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Signs of Hope – A continuing series February 19, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Signs of Hope – A continuing series

Gewerkschaftler suggested this recently:

I suggest this blog should have a regular (weekly) slot where people can post happenings at the personal or political level that gives them hope that we’re perhaps not going to hell in a handbasket as quickly as we thought. Or as the phlegmatic Germans put it “hope dies last”.

Any contributions this week?


1. Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 19, 2021

The good news we’ve all been waiting for. From Reuters:

Data analysis in a study by the Israeli Health Ministry and Pfizer Inc found the Pfizer vaccine developed with Germany’s BioNTech reduces infection, including in asymptomatic cases, by 89.4% and in syptomatic cases by 93.7%.

Findings of the pre-published study, not yet peer-reviewed, but based on a national database that is one of the world’s most advanced, were first reported by the Israeli news site Ynet late on Thursday and were obtained by Reuters on Friday.

Pfizer declined to comment and the Israeli Health Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

A separate study by Israel’s Sheba Medical Center published on Friday in The Lancet medical journal found that among 7,214 hospital staff who received their first dose in January, there was an 85% reduction in symptomatic Covid-19 within 15 to 28 days with an overall reduction of infections, including asymptomatic cases detected by testing, of 75%.

More research is needed to draw a definitive conclusion, but the studies are among the first to suggest a vaccine may stop the spread of the novel coronavirus and not just prevent people getting ill.

This means that getting yourself vaccinated is not only good for you, but good for the people who won’t get it from you.

This figures are likely to be similar for the Moderna vaccine, and there are many who expect the AZ and other vector vaccines like Sputnik V to have a similar effect. I think because immunity continues to grow with these as time goes on the figures may be more difficult to come by.


WorldbyStorm - February 19, 2021

Thank you, that is genuinely good news. Fingers crossed vaccines roll out and genuine herd immunity comes into play once sufficient are vaccinated. Also some preliminary figures from vaccinated Irish healthcare staff looking positive.


Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 19, 2021

I believe the way this works is that, even if you get a mild dose after being vaccinated, the ‘viral load’ (i.e. the density of virus in the droplets/aerosols) that you emit when you cough, sing or simply breath is much lower.

So the chance of other people breathing in enough of the virus in your shared air to get infected is significantly lower.

Remember the two main goals of vaccination are a) to prevent serious disease after a Covid infection, if you can’t stop it altogether and b) prevent the transmission of the disease.

It seems that these vaccines can do both, but you only know that when you can do the statistical data analysis after mass vaccination


Bagatelle's Undersea Boat - February 20, 2021

Temper your celebrations, we are already seeing epitope escape meaning the current vaccines won’t cover the new strains emerging.

Thanks to the politicians saving xmas and the hospitality sector we are running a significant risk that come August we’ll still be in lock down. Awaiting new vaccines.


WorldbyStorm - February 20, 2021

That’s a fair point. There’s no question there’s going to be catch up in terms of boosters, there’s a long way to go.


rockroots - February 20, 2021

Indeed – and I’m led to believe that the hospital porter who died during the week had received both jabs, so it’s worth remembering that there will be a minority for whom the vaccine is unfortunately not effective. There’s good cause for extra hand hygiene and masks to remain parts of everyday life in the long term.


WorldbyStorm - February 20, 2021

+1 rockroots. That’s the thing. The vaccine isn’t sure fire until sufficient people are given it/them.


CL - February 20, 2021

” Amid the dire Covid warnings, one crucial fact has been largely ignored: Cases are down 77% over the past six weeks
In large part because natural immunity from prior infection is far more common than can be measured by testing….

Now add people getting vaccinated. As of this week, 15% of Americans have received the vaccine, and the figure is rising fast. Former Food and Drug Commissioner Scott Gottlieb estimates 250 million doses will have been delivered to some 150 million people by the end of March.”

” The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that global COVID-19 declined by 16% in the week leading up to Feb. 14. According to a CNN report, WHO says 81,000 coronavirus deaths and 2.7 million new cases were reported last week – more than 500,000 fewer new cases compared to the previous week…..
but Dr. Fauci reminds Americans that it’s important to stay vigilant. “We’ve just got to be careful about getting too excited about that because we do have the challenge of variants,”


WorldbyStorm - February 20, 2021

Hmmm… I think Fauci is wise to be cautious. Every time so far we’ve heard of ‘natural’ herd immunity it has proven chimerical.


2. CL - February 19, 2021

” Uber suffered an important labor defeat in its largest European market on Friday when Britain’s Supreme Court ruled that the ride-hailing firm’s drivers must be classified as workers entitled to a minimum wage and vacation time….
The decision was a major victory for labor activists in the United States and Europe who are pushing for better wages and stronger protections for workers of services like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Grubhub, whose role in the economy has grown during the coronavirus pandemic….
The case traces back in part to 2015, when an Uber driver, James Farrar, was assaulted by a passenger in London. After Uber did not cooperate with the police investigating the incident, Mr. Farrar became involved in an emerging labor movement among drivers pushing for a minimum wage. Without a pay guarantee, Mr. Farrar said, Uber was able to flood the British market with drivers, who were left competing for a limited number of rides, depressing their income….

Daniel Ives, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, said the British ruling could be a “nightmare” for Uber if it increases its labor costs. London is one of Uber’s top five markets globally, he said.
“This case could set a precedent for other workers and companies in the gig economy throughout the U.K. and Europe which would be a body blow to the overall ecosystem,” Mr. Ives said in a note to clients.

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