Jump to content
Gordo

Just curious, anyone have a plan, or preps for global pandemic?

Covid-19 Vaccine Survey  

26 members have voted

  1. 1. Your Vaccine Status is:

    • Fully vaccinated
      21
    • Partially vaccinated
      0
    • Not Vaccinated
      5
  2. 2. If not (fully) vaccinated, your reason(s) for your decision (check all that apply):

    • Not Applicable - I'm vaccinated
      20
    • The rapid vaccine development process makes me distrust them
      3
    • I'm worried about vaccine side effects
      4
    • I don't think I'm at much risk of getting a covid infection
      3
    • I don't believe a covid infection is a serious risk for someone like me
      4
    • I'm waiting until the vaccines receive final approval
      0
    • Fear of needles
      0
    • A medical condition prevents me from getting vaccines
      0
    • Bad reaction to the first dose of the covid vaccine
      0
    • I already had COVID-19 and don't think I need the vaccine for protection
      2
    • Vaccine not available where I live
      0
  3. 3. Are you OK with having your CR forum name included on a list of members who have/haven't chosen to be vaccinated?

    • Yes
      23
    • No
      3


Recommended Posts

9 hours ago, mccoy said:

It's reasonable to believe that it's still too early to draw conclusions.

I would also note that it’s also too early to know if Omicron leads to long haul cases.  There may be none, but this article Studies show long-haul COVID-19 afflicts 1 in 4 COVID-19 patients, regardless of severity (from Mar 21, so before Omicron) would suggest caution at this time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, AlanPater said:

Pfizer and BioNTech have said a booster jab of their coronavirus vaccine promises to be an effective defence against the new Omicron variant.

I daresay that the above sources may not be among the less unbiased ones...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt, I think you're correct that twitter thread I linked to was referring to the November CDC study when mentioning prior-infection immunity was worse than double-vaxxed. So currently I still don't have a good study on Omicron vs. only prior-infection, however I'd note the Omicron cases are skyrocketing currently in South Africa, which is a country with a low rate of vaccination, but a high rate of prior infections, so it would appear from that circumstantial evidence that Omicron is capable of definitely widely infecting a lot of prior-infected people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The best protection against COVID was seen in people who previously had COVID and were also vaccinated. At least against delta.

"The rate of confirmed infections for Recovered individuals for whom the time elapsed from infection was 4 to 6 months was 10.5 per 100,000 person days (95 CI: 8.8 to 12.4) increasing with time since recovery to 30.2 (95% CI: 28.5 to 32.0) at more than 12 months. For the Vaccinated cohort, the rates were 21.1 (95% CI: 20.0 to 22.4) when the time since vaccination was less than two months increasing with time since vaccination to 88.9 (95% CI: 88.3 to 89.6) at 6 to 8 months. For the Recovered then Vaccinated cohort with the same times since vaccination, the rates were 3.7 (95% CI: 3.1 to 4.5) and 11.6 (95% CI: 10.0 to 13.5), respectively."

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.12.04.21267114v1.full

F3.large.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Matt said:

The data is convincing for what is said.  What I would have liked to also seen is the infection rate per 1000,000 risk days for people who have had neither infections nor vaccines.  It seems to me this information would cast a dark shadow over both immunization procedures' results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a twitter thread from a professor explaining how a new variant can appear more mild, if the variant (such as Omicron) is capable of reinfecting previously protected/vaxxed individuals. The resulting addition into the math of these extra reinfected-yet-mild individuals makes the average case appear milder. But this doesn't rule out at all that the cases still may be more severe for unvaccinated and otherwise unprotected people.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a chart from someone continuing to track the South Africa Guanten province hospitalizations, in comparison to the same point in time as the delta variant emerged. Hospitalizations and oxygen-requiring beds are running higher with Omicron. ICU and vent patients are also slightly higher.

