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One-jab efficacy questions

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RobinBHM

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A number of their friends and school friends have been very ill with Covid. While most have recovered some haven't, one aged 24 still has not regained taste or smell after 5 months. Another was off work for 6 months with chronic stomach ache, he could not play footie etc with his mates, chronic diarrhea, at one point thought he may be permanently disabled, but now back to work but still quite incapacitated
That is very interesting.

My niece works as a radiographer in the NHS, back in Jan she spent her entire time doing CT scans on Covid patients....and she said hospitalised people were of all ages from 20 upwards. 30s 40s and up. Sure the younger ones spent only a few days in hospital, but virtually all have suffered long Covid.

My niece has 2 colleagues that had Covid, one now has heart problems and is now only working part time, the other severe lung issues....and has had to stop work
 

RobinBHM

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Was on the front page this morning. As I've said before lets see how it evolves in the next 10 days. I'm pretty certain it will level off or decline. Its what virus' do. Media will seek another country then
You have unfortunately taken it out of context.

"The government says cases are "slowing down", but testing numbers have also dipped, meaning the true caseload could be far higher"
 

RobinBHM

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nd endemic last March
Scientists seem to think not.

In Feb 2021
"In a February survey of more than 100 immunologists, infectious-disease researchers and virologists, almost 90% said that SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid, will become endemic"
 

Rorschach

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Ah ok, so there have been millions of people that have had very mild symptoms and not considered they have Covid....so haven't isolated and have infected others.
Sounds about right, though my suspicion is that many didn't have a choice in their non-isolation and they were told masks work so I wouldn't be surprised if mask wearing actually helped the spread as people thought they were protected.
 

southendwoodworker

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@Rorschach
Lockdown isn't based on data or evidence. We've not even done a cost benefit on it!
I know one family that lost 5 people to covid.

I know of someone who didn't think covid was a big deal when they had it, broke lockdown, snuck around to her dad's for Christmas's. Merry Christmas, he died 2 weeks later.

I know a family of 4. Mum, dad, son and daughter. Son fit young and strong. Everyone but the daughter died within the same week.

My wife and I manage a number of people. 4 of which were young strong and healthy, and have long covid. They have to crawl up stairs. One was too weak to turn their head and drink water from a straw. One has a wrecked heart. Another almost died a half dozen times.

I wonder what cost benefit analysis they'd prefer?

The people I know that haven't experienced bad covid first hand trivialise the impact, forget they are lucky, and generally treat their wallet as higher importance than another's life.

It's easy to call for cost benefit analysis if youre not having having to pay the debt, from an armchair, with super power of hindsight.

The easiest way not to catch a disease is to not be near people with it. Lockdown ensures that. What more benefit than being alive is there?
 

Rorschach

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@southendwoodworker I am sorry to hear of the troubles you have experienced but I can assure you your experience is far from common, indeed I would say it's almost fantastically exceptional.
 

TominDales

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There is a lot of chattering about politicians in various countries and their links to shares in vaccines companies. It looks iffy at the very least.

As I say, treatments would appear to be being ignored in favour of vaccines. I know that prevention is better than cure as the saying goes, but when the disease is not very dangerous, a cure doesn't make money as hardly anyone needs it. Prevention in the form of a vaccine can be much profitable as you can give it to everyone, regardless of need.
I think there is a general misconception between drug treatments and vaccine use particularity for antiviral treatment.

Unlike antibacterial tablets, anti viral drugs are usually only partially effective, and have to be taken early on to have any effect. Which in the case of Covid would mean relying on early diagnostic tests, as symptoms tend to emerge late in this disease. The only true cure for Covid is monoclonal antibody treatment, and these cost ca $100,000 a time.

