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koala_bear

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  1. The Russians made a rod for their own back by being so secretive, if they had done the same as the other then far less of an issue.
  2. 21 days wasn't a guess but a very deliberate choice made early on: a) Previous non-covid 2 dose vaccine understanding points to a longer gap being better but b) For previous 2 dose vaccines the longer the gap between the jabs the less likely people are to come back for the second dose hence the gap is shortened c) 3 weeks vs 12 weeks delay clinical trial results by at least 9 weeks and everyone wanted vaccines in hurry and Pfizer also wanted to be early to market to get more orders. Hence most manufacturers going for 21 or 28 days as the shortest gap possible, nothing to do with losing effectiveness! Most manufacturers haven't looked at longer gaps etc. in much detail, Oxford/AZ is noticeably different. They did some early work looking at gaps up to 12 weeks and took regular blood samples and PCR swabs from that group, the blood samples showed increasing covid-specific antibody levels to 12 weeks when they got the second jab, this is what JCVI were looking at when they made the shift to 12 weeks. Oxford/AZ then did a much larger follow up study on the 12 week gap which has been released in pre-print form this week confirming that 12 week gap is more effective than 3/4/6 weeks gaps tested for that jab. Synopsis from the press release accompanying the paper:
  3. Yep, I've been through it. I can't image why they decided to pick a quarrel with AZ on this one as they will be made to look foolish. The EU seem to believe they can cherry pick half sentences in isolation, one lone German MEP still trying to argue but the rest have gone very quiet. One French MEP arguing that best endeavors should invalidate other contracts - obviously not having read it properly either. The Commission - AZ argument is getting comparatively little press coverage on the continent, the press there aren't believing the EU.
  4. Yep it was based in Canary Wharf, they tired to sue to get out of their expensive office space lease with another ~15 years to run and lost in the courts at every step.
  5. Three main issues: a) The trials didn't have that many older people in them so we should be expecting it to be less effective in older age groups in the real world when we are just vaccinating older people. b) the curse of looking at data very early on, it will include lots of people who had already caught it pre first jab or caught it re day 12 when the differences started to be seen between vaccinated and control groups. The immune response continues to improve after this. It will be much more interesting to look at this in month time with better data c) using different definition of effectiveness. We should in reality be using several different metrics (e.g. reduction in deaths, ICU admission, hospital admission, positive test with symptoms, asymptomatic with positive test).
  6. The vaccine trials included very few older people (vaccine effectiveness in general is lower in older people), hence some of this is measuring the lower effectiveness in older people that the trials didn't. Israel has also been measuring vaccine effectiveness by several different metrics from death to asymptomatic cases (similiar to Oxford /AZ trial methodology), the later is less flattering than the Pfizer trial definition. (Also see Chinese vaccine in UAE with flattering effectiveness definition with effectiveness just over 80% but 52% in Brazil where they when for the Oxford/AZ effectiveness measure. Many of those vaccinated were going out and not following guidance from day 1 (as case rates were rocketing generally) and with day 12 as being a useful marker for start of some protection were getting infected
  7. The key metric is what is going on in ICU not just hospitals overall. ICU admissions from latest stats: Mean age 60.0 (I.e. just over 20 years younger than deaths) Median 61 25% are over 70 25% are under 52 i.e. it will take quite while to get covid ICU admissions under control via vaccination...
  8. Indeed, plenty of people near me being much more careful than they had been before New Year. Cautious optimism - The average age of ICU admissions is ~ 20 years younger than those dying and BoJo has thrown everything at the older age group to cut deaths first. The NHS will be in trouble for a while yet as the mean age of covid ICU admissions is 60 and the median 62, more than half of whom are pretty health and it will be a long time till most groups who might end up in ICU are vaccinated. Boris's top 4 groups only cover about 25% of ICU admissions but 85-90% of deaths. About half a week after the first jabs for the top 4 groups should complete is the end of 12 weeks since the first jab at which point they need to turn to lots of second jabs...
  9. They haven't published since because of incomplete data
  10. We set a new record for case numbers today - over a bank holiday weekend so expect that some time soon. The last hospital data was for the 22nd and total covid patient numbers were close to record then. The daily admission rate was noticeably higher in April.
  11. Translating the NERVTAG report to plain English: (circa 3 fold) reduction in the typical average viral load needed to cause an infection with the new variant, hence the lower levels of reproduction seen in children can now easily be above the threshold with the new variant compared to below with the old variant. This also means the typical minimum size of particle or number of particles (or both) needed for virus transmission is smaller with the new variant.
  12. The UK does about 45% of virus genomics globally so other countries are much less likely to have found it as they don't have the ability to do it in sufficient quantities. The Germans haven't found it (yet) but reckon they have it but just can't do enough testing. They are assuming it is already there especially as it is also in Denmark. Luckily there is a potential way to identify it without genomics, one of the there is a potential easy way to find it, the Covid PCR testing looks for presence of multiple genes with each manufacturer looking at different gene. The mutation means that one of the genes the thermo-fisher test look for isn't present so the test returns negative results for that gene. (other mutations also have that gene missing so not full proof but an easy and quick way to estimate prevalence.)
  13. Minutes of the Friday morning NREVTAG meeting: https://khub.net/documents/135939561/338928724/SARS-CoV-2+variant+under+investigation%2C+meeting+minutes.pdf/962e866b-161f-2fd5-1030-32b6ab467896?t=1608470511452 Not good news...
  14. On the subject of kids and transmission from the guardian:
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