Questions About Vaccine

Yesterday I watched the first few minutes of yet another viral video that comes with the irresistible appeal of having been taken down from YouTube as "disinformation." It was about vaccine research going on now, and the alleged MD speaking named one of the companies, called Moderna, that is in the "race" to produce something that will stop the pandemic, or at least prevent some people from getting sick or dying from Covid-19.

I have never paid much attention to the long standing argument between anti and pro "vaxxers." Like arguments about ESP or space aliens, I am prepared to believe that our culture is capable of literally any bullshit you can imagine and therefore I do not laugh off the exotic theories about mind over matter or visitors from beyond the Solar System. I remain agnostic while I can see the majority of what I hear on esoteric ideas are nutty, just as the Main Stream would tell you. But some things make me scratch my chin and vaccines are one of them.

I knew nothing about "clinical trials" or even who judges them.

This "doctor" claims that Moderna is in Phase 3 already (human testing), and that the rate of side effects ranged from 80% to 100% of subjects injected with this Miracle Drug. Well, I guess that is what the testing period is for, right?

Not at all sure that there was even such a thing as Moderna, I googled it and found out the video MD was right on the dime in her description of Moderna. I posted this in a comment yesterday and a day later I am still blown away by how absurd this is:

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J.P. Morgan Lays Odds On the Race to a COVID-19 Vaccine

The world needs a vaccine against COVID-19, and with some 200 vaccine candidates in various stages of development, and more than 30 of these vaccines already in Phase 3 clinical trials, odds are we will get a vaccine -- probably several -- sooner than you might expect.

J.P. Morgan analyst Cory Kasimov focused in on two of the leading candidates: mRNA-1273 from Moderna (MRNA), and BNT162 from BioNTech (BNTX), laying odds on which of the two has the best chance of success -- and which might win FDA approval first.

Kasimov's note, it should be pointed out, is not intended to be an exhaustive discussion of all 30 leading vaccine candidates, or even a thorough review of the two vaccines focused on. Rather, explained the analyst, he just "wanted to get a better sense of the likelihood of success in Phase 3 for two of the front runners in the vaccine race." As such, the report should perhaps be best viewed as a sort of first look at two good prospects to rank among the winners of this race.

/snip/

Simulating potential results of the Phase 3 trials, Kasimov notes first and foremost that "both trials should ultimately be successful if efficacy rates are anywhere north of 60%." (I.e. The FDA will probably approve both companies' vaccines if they are 60% or more effective at preventing infection, relative to patients receiving placebos). It appears that the FDA could approve vaccines with efficacy rates of 50% or even as low as 30% -- but 60% is preferable, and 70% or better would all but assure approval of both companies' vaccines.

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The race is on. Seven billion customers is the finish line. Wall Street is betting on the various research organizations like horses at the Belmont Stakes. That makes capitalistic sense, although it begs some really difficult questions like once some vaccines are "approved," who decides which one to use? Who is going to pay for them? How are they going to be distributed?

Although until yesterday I had not bothered to look into the actual nuts and bolts of creating and distributing a vaccine, I did make a decision months ago that I would fight to the death rather than let anybody in THIS culture stick a needle in my arm. I knew nothing about how vaccines are created, tested, approved and used, but I do know that we are run by a confederacy of charlatans, gangsters and morons. Whoever wins this capitalistic "race" will be the fastest, not the best, contestant. In a country where respectable publications still claim that Putin put Trump in the White House, I do not see how anybody can trust our society to put out a safe and effective product.

Did I use the word, effective?

It never occurred to me in 67 years on this planet and after having been vaccinated for polio and small pox as a child that the vaccine itself might not work. The doctor in the underground video used the term efficacy, which struck me as weird. If the shit does not work, why shoot it into people?

And there it is -- the business section of Yahoo! News. The best anybody can hope for is 70% efficacy? And 30% would fly?

Excuse me, but what the fuck is the point of this? "Congratulations. You have just been given a 70% chance of not getting Covid-19. Or maybe more like 30%? So keep wearing your mask and keep your social distancing until everybody has taken the vaccine. And then keep wearing the mask because there is between a 30% and 70% chance that anybody can STILL spread the virus."

I am not attacking the concept of vaccine. I remain agnostic on that topic. But this idiotic "race" is beyond insane. The tragedy is that the majority of the people I know in real life complacently believe that once we get a vaccine, we can get back to normal. I hear it on virtually every Zoom meeting I'm on.

The faith in Science is all that anybody has left as our social institutions are crumbling before our eyes. Surely Science can save us. It is an echo of religion in our secular age. The idea that there is no solution to a problem is inconceivable to Americans -- all we have to do is get the politics out and let Science do its thing. The ideology of the Book of Genesis has ruled the world for several thousand years and our effort to control the environment has allowed the population to grow to 7 billion.

Nature is fighting back now and nature is winning.

Perfect irony for this End of The World -- the business page article shows clearly that the vaccine obsession is all about who gets to make the windfall profit of selling hundreds of millions of doses of Maybe to a terrified citizenry. "Efficacy" is but a sales point.

Maybe is the best we can hope for.

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I came to understand and accept that there is no certainty in anything in life except that if we win the cosmic lottery and, against infinite odds, come into being that we will return to an eternity of nonexistence. The problem was never that this was the only truth but that I believed otherwise and could not accept uncertainty and not knowing. Most of what I grew up "knowing", because it was what I had been told or taught, was not true much less an absolute. My demand for absolutes and my polar thinking really caused a lot of trouble in my life. It was not until I decided I had to change my thinking that the process of sorting out my relationship with life began to make any progress.

One step in this process was understanding how my beliefs caused so much turmoil. Belief, and its harsher cousin faith, is something we accept as true often without evidence. In faith's case it is belief that is often in the face of overwhelmingly powerful, credible evidence to the exact contrary. The solution was an honest examination of beliefs once I found what belief my confusion was based on.

Science is a good example. There is no truth in science. Or absolutes. Or certainty. Science is the best explanation of what we know right now. It is subject to change on the basis of future evidence and better explanations. Whoever believes that science is going to solve the Covid pandemic is going to be sorely disappointed. At best we will find a way to coexist in a world with the virus.

Thre is a chance that science and biomedical engineering will find something to protect enough people that millions don't die or be permanently damaged and/or society doesn't collapse. 70% efficacy sounds pretty good but especially if it has a lasting protection. Neither is exactly a certainty although side effects, some that may be nasty, are almost certain. There is unlikely to be a permanent total solution for everyone. And. Mistakes will be made. Some may be innocent, some may be negligent, and some may be in the interest of profit. The people, organizations, and process involved are the same that have produced seeming miracles and devastating disasters. Only the details change over time, humans don't change except on an individual basis.

I was the one who had to work through examining my beliefs and deciding how to deal with each one. I had to change my thinking. I had to find a way to fit what I learned into making my life work. I suggest that is how each of us will work through building a relationship to a new normal. Then that normal will change again. That's also pretty much eternal. I'm OK with that reality.

My current reality with respect to the pandemic is that I must limit my exposure, take reasonable protective measures, and get happy with what is.

What I refuse to do is obsess over how much I don't like many things that I see as wrong in this world and our current situation. I can't stop the rich and powerful from profiting from a virus that kills and wrecks lives as well as whole economies. About all I can do is not enable them to do what they exist to do. I can't worry about how this virus will affect me or others. That will happen and I'll deal with it as it comes. I'll help others where and when I can.

What I won't do is become so confused about what is real that I suddenly pick up beliefs with a high probability of being nonsense. I think I've indicated where I stand on belief as a basis for living. I choose a reasoned live based on the best evidence I can find. I'm OK with uncertainty, chaos too sometimes, and am willing to change my mind and thinking when something better comes along that fits me and how I live. Everything else is a problem I don't have, yet, that will need to be considered if it ever comes knocking. I tend to deal with only what is right in front of me in the present.

