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


Gordo
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Covid-19 Vaccine Survey  

27 members have voted

  1. 1. Your Vaccine Status is:

    • Fully vaccinated
      22
    • 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
      21
    • 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
      24
    • No
      3


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2 hours ago, Ron Put said:

The Delta variant is pretty much comparable to the common flu in terms of mortality and transmissibility.

Care to support that with actual evidence Ron?

Maybe mortality will turn out to be close, but the delta variant is estimated to be ~50% more transmissibility than alpha which was ~50% more transmissible that the original strain, which would put its R0 value around 5, while the flu is around an R0 of 1.28 [2].

This chart shows the current estimated range for both mortality and especially transmissibility of delta to be higher than the flu:

Screenshot_20210809-160340_NYTimes.jpg

Your railing about excessive fear-mongering is not without merit. But in making your argument you seem to paint a much rosier picture than manifests in reality, for example:

On 4/1/2020 at 4:51 PM, Ron Put said:

It's hard to admit that one is wrong, but I will make a prediction that the US death toll will be less than 100000, probably between 60000 and 80000, based on deadlier flu seasons. Hopefully lower.

Bu what's an order of magnitude error when you are trying to make a point.

--Dean

--------

[1] BMC Infect Dis. 2014 Sep 4;14:480. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-14-480.

Estimates of the reproduction number for seasonal, pandemic, and zoonotic 
influenza: a systematic review of the literature.

Biggerstaff M(1), Cauchemez S, Reed C, Gambhir M, Finelli L.

Author information:
(1)Epidemiology and Prevention Branch, Influenza Division, National Center for 
Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE MS A-32, Atlanta 30333, Georgia. 
mbiggerstaff@cdc.gov.

BACKGROUND: The potential impact of an influenza pandemic can be assessed by 
calculating a set of transmissibility parameters, the most important being the 
reproduction number (R), which is defined as the average number of secondary 
cases generated per typical infectious case.
METHODS: We conducted a systematic review to summarize published estimates of R 
for pandemic or seasonal influenza and for novel influenza viruses (e.g. H5N1). 
We retained and summarized papers that estimated R for pandemic or seasonal 
influenza or for human infections with novel influenza viruses.
RESULTS: The search yielded 567 papers. Ninety-one papers were retained, and an 
additional twenty papers were identified from the references of the retained 
papers. Twenty-four studies reported 51 R values for the 1918 pandemic. The 
median R value for 1918 was 1.80 (interquartile range [IQR]: 1.47-2.27). Six 
studies reported seven 1957 pandemic R values. The median R value for 1957 was 
1.65 (IQR: 1.53-1.70). Four studies reported seven 1968 pandemic R values. The 
median R value for 1968 was 1.80 (IQR: 1.56-1.85). Fifty-seven studies reported 
78 2009 pandemic R values. The median R value for 2009 was 1.46 (IQR: 1.30-1.70) 
and was similar across the two waves of illness: 1.46 for the first wave and 
1.48 for the second wave. Twenty-four studies reported 47 seasonal epidemic R 
values. The median R value for seasonal influenza was 1.28 (IQR: 1.19-1.37). 

Four studies reported six novel influenza R values. Four out of six R values 
were <1.
CONCLUSIONS: These R values represent the difference between epidemics that are 
controllable and cause moderate illness and those causing a significant number 
of illnesses and requiring intensive mitigation strategies to control. Continued 
monitoring of R during seasonal and novel influenza outbreaks is needed to 
document its variation before the next pandemic.

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2334-14-480
PMCID: PMC4169819
PMID: 25186370 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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2 hours ago, Ron Put said:

The Delta variant is pretty much comparable to the common flu in terms of mortality and transmissibility.

Yet we see another politically motivated goalpost shifting -- if the Left can condition enough people to accept "sterilization" as the goal, their aim of stretching this to the 2022 elections will be achieved.

The tried and true fear-mongering (like Al's post immediately above, and the reintroduced infection ticker-tapes on the news) are aimed at getting enough people to accept the offer of state salvation, in exchange for continued state coercion, censorship, and modified election rules.

Ron I fail to see the motivation you speak of for the left. Biden wants this thing over and that could only help democrats in general with a simple message. That being: the Trump/ republicans got us into a mess and the Dems/Biden got us out of it.

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From 2016.

