Do I have to point out these masks don’t seal at the edges like N-95s? Any particular reason you ignored the hypothesis I mentioned where what this meta-study scores for is exactly what might make this grade of masks bad?

    • Replies: @utu
    , @HA
  128. utu says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    While virus does not swim it flies on planes. No island advantage for UK. This is all about travel and border control in the 21st century not about being surround by seas. Any country that controls borders can have the island advantage like NZ or Taiwan.

    This pandemic presented great opportunity to the anti-immigration alt-right but the libertarian al-right never misses an opportunity to play the useful idiots for the oligarchy and chamber of commerce republicans.

    It is not about testing but about what do you do with the test results and who you test. Testing is a part of tracking followed by isolating and quarantining and more testing of secondary and tertiary contacts.. It is effective when you have low infection rate.

    There is plenty of evidence that masks (even the non N95) reduce R0. There is also evidence that a lower virus dose due to masks leads to mild course of disease as well as that there is a potential for variolation.

    The fact that you bring up some exotic nonsense that masks make things worse suggests that you are Big Pharma shill and/or libertarian useful idiot. No different that the 1970’s ‘studies’ showing that seat belts would increase fatalities due to driver’s overconfidence.

  129. utu says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    “You expect me to not read” – Yes, we all do. Ignorance and obscurantism is our enemy.

    Association of country-wide coronavirus mortality with demographics, testing, lockdowns, and public wearing of masks. Update August 4, 2020.
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.22.20109231v5

    Face Masks, Public Policies and Slowing the Spread of COVID-19: Evidence from Canada (October 16, 2020)
    Alexander Karaivanov, Shih En Lu, Hitoshi Shigeoka, Cong Chen, Stephanie Pamplona
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.24.20201178v2

    Slight reduction in SARS-CoV-2 exposure viral load due to masking results in a significant reduction in transmission with widespread implementation https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.13.20193508v2.full.pdf

    Masks Do More Than Protect Others During COVID-19: Reducing the Inoculum of SARS-CoV-2 to Protect the Wearer (Jul 2020)
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7393808/

    Facial Masking for Covid-19 — Potential for “Variolation” as We Await a Vaccine, The New England Journal of Medicine
    https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMp2026913?articleTools=true

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7185834/
    Aerosol Filtration Efficiency of Common Fabrics Used in Respiratory Cloth Masks, ACS Nano. 2020 Apr 24

    Influenza Virus Aerosols in Human Exhaled Breath: Particle Size, Culturability, and Effect of Surgical Masks
    https://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1003205

    • Thanks: That Would Be Telling
  130. HA says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    “That’s not control of transmission of COVID-19.”

    If you can offer vague claims about masks turning “droplets stuck in the mask into much more dangerous aerosols” (which isn’t directly about transmission of COVID-19 either), then I can certainly counter with evidence about how they aborb “particles that cause COVID-19”.

    In other words, you don’t get to shift the goalposts around only when the other team has the ball. And if that’s the way you go about framing an argument, it goes a long way towards explaining the side you’re on.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  131. @Too Long Didn't Read

    “You’re welcome.”

    For what exactly? If we all used search engines, the number of Steve’s comments would decline by ca. 90-99%. In some way, everyone here is looking, searching for answers to various questions.

    “Please learn to use duckduckgo.”

    That’s OK. It’s all good. I’ll keep doing it my way.

    “Thanks.”

    What’s the UK slang phrase they perfected in the ’60’s to tell someone off? F…Off, …Yes, FO, I do believe it is. FO.

    Still quite effective, actually. Really, it is. And a Jolly fine phrase i’tis at that. Trick is using it in polite company, but company round here isn’t always polite, so here it will have to do.

    • Replies: @anon
  132. gcochran says:
    @Jonathan Silber

    HIV doesn’t even elicit immunity in people that have it. Generally hard to make vaccines for pathogens with that characteristic. True of malaria, also.

  133. gcochran says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    Chickenpox and shingles are caused by the same virus.

  134. HA says:
    @Jonathan Silber

    “Curious that…AIDS — and don’t so much as suggest otherwise, or else! — is still, after sixty years or so of combined efforts by the Federal government and Big Pharma to develop one, just around the corner.”

    AIDS mutates so quickly that even if you’re infected with a single strain, by the time it has replicated enough in your body to cause issues, it has become a clusterbomb of many, many different strains, some of which may well be resistant to whatever vaccine might have taken out the original strain. It is much harder to come up with a 95%-effective vaccine against something like that.

    • Replies: @HA
  135. @Steve Sailer

    I find it hard to believe that the people who took the vaccine, were exposed to the virus, and didn’t develop the virus in any noticeable way, will be nearly as infectious, and for the same length of time, as those who didn’t take the vaccine, were likewise exposed, and did develop noticeable symptoms.

    Covid may be somewhat mysterious, and the studies seem to be all over the map in what they suggest. But I can’t believe that the vaccine doesn’t diminish infectiousness, and by quite a lot, especially when the vaccine is itself so effective.

    What the exact numbers are, though, remains to be seen.

  136. Jack D says:
    @syonredux

    What is this slug.com ad doing on this page? It’s annoying. Please don’t post from any third party site that adds ads to your posting. That way lies hell. How long before this page is a maze of adds for a million different websites?

    Ron, if you are reading this, is there a way to filter out this plague before it advances any further?