Something in this process seems to work for me. Nothing written in the essay really bothers me although there is a lot not to like and want to be different.

What I am grateful for today is that I didn't have to put down my almost 17 year old Pit mix. Sam had what appeared to be a neurological event late Sunday evening that left him soaking in a puddle of urine and mostly unresponsive. Monday wasn't any better and we made plans with our vet to come out to the house yesterday afternoon to end his suffering. I got up half expecting him to be dead. Instead he got up unsteadily from his bed and slowly made his way to the door off the atrium to go outside. He ate, drank, and went back to his bed. He still wasn't all there.

My wife had been up with him until late and hadn't gotten up yet. About noon I cancelled the vet. I wasn't sure how mad my wife would be because she had seen his decline much clearer than I ever would have. Sam has been her guardian and protector since she rescued him from a notorious kill shelter in south GA 15 years ago. He loves her more than life but hasn't been all there for some time. It wasn't my decision to make to continue with the euthanasia and she wasn't available. She later agreed. He was a little better through the rest of the day but not much. He could be lured outside with bits of cookies. He looked and acted worse than he had about five years ago when he went to surgery to remove several inches of necrotic intestine from a blockage. We didn't think he would survive that.

This morning he was up and "ran" down our front steps to go water the lawn. I have no explanation. This dog has one helluva strong constitution. I think I have reaffirmed that as long as we err towards preserving life anything is possible. Once a life is gone, nothing is possible. There may be something in this short tale that applies to the pandemic and this essay.

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@vtcc73 @vtcc73 .

We are all dealing with primal philosophical questions like why go on living? Or put differently, what is the point of life?

To be brutally honest with myself, at age 67, I have no idea what to do with myself. I have a job that will last at least until next February or so, and it is possible that we could survive -- although my objective opinion is that my job will disappear no later than February. I was planning to retire in the next year or two or three -- but my Social Security and pension "entitlements" do not look secure at this point. If bankruptcy does not destroy both the Social Security Trust Fund and the Pension Fund, they will pay my wife and me about 4,500 per month. As of now, there is only guesswork about about how much that will buy after the world digests something like $20 trillion in fiat money just summoned into existence this year. Hyper inflation is a real possibility.

I had, like I am sure most people, some very specific plans for what I would do after retiring. Gone with the wind.

So, the past is dead -- and the future is a mystery. I have lived my whole life by the philosophy of optimism. One door closes and another one opens, wallowing in misery just makes a bad situation worse, and . . . .

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Always look on the bright side of life
.
If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly, chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle - that's the thing

For life is quite absurd
And death's the final word
You must always face the curtain with a bow
Forget about your sin
Give the audience a grin
Enjoy it - it's your last chance anyhow

So always look on the bright side of death
(Whistle)
A-Just before you draw your terminal breath

Life's a piece of shit (Oooh)
When you look at it
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true (Oooh)
You'll see it's all a show (Oooh)
Keep 'em laughin' as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you (Oooh)

(What have you got to lose?
You know, you come from nothing
You're going back to nothing
What have you lost? Nothing!)

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Yes, I am most disturbed because I lost the illusion of control over my life.

That sucks.

I suppose I will get over it at some point. For now waaaaaaah.

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9 users have voted.

I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

wendy davis's picture

@fire with fire

version: : )

mr. wd and i get about a total of $650 SS/month. worked all our lives, the past four decades self-employed (the Original Job Creators), never thought to keep our SE papers. so...not a leg to stand on, so to speak. as kurt vonnegut is wont to say: 'and so it goes...'

guess that's why the IRS issued their 'paperwork reduction act' whenever they did, the brilliant mofos.

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@fire with fire @fire with fire Control over our lives is an illusion. Anything beyond the confines of our meat suits is beyond our control. We have influence, sometimes, but no real control. Accepting this is hard until we realize it is a fact that is not subject to argument or alteration.

I cannot explain how much freedom comes from accepting that control is an illusion. Of course, it still is true whether we accept it or not. Freedom comes from learning to stop wrestling with ourselves and the world we can't control. Think about all of the physical and emotional energy that goes into fighting what we can't fix, change, or control. What could we use that energy for rather than fighting a useless battle?

Your financial situation is a great example. Your SS is adequate to live a modest existence in a lot of places including the US. Hopefully, you have other assets and little debt but that's not a given for those of us our age. (I'm a few years older than you and will have been retired 9 years on 11/1.) Your expenses will significantly decrease in retirement. Debt is the one thing that upsets that process. Regardless, you will live that existence for better or worse. You cannot change it much at this point.

What can you change? You can accept that you may have to work longer. You may find another part time job. You can cut expenses and work hard to retire debt. Your spouse may be able to do the same. Pay down debt and don't take any more. Change your life now to the less expensive lifestyle you'll live in retirement. Downsize if that's a possibility. I think, you'll have to check, that at 67 you are entitled to a full SS retirement now and still work without a penalty. Working longer will slightly increase your SS when you do take it but taking a smaller check now to prepare for retiring may be the better option. I took SS at 62. The break even was at 82 for me. In the meantime I used the money when I could best use it which has allowed me to invest to make up for the difference. Those are direct things you can do. I'm sure there's more but be safe with your money.

What can't you do? You can't save SS. That is out of our hands. Those who benefit from eliminate SS are in control. Prepare the best you can and stop worrying. Fretting over it doesn't improve your future or change anything. It only crushes your spirit and ability do do the things you can do. Personally, I don't share your pessimism about the future of SS with respect to the fund going away in our lifetimes. Reduced maybe, more heavily means tested quite possibly, but away I doubt. That would unite so much of the country against whoever is in power. I honestly think that is the only thing that might get the trumpistas to pull their heads out of their asses. Whatever happens we will live it.

To be perfectly clear, I'm not suggesting to get over it. I'm not saying bury our heads in the sand (Preferable to our asses!) and be mindlessly optimistic. That may be more dangerous than pessimism. Look at the threats to your life and wellbeing as honestly as you can. Look for what you can do now to prepare for what might happen and do it. There will be options you don't like. Don't reject them out of hand. Decide if what needs to be done right now will make a difference in the future. Then decide if it is worth what you lose today compared to how the future may be. There's a lot of guess work and very little data to make decisions on.

Take your best shot and live with it. But whatever you do don't get stuck in place worrying about what might happen and doing nothing to improve your chances.

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snoopydawg's picture

@vtcc73

furry friend. Watching them decline and having to make the decision is so damn hard. But for him to 1st declie, but then be better gives you a gift I think. You know what the future holds and gives you time for goodbyes. I hope you two can find peace.

I went through this with Abby for 6 months. Just as I decided to call the vet the next day she would rally and be fine for awhile. I cherished every minute with her until she told me that she had to go.

I’m so worried about Charlie now. She had surgery 6 weeks ago and got cellulitis and she started licking around her incision and boy did she cause a big sore. I had to go out to town Monday and it was too hot for her to wait in the car so I left her home with a cone on. She got out of it and spent hours licking it and now it’s oozing. Her leg gets saturated with blood from it. The vet said to watch it but I’m taking her in tomorrow. The stress that comes when our fur babies hurt is awful.

Good luck with your friend.

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“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

@snoopydawg Three years ago we were very conflicted about whether we should bring Sam with us to Ecuador. He was not doing well physically. He had mobility problems that often end the lives of large bone, powerful breeds of dogs. We could not think of anyone we could consider giving him to but the most important point was that my wife would not do that to him. His advanced age was an issue but he had a very bad life as a puppy/young dog being horribly abused. I don't know that being separated from her wouldn't have killed him. He loves me too but the world revolves around her.