Vaccine treatments are very cost effective on a per person basis, which is why governments globally use them so extensively, even in the poorest countries. The AZ vaccine is about £5 a shot. Pfizer is one of the more costly at ca £25. In drugs companies usually don't make a profit from epidemic vaccines, its high risk R&D business and its use is likely to be for a short duration. Covid being an exception in being very widespread and long lasting and even with Covid, only a handful of drug companies will make money - notably Pfizer. In the Sars, Ebola epidemics the drug makers lost money - its usually part of their corporate social responsibility to respond to epidemics.
Cheap medicines offered as a prophylactic will cost more than a vaccine over the patients lifetime - antimalarials for instance, a vaccine would vastly reduce the drug and medical cost. The (as yet) unproved drug ivermectin would cost £60 per year as a prophylactic and its one of the cheapest. The other consideration is drug safety when taking drugs on this vast scale. Vaccines registration demands very high levels of safety and efficacy as they are taken by otherwise healthy people. The is not the case with drug treatments. Most anti-viral drugs have side effects, some quite severe and are far more of a hazard than a vaccine. Another issue is treatment usually means hospitalisation or medical supervision, which add to the cost - although not visibly in the UK.
The other huge benefit of vaccination is that it instills a herd immunity in a population which protects those who cannot or will not take a vaccine. Whereas drug treatment can only supress infection - malaria being an example.
Your statement that 'when a disease is not very dangerous, a cure doesn't make money as hardly anyone needs it' is not borne out by the reality of the drugs industry - an industry I've been involved with for 30years. Money is made from chronic long term 'non-dangerous' diseases in which case the patient suffers and so wants curing, but doesn't die so hangs around taking the drug. Just look at the market for cough and cold remedies, and the side effects of obesity epidemic such as diabetes and hypertension . On the contrary, drugs companies find epidemics hard to make money from, as they are dangerous enough to require a response but as mentioned before they usually don't last long enough to get a return on investment. Most drug companies approach epidemics as a 'good citizen' thing to do and occasionally get lucky and make money.

Looking through the two articles, Guardian and BMJ, the journalists are doing their job in questioning peoples motivation, but in both cases I think these are rather thin allegations. Guardian: the sad fact is that maga-rich people like Sunak will make money on any development as they have investments in most major business sectors. However in this case, its clear that the governments decision was to spread bet on vaccine supply and Moderna's was one of the smallest contracts (until the vaccines efficacy was proven), and it still a small order, relative to others, and in line with other countries ordering pattern. Also they are not even sure if he still has shares in Moderna since he left his city job in 2013. So, OK investigative journalism, but no smoking gun.
The BMJ seems similarly unconcerning, its a fact that sage is populated by volunteer professionals as are its numerous subcommittees, so they all have full time jobs in their respective professions (mainly academics), and so potentially conflicted, in fact that's true of most very senior people in all walks of life as they tend to be called upon to be advisors . They key thing (and this article is pushing for it) is to know who they are, so that its a transparent process. Its hard to see people manipulating Sage to their personal advantage. It has 87 members all of whom are there because they can hold their arguments and point of view to tough scrutiny. Sage is the peak of a body of sub committees, Spy-I and B, Modeling, social care, minorities, NHS and hospital sub-committees. Its distilling input from several hundred people. In my view it kind of polices itself from its very diversity. There maybe a 'professional mindset bias' but from what I've seen they seem to be influenced by the data as it has unfolded.
 

TominDales

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. India currently has the same number of deaths per 100,000 as Greece. We are coming out of lockdown and getting ready for tourists - no dead littering the streets and overflowing hospitals here, but the number of deaths as a percentage of population is the same. How does that work?
Overflowing hospital is explained by the HC underspend in India.
Greece has 8 times as many beds per 1000 people compared to India. Greece has 4.3 beds per 1000 vs India 0.5

I agree with you its the colossal size of India that makes its figures hard to grasp, its 20 times population of UK and 140 times that of Greece!
The real worry about India is if the virus spreads to the rural communities where there are almost no hospitals. Generally Covid spreads where there is a mobile population and especially with commuter towns, so its Maharastra state which with Mubai is the most affluent and state and the biggest population in flux. As long as people dont move about it should settle down, the worry is if people travel back to the rural villages and it become endemic before the vaccine is rolled out.
 

D_W

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TominDales

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Then why aren't the BBC all over it? They are gagging for stories like this.
Your question is quite profound as it points to an essential paradox of this pandemic (maybe all pandemics are similar). The pandemic is not at all uniform, its in reality a series of very local epidemics.
You can be in one region and not hear of a case and just down the road its pandemonium. In our case rural North Yorkshire has hardly had any cases locally, yet there are streets in Bradford decimated by it. The cases we know of, are all of friends/relative who either live in conurbations or in one case commuted to a NHS trust in London from Yorkshire. Some of the island really show this clearly, Barra and islands of Scotland, no cases for months and then suddenly they are overrun with it. Isle of Man had no cases from May to January and then 100 a day in February. Before vaccination broke this pattern, the outlook was zero cases in a town until it arrives.. it grows exponentially until people react/isolate and then it peters out. and the cycle repeats itself in another location or comes back for a second visit.

The paradox is that for most people they either see very little or a lot. You don't get an average smeared across the world. its also why the pandemic has been more deadly than might have been the case. Its creeps up on unsuspecting locations and then pounces exponentially. Only in states with draconian government action have they successfully dealt with this adversary.
 

Jonm

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That is very interesting.

My niece works as a radiographer in the NHS, back in Jan she spent her entire time doing CT scans on Covid patients....and she said hospitalised people were of all ages from 20 upwards. 30s 40s and up. Sure the younger ones spent only a few days in hospital, but virtually all have suffered long Covid.