"Vaccines alter the immune landscape experienced by pathogens, and hence their evolution, by targeting subsets of strains in a population, reducing the number of fully susceptible individuals, and creating or expanding classes of semi-immune hosts. The great success of vaccination against the acute childhood occurred without being undermined by pathogen evolution, but those diseases were easy targets: natural immunity was evolution-proof; all vaccination needed to do was to induce something very similar. Pathogens now under assault by vaccination are different: their natural infections induce leaky, often strain-specific immunity that usually wanes. Vaccines against these diseases will induce immunity to which natural selection has already found solutions. Evolutionary analysis is particularly warranted where vaccines are leaky, target subsets of strains or virulence determinants, involve novel technologies, or relax selection against virulence. Vaccination has been a great benefit. Continuing past successes requires evolutionary considerations at all stages of vaccine design and implementation. Andrew Read, Alumni Professor in the Biological Sciences, Director, Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, Evan Pugh Professor, Pennsylvania State University Pathogen evolution in a vaccinated world.

Andrew Read, Alumni Professor in the Biological Sciences, Director, Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, Evan Pugh Professor, Pennsylvania State University Pathogen evolution in a vaccinated world Andrew Read, Alumni Professor in the Biological Sciences & Director, Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Pennsylvania State University, visits the ASU Center of Evolution, Medicine and Public Health, to lecture on the subject of Pathogen evolution in a vaccinated World.

 

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And yet.... 

Hawaii has had the country’s fewest cases per capita over the course of the pandemic, but its number of patients hospitalized with Covid has soared from just 40 on July 1 to 246 on Tuesday, of whom 235 are unvaccinated.

Eighty-six percent of Hawaii residents 18 and older have had at least one vaccine dose, but only 65 percent are fully vaccinated, according to a New York Times database. 

It only takes a modest fraction of a population to be unvaccinated for the virus to spread and be a threat, mostly to other unvaccinated people,.

--Dean 

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Covid Vaccine Poll Results

The covid vaccine poll has been open for a few days so I figure we've got about all the results we're going to get. Ten people have participated, eight of them vaccinated and two of them unvaccinated. One of the unvaccinated (Matt) is open to getting vaccinated but already had covid and isn't convinced getting the vaccine is necessary for him since he already had covid, although he is getting an antibody test kit to see. The other (Todd Allen) checked several of the reasons for declining vaccination that he has expressed elsewhere on this thread.

Seven of the eight vaccinated and both of the unvaccinated folks were happy to share their status with the group. Below is the list of vaccinated and unvaccinated. I've added Saul to the list of vaccinated folks since while he hasn't taken the survey, he has happily shared his vaccinated status with the group. 

Vaccinated:
corybroo
Dean Pomerleau
Gordo
mccoy
Saul
Todd S
Mike41
Al Pater

Unvaccinated:
Matt
Todd Allen

 

Below is a screenshot of the results for posterity:

Screenshot_20210811-144458_Chrome.jpg
 

I'll edit this post if more results come in.

--Dean

 

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2 hours ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

The other (Todd Allen) checked several of the reasons for declining vaccination that he has expressed elsewhere on this thread.

None of which are my primary reasons or would be sufficient to skip the vaccine.  Nor do I think I raised most of those issue elsewhere...

The issue I did raise was I believe I have little risk of Covid-19.  But that was in combination with the concern that vaccinating those of little risk increases the risk of vaccine resistant variants arising.  The risk of this process being driven by random mutations in the unvaccinated is small.  While mutation is random evolution is not, it is driven by selection.

Edited by Todd Allen
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51 minutes ago, Todd Allen said:

None of which are my primary reasons or would be sufficient to skip the vaccine.  Nor do I think I raised most of those issue elsewhere...

Sorry for mischaracterizing your perspective Todd. Is your primary reason for not getting vaccinated somehow related to the "insanity" of giving the vaccine to folks who have a small risk of dying or getting seriously sick from covid, like you expressed here?

On 7/24/2021 at 7:11 PM, Todd Allen said:

My issue has been that all of our vaccine options have the same target, a single spike protein.  Thus any mutation as trivial as an SNP in a gene coding for that protein can result in enhanced propagation.  All of our vaccines are working together creating evolutionary selective pressure for a strain that defeats all of them.  This snowballs as additional adaptive mutations accumulate and there are increasing numbers of breakthrough cases.

We are already seeing increasing numbers of deaths among the highly vulnerable vaccinated.  This has been vastly accelerated by the insanity of vaccinating those at negligible risk of adverse outcomes such as healthy college students and children.    Squandering these valuable vaccines is a case of mass negligent homicide engaged in by the majority of our population due to extremely poor understanding of basic science and math.

Is it a simply protest against the folly, and/or that you don't want to be (a very small) part of the problem of pushing the virus to mutate by getting vaccinated when you perceive yourself to be at relatively low risk of serious consequences. Or is your refusal more pragmatic - i.e. you don't think the vaccines will be effective much longer, so it's not worth getting one? 