I have video of him splashing around and chasing a stick in the Yanuncay River across the street from the apartment we lived in for seven weeks before moving into a temporary house while ours was being built. He was a puppy again. The climate, altitude, environment, and something I can't explain rejuvenated him, all of our other animals, and us. All of us feel better and are healthier here. He has been healthier the past three years than he was the last 3-4 years when we were in the US.

He also has had a few problems here with mobility being the most serious. The 6-7 pools of vomited blood from a stomach ulcer was dramatic. It was caused by the vet directed long term use of NSAIDS for moderate to severe joint pain. It was the only tool in the box and had expected results. Through a friend and neighbor we found an Ecuadorian born vet who had spent 20 years practicing in the US. He uses a combination of modern medicine and alternatives I never much believed in. He has kept Sam going mostly pain free and with reasonable mobility. A young friend, also a veterinarian, has been interested in some of the innovative and very effective ways Sam has been treated. The combination has shown results that our incredible vet in the US could not offer and probably didn't know existed.

All of this means that we've had three years we didn't expect to have. The few more hours, days, or whatever are more icing on top of almost 15 years we've spent with an amazing dog. We'll use the time well and when it is his time we'll be sad for a time while celebrating what he has given us.

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snoopydawg's picture

@vtcc73

I gave her Adequin shots for it until it stopped working. I put her on glucosamine with msn and it cleared up lickity split. No harsh drugs that tear up their stomach. I’m not sure if I will get another lab type dawg. My other one had the same problem. It’s so sad when you have to stop playing ball because it hurts them.

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“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

@snoopydawg and later our vet here added vitaneural (vitamin B1, B6, B12), calendula oil, and CDB oil. The drop mechanism on the CDB bottle doesn’t alwqays work well. It’s inconsistent producing the right number of drops. Sam got 4-5 drops with meals but sometimes the bottle thought 6 was better. It was right. There was a correlation to how well he could move when he got 6. His dose went up to 6.

This time last year Sam was having a lot of difficulty. The vet suggested an electro therapy. It required up to 10 weekly treatments. I was leaving for a month in the US on October 2 so beginning had to wait.

I didn’t understand the treatment fully until we started it the first week of November. It sounded like witchcraft when we started the first treatment. Sam’s back along his spine from the base of his skull to the last ribs was shaved. A small bubble was injected into the skin layer on both sides of his spine over the area the nerve bundles exit. His back looked like a Frankenstein allergy test. We remained at the office for an hour to ensure he didn’t have an adverse reaction. He was clearly affected but nothing bad so we went home. He did puke and poo in the car going home about every time he had a treatment.

He also instantly improved. The moderate knuckling in three legs almost stopped but was returning just before each treatment. By treatment 10 it had all but stopped. Ten treatments were all that the trial allowed but Dr. Mora said he wanted to try using more to see if there was improvement. We went to 15 ending last February. An occasional knuckling on a front foot showed up but came back during his episode last Friday. It’s gone again.

Dr. Mora and a couple vets doing the trial have treated over 150 dogs with all but a few responding similar to Sam. He went from a dog barely able to get out of bed or walk much with frequent incontinence to mostly normal with an infrequent accident.

My vet friend in the US said she had heard of the treatment but had no knowledge of its effectiveness. He’s lived well enough the past year so I would say that’s pretty good.

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snoopydawg's picture

@vtcc73

It's hard to describe what it is, but I had just one treatment and the pain I had been living with for a decade was gone just like that. The person who gave me the treatments used the device on Beagle Bailey who was a lab/springer and it helped her a lot too.

I have my own device, but need to buy the attachment that allows me to get a full treatment. Next month I'll have the money to buy it. Hopefully it helps with the neuropathy that has been kicking my butt all year. Nasty pain that not much helps.

Here's information on this treatment. It was created by Russians and doctors in Europe use it to deal with lots of diseases and disorders instead of using medication. It is hard to find people in the US who know anything about it because it is such a threat to big pharma.

http://enart.info/escape-from-back-pain-in-5-minutes/

Apologies fire for derailing your essay.

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5 users have voted.

“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@vtcc73

to gain strength, and, that you and your Family are spared needing to euthanize him. I'd do the same as you're doing, as long as he continues to appear to be gaining some strength.

We're in the same boat with our Cockatiel for the past couple of months. No local vets can really treat an avian. So, we're just giving him extra TLC, and vitamin-laden millet/seed, hoping that it will help him. Got 'Petey' as a baby in early 90's--so, he's a pretty old fellow. He has lived a good life, but, we still don't want to part with him. And, won't, unless he appears to be in distress or pain.

I'll keep all of you, and him, in my thoughts--sending super positive karma/vibes in your direction.

Take good care. Stay safe and well.

Mollie

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6 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

@Unabashed Liberal We've had birds off and on over the years. The little buggers can be incredibly resilient and impossibly delicate at the same time. Keeping one alive and well as long as Petey is excellent. I always enjoyed cockatiels. Their personalities are incredible and watching them wade into a herd of cats to show them who's boss has to be witnessed. Our lifestyle made it difficult to always give them as much attention as they needed. We found that as much as we loved having birds it was best to see them in the wild. At the moment we're pretty pleased with our dozens of hummingbirds that visit the yard and feeders every day. Besides finding an avian vet is tough but at least they're usually expensive. I'm not even sure it's possible here.

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wendy davis's picture

weigh in on your OP, but i DO care about who creates, tests, recommends, vaccines. and i know that you'd admitted absolving yourself of knowing or caring how tied in bill gates, the WHO, and how many zillions gates has invested in BigPharma vaccines.

and the UN just admitted that his vaccines actually caused more deaths and paralyses in the global south than they'd helped.

remember? i had featured the lengthy report from mint press news's macCleod and partner...

but here's helen buyniski's sept. 16 'Bill Gates doubts FDA & CDC can be trusted on Covid & vaccines. Sure, let’s trust a non-doctor billionaire who pays media instead (she references the columbia journalism reviews' report on bill gates, as well. best good media money can buy! i'll just paste in her opening graphs...

As plutocratic philanthropist Bill Gates urges Americans to reject government regulators and embrace private-sector vaccine developers – which he both funds and profits from – it’s worth asking why people still trust this man.

Gates bemoaned the decline of the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control, the US’ two chief health regulatory agencies in charge of monitoring drug safety, in a pair of interviews on Tuesday, insisting they’d become politicized servants of the Trump administration. Instead, he argued, Americans should trust private-sector pharmaceutical companies – specifically Pfizer – to save the day with a Covid-19 vaccine, possibly even before the year’s end!

Like much of the advice Gates has spouted during the Covid-19 pandemic, his dismissal of the regulators was self-serving and unsupported by medical expertise or evidence. Worse, it was reported uncritically by the media establishment, many of whom neglected to disclose the money they receive from the Gates Foundation alongside their fawning coverage of its founder.

As a major investor in the pharmaceutical sector who has shoveled millions of dollars into development of seven different vaccines for the novel coronavirus alone, Gates stands to make trillions if one of “his” jabs eventually “wins.” He has made no secret of his desire to vaccinate the entire population of the earth, a mind-bogglingly expensive project that would presumably be paid for by the same hapless governments that have been bullied into assuming all the liability for the rushed jab’s side effects.

me? get a forced jab? they'll have to tase me to death first....

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@wendy davis
But I would rather take the Russian vaccine than the Gates vaccine. Several European governments have signed on, I have read, including Scandinavian governments. I believe, perhaps foolishly, that the European and in particular;y the Scandinavian governments are not as corrupt as the US government.
Nonetheless, I am not an anti-vaxxer and I'll wait for the rest of you to be guinea pigs. Perhaps three years from now I will get vaccinated for COVID. It may well be the Russian vaccine. I greatly doubt it will be the Gates vaccine. I don't even run his software any more.

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3 users have voted.

We are so screwed.