    • Replies: @Lot
  137. Lot says:
    @Steve Sailer

    “ they didn’t get the real vaccine because of a lack of reactions. ”

    I’ve never had any side effect to a vaccine, other than a few times the injection site was warm to the touch for half a day.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  138. Jack D says:
    @utu

    Good point. We could conclude that adhering to social distancing rule and masking can reduce infection rate by factor of 5 or even 10.

    Right. We could also conclude that eating a healthy diet and getting lots of exercise could reduce clogging of the arteries to the point where statins are not needed. And if people stopped smoking we wouldn’t need all those expensive chemotherapy drugs that they advertise on the evening news.

    BUT, people insist on behaving badly so we need these things.

  139. Here’s an article that gives a sense of how dismissive many experts were back in May about the prospects of a vaccine (not to mention two) by this time:

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/fact-check-coronavirus-vaccine-could-come-year-trump-says-experts-n1207411

    Will the experts suffer any reputational consequences?

    Ha. As with all experts, their reputations have been granted tenure.

  140. HA says:
    @HA

    Actually, I should have said that HIV mutates so quickly that one strain can turn into a whole clusterbomb of strains within just a few generations of replicating, all within a single individual.

    In other words, this happens well before the virus begins to cause any health issues, let alone full-blown AIDS.

  141. Lot says:
    @Jack D

    Ron has an announcement on his homepage.

    It isn’t a normal ad, the image is hosted on unz.com so isn’t subject to normal ad blocking, though it can be custom blocked on a desktop.

    It’s an odd site, it looks like it has about 10-12k registered users and is mostly a message board and says it is nonprofit. But they require registration to even view 98% of the content, or do simple things like change to group listing sort from trending to most popular. That’s bad for both generating interest and SEO. They should learn UX design from Unz, not run ads.

    I think the winner of the many conservative Twitter alternatives will be Parler, which is supposedly backed by the Mercers, who are consistently successful people.

  142. @That Would Be Telling

    I think places in the US that had sustained periods of R less than 1 would have gotten to zero cases if they were island nations. Unfortunately we haven’t been at a reduction of interstate travel of more than 90% since March/April. We know that travel ban effectiveness is related to the exponential of the proportional reduction in travel (I.e. 99% down + quarantine = extremely effective, down 70% = almost no benefit).

    To me this solves one of the enduring riddles of the epidemic; if places can achieve months long periods of no spreading case numbers then why didn’t cases go to 0 in those places where presumably R was significantly less than 1?

    This also suggests that rather than a national lockdown (which is extremely harmful to economic output) a better stopgap to get to the vaccine rollout would be a national interstate travel ban (which as far as I can tell hasn’t even been contemplated).

    • Thanks: That Would Be Telling
  143. Mr. Anon says:
    @Anonymous

    What happens if this thing mutates?

    The calm, sober, scientific answer to that question is: “Shut up, you anti-vaxxer nut!”.

  144. @Steve Sailer

    The alternative is multiple trillions down the drain.

    That is not the alternative especially if we reach herd immunity!

    The Swedish seem to have weathered the problem without drastic measures and without destroying their economy.

    Sebastian Rushworth has much useful commentary: https://sebastianrushworth.com/

    • Replies: @HA
  145. Travis says:
    @candid_observer

    also notable that none of the high risk or elderly who were given the placebo got very sick even when they were infected with coronavirus.

    in these vaccine trials, over a hundred people have contracted COVID , yet none died from COVID, seems like none of them were even hospitalized…makes you wonder who are participating in these studies..we were told that 10% would be hospitalized and near death, overwhelming our hospitals…yet the people who got COVID in these trials seem to be fine, most do not even develop a fever or a cough.

  146. @Jack D

    When my home was reassessed slightly upward a few months ago I asked the local assessor if the new valuation took into account the economic contraction due to COVID. She explained that the value was set according to several comparable local sales in 2018 — and that it’s done that way according to NY State law. I was very surprised at the lag-time involved.

    Maybe commercial property is assessed differently, but if what the assessor told me is true, it might be 2022 before the effects of COVID in 2020 — pro or con, real-estate-wise — show up on my assessment. (Of course, the tax rate the government sets is the other factor determining your property tax bill, and that certainly could change sooner.)

    So if a building owner appeals on the grounds that COVID and the lockdowns have demolished his property value, can the state say, too bad, that tax bill is still based on pre-COVID assessments?

  147. @Steve Sailer

    Were the placebos really just saline? I know for the adenovirus vaccines the placebos are an adenovirus containing a gene that was intended as a vaccine for a different infection. I would think that a placebo of some mRNA construct would be a much better control for these trials than saline for exactly the reason you just stated (neurotic, knowledgeable trial participants unblinding themselves based on whether they got inflammatory side effects). I was aware of these considerations because I am a COVID hawk and I have been applying to participate in Phase III trials and I have gone through the thought process that if I were selected for one (I wasn’t) I would try to figure out if I got the real vaccine or placebo and would only increase my risk tolerance if I were fairly certain I had gotten the real vaccine.

    I also think that if I were enrolled in such a trial I’d probably immediately go get a lab test for antibodies to try to figure out which arm I was in.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  148. @candid_observer

    Yea I assume that the trial participants were tested with nucleic acid tests routinely (weekly or biweekly) throughout the trial. If that is the case, which I’m sure it was, it seems like the lack of positive tests is prima facia evidence of reduced infectiousness. If vaccinated people are getting such sub clinical infections that they are missed by weekly PCR tests then it’s almost impossible to imagine how they could be shedding enough virus to spread it to others.