Or is it something else entirely?

--Dean

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9 minutes ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

Is it a simply protest against the folly, and/or that you don't want to be (a very small) part of the problem of pushing the virus to mutate by getting vaccinated when you perceive yourself to be at relatively low risk of serious consequences. Or is your refusal more pragmatic - i.e. you don't think the vaccines will be effective much longer, so it's not worth getting one?

Yes, I think we are squandering these vaccines which had been providing excellent protection for the high risk subset of the population much as we have squandered valuable antibiotics through misuse.  This isn't nutty conspiracy theory it is a widely understood process.

From a recent UK report:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sage-93-minutes-coronavirus-covid-19-response-7-july-2021/sage-93-minutes-coronavirus-covid-19-response-7-july-2021

Quote

9. There are four major risks associated with high numbers of infections. These are an increase in hospitalisations and deaths, more ‘Long-COVID’; workforce absences (including in the NHS); and the increased risk of new variants emerging. The combination of high prevalence and high levels of vaccination creates the conditions in which an immune escape variant is most likely to emerge. The likelihood of this happening is unknown, but such a variant would present a significant risk both in the UK and internationally.

 

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Thanks for the clarification Todd.

As I acknowledged previously, I agree that widespread vaccination with narrowly-targetted vaccines has the potential to encourage the evolution of vaccine-evading mutations. It is certainly possible that a utilitarian calculus would conclude that leaving a large fraction of the population (those at relatively low risk of serious harm from the virus) unvaccinated while reserving it for the highly vulnerable, and thereby reducing the likelihood of vaccine-evading mutations would be a net win in terms of total harm to society. That is, the relatively few serious harms done to those unlucky people at low risk who get very sick anyway would be outweighed by the better protection afforded to the really vulnerable.

But I have a few reservations / questions before I could be convinced by your argument.

  1.  You specifically mention the folly of vaccinating college kids and children. But they are a small fraction of the population. And with over 75% of the US adult population overweight or obese, not to mention other risk factors like advanced age, it would seem that reserving the vaccines for only those with a reasonable chance of getting seriously ill would amount to a large fraction of population anyway. Wouldn't this be enough to evoke the evolutionary pressure you are concerned about?
     
  2. Do you really think that human nature is such people in all countries around the world will agree with you and actually risk sacrificing their own health for the common good by refraining from seeking the vaccine for themselves (or esp. their kids) because they are at perceived be someone in the government to be at relatively low risk? I seems like a nasty combination of the "prisoner's dilemma" and the "tragedy of the commons." The total benefit to society could arguably be maximized if only a small fraction of the population (who really need it) get vaccinated, but virtually every individual would reduce their personal risk by getting the shot, if only by a small amount for those who are young and healthy.
     
  3. The pressure for those at relatively low risk for hospitalization / death to get the vaccine anyway is increased by seemingly legitimate concern / uncertainty over "long covid" which seems to accompany even some mild / asymptomatic infections. Do you not believe long covid is a real issue? Do you not think concern over it would or should make seemingly low-risk individuals anxious to get the vaccine?
     
  4. While coronaviruses have their own idiosyncrasies, frequently mutating respiratory infections and vaccines for them is something humanity has been dealing with for many decades. The flu vaccine is reforumulated every year for both the northern and southern hemisphere because it is almost a given that last season's vaccine won't be effective for next year's widespread, mutated seasonal flu virus. It would suck to have to get another vaccine every year for the latest coronavirus strain(s), but perhaps it could be combined with the flu virus vaccine many of us get annually anyway. This Nature article talks about the vaccine companies already exploring new vaccines to stop variants, and how long it would take to develop and test new vaccines. Experts quoted in the article think it could be done as quickly as five months. Companies are even looking at multi-target vaccines to avoid targeting just the spike protein you've expressed concern about.

So if new vaccines can be developed quickly, and/or booster shots for the most vulnerable can mitigate / avoid the problem of waning vaccine effectiveness for the most vulnerable, is your concern really that much of an issue, particularly since 1-3 make it unlikely we could effectively avoid the problem of evolutionary pressure to mutate in any case?

--Dean

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2 hours ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

You specifically mention the folly of vaccinating college kids and children. But they are a small fraction of the population. And with over 75% of the US adult population overweight or obese, not to mention other risk factors like advanced age, it would seem that reserving the vaccines for only those with a reasonable chance of getting seriously ill would amount to a large fraction of population anyway.