Roy Blakeley's picture

Phase 1 is a small scale safety trial, usually in healthy individuals. Phase 2 is a small scale efficacy test. Phase 3 is a large scale efficacy test. Safety and side effects are monitored during all three phases as well as after FDA approval. Many things are considered side effects even if they are very minor. I had a flu shot today. My arm is slightly sore. That would be considered a side effect. So would a slight fever, so 80% to 100% of people having one or more side effects from a vaccine is routine and not intrinsically problematic.

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@Roy Blakeley
IIRC, any abnormality or condition that occurs during the test is considered a side effect even though it may be completely unconnected. that's why you see so many medicines listing sore muscles, runny noses, and the like as side effects.

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1 user has voted.

We are so screwed.

snoopydawg's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

There have been vaccinations that came with Serious Adverse Reactions because they were rushed to production. I think it was for one of the swine flue outbreaks that one was rushed and many people got severe neurological problems from them. Guillain Barre syndrome:

Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare disorder in which your body's immune system attacks your nerves. Weakness and tingling in your extremities are usually the first symptoms. These sensations can quickly spread, eventually paralyzing your whole body.

A surgeon I worked for came down with GBS and was unable to do surgery for a year and he was one of many that came down with it. Lots of other neurological problems with the vaccine that year.

AstraZeneca vaccine volunteer developed spinal inflammation & ‘rare neurological condition’ after two doses

A British participant in AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine trial was diagnosed with a serious neurological disorder weeks after her second dose of the inoculation, an internal company document shows.

A previously healthy 37-year-old woman was hospitalized this month after receiving two injections of the pharmaceutical giant’s new vaccine, where it was determined she developed transverse myelitis, a rare neurological ailment caused by inflammation of the spine, according to an internal AstraZeneca safety report obtained by CNN.

Though the report states the woman, who has not been identified by name, had no adverse reaction after her first dose in early June, she began to experience neurological symptoms some two weeks after her second jab in August. During a jog on September 2, the volunteer “had a trip (not fall) with a jolt,” the document says, while the next day she reported difficulties walking, weakness in her arms, impaired motor control over her hands, a headache and reduced feeling in her torso. She was hospitalized September 5 and diagnosed with “confirmed transverse myelitis” soon after.

As for Gates and his vaccine push in many countries, this wasn't the 1st time he was kicked out of a poor country where he was pushing vaccines because of the severe adverse reactions kids came down with. I would never take a vax that Gates is pushing. He is on record stating that through vaccinations 'we could reduce the population from 7 billion to 1 billion." YouTube has videos of his saying that.

There are plenty of poor people in this county that could benefit from the Gates foundation money from getting medical treatments, to food challenged families to lots of other issues that they can't get because their parents are poor. Wonder why he's not addressing our epidemic of poor people?

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“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

snoopydawg's picture

@snoopydawg

Bill Gates doubts FDA & CDC can be trusted on Covid & vaccines. Sure, let’s trust a non-doctor billionaire who pays media instead

As plutocratic philanthropist Bill Gates urges Americans to reject government regulators and embrace private-sector vaccine developers – which he both funds and profits from – it’s worth asking why people still trust this man.

Gates bemoaned the decline of the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control, the US’ two chief health regulatory agencies in charge of monitoring drug safety, in a pair of interviews on Tuesday, insisting they’d become politicized servants of the Trump administration. Instead, he argued, Americans should trust private-sector pharmaceutical companies – specifically Pfizer – to save the day with a Covid-19 vaccine, possibly even before the year’s end!

Like much of the advice Gates has spouted during the Covid-19 pandemic, his dismissal of the regulators was self-serving and unsupported by medical expertise or evidence. Worse, it was reported uncritically by the media establishment, many of whom neglected to disclose the money they receive from the Gates Foundation alongside their fawning coverage of its founder.

As a major investor in the pharmaceutical sector who has shoveled millions of dollars into development of seven different vaccines for the novel coronavirus alone, Gates stands to make trillions if one of “his” jabs eventually “wins.” He has made no secret of his desire to vaccinate the entire population of the earth, a mind-bogglingly expensive project that would presumably be paid for by the same hapless governments that have been bullied into assuming all the liability for the rushed jab’s side effects.

There’s good reason to be cautious. Pandemrix, the last rush-developed vaccine rolled out under the watch of the man in charge of the Trump administration’s vaccine gold rush – former GlaxoSmithKline vaccine director Moncef Slaoui – left hundreds of children ill, including brain damage, and cost the UK government millions of pounds in restitution payments.

Worth a full read.

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“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

@snoopydawg
on getting vaccinated. It's politicized, and the scam-masters are in on it as well.

Like I said in fire with fire's essay, I fully support the IDEA of vaccination, but in practice it's less science, more biz, and we have to beware of rushed-out vaccines. I'll let the MAGATs try them out first.

Yes, that was Gerald Ford rushing the swine flu vaccine and causing GB disease. That event basically created the ant-vax movement.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

Roy Blakeley's picture

is a right-wing conspiracy site. They simply lie about the UN admitting that polio vaccinations have done more harm than good. The UN document linked to does not say this at all. It mentions a couple of vaccine related cases of polio. The actual WHO figures on the subject are that between 2000 and 2017 13,000,000 cases of polio were prevented and there were fewer than 760 cases of vaccine-derived polio.

https://www.who.int/westernpacific/news/q-a-detail/what-is-vaccine-deriv...

There was a switch to a bivalent vaccine in 2015 that might be slightly less likely to cause vaccine derived polio.

By the way I am old enough to remember when the first oral polio vaccine was introduced (Sabin vaccine). Oral vaccines have weakened virus particles rather than dead ones like the Salk vaccine. A low frequency of vaccine-induced polio was always a characteristic of live polio vaccines, but they are a lot easier to get children to take than shots.

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wendy davis's picture

@Roy Blakeley

oh, my; i'd never imagined anyone thinking so. but it's everywhere, as this quick bingle hits list shows.

i was wrong about the authors of gates greatest hits in the global south, they were Jeremy Loffredo and Michele Greenstein at the grayzone. ‘Why the Bill Gates global health empire promises more empire and less public health, Behind a veil of corporate media PR, the Gates Foundation has served as a vehicle for Western capital while exploiting the Global South as a human laboratory. The coronavirus pandemic is likely to intensify this disturbing agenda’, july 2, 2020

now their section on oral polio vaccine (i won't bring their hyperlinks):

“The foundation has spent more than $1 billion distributing an oral polio vaccine (OPV) that contains a live polio virus to African and Asian countries. This live virus can replicate inside a child’s intestine and spread in places with poor sanitation and plumbing. That means people can contract the virus from the vaccine.” […]

“In recent years, more children have been paralyzed by the vaccine strain of the virus in OPV than by wild polio. In an interview with NPR, professor of microbiology Raul Andino said, “It’s actually an interesting conundrum. The very tool you are using for polio eradication is causing the problem.”

Back in 2000, the U.S. halted its use of the OPV. But in the developing world, the Gates Foundation uses its instruments of influence to ensure governments continue administering it.” [lengthy snip w/ other Gates-driven OPV paralysis horrifying stats in various nations]

a day or three after this latest exposé, big bill gates had tweeted close to:

We've eradicated all wild polio in Africa! (to great applause in the press). i tried to find it again, but instead found: Polio has been declared eradicated from Africa, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, august 25, 2020

but way below the fold so much double-speak wild v. oral (ahem), but never mind; my IE has frozen, gotta shut down.

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@wendy davis
https://www.palemoon.org/
I use it almost exclusively. For the few sites that don't follow public standards, I use Firefox.
Recently Youtube adopted some Chromium non-standard code. Palemoon started circling and circling and not playing youtube. I had to paste the URL into firefox. But yesterday I discovered that if I just click "pause" and then "play". Youtube plays fine as it did in the past.
IE is garbage and always was. Its popularity is from being "free" and right there on the desktop when you first power up your computer.

