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So, how’s it going on the vaccine front? June 23, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Any thoughts on the current situation regarding the vaccines roll-out and indeed the reopening?

I don’t want to say caution has been thrown to the winds in recent weeks, but there’s certainly a much much more relaxed atmosphere about currently – on foot in part of the roll-out. And as noted by Andrew Flood on Twitter, and others of course, we are now in a race between the spread of variants and the completion of the programme, though that last raises interesting questions as to the definition of completion. Will that be when 12-20 year olds are vaccinated? Or when boosters appear to mitigate the issue of variants, or when 80% plus of adults are vaccinated? There’s no clear answer to that, and perhaps none available. For myself that latter would be a tipping point and it seems possible that might be met in August/September.

Kingston Mills in the IT had some sensible thoughts it seemed to me regarding aspects of this.

Our authorities have also been slow to act on emerging scientific evidence on immunity to the virus. For example, we know that recovery from infection with SARS-CoV-2 generates strong antibody responses that persist for at least nine months. Therefore, people who have recovered from Covid-19 do not need to be vaccinated and certainly do not need two doses of a precious vaccine.

That makes sense, and particularly so in a context where as complete coverage as possible by vaccines is a necessary prerequisite of underpinning reopening. He also suggests the user of different vaccines in terms of first and second shots. And he points to some oddities about loosened restrictions – for which read the vaccine ‘bonus’ – in relation to AZ in particular. 

But worth keeping in mind just how novel the situation we now find ourselves in actually is. This time last year there was no guarantee that vaccines would emerge that would be in any way effective. Indeed I was somewhat sceptical myself when first announced by the government late in the year that there was good news on the horizon with respect to them. That they appear considerably effective, that they have appeared at all, is quite something. So there’s room for optimism, but all that said there’s also space and a necessity, not for fear or anxiety, but caution as matters move on. Indoor dining and drinking in restaurants and bars is something that needs to be given the greatest consideration. Doesn’t mean that it can’t go ahead but the pros and cons really need to be weighed up before hand. 

The polling information at the weekend that near enough half of people remained cautions and that there was strong support for measures such as mask-wearing to remain the status quo for some time to come speaks of a pragmatism on the part of the population which is likely going to be necessary as the society moves forward. And perhaps a necessary barrier against the more reckless demands from business and other quarters about reopening too quickly when the prospect of reopening to a much greater extent if it is taken carefully than we might otherwise have hoped for is realisable. 

Comments»

1. Liberius - June 23, 2021

The Tánaiste has said the Government will consider giving spare AstraZeneca vaccines to over 18s if advised to do so by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee.

Leo Varadkar said Ireland will have more AstraZeneca vaccines than it needs in the coming weeks and that NIAC is currently considering if it could offer them to younger people who are awaiting vaccination.

He said it would be a shame not to use the hundreds of thousands of excess doses that Ireland will have and while the issue of what to do with them does not arise yet, it will in the coming weeks

They’re off again, and let’s not beat around the bush those doses don’t have to go to waste if they are donated to covax, that actually has tangible benefits for keeping older people alive globally rather than just accelerating the reopening like it would here and doesn’t involve risking more blood clotting cases than is necessary.

RTE news : Govt ‘will consider’ giving spare AZ jabs to over 18s

http://www.rte.ie/news/coronavirus/2021/0623/1230807-coronavirus-ireland/

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Alibaba - June 23, 2021

I thoroughly agree with your points Liberius.

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WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2021

My feeling is that as you say it makes sense to send them once we have covered people here in the 50s 60s plus cohort. The push to reopen by these sort of stealthy machinations are risible.

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2. Alibaba - June 23, 2021

‘ THE DATA PROTECTION Commission (DPC) has said there is currently “no clear legal basis” for the processing of vaccine data by employers about employees.’

Much for thought here:

https://www.thejournal.ie/dpc-vaccine-status-for-employers-employees-5474526-jun2021/

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gypsybhoy69 - June 28, 2021

Indeed, my employer had a draft updated back to work form which had an additional question – have you been vaccinated? The Protocol specifically states ‘the vaccine roll-out is currently
a matter for Public Health and not the employer’. They weren’t best pleased when I pointed this out to them but did manage to pull it.