When the vaccines were rolled out they were initially only available to those at highest risk, front line healthcare workers, those over a certain age or with very high risk conditions.  Here's a graph based on data from that time frame, Feb. 2021, showing how concentrated deaths are in those of advanced age.

from: https://datavisualizations.heritage.org/public-health/covid-19-deaths-by-age/

covid_deaths_by_age_feb21.jpg.dbe8e5156362012c94f0f16b5548ebc2.jpg

I don't know what the optimal cutoff point would be but someone should have been running the numbers to set policy such as we are going to limit vaccinations to the 10% at greatest risk to reduce deaths by 70% while slowing emergence of vaccine escape variants.

3 hours ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

Do you really think that human nature is such people in all countries around the world will agree with you and actually risk sacrificing their own health for the common good by refraining from seeking the vaccine for themselves (or esp. their kids) because they are at perceived be someone in the government to be at relatively low risk?

When people were initially told "mask aren't helpful don't wear them" few bought and wore masks.  When the messaging was flipped to "masks are essential" most everyone played along.  There has been an intense campaign encouraging vaccination which is still ongoing, little things like get vaccinated or you are fired.  Or you can't return to your University to complete the degree for which you already have accumulated 10s of thousands in student debt.  I suggest if instead there was a campaign to minimize the benefits and play up the risks of vaccination demand could have been tempered.

3 hours ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

While coronaviruses have their own idiosyncrasies, frequently mutating respiratory infections and vaccines for them is something humanity has been dealing with for many decades.

...

So if new vaccines can be developed quickly, and/or booster shots for the most vulnerable can mitigate / avoid the problem of waning vaccine effectiveness for the most vulnerable, is your concern really that much of an issue

Like many other chicken keepers I'm familiar with the story of Marek's:

Quote

The first Marek's disease vaccine was introduced in 1970. The disease would cause mild paralysis, with the only identifiable lesions being in neural tissue. Mortality of chickens infected with Marek's disease was quite low. Current strains of Marek virus, decades after the first vaccine was introduced, cause lymphoma formation throughout the chicken's body and mortality rates have reached 100% in unvaccinated chickens. The Marek's disease vaccine is a "leaky vaccine", which means that only the symptoms of the disease are prevented.[12] Infection of the host and the transmission of the virus are not inhibited by the vaccine. This contrasts with most other vaccines, where infection of the host is prevented. Under normal conditions, highly virulent strains of the virus are not selected. A highly virulent strain would kill the host before the virus would have an opportunity to transmit to other potential hosts and replicate. Thus, less virulent strains are selected. These strains are virulent enough to induce symptoms but not enough to kill the host, allowing further transmission. However, the leaky vaccine changes this evolutionary pressure and permits the evolution of highly virulent strains.

There are significant differences between Marek's and Covid-19 so I don't expect a repeat of this scenario but we know mass vaccination campaigns can have unintended consequences and when engaging in novel irreversible experiments on humanity with even miniscule odds of severe outcomes the pace should be cautiously moderate.  This is not what is happening.  Instead it is being handled in a similarly irresponsible fashion to other existential threats such as habitat and biodiversity loss, global warming and international gamesmanship in a world with too many nuclear weapons.

 

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On 8/9/2021 at 1:55 PM, Mike41 said:

Ron I fail to see the motivation you speak of for the left. Biden wants this thing over and that could only help democrats in general with a simple message. That being: the Trump/ republicans got us into a mess and the Dems/Biden got us out of it.

If Biden and the Democrats wanted this thing “over,” it would have been over. But they don’t. It’s kept on the front burner only because it works for them and they believe that if the fear and loathing is kept until 2022, their chances of holding on to power will be significantly increased. And in the process, they can paint any potential Republican challengers as “enemies of society,” especially the raising star of DeSantis. Note the relentless coverage of Florida infections, including the false numbers published by the CDC for last week, overstating infections by almost 50%, and now quietly revised. But quiet revisions don’t make headlines.

With the public kept in fear and focused on the variants and infections, the Democrats and the media are drowning out any unfavorable to them issues that otherwise dominate the news and spoil their chances for 2022. Like the rapidly raising crime and the deterioration of America’s major cities after the BLM riots and the Left’s defunding of the police, the inflation, the unimaginable even two years ago debt, as well as the sweeping identity-based changes being quietly rolled out across government departments and large private enterprises. And the censorship and suppression of speech outsourced by the Left to the tech monopolies.

Before the pandemic, the Left had found itself in opposition in large swaths of the developed world, and was seething in disbelief in the wake of the elections of conservative populists like Boris Johnson and Trump, and Brexit. Yet Trump was riding a strong economy and by most accounts was on track to win reelection.