  149. Lagertha says:

    Moderna is the Gates vaccine so you are dead quickly.

    • Replies: @Lagertha
  150. Lagertha says:
    @Lagertha

    Gates wants the world population down to 500 million…so, go ahead, get the vax you idiot! People are such idiots! It makes me crazy and angry and sad that people are so, so unaware about what has transpired all over them for 50+ years – wake up!

  151. anon[227] • Disclaimer says:
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    If we all used search engines, the number of Steve’s comments would decline by ca. 90-99%.

    You say that as if it would be a bad thing…

    • LOL: Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  152. anon[443] • Disclaimer says:

    Finally…Challenge testing is on the horizon.
    The first step is to perfect a strain and dosage to be administered. Per this article in Nature: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02821-4

    Once that is done, head to head trials of competing vaccines can be run on small samples.

    But I can’t understand why this wasn’t done with Covid in May. The Moderna phase 3 trials used a placebo group of 15,000, who took a couple of months to generate 90 cases. A similar challenge could be run in a couple of weeks with a couple of hundred volunteers. You would have to pay the volunteers, who would be signing up for material risk compared to the large Phase 3 trial.

    I suppose this would have been done by the godless commies (China, Russia) if it were just Western hand wringing preventing it.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  153. hhsiii says:
    @Thoughts

    I’ve got another question, having read your depressing litany of diseases. If I already had Covid (I had the antibodies when I tested in May), do I need this vaccine? Will this be like the flu vaccine?

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  154. vhrm says:
    @epebble

    interesting.
    It was probably community spreading in California in December 2019 also. That’s a couple of months earlier than the original stories and it means the first cases were weeks or months earlier still.

    https://www.sacbee.com/news/coronavirus/article245634515.html

  155. @anon

    I read an interview a few months ago with a 19-year-old volunteer for a Human Challenge Trial in Scotland, the kind of kid who would have led the first platoon over the top at the Somme and lasted 15 seconds. But the trial isn’t scheduled until January. I dunno why.

  156. @415 reasons

    Were the placebos really just saline? I know for the adenovirus vaccines the placebos are an adenovirus containing a gene that was intended as a vaccine for a different infection. I would think that a placebo of some mRNA construct would be a much better control

    I gather than adenovirus vectors are a now standard vaccine technology, and in any case they’re somewhat understood. Weasel words because one problem with them is that adults are likely already immune to the human ones, so they need to be changed or you need to use an animal one; on the other hand, live virus vaccines, including “replication competent” ones which these aren’t are an old technology.

    But mRNA treatements are brand new, their lipid envelopes in particular are likely novel. I think I came across a claim yesterday that Moderna had a problem with liver toxicity in a previous effort, but hunting that down the author probably make a mistake in interpreting an attempt of their’s at gene therapy for one type of Crigler-Najjar syndrome, in which your liver fails to metabolize bilirubin. In their animal model testing they weren’t able to find dosing that was both effective and safe.

    In trying to look that up just now, I got the impression there have been general problems with mRNA treatments that require regular dosing, very possibly due to an excess of the lipids that protect the mRNA. Perhaps not an issue with the above Moderna attempt, but it was noted you likely avoid this issue with a vaccine, where very few doses are used, and perhaps lower quantity, i.e take advantage of the toxicologist’s maxim “the dose makes the poison”, which is true for things like drinking water…. And note Moderna’s 25 to 250 mg dosage range for their COVID-19 Phase 1 trial.

    SO, once the safety of these novel mRNA vaccines is established, which should take more than just these two and COVID-19, what you suggest sounds like a good idea to me. But for now, the whole system must be tested, so per your idea at minimum a Phase 3 trial would require a 3rd arm, that is, vaccine, something else mRNA, and genuine placebo. Which we don’t have the time or money to do for COVID-19.

    Which is why I doubt your idea that these vaccine trials are doing frequent RT-PCR testing of their participants, that would make them a lot more expensive, and you’d have a lot more subjects drop out of them, or at least miss some number of their tests. That said, doing studies like that should be on the agenda in the near future; we’ve got a tremendous amount of biomedical research of all sorts that needs to be done for COVID-19.

    • Replies: @415 reasons
  157. @HA

    “That’s not control of transmission of COVID-19.”

    If you can offer vague claims about masks turning “droplets stuck in the mask into much more dangerous aerosols” (which isn’t directly about transmission of COVID-19 either), then I can certainly counter with evidence about how they aborb “particles that cause COVID-19”.

    I didn’t make a claim, I repeated a hypothesis akin to the hypothesis that observed ab/adsorption of “particles that cause COVID-19” reduces transmission, the endpoint we really care about. To judge either hypotheses, you need to do real testing, actually try to find out how these grades of masks change transmission, or perhaps don’t. So @utu’s link dump is useful, and the need to sleep is the only reason I haven’t yet gone past skimming some of their abstracts, some are responsive unlike the paper you cited.

    • Replies: @HA
  158. @hhsiii

    If I already had Covid (I had the antibodies when I tested in May), do I need this vaccine?

    Probably not, but antibody testing is not super accurate. If I was in your shoes I’d want at least one prior while you had it positive “gold standard” RT-PCR test plus symptoms consistent with a COVID-19 infection. In that case, I’d assume I was as immunized as if I’d gotten a good vaccine, would put myself at the very lowest priority for getting one, including waiting to see if there are any problems with people who’ve already gotten COVID-19 and then got a vaccine (unlikely, but “novel virus is novel”).