 

 

https://imgur.com/Y50Uj9X

 

Y50Uj9X.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a new study on how well blood from various types of vaccinated individuals and also alpha, beta, delta survivors is able to neutralize Omicron. The unvaccinated alpha, beta, delta survivors were amongst the worst neutralizers, along with twice-vaxxed moderna vaccine and the astrazenica vaccine. Best neutralizers were prior-infected who also were double vaxxed.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another obvious aspect is that, given the high transmissibility end evasion rates, omicron may infect everyone, vaccinated and unvaccinated, in numbers never seen before. Even if the ratio of severe cases in people with previous vaccinations is smaller, the absolute number may become vast.

The above considerations may suggest that a booster shot strategy in immunocompetent people may be on average useless at best. A booster shot designed to neutralize the omicron variant is what is needed by logic. Admittedly, it may not be ready in useful time.

Edited by mccoy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Due to the extremely rapid Omicron spread (projected to be nearly 50% of cases in US by end of 2021, and completely taking over by January 2022), unfortunately we have to work with what we have now, the old variant vaccine/booster. The earliest we could have a FDA approved new Omicron-specific vaccine is probably not until May/June I'd guess, and I'm still seeing some hedging from the vaccine makers and government as to whether they have even fully decided yet to make one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're interested in realtime prediction market (aka real money crowd sourced betting on questions) data, here is one site. It has multiple different covid related questions/markets going on, including this one as to whether Omicron will become 50% of all cases in the USA by end of December 2021. Currently the odds are slightly favoring "No", but "Yes" has risen significantly today so far.

 

https://polymarket.com/market/will-at-least-50-of-us-covid-19-cases-be-from-the-omicron-variant-on-january-1-2022

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Topics and time codes: 0:00 Intro 2:17 Boosters for All? 8:47 Young people + Covid, flawed CDC studies? 12:45 Natural immunity, Myocarditis, population risk vs. benefit 21:15 The narrative of simplicity and one-size-fits-all in public health 27:12 How we’re treating college students re: COVID quarantine, boosting, testing 30:45 Omicron, animal source? 34:08 Journalistic responsibility, and natural immunity revisited, what healthcare CEOS should do 43:28 Dr. Oz and the state of politics due to COVID disruptions in economy and freedoms 47:40 Socioeconomic status effects under COVID policies 53:59 Why so slow to learn more about vaccine resistance and omicron? The role of media 57:31 Therapeutics like fluvoxamine (Luvox) vs. molnupiravir 1:04:50 Zero COVID is a delusion, so focus protection where it matters 1:05:27 Fluvoxamine and the hydroxychloroquine/ivermectin debacle 1:08:23 Fauci’s foibles 1:12:12 Gain of function research 1:21:56 Listening to doctors 1:26:45 Pandemic of lunacy, gain of fear, and Fear-naught values 1:32:57 Cloth masks, and masking as distraction from real risks 1:34:58 Chemotherapy shortages

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SARS-CoV-2 protein interacts with Parkinson's protein, promotes amyloid formation

In vitro study showing how the spike (S-) protein that helps SARS-CoV-2 enter cells, and the nucleocapsid (N-) protein that encapsulates the RNA genome inside the virus *could* cause Parkinson’s disease.

Case reports of relatively young COVID-19 patients who developed Parkinson's disease within weeks of contracting the virus have led scientists to wonder if there could be a link between the two conditions.

at least in the test tube, the SARS-CoV-2 N-protein interacts with a neuronal protein called α-synuclein and speeds the formation of amyloid fibrils, pathological protein bundles that have been implicated in Parkinson's disease.

In Parkinson's disease, a protein called α-synuclein forms abnormal amyloid fibrils, leading to the death of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain. Interestingly, loss of smell is a common premotor symptom in Parkinson's disease. This fact, as well as case reports of Parkinson's in COVID-19 patients, made Christian Blum, Mireille Claessens and colleagues wonder whether protein components of SARS-CoV-2 could trigger the aggregation of α-synuclein into amyloid.