Back during the 2008 financial meltdown, Rahm Emanuel famously (or infamously) said “Never allow a crisis to go to waste.” The pandemic provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to add fear to the loathing that had already energized the Left, and to attack Trump’s every decision and pin every death on his “incompetence.” Cuomo and Newsom were hailed as America’s “true leaders” for following in China’s footsteps and crashing the economy, and “the science” became a party line with heretics being canceled. Kamala Harris repeatedly proclaimed that she “would not trust the Trump vaccines,” then Biden claimed credit for it all.

No, keeping this up works splendidly for the Left and they will fight to keep it up for as long as it does, and as they can.

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On 8/9/2021 at 1:54 PM, Dean Pomerleau said:

Care to support that with actual evidence Ron?

I have no idea where the NYT pulled this data, but frankly, I have cancelled my subscription and stopped paying much attention to it, and to NPR, as both have abandoned any pretence of objective journalism and have veered deeply into activism.

The NYT's 1% case fatality rate (if I am reading the chart right) is way out of the 0.1%-0.3% consensus I see elsewhere. I already posted a rather extensive UK report in an earlier post: 

If I remember right, according to WHO the flu has an average CFR between 0.1% and 1%, depending on the season's severity. And that's with widely available vaccines.

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New data on coronavirus vaccine effectiveness may be "a wakeup call"

- Overall, it found that the Moderna vaccine was 86% effective against infection over the study period, and Pfizer's was 76%. Moderna's vaccine was 92% effective - against hospitalization and Pfizer's was 85%.

- But the vaccines' effectiveness against infection dropped sharply in July, when the Delta variant's prevalence in Minnesota had risen to over 70%.

- Moderna was 76% effective against infection, and Pfizer was only 42% effective.

- The study found similar results in other states. For example, in Florida, the risk of infection in July for people fully vaccinated with Moderna was about 60% lower than for people fully vaccinated with Pfizer.

https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-vaccines-pfizer-moderna-delta-biden-e9be4bb0-3d10-4f56-8054-5410be357070.html

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11 hours ago, Todd Allen said:

I don't know what the optimal cutoff point would be but someone should have been running the numbers to set policy such as... 

Two words for you Todd. Death Panels. To quote Sean Hannity:

There is new evidence to suggest the so-called ObamaCare death panels are in fact alive and well... Now, there are few important reasons why this story is important to you and your family. Number one, a high profile Democrat, one time medical doctor is finally admitting this board is a quote, "health care rationing body."

11 hours ago, Todd Allen said:

...someone should have been running the numbers to set policy such as we are going to limit vaccinations to the 10% at greatest risk to reduce deaths by 70% while slowing emergence of vaccine escape variants.

So you are saying the government should declare "we are going to limit vaccines that every taxpayer helped pay to develop to only the 10% most vulnerable people, with full knowledge that this will lead to tens of thousands of deaths among those of you who are slightly less vulnerable because we are worried the virus might mutate if we gave the vaccine to everyone who wanted it."

If you think people will nobly forgo protecting themselves with the vaccine to preserve its efficacy for those most at risk, then you must also think people will forgo antibiotics to preserve their efficacy for those most at risk, or forgo buying that SUV or pickup truck for the good of the planet and future generations, or heck wear a mask to protect both themselves and others. I'm normally a person with an optimistic view of human nature, but good luck with that.

11 hours ago, Todd Allen said:

When people were initially told "mask aren't helpful don't wear them" few bought and wore masks.  When the messaging was flipped to "masks are essential" most everyone played along.  There has been an intense campaign encouraging vaccination which is still ongoing, little things like get vaccinated or you are fired.  Or you can't return to your University to complete the degree for which you already have accumulated 10s of thousands in student debt.  I suggest if instead there was a campaign to minimize the benefits and play up the risks of vaccination demand could have been tempered.

First, people didn't wear masks at first because they were (misleadingly) told they didn't do much to protect themselves. Second, a large fraction of the US population (mostly Republicans) still won't wear them even to protect themselves (to say nothing of protecting others) in the name of "freedom." And many people still won't get the vaccine to protect themselves and others even when offered cash and other incentives in the erroneous belief that they are more dangerous to themselves than the virus itself. So thinking people will "do the right thing" (which in your eyes would be to forgo the vaccine if they are at low risk of dying in order to help others and maybe themselves long term) seems quite naive.

Second, the government and medical authorities were roundly excoriated for being paternalistic in their initial mask guidance, for saying that masks were ineffective for the average person in order to preserve enough scarce masks for healthcare workers. How do you think it would go over now for the government and medical authorities to say "We used billions of dollars of taxpayer money to develop these vaccines which we promised would be to protect everyone and that we are now shipping overseas to protect foreigners, but you can't have them and must risk getting sick and maybe (a relatively small) risk of dying because there is the chance the virus would mutate if we gave vaccines to everyone."? Again, good luck convincing people to go along with that. 