    Will this be like the flu vaccine?

    We don’t think so. Flu is notable for the body, forget about a vaccine which only uses one or two of its proteins, not being able to muster an “eternal” immune response to either of the A and B species of it despite having all of its components available to make antibodies against (more details on request, but see my comments on “hybridization” above).

    Whereas it seems that almost everyone who survives COVID-19 musters a strong and long term protective immune response. And we know that coronaviruses have a unique among RNA viruses proofreading mechanism, so they don’t mutate as rapidly as the flu. Plus there’s a large class of RNA viruses for which either an infection or 2-3 doses of a vaccine results in “eternal” protection from reinfection; they may mutate at high rates, but what the body targets is “conserved.” That is, there are parts of a virus that can mutate without too much if any harm to it, but other parts critical to its functioning must stay the same or “the virus can’t virus.”

    • Thanks: hhsiii
  159. @slumber_j

    UK Citizens ‘Could Be Banned From Going Into Work’ Without Proof Of COVID Vaccination
    https://www.zerohedge.com/medical/uk-citizens-could-be-banned-going-work-without-proof-covid-vaccination

    From Zero Hedge commenter, Medium Giraffe:
    It’s an mRNA vaccine. It won’t wear off. And you’ll pass it on to your children in your altered genetic code. Pfizer said as much. It’s time people woke up to what the vaccine actually does to you.

    “It’s a very unique way of making a vaccine and, so far, no (such) vaccine has been licenced for infectious disease.”
    – Prof. Isabelle Bekeredjian-Ding, Paul Ehrlich Institut, Germany

    Revelations 13:16?

    ​”The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.” -George Orwell

  160. Jack D says:
    @Thoughts

    Just because it has the word “protein” in it doesn’t mean it will cause protein folding diseases. All viruses (and all current vaccines based on live but attenuated viruses, which is most of them) code for proteins. Coding for proteins is what DNA/RNA does. The mRNA vaccines are unique in that instead of coding for all of the proteins contained in the complete genome of a virus (which is potentially dangerous because now you have introduced a live virus into your body) it just codes for 1 piece of it. This should be inherently safer than injecting you with a live virus. Any live virus version of a Covid vaccine would have to include the coding for the same spike protein (but then deliver a less lethal payload inside it).

    In a typical vaccine, they are selling you snake eggs but when they hatch, instead of baby rattlesnakes you get baby garden snakes. But the shells look the same to your body so it is ready to smash them the next time it sees snake eggs. mRNA takes this a step further in that they sell you real rattlesnake eggs, but just the empty shells so there’s no chance that they will hatch out.

  161. @Peterike

    Good point.

    Also notable that in these vaccine trials the fatality rate for those getting vaccinated was equal to those getting the placebo.

    in the studies done by Pfizer and Moderna there have been zero COVID deaths among those not getting the vaccine. Maybe the placebo works just as well as the vaccine in preventing death from Coronavirus.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  162. Jack D says:
    @Lot

    In any drug trial, one of the hardest things is distinguishing between the real medication and the placebo (or nocebo) effect because the placebo effect is very strong. Especially if you are dealing with symptoms such as pain or fatigue which are “all in your head” to begin with. They didn’t report in the press release what % of the placebo recipients also had “side effects” from the saline but based on other trials you can be sure that it was a significant % of the # of real vaccine recipients who had side effects. A lot of recipients were hoping for side effects because it would mean that they had gotten the real vaccine.

  163. @candid_observer

    The Russian vaccine “Sputnik V” also seems to be in the same ballpark.

    But of course they’re evil, irresponsible, jumping the gun, and lying, not like OUR side of diligent, selfless, careful, and nice smelling pharma companies.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/11/11/russia-says-sputnik-v-covid-19-vaccine-is-92-percent-effective

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/11/health/russia-vaccine-sputnik-coronavirus-intl/index.html

    That’s because Sputnik V was registered by their Ministry of Health on August 11th, way before they’d even started their Phase 3 trial. Per your links which are from this month, they might have efficacy data by now, but they can’t have reached the FDA’s two month threshold for an Emergency Use Authorization that starts after the last dose is administered, and requires a certain number of people to have been monitored for side effects. Per Wikipedia (I know, I know, but raw facts like this tend to be good), recruiting started on the 10th of September. 28 days to second dose gets you to October 8th, early December gets you to the very first participants having passed the two month safety threshold (which both Pfizer/BioNTech and I believe Moderna are either just at the point of, or very soon will be).

    There’s no particular reason to believe its either not safe and/or not effective, but First World vaccine standard require quite a bit more that what they’d done by early August, and that also tells us the vaccine’s development is very highly politicized in favor of approval. Whereas there’s tremendous Official skepticism of “Trump Vaccines,” including previously noted gratuitous delays of Pfizer’s efficacy data (but note that couldn’t include two month safety data), and one might wonder the same about Moderna’s Phase 3 slowdown, Officially due to it realizing it needed a more diverse set of test subjects. Which of course delayed their ability to announce any results to after the election.

    This politicization in the opposite direction will, assuming they pan out in the long term, result in the needless deaths of tens of thousands of people as our host has noted. But see how Cuomo is lionized despite deliberately murdering over 10,000 of his most expensive nursing home patients, and how he’s ginning up a group of states that will refuse to allow these Trump Vaccines to be administered to their people prior to state regulatory approval, whatever that means.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  164. @Jack D

    It is really a bit like Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil as a crossroads in exchange for supernatural guitar picking skills. Who wouldn’t?