My niece has 2 colleagues that had Covid, one now has heart problems and is now only working part time, the other severe lung issues....and has had to stop work
Tomindale and robin, Thankyou for posting this information, it is useful Information and helpful. I would appreciate anyone else's comments on the effect of COVID on younger people. For me the decision to take the vaccine was easy, because of my age. Younger family members, when offered the vaccine may ask me for my thoughts. My only fairly direct experience of covid is a relative who died and a friend of a friend whose father died, both in the older vulnerable age group.
 

D_W

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complications on younger folks who aren't obese or otherwise sick are fairly rare, but myocarditis, etc, is observed here, even in professional athletes. In some cases, they have to refrain from playing at least for a while.

Severe cases can weaken heart function and leave otherwise fit and healthy people short of breath (without having to have associated lung issues).
 

RobinBHM

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Tomindale and robin, Thankyou for posting this information, it is useful Information and helpful. I would appreciate anyone else's comments on the effect of COVID on younger people. For me the decision to take the vaccine was easy, because of my age. Younger family members, when offered the vaccine may ask me for my thoughts. My only fairly direct experience of covid is a relative who died and a friend of a friend whose father died, both in the older vulnerable age group.
My wife knows a family that caught Covid. There were 2 sisters in their 40s and one aged 42 died. She was a policewoman with no comorbidity.

I listen to LBC radio, their political correspondent caught Covid in March last year. He got so ill at home his girlfriend called the ambulance. He was in hospital for a week. He was recently saying that for months after he had fatigue and needed a few hours rest each day. He said his stamina level is significantly reduced and couldn't play something like 5 a side footy for more than 5 minutes before being cream krackered.

There are now around 1 million people with long Covid, I do wish people would stop trying to claim "it's just a mild illness for the vast majority."
 

RobinBHM

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Data from the Zoe app says 1 in 20 people suffer long Covid.

1 in 50 for more than 12 weeks

"The latest analysis of data from thousands of users of the COVID Symptom Study app from ZOE, published as a preprint, shows that one in 20 people are likely to suffer from COVID-19 symptoms lasting more than 8 weeks"

 

Peterm1000

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My wife knows a family that caught Covid. There were 2 sisters in their 40s and one aged 42 died. She was a policewoman with no comorbidity.

I listen to LBC radio, their political correspondent caught Covid in March last year. He got so ill at home his girlfriend called the ambulance. He was in hospital for a week. He was recently saying that for months after he had fatigue and needed a few hours rest each day. He said his stamina level is significantly reduced and couldn't play something like 5 a side footy for more than 5 minutes before being cream krackered.

There are now around 1 million people with long Covid, I do wish people would stop trying to claim "it's just a mild illness for the vast majority."
If I could play 5 a side for 5 minutes without being cream krackered, I would be delighted!!! :)

The last few posts of this thread have a familiar narrative that has parallels to the guards on saws debate... Those that have not lost their fingers and don't know anyone who has lost fingers think it's a myth and they will be saved by careful practices. Those that know someone who lost fingers or have lost a finger themselves can see the damage that has done and use guards. The problem with that approach when it comes to Covid is that the "no guard" people are risking other people's fingers as well as their own.
 

Jonm

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It seems to me we have multiple factors that will lead to a return to a (new) normal

1. Almost all vulnerable cohorts are now vaccinated.
2. Those vaccinated have a much reduced chance of being hospitalised
3 those vaccinated are 43% less likely to spread infection
4 the remaining cohorts are in age groups far less likely to be very ill.

I suppose it could be argued if everybody above 18 is vaccinated, does it matters if vaccination reduces infection spread at all?

I wonder what lifespan the vaccine has in offering protection and whether protection and reduction in infection spread decay at the same rate.
All valid points.
If you look at my linked posts I think the reduction in transmission is more like 80% after one dose of the vaccine.

Currently 34 million have been vaccinated, that still leaves 32 million unvaccinated for the virus to circulate in (including children) plus say 6 million of the vaccinated (based on my 80% figure). So currently plenty of people for the virus to get going again but hopefully not causing too much permanent or serious damage. This perhaps explains the governments staged opening up and does give time for everyone over 18 to be offered the vaccine.

13% of Londoners over 50 have refused the vaccine, so there may be issues there which could be interesting.

Overall I am optimistic, I think the worst is behind us, and we are on our way to something like normality, except perhaps foreign holidays. May be some bumps on the way, like those vulnerable people who have refused the vaccine.

Here is a recent bbc article giving the opinion of the guy who‘s modelling led to the first nationwide restrictions
 
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