It's unknown whether these interactions also occur within neurons of the human brain, but if so, they could help explain the possible link between COVID-19 infection and Parkinson's disease, the researchers say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Helping to explain how Omicron can spread so quickly, study finds it replicates 70x faster than Delta in first 24 hours post-infection, likely making individuals contagious within 24 hours, and probably before they have any noticeable symptoms. On the plus side, it replicates more in the throat than the lungs.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interestingly I read yesterday Omicron has been shown to be able to infect mice fairly well, whereas Delta and prior variants couldn't. Now here is another paper showing Omicron's particular mutations and the large overall jump in mutations may indicate it jumped from mice to humans (after we assume first a previous variant jumped from humans to mice).

 

Evidence for a mouse origin of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.12.14.472632v1.full.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, BrianA said:

Interestingly I read yesterday Omicron has been shown to be able to infect mice fairly well, whereas Delta and prior variants couldn't. Now here is another paper showing Omicron's particular mutations and the large overall jump in mutations may indicate it jumped from mice to humans (after we assume first a previous variant jumped from humans to mice).

 

Evidence for a mouse origin of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.12.14.472632v1.full.pdf

Thanks Brian. That is a fascinating paper. I don't pretend to understand all the genetic analysis they did, but from a relatively naive reading it looks like pretty significant support for the idea that the Omicron variant jumped from humans to mice, mutated for a while, and then jumped back to humans. The authors (strangely, IMO) seem to focus exclusively on the possibility that this sequence of jumps happened between "wild" mice and humans. They say in the conclusion:

Our study suggests that SARS-CoV-2 could have spilled over from humans to wild animals, and that the variants which successfully infected animal hosts could then accumulate new mutations before jumping back into humans as a variant of concern. Given the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to jump across various species, it appears likely that global populations will face additional animal-derived variants until the pandemic is well under control. Viral surveillance and sequencing in wild animals will likely help to prevent future outbreaks of dangerous SARS-CoV-2 variants.

while paradoxically citing studies like this [1] from researchers at the University of North Carolina showing the human SARS-CoV-2 virus can be deliberately evolved to lethally infect mice through serial passage experiments. Here is the graphical abstract from [1]:

Screenshot_20211216-185900_Drive.jpg

 

I'm no conspiracy theorist and I'm agnostic about the "lab leak" hypothesis for the original SARS-CoV-2 virus. But if these [Chinese, BTW] researchers really have shown as good evidence as they claim to support the conclusion that the highly-mutated Omicron variant originated in mice, which would have required it to jump from humans to mice and then back again, against the backdrop of several research groups (including but not limited to the UNC group above) conducting what I would characterize as "gain-of-function" research with SARS-CoV-2 using standard laboratory mice, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to put 2 and 2 together in order to see the possibility that Omicron may have originated in a lab.

It is strange (to put it mildly) that the authors didn't even raise the possibility of a lab origin for Omicron in the discussion of their results. Heck, they didn't even mention mice in their concluding paragraph (using "wild animals" instead) despite the fact that the entire paper was about the evidence for mice being the specific likely species of origin, and not humans, rats, dogs, cats, cows or pigs which they also tested against. Bizzarely, they also didn't mention Omicron in their concluding paragraph, using "variant of concern" instead. They were more explicit in the abstract:

Collectively, our results suggest that the progenitor of Omicron jumped from humans to mice, rapidly accumulated mutations conducive to infecting that host, then jumped back into humans, indicating an inter-species evolutionary trajectory for the Omicron outbreak.

Let me reiterate, I'm not qualified to assess the quality of the evidence supporting the authors mouse-origin theory for Omicron. But it seems to me the very existence of this preprint is almost guaranteed to set off fireworks about a lab origin for Omicron, despite its clinical tone and anodyne conclusion.