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We are so screwed.

wendy davis's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

is that it interfaces well with microsoft word, also a bill gates product, as is our email address @msn,com. on the homepage. MS now advises us to use their new and slow microsoft edge, which sucks in several ways, but does NOT interface with word.

when i compose diaries at the café, not only are all my media files there, i can create a hyperlink in a word doc by clicking on a hotlink while clicking Control, this booting up IE, then browsing recently accessed titles, sites. i can choose one, highlight it, click OK, and bob's yer uncle. a hotlink.

but i will check out pale moon, and yes, firefox is my main browser, 2 in fact, but both are ancient as they still provide Easy Copy for cross-posting from there...to here. sadly, they don't support Ad Block any longer, and some sites like telesur english just bounce around w/ video ads.

i did laugh when you'd mentioned a few weeks ago that you were rebuilding a laptop that it meant that i couldn't just hand you all my links on bill gates and DOE partnering on building small nuclear reactors for the World!!! ; )

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edg's picture

@wendy davis

From the first link on that Bing search: "vaccines causing the deaths of scores of young people living in Africa". A score is 20, so scores could be 40 or even a Lincolnesque 80. How does that compare to how many cases there would be without vaccination?

Nobody said fighting disease would be easy or without setbacks. I don't understand the insane conspiracy theories about Bill Gates and WHO and other organizations trying to help the world.

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wendy davis's picture

@edg

what the columbia review of journalism found (in part):

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hands out millions of dollars every year to news outlets to “inform and engage communities,” and most well-known English-language media are on their list of grantees. In addition to titles like the Guardian, Financial Times, National Public Radio, and NBCUniversal, the very entities supposedly tasked with guarding journalistic integrity are in Gates’ pocket. Groups like the Poynter Institute, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting have all benefited from the vaccine magnate’s largesse. And by donating to entities like the New Venture Fund, Gates can funnel money to other media outlets without explicitly declaring where the money is going.

While representatives of the Gates Foundation have hotly denied their donations pay for loyalty (or, in the case of the fact-checkers who reflexively defend the billionaire against any and all unsavory claims, for selective truth-telling), a recent report by the Columbia Journalism Review found Gates had basically bought the most trusted names in news. More disturbingly, it found evidence that the Gates Foundation had in at least one case gone over the heads of reporters to pressure their editors to quash stories critical of it. Money talks, especially in the perpetually cash-strapped journalism industry.

Gates is a God for many, i'd forgotten. dayum; i've been a detractor of his and his philanthro-capitalism for at least 15 years, ever since he, bono, and the g-8 biowrecked africa with genetically modified crops >>> eugenics in africa, crispr gene technology, 'cashless society' in india and he took the idea to the UN: covid, yanno? dirty filthy money!.

'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.'

~ Edmund Burke

yes, i'll continue to call him out, but not on other peoples' threads (she sayed hopefully).

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@Roy Blakeley

also a "right wing conspiracy site"?

LONDON (AP) — The World Health Organization says a new polio outbreak in Sudan is linked to an ongoing vaccine-sparked epidemic in Chad — a week after the U.N. health agency declared the African continent free of the wild polio virus.

In a statement this week, WHO said two children in Sudan — one from South Darfur state and the other from Gedarif state, close to the border with Ethiopia and Eritrea — were paralyzed in March and April. Both had been recently vaccinated against polio. WHO said initial outbreak investigations show the cases are linked to an ongoing vaccine-derived outbreak in Chad that was first detected last year and is now spreading in Chad and Cameroon.

“There is local circulation in Sudan and continued sharing of transmission with Chad,” the U.N. agency said, adding that genetic sequencing confirmed numerous introductions of the virus into Sudan from Chad.

...

Last week, WHO and partners declared that the African continent was free of the wild polio virus, calling it “an incredible and emotional day.”

On Monday, WHO warned that the risk of further spread of the vaccine-derived polio across central Africa and the Horn of Africa was “high,” noting the large-scale population movements in the region.

More than a dozen African countries are currently battling outbreaks of polio caused by the virus, including Angola, Congo, Nigeria and Zambia.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, many of the large-scale vaccination campaigns needed to stamp out polio have been disrupted across Africa and elsewhere, leaving millions of children vulnerable to infection.

In April, WHO and its partners reluctantly recommended a temporary halt to mass polio immunization campaigns, recognizing the move could lead to a resurgence of the disease. In May, they reported that 46 campaigns to vaccinate children against polio had been suspended in 38 countries, mostly in Africa, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Some of the campaigns have recently been re-started, but health workers need to vaccinate more than 90% of children in their efforts to eradicate the paralytic disease.

Health officials had initially aimed to wipe out polio by 2000, a deadline repeatedly pushed back and missed. Wild polio remains endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan; both countries also are struggling to contain outbreaks of vaccine-derived polio.

AP News Sept 2, 2020

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@Blue Republic
but that doesn't mean it's wrong. just watch for the political slant.

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We are so screwed.

wendy davis's picture

@Roy Blakeley

'Oral polio vaccine (OPV) contains an attenuated (weakened) vaccine-virus'.

how was it 'weakened'?

the gates foundation had been using Live Polio Virus which had been abjured for years by the US. why wold they do that?

and the WHO is pretty much funded by the gates foundation and its head Tedros in not a doctor either, which in that grayzone exposé seriously concerns former heads of the WHO.

but it seems that we all believe what we're predisposed to believe.

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@wendy davis
He should have come straight out and called it the Bill Gates vaccine.

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We are so screwed.

I often read here at Caucus99%, but rarely comment. But your post triggered me to log in so I could comment. Most vaccines are given in multiple doses. For instance, that polio vaccination you had was probably actually three doses given in separate doctor visits. The reason vaccines are given in multiple doses is to further stimulate your immune response and increase vaccine efficacy (a scientific way of saying how well the vaccine reduces disease incidence). One dose of vaccine induces a certain level of efficacy. This varies depending on the vaccine and can range from 15%-90%. Further doses increase this efficacy level. What the CDC is talking about is an efficacy level of 70% for the first dose. Later doses of vaccine would very likely increase this efficacy. You might argue that 70% isn't high enough, because for some vaccines a single dose gives 90% efficacy. But 70% will greatly reduce virus transmission. If 70% of people are immune, then the virus has to find one of the remaining 30% who aren't yet immune in order to propagate. This will reduce virus transmission by at lest 2/3rds and save a large number of lives.

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edg's picture

@Scientist34again

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Scientist34again

efficacy. (again, the standard may have changed, but, heard the 50% standard just this week on CNN--of course, they are nothing but DP and neoliberal bipartisan Establishment propagandists--so, I always take them with a huge boulder of salt Smile )

Coronavirus vaccine with 50% or more efficacy would be a ‘game changer,’ says trial investigator
PUBLISHED TUE, AUG 18 20201:16 PM EDT
Kevin Stankiewicz @KEVIN_STANK

A coronavirus vaccine that is safe and at least 50% effective would be a “game changer” in battling the pandemic, according to a doctor who is serving as an investigator for Moderna’s clinical trials.

“Developing vaccines against respiratory virus is incredibly difficult. If you think about the flu vaccine that we use every year, it’s only about 40% to 60% effective,” Dr. Carlos del Rio of Emory University said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

The Food and Drug Administration indicated last month it would authorize a coronavirus vaccine as long as it is safe and at least 50% effective. Dr. Stephen Hahn, the agency’s commissioner, said at the time it would be “unrealistic” to expect a vaccine to be 100% effective.

BTW, just heard a live WH briefing regarding vaccine (didn't catch which officials were talking).

Now, Administration officials are saying that front line healthcare personnel, first-responders, etc., will have COVID vaccine available by January.