    He died very young after a jealous woman poisoned his bottle of beer with moth balls, but his music lives on.

  165. @Jack D

    In a typical vaccine, they are selling you snake eggs but when they hatch, instead of baby rattlesnakes you get baby garden snakes. But the shells look the same to your body so it is ready to smash them the next time it sees snake eggs. mRNA takes this a step further in that they sell you real rattlesnake eggs, but just the empty shells so there’s no chance that they will hatch out.

    I love this analogy and will be using it in the future, but I’d extend it by saying when you smash open the mRNA eggs, all you get are rattles (the spike protein).

    If we want to get pedantic, you could say for the first type you get sterilized baby garden snakes, “not reproduction competent” are the $10 words of art I’ve seen used for the adenovirus vector vaccines. And looking at the Wikipedia table, I see that the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine indeed uses a chimpanzee adenovirus vector, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)/BIDMC uses a human one, and Gam-COVID-Vac AKA Sputnik V uses another human one for the first dose, and the same base one that Janssen is using for the second.

    Note that these don’t tend to use completely unmodified from nature material. The human adenovirus vector vaccines need to be changed enough from the originals so they aren’t immediately taken out by your immune system due to your likely having gotten the wild type when you were younger. That might be covered by the replacement of whatever with DNA coding for the spike protein, and/or the changes that make them sterile.

    The mRNA sequences for those vaccines can be tweaked to be advantageous in various ways for the purpose of a vaccine, for example per Wikipedia the BioNTech one uses a “… mutated version of the spike protein contains two proline substitutions (designated “2P”) that cause it to adopt a shape that stimulates neutralizing antibodies.” BioNTech in fact started with two candidates, BNT162b1 and BNT162b2, and the latter was selected for the successful so far Phase 2 and 3 trials.

  166. Jack D says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    You see there are GOOD anti-vaxxers and BAD anti-vaxxers, just as there are good anti-maskers and bad anti-maskers. The way you can tell whether being anti-vax or anti-mask is good or bad is to find out whether Trump is in favor of the item or not at any particular time. Whatever he likes is BAD and so GOOD people must favor the opposite.

    Note the time element. You need to keep up with the Party Line since the same position can change from good to bad literally overnight. One day you shouldn’t wear masks because they are needed for medical personnel and they don’t work anyway and the next day anyone who refuses to wear a mask is EEVIL. One day getting the Trump vaccine is risking your life so that Trump can be re-elected, the next day it is a vital public health measure.

    There was an article in the NY Times yesterday about those state commissions that were supposed to second guess the FDA on whether the vaccines were safe. When Trump was President, such commissions were vitally important checks but now that Biden is president elect, we are instructed that such commissions are really bad ideas and are not needed any more. Even though vaccine approval decisions are made by civil servants at the FDA and these civil servants will not change come Jan. 20th.

    However, I just heard Cuomo yesterday saying that the Trump vaccine is still really bad because the government has made plans to distribute it thru chain drug stores and everyone knows that there are no chain drug stores in ghettos (funny I saw a lot of them being looted this summer). Therefore Black people won’t have access to the vaccine and this is wrong. He really honest to God said this. It’s better that no one get the vaccine unless everyone can get it. Yes, it might take more time for the vaccine to be distributed thru NY’s ultra-efficient government run health care system instead of the private sector but you can be sure that they would distribute it fairly to Black people. Maybe a few more people will die but at least the deaths will be fairly distributed.

    Generally speaking, good people believe that unlimited Federal power is a bad thing when it is being exercised by a Republican government but an extremely good thing when exercised by Democrats. They are always shocked and surprised when Republicans try to use the tools of expanded Federal power that have been created by Democrats. But in such cases you can use the courts and the states to fight that power. The recent election was deeply disappointing to Democrats because they keep longing for the day when Federal power will belong exclusively to them and can be used only for good from now on. They keep thinking that THIS election is when it will finally and permanently happen. Latinos were supposed to be their ace in the hole but they have turned out to be not nearly as good as Blacks.

  167. Blubb says:
    @theMann

    Finally someone with good sense among all the Boomertards.

  168. Thoughts says:
    @Jack D

    “This should be inherently safer than injecting you with a live virus.”

    We know what the virus does. And this virus pretty much does nothing. My dad is a polio survivor with a permanent bad leg, and we know what polio does and it isn’t Kreutzfeld Jacob disease…you don’t survive neurodegenerative disease. You can survive polio.

    We don’t know what the protein does, or some mis-creation of the protein.

    I can’t read this article as I’d have to log in or whatnot but the headline is “Virus’s Similarity to Body’s Proteins May Explain Autoimmune Diseases”

    It’s my job to protect myself, can’t blame me!

    • Agree: BB753
    • Replies: @Jack D
  169. Jack D says:
    @Hernan Pizzaro del Blanco

    Remember that the trials exclude the sickest individuals – they are trying to enroll healthy older people but they are not going to enroll Alzheimer’s patients (who are incapable of giving informed consent) and terminal cancer patients and so on and these are the people most likely to die from Covid.

    2nd, the overall death rate from Covid is probably in the range of slightly less than 1% and so far they have had less than 100 Covid cases in each trial so the expected # of deaths is slightly less than 1.

  170. Jack D says:
    @Thoughts

    And this virus pretty much does nothing.