--Dean

----------------------

[1] Leist, S.R., Dinnon, K.H., 3rd, Schafer, A., Tse, L.V., Okuda, K., Hou, Y.J., West, A., Edwards, C.E., Sanders, W., Fritch, E.J., et al., 2020. A mouse-adapted sars-cov-2 induces acute lung injury and mortality in standard laboratory mice. Cell 183, 1070-1085 e1012.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of lab mice as a vector for covid, here is a troubling story of a researcher in a high security bio-lab in Taiwan contracting the first local case of covid in weeks after being bitten by a lab mouse infected with Covid. Not good. 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/10/mouse-bite-infected-taiwan-lab-woker-covid

Whether or not Omicron originated as part of a lab experiment, the fact that gain-of-function research on SARS-CoV-2 using mice is not only a possibility but is being done successfully and pretty widely has disturbing implications. Unlike CRISPR manipulation of the genetic code, serial passage experiments that select for specific traits are quite low-tech. All it really takes is a colony of mice, access to the covid virus and a little patience. Not to be paranoid, but it seems to me that even non-state actors with nefarious intent could pretty easily use this technique to develop a new, more dangerous SARS-CoV-2 variant... 

This scenario reminds me of Nick Bostrom's thought experiment about what the implications would have been for the future of humanity if it had turned out to be possible to make a nuclear bomb by baking sand in a microwave oven:

.... But suppose it had turned out that there was some technological technique that allowed you to make a nuclear weapon by baking sand in a microwave oven or something like that. If it had turned out that way then where would we be now? Presumably once that discovery had been made civilization would have been doomed.

Each time we make one of these new discoveries we are putting our hand into a big urn of balls and pulling up a new ball---so far we've pulled up white balls and grey balls, but maybe next time we will pull out a black ball, a discovery that spells disaster. At the moment we have no good way of putting the ball back into the urn if we don't like it. Once a discovery has been published there is no way of un-publishing it.

--Dean 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Screenshot-20211218-003219.jpg

It seems things are about to get interesting again. I feel like the majority have pretty much decided to not care all that much about covid anymore (which may actually be for the best, who knows). It could surprise a lot of people though if daily new cases surge to double what they were at the prior peak of the pandemic. It's nice that Omicron is not as deadly, but it makes up for that in sheer number of infections. This is the one we'll probably all get (and at least the members here will all likely be just fine). The one confirmed Omicron death in the UK it turns out was a previously healty/fit 70 year old antivaxer 😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Gordo said:

That Daily Mail story is more than a bit fishy.    Unnamed victim.  Unnamed  guy making claims on a radio talk show.  Claims  unconfirmed by the  Department of Health.   No confirmation from any  other source.    Just  some unidentified  caller  repeating what sound like pat talking points:  "But this is the important thing. He wasn't vaccinated... 'He thought it was a conspiracy. He read it online. He was an intelligent man...Had he been vaccinated, he would probably still be here."

Just sayin'...

Edited by Sibiriak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the meanwhile, I'm glad I could get back to listening to podcasts, after a period of intense activity.

I'm still trying to make sense of the jumble of info hurled at us by all sources.

Prof. Vincent Racaniello, host of the TWIV podcast, is a good source. In this episode, after the first half, he and Dr Griffin underline that the booster shots are indisputably efficacious because they artificially boost the concentration of specific antibodies in the system. Such a spike though, has a limited, not well known so far temporal duration. Many studies underlining the efficacy have been done in a short temporal window after the booster shot. In a few words, the booster has a  proven, temporally limited efficacy, not well known so far, hence the artificially induced condition of high antibodies count will have to be recreated at regular intervals, in a few words multiple booster shots at intervals of X months or weeks. If it is so, it remains to be seen if that's a viable solution, booster after booster after booster. 

The info provided appears to be sensible and coherent with vaccinology 101 as we all know. It convinced me that booster shots are efficacious in preventing reinfection and hospitalization in the short term, more than previous infections and vaccinations. The data are not shown for particular subjects though, like immunocompetent people in their age ranges. We've seen that age and strength of the immune system are governing factors in the reaction against the virus. The comparisons may carry this bias.

The info provided still did not convince me to take a booster, unless compelled by a possible loss of income. 

Will keep up listening.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Gordo said:

Omicron is not as deadly, but it makes up for that in sheer number of infections.

That is yet to be determined.  It does seem inevitable that we will all get it but it may be better to postpone it to when the Omicron wave hopefully subsides and health care may be better suited to our potential needs, be they for COVID or for otherwise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×