Other 'high risk' groups--hoping, including seniors, those individuals with comorbidities, the elderly who're institutionalized, (I think) prisons inmates, etc.--this cohort should have vaccine available to them by April.

News Alert* - According to Blitzer--all Americans will have a vaccine by April, not just the groups I mentioned above. (I'll read the CNN transcript tomorrow, and make needed corrections, since, that's not what I thought I heard. Sorry!)

Now, Wolf's expert 'guest' is saying that distribution should be partially race-based, and, also go to healthcare personnel/frontline people.

I'll also need to pull the transcript for this interview, tomorrow. Just found out that the 'guest' is Dr Richard Besser.

He's "an American doctor and executive who has served as President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation since April 2017. Besser served as the acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) from January to June 2009. He was ABC News' former chief health. . ." per Wikpedia.

Of course, be aware--Biden's primary advisor does not support the type or method of distribution cited by the WH above--prioritizing healthcare professionals/seniors, etc.

Zeke Emanuel's recent white paper calls for distribution by "productivity" quotients, using each country's statistics for measuring "remaining years that people have to use their skills, or be productive." He considers that to be the "most ethical" standard. Phew!

When I heard Emanuel's interview with Wolf, he never indicated what his definition of "premature deaths' was. Unfortunately, many people, especially, seniors, who by far have suffered the most deaths, would likely have heard what Emanuel said, and have thought--"that's great, that will be beneficial to me/seniors."

As they say, "the Devil is in the Details."

Oh, Mr M just told me that he heard (on a business channel program) that Biden addressed and shook the hands of firefighters in MN--with all of them "maskless." Whoah! Will try to get the video when it's posted tomorrow (if it is).

BTW--sorry, that this comment is so rambling and disjointed. A lot is going on, right now! Smile

Mollie

"The leaders of this new movement are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation."
~~Matt Taibbi, The American Press Is Destroying Itself, June 12, 2020

"I know, I know. All passion; no street smarts."
~~Captain West, 1992 Rob Reiner/Aaron Sorkin Movie, A Few Good Men

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went.”
~~Will Rogers, Actor & Social Commentator (1856-1950)

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Dawn's Meta's picture

I will put a few thoughts I've had down.

Like the OP I had the Polio and Small Pox vaccines. We had Polio sugar cubes in school where we all lined up to get our little white cup.

It appears, though not sure how often or if any studies or collection of known histories has been done, that the immunity innately derived from having COVID itself may be short lived.

In different earlier reports there were mentions of more than one variant of COVID. Some more virulent than others. Some with more lasting and body-wide implications, some not. I personally haven't seen reports which categorize these various observed differences.

These lead to a few questions in my mind.

Would vaccine acquired immunity last longer than innate immunity? Or would the short term resistance be similar? How can this question be answered? Who will ask and test?

How many sub types are there? Are the vaccines all being created for the same sub type, or are different groups/corporations/researchers using something from their own government?

How many boosters would be required to bring the efficacy up to 90% or better? This was once considered the low end of acceptable PCR tests. The bar has been greatly lowered.

Not all side effects are benign. Will they be published? Will the general population get to see statistics on how things have gone in trials?

How many people on statistical modeling could still die or be very handicapped with a 70% efficacy? The numbers might be surprising. Never mind 30%.

All that being said, and much more possible, why oh why aren't we cataloguing the treatments of the illness which reduce its impact. Off the top of my head I've read and heard of maybe twenty five possible interventions. Some like Vitamin D is a prophylactic, and there maybe more. Some like plasma infusions are for active illness. It would be great if doctors, hospitals and other treaters had a great list of interventions and preventions (masks) that would greatly improve protection of the public.

Finally, this is one of the first times I can recall, wherein the sick are not identified and quarantined first, then the general population continues normal routines, with some prevention such as masks. We may be globally beyond the ability to catch up. But in France since there has been an uptick in infections, twenty new testing stations have been set up in Paris alone. In a population of sixty-six million, they are testing one million a week. It's impressive. And they are trying to keep society going.

These are random, by no means scientific, and far less technical questions than others are capable of, but at my pay grade these are things I think and wonder about.

Edit to add: I hope snoop and vtcc have good health with their fur family members. Our six year old bouncy Tekel (chauseur de Blaireau - Badger, et Sanglier - wild Boar) is full of energy and bright-eyed. He has taken to swimming after sticks in our little river.

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

@Dawn's Meta and ask really good questions.

Like you say, there are no answers to any of them. We'll find out some answers after there's an approved vaccine, if there's an approved vaccine. Until one exists I don't really care. It's like the old Steve Martin skit on SNL, "How to make a million dollars and not pay taxes." Get a vaccine and let's talk.

I also have two excellent internist who are close friends, one a long time ID but recently retired, to ask for informed expert opinions. I won't keep what they say to myself. Although to be honest, I think my decision will come down to what appears to be the greater threat when one does become available, taking a vaccine or the virus.

Thanks for your kind words for Sam.

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usefewersyllables's picture

in the safety and effectiveness of vaccines in helping control the spread of illness, and have been since I ate my sugar cube in school all those years ago. I will for sure be getting my flu shot shortly (not the one that they hand out at Walgreens or CVS, the heavier duty prescription-only version intended for at-risk populations). If the weather keeps doing this ballistic yo-yo thing (and it will), this flu season is going to be a proper bitch. Add that to the fact that they've now decided to start letting people back into the stands for some pro sporting events, and you have a new perfect storm brewing. I called that one in March.

However, having said all that: you couldn't pay me enough to accept any Covid vaccine that would be approved by this administration, at least in its first 6 months. Despite the fact that I still believe in the medical community as a whole, and researchers in particular, their work and their results on this topic and in this country will be governed by political appointees, lobbyists, and other assorted professional scam artists.

We live in a completely post-truth world, and this is an enormous political football, with insane profitability driving it. What will come out of this in this country in particular (miraculously 2 weeks before election day!) will be at best a placebo, and at worst will probably kill a few more people, because reasons. I fully expect Martin Shkreli to be directing the effort from prison, and for several of Trump's various shadow/cutout companies to have invested heavily in it. Win the election! Profit! It's the American way.

I'll wait until one developed, tested, and approved *offshore* is either imported illegally, or I can travel out of the country to receive it. I have no interest whatsoever in Trumpcine (reg'd TM).

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

@usefewersyllables
Which will probably rubber stamp the Gates vaccine.

BTW, I get my flu shots from a pharmacy and it's the heavy duty type. They only had to get the "okey-dokey" from my primary care physician. She's a little miffed that I don't get it from here, but that entails a 25 mile drive and waiting (appointments are NEVER on time). I get the flu shots (BTW the pharmacist is very skilled, he doesn't hurt like the doctor) while shopping. Five minutes delay. He asks me to stick around twenty minutes before leaving, so I get the shot first then grocery shop. that always takes half an hour.
Free, paid for by Medicare.

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We are so screwed.

This essay is entitled Questions About Vaccine and I have no answers whatsoever. So I am grateful for all the efforts to enlighten.

It appears that I was naive in my complacent assumption that "vaccine" meant something that works -- not something that works sometimes. Flu shots, I have now learned, are not 100% effective. I actually knew that but had forgotten it. I don't like flu shots and the one year in the last 15 years when a doctor surprised me with a syringe in the arm was the one year in a long series of winters when I got a nasty case of influenza -- debilitating for two full weeks and lingering for another month.

So, although my shock about the Business News account of permissible efficacy ranging from 30% showed nothing but my own ignorance, it is not a comforting reality. Yes, vaccines at best work only 90% of the time. And Wall Street now assumes that an efficacy rate of 60% is a slam dunk for approval by the FDA.

Isn't that special?