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3. crocodileshoes - June 23, 2021

Did I understand Mills to say that the AZ may not be as ‘upgradable’ in the autumn when booster shots are required? I know both he and Luke O’Neill favour giving AZ recipients another vaccine as our second dose. As it is, it’s frustrating to be the oldest person in the house and the last to get the second jab, just because that suits the administration of the vaccine programme. With both England and Scotland reporting their highest number of cases in months, and Northern Ireland having more and more delta cases, we over-60s want a second dose now, not in six weeks!

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WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2021

+1 it is disgraceful crocodileshoes. And I cannot understand the justification for the delay.

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sonofstan - June 23, 2021

Missed this: what’s the justification for delaying second jabs for over 60s?
Alarming week on week rises here.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/23/sharp-rise-in-uk-covid-cases-casts-doubt-on-more-lockdown-easing-before-19-july

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WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2021

I don’t know that there is one. Originally wasn’t the delay to be 12 weeks, then brought down so they say to 8.

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banjoagbeanjoe - June 23, 2021

I’m in that sixty plus boat too. Haven’t studied this but I think the original scientific advice was an 8 week gap between Astra Zeneca doses. That was extended to 12 here, I think, for administrative reasons (availability of vaccine doses) but backed by the science (?) – I think the science said it wouldn’t mean much if any difference if the gap was extended to 12. And then back to 8 because they had the doses available. I’d be due my second in about a fortnight if it’s an 8 week gap. But I think the logistics of the rollout may mean I could be waiting anything between 8 and 12 weeks for my second dose.
SF will be delighted to know that loads of my friends in their sixties now hate this government and will be voting for non-govt parties next time out.

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sonofstan - June 23, 2021

It was 12 weeks for me here in England. But they speeded it up the week before I was due to get J2 anyway.

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4. Bagatelle's Undiminished Terptitudes - June 24, 2021

AZ and J&J vaccines are about 60% effective against the Delta variant. Pfizer/Moderna mRNA vaccines are about 90% effective. Israel (88% fully vaccinated with Pfizer) has seen 10% of fully vaccinated become infected with the Delta.

Nature Medicine reported this week that 50% of the under 30s infected with COVID in Bergen Norway display long COVID symptoms 6 months after initial infection.

Under 12s won’t be eligible for vaccination until Sep/Oct at the earliest.

I’m fully vaccinated (Pfizer) but with under 12s we dual mask (cloth & N95) when outside, use hand sanitizer before unmasking in the car and are keeping outings to an absolute minimum, and first thing in the morning regardless of what restrictions are eased. Especially when politicians are involved in the decision making process.

The pandemic is not over until everyone is vaccinated, opening up before then or relaxing restrictions risks epitope escape and the development of a new vaccine, adding another year of lockdown to the 473 days we’ve already endured.

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WorldbyStorm - June 24, 2021

I was wondering about J&J. Thanks for that. That’s a hell of a percentage of under-30s with long Covid.

The 12 yo until a few months back, now 13 yo is going to secondary school next Sept. At least there’ll be masks worn there – an absolute shitshow in primary in terms of cases of Covid. But I know what you mean. The precautions are pretty straightforward and no reason to ease up on them. And it’s the summer too.

Agree completely re your last paragraph.

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Bagatelle's Unjourneyed Troughs - June 24, 2021

Masked or unmasked, any group in a room for 30 minutes is a super spreader event.

In future, when any politician tries on the “But whaddabout der childrens!!?!?!?!” angle they should be confronted with their silence when returning non-vaccinated children to the classroom during a global pandemic and told to take their self-serving hypocrisy on a hike to the arctic.

Liked by 1 person

Liberius - June 27, 2021

Just on the J&J vaccine, it’s still an open question with a certain amount of suggestion that it might need to be boosted.

The debate centers on concerns over how protective the J&J shot is against the Delta variant first detected in India and now circulating widely in many countries. Delta, which has also been associated with more severe disease, could quickly become the dominant version of the virus in the United States, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky has warned.

There is no substantial data showing how protective the J&J vaccine is against the new variant. However, UK studies show that two doses of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or AstraZeneca (AZN.L) vaccines are significantly more protective against the variant than one.

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/booster-may-be-needed-jj-shot-delta-variant-spreads-some-experts-already-taking-2021-06-25/

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5. sonofstan - June 24, 2021

Worrying figures from here: the case rate per 100k people in this part of Leeds is 871 – close enough to 1% of the population infected. No coincidence that this heavily populated with students, who’ve been on the loose since just about the time the Delta variant arrived. Door to door testing and vaccination to roll out from this weekend, I think.

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