    If you really believe that Covid is nothing then there is nothing I can say that will convince you otherwise. Over a million people worldwide have now died from Covid, but if that’s “nothing” then so be it.

    My dad is a polio survivor with a permanent bad leg, and we know what polio does and it isn’t Kreutzfeld Jacob disease…you don’t survive neurodegenerative disease. You can survive polio.

    So I take it that you are not in favor of a polio vaccine either? Because it MIGHT give you Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease?

    Humans are capable of all sorts of elaborate pretzel logic type rationalizations when it suits them. I understand this. The real mechanism is that first we make a decision and then we go looking for justifications. That these justifications are farfetched or implausible is no obstacle – the heart wants what it wants.

  171. @That Would Be Telling

    mRNA vaccines are new but not so new there’s no prior work to draw on to make a placebo that’s more convincing than just plain saline. As of 2017 there were 8 human trials in infectious disease, two of which were from Moderna who could presumably have drawn on those designs as negative controls.

    See table 2 here https://www.nature.com/articles/nrd.2017.243.epdf

  172. @Magic Dirt Resident

    Easy if you pay people. Good on Steve for advocating this.

  173. HA says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    “I didn’t make a claim, I repeated a hypothesis”

    OK, the goalpost-shifting didn’t work, so now we’re splitting hairs. Fine, you offered an unsubstantiated “hypothesis”, whereas I provided actual research and scientific evidence that you then tried to counter with bluster and red herrings. I mean, yeah, cloth masks don’t work if you don’t wear them properly and leave the sides loosely flapping. But the same could be said of surgical masks. And surgical masks can presumably trap aerosols into droplets that according to your untested hypothesis are more lethal, just like cloth masks, so that’s a red herring too. And let’s also stipulate that neither of them work if we don’t bother to pull them up over our noses, but does that really get us anywhere? Of course not, it’s just you trying to deflect.

    Face it, the overall evidence (again, not airy hypotheses) indicates that surgical masks DO help prevent the spread of COVID, and there is also evidence that cloth masks when doubled over are as good as surgical masks. If you can’t do the math from that, then stop pretending that squirming and digging yourself in deeper is going to help you. On the contrary, if the corona-truthers want to know why they don’t get more traction in the media, maybe it’s because they keep tripping themselves up with lame arguments like yours.

  174. HA says:
    @Peripatetic Commenter

    “That is not the alternative especially if we reach herd immunity! The Swedish seem to have weathered the problem…”

    Not according to the Swedes. After touting herd immunity arguments for months, they (i.e. their chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell) have just admitted that the herd immunity approach (that was supposed to prevent the second round of outbreaks that they’re seeing now) was a failure.

    Again, the “let it rip during the summer so as be herd-immune by the fall” approach has failed according to the very same Swedish health experts who had previously championed it.

    • Replies: @Peripatetic Commenter
  175. @HA

    And yet, according to this article:

    https://sebastianrushworth.com/2020/10/24/how-deadly-is-covid-19/

    September 2020 was the least deadly month in Swedish history, in terms of number of deaths per 100,000 population. Ever. And I don’t mean the least deadly September, I mean the least deadly month. Ever. To me, this is pretty clear evidence of two things. First, that covid is not a very deadly disease. And second, that Sweden has herd immunity.

    • Replies: @HA
    , @Jack D
  176. @anon

    Oh no you didn’t! Or as Denzel put it in Training Day,

    No. You. (pause, a la method acting to speak the word just right) Did-n’t!

  177. HA says:
    @Peripatetic Commenter

    “And yet, according to this article…”

    An article written two weeks before the article I linked to, and which describes the month of September. If that’s the best you can do, it tells you all you need to know.

    We’ve already seen before that a lot can change in two months. Ask the nitwits around here who were similarly making hay over the fact that excess mortality graphs in Europe showed no bump right before the peaks happened.

    Actually, don’t bother. They’ll never admit they were wrong — they’re probably still promoting “only 10,000 dead” Wittkowski as their go-to expert.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  178. @HA

    Indeed; going by worldometers.info, total cumulative number of cases in Sweden have over doubled starting October 1st, from 94,468 to 192,439, that’s 97,971 new ones. We expect that to be followed in due course by an increase in deaths, and look at the “Daily New Deaths in Sweden” after clicking on the 7 day moving average box, it doesn’t look good.

    • Thanks: HA
    • Replies: @vhrm
    , @Diversity Heretic
  179. CCZ says:
    @Yancey Ward

    American Medical Association declares racism a ‘public health threat’ – “Do I need to get a yearly checkup for racism? Is there a vaccine yet?” are the questions being asked.

    https://www.rt.com/usa/506990-ama-racism-health-threat/

    • Replies: @vhrm
  180. @Jack D

    Bill Gates probably has had a hand in the development of both these vaccines and he has made sure that a chemical that a chemical has been added to both of them that turns your brain to mush so that you think like a liberal and only vote Democrat in the future. Any songs that you knew, have disappeared to be replaced by Kumbaya and the International.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  181. Jack D says:
    @Peripatetic Commenter

    Typically what happens with Covid is that the first wave clears out the nursing homes of all of the people who were going to die in the next couple of months. So first you have excess mortality and then you have less mortality than normal, until the next wave hits. Then the cycle repeats.

  182. vhrm says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    The cumulative confirmed cases are fairly meaningless. For the first half of the pandemic they were undercounts by 10x or 20x as shown by antibody surveys. Later they’re probably closer, but still a significant undercount since many people are asymptomatic or have low symptoms for which they don’t seek treatment or testing.