I know many, many people who are just as ignorant as I was about how vaccines "normally" work. Contrary to what I read on this thread, I never got three polio shots and small pox was also a one time proposition. However, I do vaguely recall from elementary school in the 1960s something called a "booster shot." I cannot remember what was being boosted -- tuberculosis or tetanus or some T word seems right. Another post used that expression to suggest a multiple injection regime that reaches a higher level of efficacy. Makes sense to me.

.

The point of the thread is that there is a general expectation amongst the population and Wall Street that the abstraction of "a vaccine" will put an end to the pandemic. It will not. Nor will it bring an end to the ongoing suicide of our social order.

I heard on this thread for about the 200th time since this pandemic became the most significant issue, ever, that the various public health measures will "save lives" even if only some lives. My favorite variation of this little rhetorical stratagem tells me that one of those lives saved could be my own.

No shit?

Yes, from the perspective of an individual, reducing the chance of getting killed by 30% is a no-brainer, provided the vaccine itself does not fuck you up. Uh, several on this thread have revealed how they make that relative risk assessment. I do not agree with the post that attributes American dysfunctionality to one individual, but I have not yet seen anybody, here or anywhere else, extol the virtue of the Fast Track Vaccine Approval Process going on now.

Does anybody have a good word to say about the race to riches for Moderna or some other jackpot winning vaccine purveyor?

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2 users have voted.

I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

Science is all about evidence, not faith. I don't believe in "faith"*, but I do believe evidence.

*I want a t-shirt saying that.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

Articles about how company execs were being investigated for possible insider trading. Apparently, the execs had sold something like $100 million dollars worth of their company stock over the last few months, while Moderna was developing its vaccine.
This seems ominous to me. Why would company execs be ditching stock potentially worth their weight in plutonium, if the vaccine proved to be safe and effective? Smells like they know it's a scam.
Of course, there is absolutely no political pressure to have a vaccine out before the election. Would our leaders do something like that? Would pharma company execs? Of COURSE not.

Here's an article from NPR about the Moderna shenanigans:
https://www.npr.org/2020/09/04/908305074/bad-optics-or-something-more-mo...
"On a scale of one to 10, one being less concerned and 10 being the most concerned," said Daniel Taylor, an associate professor of accounting at the Wharton School, "this is an 11."

edit: added NPR link.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

@pindar's revenge .

The stock sales first came to widespread notice after Moderna announced positive early data from a vaccine trial in May. At that point, the company's share price jumped and official disclosures showed executives cashing in their shares for millions of dollars.

The rest of the article noodles around the question of whether this is illegal. Nope. Hyping your prospects and then cashing in is perfectly legal and a neoliberal prescription for success. The other stockholders of Moderna had the exact same opportunity to cash in as the exec's did.

Now, a more interesting speculation is as to whether these Moderna Hustlers lied about their research success to cause the price bump -- or, even better, they have a second wave of manipulation on the way as they all now short the stock and cash in again as they induce the failure of their own product!!!

Capitalism at its most glorious!

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2 users have voted.

I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

@fire with fire
in the NPR article is that some of the execs zeroed out their stock holdings. It makes sense to cash in when prices zoom, but why in the world would you get rid of ALL your stock? That would be like selling all your Apple stock in the 90s when it went up a couple bucks. It is standard practice for execs to own stock in their company, so they have "skin in the game", as NPR noted. Why not cash in half of your stock, then let the rest zoom up and make you obscenely rich from vaccine profits?

It's not whether the sales might be illegal (which they could be, pending further investigation), it's the fact that these massive stock sales show a lack of confidence in the product. A product which is supposed to be saving millions of lives.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

@pindar's revenge .

But it really is possible that their lack of confidence in their own product is based on their intent to short their own stock as part of the two-step scam.

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2 users have voted.

I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

@fire with fire

what that stock stuff is all about. They're good at obscuring true intentions.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

I use vaccines regularly. I made sure to get my flu shot early - the pharmacist said that was wise, since demand is outstripping supply this year. Flu symptoms obscure and mask COVID-19, so the less flu, the easier it is to diagnose and treat CV.

Half of the value of vaccinating against contagious disease is protecting yourself. The other half is breaking the chain of transmission, so that the disease doesn't spread, possibly to someone who could die of it. An example is that wedding party in Maine, where most of the attendees got infected. There were 7 or 8 deaths associated with that party. The kicker: none of the people who died attended the wedding. They were friends and family members of attendees, who wound up in the chain of transmission.

(I will say up front that I'm not going to rush out and get the first available COVID-19 shots. I'll continue isolating and wait to see some results. I'm fine with the IDEA of vaccination, but like any Big Pharma product, examine the facts.)

Even if a vaccine is only 70% effective, it can break enough chains of transmission so that the disease dies out rather than increasing. This is the concept behind "herd mentality immunity" (sorry, couldn't resist the Rump dig). If, on average, each infected person spreads the disease to less than one other person, the disease will die out. If each infected person spreads it to more than one other person, the disease will increase. This is the notion behind the R0 number. If R0 is less than one, the disease dies out.

There are two main ways to develop enough "herd" (=population) immunity to a disease, thus lowering the R0 number. One is vaccination; the other is immunity following a bout of the disease. (I'm ignoring plasma treatments for now). Since SARS-CoV-2 (name of the virus) is a "novel" (meaning previously unknown) virus, we are still learning how it acts and how human bodies respond to it. We don't know how long immunity following a course of COVID-19 (name of the disease) lasts. There is at least one documented case of reinfection, and South Korea reported possibly a couple hundred cases in the spring. So survivor immunity is an unknown; we need to rely on vaccination to stop the spread, at least until we know more.

There is a mathematical formula which relates the R0 number to the percent of a population with immunity in order to develop herd immunity. The lower the R0 number, the smaller the percentage. There is disagreement about the R0 number of COVID-19; I've seen estimates that ranged from 2 to 6. But let's say for the sake of argument (and because we don't yet know for sure) that the R0 for COVID-19 is 2. The equation to calculate the necessary percentage immune is
percent=1-1/R0 (times 100 for percentage)
so
percent=1-1/2 = .5 or 50%
If the R0 of COVID-19 is 2, then a population which is either completely vaccinated with a 50% effective vaccine will defeat the disease; or, if the vaccine is 100% effective, only half the population needs to be vaccinated. Since neither of the above will be true, then if we vaccinate 70% of a population with a 70% effective vaccine, (giving us .7*.7=.49, or roughly the magic 50%), the disease will stop spreading. If R0=2.

I'm not an epidemiologist, so medical folks out there, feel free to correct me please, but I think this gives the general idea and answers at least some of firewithfire's questions.

To sum:
We need to know the R0, or infectivity rate, of COVID-19.
If R0 is 2, then a population with 50% immunity will stop the spread.
If R0 is higher, then we need more immunity in the population. For example, if R0 is 4, then 1-1/4=.75, or 75% of the population needs to be immune.

This is science. What we will actually get will be some form of biz, so caveat emptor.

There is a good wiki with a table of numbers for some diseases:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_immunity

Be safe, be well.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

@pindar's revenge .

Unfortunately, you have confirmed all my worst fears. Since reading that article in Yahoo! I have spoken to a few more RL friends and I am definitely not the only one who assumed that the Official Story about "a" vaccine was that it would put an end to the pandemic in reasonably short order. Whether we just weren't paying attention is really beside the point because Pandemic Stories have been dominating the news for better than half a year, and there can be no legitimate suggestion that "news" about the "race" for a vaccine has emphasized ANY caution about how long it will take for a vaccine to restore civilization to its previous state of productivity and social life.

The 70% figure fascinates me. It was in the Yahoo News article and it was not from any official source. It came from a business reporter who presumably knows something about the FDA approval process. Within that not necessarily knowledgeable context, 70% was aspirational -- but not a certainty. A more likely success rate according to the article was 60%. According to your explication of how the vaccination strategy works, the lower the efficacy rate, the longer it will take to achieve "herd immunity." It also begs the question of how effective the distancing strategy is at denying the virus a chance to spread.