Besides, the Delta variant appears to have arisen in India in December of 2020 where selection pressure due to widespread vaccinations was not a big factor, to put it mildly. Vaccines weren't even available anywhere yet. Having the virus circulating widely provides ample opportunity for more virulent variant to develop, independent of the vaccines. The selection pressure to outcompete other variants and break through to infect previously infected individuals is sufficient to drive deleterious mutations. 

And why wouldn't it be both better from a utilitarian perspective and more effective to make the opposite argument, namely mandating everyone (or 90% of people) to get vaccinated to protect everyone, reach herd immunity, stop the virus and thereby prevent further mutations, rather than forbidding 90% of people from getting the vaccine in hopes of preventing the virus from mutating and thereby protecting the 10% most vulnerable a little better? At least the "vaccinate everyone" approach aligns people's self interest (protecting themselves from the virus) and societal interest (reaching herd immunity to stop the virus from spreading and mutating).

And what about high risk people who can't get the vaccine for medical reasons or for whom it's ineffective due to their immunocompromised status? The only way to protect them is to reduce the amount of virus circulating in the general population including those at relatively low risk of serious consequences. Your strategy of letting the virus rip through the low-risk population would leave them extremely vulnerable while a herd immunity strategy aims to protect them as well. 

And you completely ignored the risk of "long covid" in those at the other end of the spectrum - i. e. at low risk of death from a covid infection. Shouldn't that be factored in to your utilitarian calculus? 

And what would be the impact on businesses and the economy of another major surge in infections if we reserved the vaccine for the 10% most vulnerable and the rest of us had to continue to worry about the person at the next table in a restaurant or sitting beside us on a plane? 

11 hours ago, Todd Allen said:

we know mass vaccination campaigns can have unintended consequences and when engaging in novel irreversible experiments on humanity with even miniscule odds of severe outcomes the pace should be cautiously moderate.

There is no doubt application of seemingly beneficial technology can have unintended negative consequences in the longer term, and vaccines can sometimes be like this.

But asking a large fraction of the population to face the known and unknown consequences of covid infection without the protection of a currently very effective vaccine they helped pay for out of a reasonable but still debatable concern that widespread vaccination will only encourage the virus to mutate to be more destructive in the long run seems to me to be a very dubious proposition.

Like with global warming, human nature is such that people are extremely reluctant to sacrifice their own current self-centered interests (e.g. drive an SUV, eat meat) for the greater good over the longer term. Instead we are going to have to innovate our way out of the predicament with appealing electric vehicles, meat alternatives, conversion to solar power, carbon capture technology and if worse comes to worst, maybe even risky geoengineering.

The same innovative, problem-solving spirit will likely be true and necessary with the covid vaccines, staying one step ahead of covid like we do with the new flu vaccine every year. Which reminds me - you conveniently skipped my point that scientists will likely be able to develop new vaccines pretty rapidly to deal with new variants of the covid virus. In fact they are working on them now. That seems like all the more reason not to ration the vaccine to the 10% most vulnerable in hopes of preventing mutations while condemning thousands to die unprotected in the short term.

While I can agree that widespread vaccinations in the face of this virus has the potential to drive further mutations, I don't see that we have much choice except widespread deployment of vaccines from a pragmatic or ethical perspective. I don't believe your alternative of limiting vaccines to the most vulnerable would be accepted or effective at minimizing total harm. 

Finally, while I disagree with your view on this, I now have a better appreciation of your nuanced perspective Todd, and I apologize again for mischaracterizing it earlier. 

--Dean

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8 hours ago, Ron Put said:

I have no idea where the NYT pulled this data, but frankly, I have cancelled my subscription and stopped paying much attention to it, and to NPR, as both have abandoned any pretence of objective journalism and have veered deeply into activism.

The NYT's 1% case fatality rate (if I am reading the chart right) is way out of the 0.1%-0.3% consensus I see elsewhere. I already posted a rather extensive UK report in an earlier post: 

If I remember right, according to WHO the flu has an average CFR between 0.1% and 1%, depending on the season's severity. And that's with widely available vaccines.

Ron,

As I said, covid case fatality rate may end up being not much higher than the flu now that better treatments and especially the vaccines have dramatically reduced the frequency of hospitalization and death as well as prevented infections in those most likely to die. In fact we are very lucky that so far the covid vaccines are much more effective than the seasonal flu vaccine at preventing infections and death.

What I asked for was evidence to support your claim of the "pretty much comparable" transmissivity of the delta variant and the seasonal flu.

Did you miss that part Ron? I'm just asking because your previous claims of parity between the seasonal flu and covid (e.g. the eventual death count) have been pretty specious.