    Looking at the Sweden data specifically in April the were detecting ~500 infections a day and having 100 deaths a day. 5:1 ratio. Now it’s 5000 detections a day and 15 deaths. 333:1 some of that is because of better treatment, and the deaths will probably climb some due to time lag, but the main thing is the expanded testing.

    We’ll see what happens over the next few weeks, but the current outbreak could be a lot smaller than the first wave, but it’s just that now we’re aware of it but then we weren’t.

    And AFAIK the “dying from Covid” (or at least mostly from Covid) vs “dying with Covid” hasn’t been generally resolved in the numbers. In not saying Covid doesn’t kill people, just that if the incidence of Covid goes up in the population it’s going to be detected in some of the deceased regardless of what role it played.
    (see e.g. people dying with prostate cancer vs of. Or tattoos)

    • Replies: @HA
  183. Oh, yeah. That good old reliable CNN.

  184. vhrm says:
    @CCZ

    heh heh. A related article under the one you posted was amusing:

    https://www.rt.com/usa/506861-asian-students-white-poc/

    Asian kids were excluded from the ‘people of color’ category in a performance report of a Washington school district, leading to both online mockery and debate about opportunity gaps and race.

    The North Thurston Public Schools (NTPS) district highlighted the difference between “students of color” and “white/Asian students” in their equity report on study performance and discipline.

    Apparently it’s not only deplorables like the iSteve followers who recognize NAMs as a relevant grouping.

    • Thanks: CCZ
  185. Jack D says:
    @mister wong

    Around here, it’s hard to tell who is joking and who is serious because people actually believe stuff like this. I’ve been told that if you take the vaccine you will no longer be full human (and therefore sentenced to eternal damnation), that your genome will be altered and that the vaccine is a government tracking mechanism. AFAIK, all of these statements were made with complete sincerity and were not intended as jokes.

  186. HA says:
    @vhrm

    “And AFAIK the “dying from Covid” (or at least mostly from Covid) vs “dying with Covid” hasn’t been generally resolved in the numbers.”

    Actually, as of Oct 15, it “mostly” has, given the overall uncertainties inherent in these kinds of enumerations — the excess mortality figures are are roughly in line with reported coronavirus deaths, suggesting that the Type I and Type II errors (e.g. motorcycle-deaths wrongly attributed to COVID vs. “pneumonia” deaths in nursing homes for which a COVID test was never performed) to some extent wash out.

    Actually, the excess mortality numbers are significantly higher, but that’s to be expected since a significant portion of those deaths are actually due to lockdowns (and before any truthers chime in, the deaths from lockdowns are still regarded as being a small fraction of the even greater number of COVID deaths we’d be seeing without them, so stop acting like that’s some big “gotcha”). I.e. just because the excess mortality rates are higher, that doesn’t prove COVID is being undercounted.

    Overall, an estimated 299,028 excess deaths have occurred in the United States from late January through October 3, 2020, with two thirds of these attributed to COVID-19. The largest percentage increases were seen among adults aged 25–44 years and among Hispanic or Latino (Hispanic) persons. These results provide information about the degree to which COVID-19 deaths might be underascertained and inform efforts to prevent mortality directly or indirectly associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, such as efforts to minimize disruptions to health care.

    I’m not saying that the errors/uncertainties in the above are small. I’m just saying that the rough agreement we’re seeing is, I suspect, about all we can expect at this point.

  187. Dumbo says:
    @Lot

    I don’t think so.

    a) 95 out of 30,000 seems a pretty small sample (0.3%) and there’s no indication at all that it will maintain the same.

    b) We also don’t know if more people in group A (vaccine) or group B (placebo) were contaminated with the virus, unless the virus was purposely unleashed on them, which I don’t think happened.

    It’s not the math, it’s the logic.

    Anyway, take the shot, if you want! I am not taking any stupid “Covid” vaccine!

  188. Thoughts says:

    I don’t look outside my window or talk to my friends and even remotely see a pandemic.

    And I haven’t been in lockdown in any way other than the gym closed for awhile.

    Gone on 4 international flights in 2020 after Covid. (Yeah bi*** no one keeps me down!)

    The few times me or my spouse got ill…Covid Negative. Nasty case of strep though for my spouse.

    No old people on any side of any family I am related to have caught Covid, and the oldest, most ill one has seen every single relative and again…No Covid

    This is very similar to the arguments I used to have circa 1995-2000 regarding Mexican Immigration. You would scream at white people ‘They are everywhere! There’s no white people left!” and everyone would be like “The United States is 80% white” The Statistics Say Blah Blah Blah…Your Eyes are Wrong

    Currently people are still thinking the U.S. is 65% white which is really wrong…it’s like 40%

    My eyes are not wrong.

    • Replies: @anon
  189. vhrm says:

    Thanks, that’s an informative paper.

    I’m not sure it entirely supports:

    and before any truthers chime in, the deaths from lockdowns are still regarded as being a small fraction of the even greater number of COVID deaths we’d be seeing without them, so stop acting like that’s some big “gotcha”

    but it does put probabilistic upper bounds on how many people the lockdowns (or Covid response on general) could be killing or shifting from one group to another.

    So we could say that “the Covid response likely killed less than 100k people”, though can’t say if it’s 1k, 10k or 50k. And it’s very unlikely to have killed more than, say 200k to 300k.