The experience of the last six months of the current separation strategy tells me that the obvious contradictions in it are prolonging the disruption of social interaction and productive economic activity, far beyond what most citizens were expecting. I know in my industry, we were first expecting to be back up and rolling by the end of May, then July -- and now the motion picture industry is fitfully trying to create new material while obeying social distancing and mask rules. It is very expensive and the number of people working is tiny fraction of those who are able to work.

So everybody in my world is pining for The Vaccine to solve everything and bring our industry back. It is going to be nasty when people realize that there is no chance for it to work that way.

The Yahoo! article also stated that an efficacy rate of 30% will probably be sufficient to secure FDA approval. I have to note that both your comments and those that came from other people explaining vaccine on this thread ignore that number. Another voice did not just ignore it, but inflated the 70% aspiration with the further aspiration of a second and third booster shot to raise the efficacy to 90%. Quite a disparity of estimates from 30% t0 90% -- enough to suggest to my nose the smell of Nobody Really Knows Jack Shit.

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So I ask anybody who is still paying attention to this thread who knows the answer -- how do you test the potential vaccine for efficacy? These numbers are all bandied about as though somebody just counted up the dead bodies and did the arithmetic to determine how many people were immune and how many weren't.

Since that is obviously not how the "calculation" is made -- where does that number come from? Without a realistic measure of how effective the vaccine is, how can anybody know whether to deploy it?

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Final point -- the current death toll and case numbers are featured in the Fear Porn prominently.

Cases -- whatever that means: 6.7 million, about 2% of the USA.

Fatalities -- ignoring the controversy over co-morbidities: 198,000, .06%. (That is 6 one hundredths of one percent.)

Those current numbers also suggest that the chance of dying from becoming a case is now at less than 3%. Somebody here told me on this board that those 97% of "cases" who are still alive are the lucky ones -- and that delayed reactions will mar their lives until death mercifully puts them out of their misery. Maybe so, for all I know.

It is not a scientific discussion to compare the deaths from the pandemic to the deaths to come from social disorder including denial of health care for non-covid ailments, violence, suicide, addiction and health problems stemming from homelessness and social dysfunction. This comparison has never been made publicly, and the calculation of how many people the virus will kill is still a "variable."

There is no chance that the current social order will do anything different, no matter who wins the election. We will continue to bumble and stumble along with bullshit propaganda filling the minds of a scared and bewildered population that has no say in what will come next. Some operators are making tons of money off of this clusterfuck and the uncertainty strikes me as part of the scam.

But I had other plans . . . .

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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

@fire with fire @fire with fire

We can get away with a less effective vaccine - keeping in mind that we have to include the fraction of people who actually get the vaccine in the calculation.

If we can practice good enough hygiene (distancing, masks, washing, PPE, isolating) so that each infected person only infects 1.5 people on average, then we can get away with a much less effective vaccine. Time is not a factor in this equation. An R0 of 1.5 gives 1-1/1.5=1/3 or roughly 30% necessary immunity rate. But that 30% has to include include the factor of the fraction who actually get the vaccine.

What is really bedeviling us is that hygiene issue. We practice good hygiene to a point; the infection rate improves a little; we abandon good hygiene and "re-open"; infection rate increases; we close back down. We're stuck in that loop, and it's going on for so long now that we're getting sick and tired of the hygiene inconvenience. If we had totally shut down for, say, two incubation periods of the virus (about a month) so it wouldn't get a chance to spread, we'd be in the shape of South Korea or New Zealand (with death tolls ridiculously low compared to the US) -- where they still have to cope with occasional outbreaks, but the problem is still less than here. Instead, we did a half-assed, patchy closure with tons of exceptions, and the virus spread widely through the whole population.

Last night I walked out of a grocery store and left my cart, because almost everybody in the store was maskless, including a worker I approached about it. Nose-out is maskless; it seems to give people a false sense of compliance: "Hey, I have a mask (on my chin)", even though they are exhaling aerosols right and left out of their nose. I have walked out of hospitals, clinics and stores when I saw bad hygiene.

So the worse the hygiene practices, the more effective the vaccine has to be.

About measuring effectiveness: volunteers sign up for the Phase 3 human subject final portion of the research. Half of them are given a placebo, half are given the vaccine. Neither the volunteer nor the researcher knows which is which. This is called a double-blind study. This design avoids bias in the results. After a period of time, the rate of infection of the volunteers is recorded, and the study is "unblinded", so that the data can tell if and how effective the vaccine is. That's the science; marketing it is the biz.

Fear Porn? 200,000 dead in the US is FEAR PORN? Compare that to the years-long hysteria from 3,000 dead on 9-11. I only wish we WERE practicing Fear Porn; we might actually do something useful. Instead, we're practicing armed Freedumb Porn.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

@pindar's revenge .

We are no longer talking abut facts or science or how research works and is supposed to work. Now we are talking values. And I completely disagree with your value judgment about fear mongering. When somebody acts like it is self evident that fear of six one hundredths of one percent of the population dying is something that we should destroy our future to prevent, I have to reply that I find that value counter-productive at best.

Battlefield doctors have long had to make the grim triage decision to allow some to die so that others could live. The limitations on the doctor's ability to save lives are real, just as the limitations on a society are real. To ignore those limitations is beyond stupid.

This is a question not of science but of values that our Constitution and our Enlightenment traditions hold that should be decided by democracy. We, as citizens, do not get a vote on this question. Designated "experts" give the orders and some of us obey them. By the way I do obey on the theory of it is better to be safe than sorry, and I certainly understand that this bug is one you do not want to catch.

I guess you consider this Freedumb Porn -- but that is just your opinion. My opinion is that whoever would claim that we should destroy our civilization to keep less than one tenth of one percent of our population alive is worse than Dumb. A lot worse.

Of course, my value judgment is also based on a factual assessment. I believe that shutting down was insane and is still insane, because we have destroyed the civilization that makes the lives we have all known possible. It is now too late and we might as well stay locked down until the tumbleweeds take over the streets.

Yes, I am just some internet punter and maybe I am wrong about how we have already gone past the point of no return as a civilization. Check back with me on election night and we can talk about our future again. Both parties are accusing each other in advance of stealing the election. There is no "science" to tell you what will happen then, but I have an opinion on it. It may not go to civil war -- one asshole or the other might be said to "win" by landslide. But that is but the first of an infinity of crisis points ahead, and with each succeeding round of discord, there will be more and more hopeless people looking for a way out.

The Fear Faction has had the upper hand all across the internet for six months, and the result is a destroyed economy and 200,000 dead bodies without any prospect of either the distancing or a putative vaccine changing anything of significance for many months, if ever. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to provide me with a lot of analysis and information about how it is supposed to work. We disagree about what all that adds up to, but I hope we can continue this dialog on other threads as time drags on.
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Boy howdy, I want to be wrong. But we have only scratched the surface of the disruptions to come as the various "stimulus" efforts peter out. Call this fear porn if you like, but the cities of Portland and Seattle this summer are giving you a very slight hint of what is to come as tens of millions of families will find themselves homeless and hopeless.

It is a lot easier to raise hell when you don't have to get up and go to work in the morning. Even easier when you don't have a bed to get out of. There will be a lot of hell raising going on, with upwards of ten million new recruits in the Army of people who gave up their livelihoods so that others could live.

Irony never sleeps.

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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

@fire with fire

If you think 200,000 to 400,000 dead is just a "value" issue.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

Thanks to all who posted here. I asked a question and I got a lot of straight answers with clear explanations. It is not every message board I have been on where that would happen.

Cheers to all.

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1 user has voted.

I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.