--Dean

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10 hours ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

As I said, covid case fatality rate may end up being not much higher than the flu now that better treatments and especially the vaccines have dramatically reduced the frequency of hospitalization and death as well as prevented infections in those most likely to die. In fact we are very lucky that so far the covid vaccines are much more effective than the seasonal flu vaccine at preventing infections and death.

What I asked for was evidence to support your claim of the "pretty much comparable" transmissivity of the delta variant and the seasonal flu.

Did you miss that part Ron? I'm just asking because your previous claims of parity between the seasonal flu and covid (e.g. the eventual death count) have been pretty specious.

Dean, like in most comparisons, the frame of reference can make all the difference. And speaking of specious, take a look at your posts citing predictions of 2.2 million dead in the US, which is the “science” on which the most egregious peacetime restrictions on individual rights and free speech in the Western world were based.

Mortality is what really matters. And it much depends on which flu pandemic one compares to the current virus. Comparing SARS-COV-19 to the median fatality rate of the last five years paints a very different picture than comparing it to major flu pandemics, such as 1969, 1957 or 1918.

The NYT, as well as most of the media, ran highly politicized headlines condemning Sweden for an excess mortality rate which is less than 10% higher than the median of the last five years, but did not mention that Sweden’s excess mortality rate for 2020 was lower than the 2012 mortality rate. And then there are legitimate questions about the validity of all the deaths attributed to Covid.

We can argue about R0 numbers, but if it is indeed so high, then such restrictions are largely irrelevant to the spread, as a great number of infections are asymptomatic. And what exactly is the point you are arguing about transmissibility? Are you for indefinite restrictions, so long as there are infections? Is it flattening the curve, or something else?

By all means, anyone who wants to is free to wear a hazmat suit, or lock themselves at home and receive a booster every month. But what gives anyone the right to impose such stringent rules on the rest of society? After all, by most accounts, the vaccines are highly effective and protective against actual illness, so those who are vaccinated do not have to fear those who have chosen not to be.

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15 hours ago, Ron Put said:

If Biden and the Democrats wanted this thing “over,” it would have been over. But they don’t. It’s kept on the front burner only because it works for them and they believe that if the fear and loathing is kept until 2022, their chances of holding on to power will be significantly increased. And in the process, they can paint any potential Republican challengers as “enemies of society,” especially the raising star of DeSantis. Note the relentless coverage of Florida infections, including the false numbers published by the CDC for last week, overstating infections by almost 50%, and now quietly revised. But quiet revisions don’t make headlines.

With the public kept in fear and focused on the variants and infections, the Democrats and the media are drowning out any unfavorable to them issues that otherwise dominate the news and spoil their chances for 2022. Like the rapidly raising crime and the deterioration of America’s major cities after the BLM riots and the Left’s defunding of the police, the inflation, the unimaginable even two years ago debt, as well as the sweeping identity-based changes being quietly rolled out across government departments and large private enterprises. And the censorship and suppression of speech outsourced by the Left to the tech monopolies.

Before the pandemic, the Left had found itself in opposition in large swaths of the developed world, and was seething in disbelief in the wake of the elections of conservative populists like Boris Johnson and Trump, and Brexit. Yet Trump was riding a strong economy and by most accounts was on track to win reelection.

Back during the 2008 financial meltdown, Rahm Emanuel famously (or infamously) said “Never allow a crisis to go to waste.” The pandemic provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to add fear to the loathing that had already energized the Left, and to attack Trump’s every decision and pin every death on his “incompetence.” Cuomo and Newsom were hailed as America’s “true leaders” for following in China’s footsteps and crashing the economy, and “the science” became a party line with heretics being canceled. Kamala Harris repeatedly proclaimed that she “would not trust the Trump vaccines,” then Biden claimed credit for it all.

No, keeping this up works splendidly for the Left and they will fight to keep it up for as long as it does, and as they can.

And so The Biden administration forces federal workers, veterans, va workers etc to get vaccinated and pushes for more incentives all to convince us he is serious but he really isn’t. Cmon Ron you can do better than that

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4 minutes ago, Ron Put said:

And what exactly is the point you are arguing about transmissibility? Are you for indefinite restrictions, so long as there are infections? Is it flattening the curve, or something else?

The comment about transmissibility was simply to point out that you appear to once again to be making sh*t up, unless you have evidence to support your claim.

No I'm not for indefinite restrictions. I've got the vaccine just like you. My wife and I had a nice dinner at a fancy indoor restaurant to celebrate our anniversary over the weekend. Despite being vaccinated we took what we considered to be prudent precautions, wearing masks while walking through the restaurant but not once we'd sat down. We had a great time and were very glad we were vaccinated and didn't have to worry too much.