    How many people were saved and for how long is a discussion for another day

  190. @That Would Be Telling

    The Euromomo site, which measures excess deaths, shows that Sweden hasn’t had excess deaths since the March/April spike.

    https://www.euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps#z-scores-by-country

    Cases or infections are largely meaningless as the numbers may vary based on testing, which itself has a very high false positive rate. Even hospitalization numbers can be manipulated. Deaths “from” COVID-19 are, at best, deaths in the presence of a positive test, or even presumed presence of COVID-19. (COVID-19 appears to have removed influenza as a serious cause of death.) The best measure is whether there are deaths in excess of those expected at that point in the year. Based on that, Sweden does not appear to have a problem.

    • Replies: @HA
  191. Corvinus says:

    “Whether that would have switched 1 out of 200 voters from voting for Biden to voting for Trump in the 3 states with less of a margin for Biden than 1.0%, which would have led to a 269-269 Electoral College tie and probably a Trump victory in the House voting as state delegations (or perhaps a breakdown in the process with Nancy Pelosi becoming President), is interesting to speculate upon.”

    WILDLY speculate upon, Mr. Sailer.

  192. anon[327] • Disclaimer says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    All that said how is a victim’s future health affected?
    You know, an autistic sorta problem or two.

  193. anon[209] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thoughts

    I don’t look outside my window or talk to my friends and even remotely see a pandemic.

    Two co-workers have lost a parent in the last 6 months to coof. A guy in my state got evacuated to a fancy hospital for a lung transplant; SARS-2 can damage lungs badly enough to kill. We saw that in Italy months ago.

    It’s not just the flu nor is it the black death.

    It’s a vascular disease that is spread via respiratory route and it can kill.

  194. @anon

    All that said how is a victim’s future health affected [by an mRNA vaccine]?
    You know, an autistic sorta problem or two.

    At this point we have no reason to believe any more than if they were given a live virus vaccine, of which there are many routine ones. That is, something that invokes a full immune system response, since they all make a small set of cells look like they’ve gotten an infection by the real thing.

    Although it’s a lot more overt and deadly, smallpox might be a useful comparison. No risks can be justified when we believe we’ve wiped it off the face of the earth, but a favorable risk/benefit profile against a lethal pathogen that’s still roaming the world. There’s reasons to suspect mRNA vaccines, which contain only the genetic code for the spike protein, will have more favorable risk profiles than the adenovirus vector vaccines that are being developed, which have a whole virus with a part of it replaced with the spike protein, and are otherwise gimped so they can’t reproduce.

    And that all of these might be more favorable than live virus vaccines which can reproduce in the human body. But only testing including waiting can determine any of these questions, in Phase 3 trials with a minimum of 15,000 people getting the vaccine, then following the earliest cohorts while it’s only licensed under a FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). That will provide the data the FDA needs if they are to be granted licenses for the general population.

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

    What you say makes perfect sense, but you are wasting your breath (keystrokes?). The people who are against the vaccine cannot be persuaded by facts and figures. It’s an emotional decision that does not take place on a rational level. Maybe if they lose someone close to them it will scare them into thinking straight. Short of that, nothing will.

  196. @anon

    you are wasting your breath (keystrokes?). The people who are against the vaccine cannot be persuaded by facts and figures

    Indeed, but there’s the theory there are people out there mostly or entirely listening who can be persuaded. Especially as we get more experience with these vaccines, it’s an entirely reasonable posture for a lot of us to wait. Of course, most of us as a population won’t have any choice, we’re in the lowest priority cohort. But I have some elderly friends who are in in-between cohorts who are in part depending on my judgement before they’ll risk getting a vaccine.

    Such postings also help me hone my arguments, they’ve prompted me to learn more about what’s happening prior to when I would have, and biology was the first field of science I got into until I learned chemistry was my calling. So a lot of this is familiar ground to get back up to speed on.

  197. HA says:
    @Diversity Heretic

    “The Euromomo site, which measures excess deaths, shows that Sweden hasn’t had excess deaths since the March/April spike.”

    The total number of those infected has basically doubled in the last month and it takes a while for people to actually die from COVID. Hopefully, the new restrictions may be enough to prevent a rise in death rates, but we’ll see. They were able to prevent hospital overload during the initial spike by simply directing nursing homes to forego sending their COVID cases to hospitals and letting the elderly sick die in their beds knocked up with morphine instead (a variation of the same vile tactic Cuomo pulled and now keeps trying to defend), so I’m confident they’ll find some way to squirm out of this predicament too. That being said, you may not be worried about the recent rise in cases, but as I previously noted, those same Swedish health officials have since admitted that they’re running out of lame excuses as to why their approach isn’t as stupid as their critics (among them, their own local conservatives) maintain. I know you won’t admit that, of course, but that’s to be expected from truthers and anti-vaxxers.

    “Cases or infections are largely meaningless as the numbers may vary based on testing”

    If the testing rate hasn’t changed dramatically in the last month, then a doubling of cases in that one month is far from meaningless. If you have evidence that Swedes have doubled their testing in the last few weeks then produce it. Otherwise, let’s admit that you don’t, and “numbers may vary” is just more Orwellian deflection –really, the same kind of ink a squid squirts out when it sees it has been cornered.

  198. @Adam Smith

    How can the one with the baby drinking Heineken be real? Did people ever believe babies ought to regularly be drinking beer? And the baby drinking laudanum at the end? Those two look like they might be recently made fakes.

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