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:
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.
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.
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.