Honestly I feel sorry for the poor shmucks who have been convinced that the risk of the vaccine outweigh the benefits. Saying that the transmissivity of the delta variant is comparable to the seasonal flu could contribute to such poor judgment and that's why I was urging you to stick to the truth or provide evidence to support your claim.

--Dean

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I don't buy the argument that vaccination will cause greater prevalence of variants.  I've seen some weird arguments from antivaxers who seem to believe the virus has intelligence and mutates when it thinks it needs to, haha.  The number of mutations is directly proportional to the number of infections.  If you reduce symptomatic cases (which vaccines do) then shouldn't you also reduce the number of variants that would otherwise arise?  Also note that the vulnerable often aren't well protected directly from vaccinations as their immune systems are compromised and do not generate a robust immune response.  You protect the most vulnerable by preventing the least vulnerable people they interact with from getting sick (which again, is what widespread vaccination should do although its not perfect).

Fact check: Did COVID vaccines cause the delta variant?

 

 

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I got my COVID-19 antibody test back. My antibodies are still good. I was infected sometime late October to early November 2020.

Also included a slide from a study that shows the evolution of antibody response over time after infection.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7816882/

abd.jpg

antibody level.jpg

Edited by Matt
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On 8/12/2021 at 4:28 AM, Dean Pomerleau said:

So you are saying the government should declare "we are going to limit vaccines that every taxpayer helped pay to develop to only the 10% most vulnerable people, with full knowledge that this will lead to tens of thousands of deaths among those of you who are slightly less vulnerable because we are worried the virus might mutate if we gave the vaccine to everyone who wanted it."

Yes.

On 8/12/2021 at 4:28 AM, Dean Pomerleau said:

If you think people will nobly forgo protecting themselves with the vaccine to preserve its efficacy for those most at risk, then you must also think people will forgo antibiotics to preserve their efficacy for those most at risk, or forgo buying that SUV or pickup truck for the good of the planet and future generations, or heck wear a mask to protect both themselves and others. I'm normally a person with an optimistic view of human nature, but good luck with that.

I have a more cynical view of human nature.  I believe the billions spent on marketing and propaganda actually have an effect on beliefs and behavior.  Simple things such as the rules on the counting of covid cases and covid deaths impact public perception of risk and the need for vaccination.  Government choices have increased demand for vaccines.  Different choices could have lead to much greater hesitancy.

On 8/12/2021 at 4:28 AM, Dean Pomerleau said:

Besides, the Delta variant appears to have arisen in India in December of 2020 where selection pressure due to widespread vaccinations was not a big factor, to put it mildly. Vaccines weren't even available anywhere yet. Having the virus circulating widely provides ample opportunity for more virulent variant to develop, independent of the vaccines. The selection pressure to outcompete other variants and break through to infect previously infected individuals is sufficient to drive deleterious mutations. 

Vaccines were trialed in India prior to the emergence of the Delta variant.  It is important to recognize variants are better described as lineages.  A variant is defined as collection of mutations.  A given viral particle is considered to belong to a variant if it possesses the defining mutations but it is not limited to only those mutations.  Delta which is ripping through the UK and Israel is different from Delta that emerged in India late last year.  Some of these differences have been noted as new sub-lineages such as Delta D, Delta plus, Delta AY, etc.

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13 hours ago, Gordo said:

The number of mutations is directly proportional to the number of infections.

This is only true in the sense of the mutations that occur which has little to nothing to do with the mutations that survive and rise to dominance.  If humanity stayed in Africa even with growing population density and tremendous amounts of time there would be little possibility of Eskimos arising to become the dominant strain of humanity.

The natural course of viral evolution is towards greater transmissibility and lesser virulence.  Strains with these properties spread better and come to dominate.  More deadly strains burn out and disappear.  Vaccines change the evolutionary playing field determining which strains rise to dominance.  In the case of Marek's disease in chickens we successfully bred a virus that is 100% effective at producing very rapid horrible death.  Something exceptionally unlikely to arise naturally.  This was done by achieving a nearly 100% vaccination rate within the commercial poultry industry with a vaccine that was exceptionally effective at stopping symptoms and death but not good at preventing infection.  And very quickly the disease got nastier and nastier among the unvaccinated.  Most transmission now occurs within the vaccinated and the nastiness of the virus within the unvaccinated is no longer a significant factor in determining what strains dominate.

Fortunately the Covid vaccines are losing their ability to prevent symptoms and death within the vaccinated which reduces the risk of a repeat scenario of selecting for a truly devastating virus.

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