Covid 19 CRISIS

Redliner

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Government relaxed restrictions during Christmas, and that obviously backfired, leading to a spike in cases and to a full-on lockdown.
Well, that and vaccination are finally paying off, and numbers are approaching what we got in October. I am finally feeling like there is a light at the end of the tunnel (and it's not an oncoming train).
 
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Matt2000

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They're doing pretty well with vaccines in this area, my 63-year old dad got his first shot last week and my 60-year old mother has hers booked. I'm surprised as this area is known for mainly consisting of elderly people.

Pretty bored of this long lockdown, I just want to drive somewhere nice and go for a walk. It wasn't so bad last spring when I was furloughed, it was hot and sunny and I had a new car to sit in and make electric noises.
 

RdKetchup

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Meanwhile, my dad got his first dose on Thursday. And at least over here in Berlin the second highest priority group (over-70s) is being enrolled starting today. We are getting somewhere. Too slow, but we are.

Yeah, the too slow part is also our case. We have just reached 4% of the population who have had at least one dose.

I'm still hopeful the pace will pick-up soon, we have started receiving big shipments again, after a few weeks of drought.


Vaccination-21-02-22.png
Vaccination-21-02-22-cumul.png
 

93Flareside

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Over here at least, you get to make the 2nd appointment together with the 1st.
As you should, I highly doubt the second administration of the shot will be done with most people here.
 

Dr_Grip

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So, a bunch of studies from Israel and the UK confirm that the BioNTech Vaccine reduces PCR-confirmed covid by over 85%. This ties in nicely with earlier data showing a similar relation between prevention of symptomatic cases and prevention of PCR-confirmed covid in AstraZeneca (82% vs. 67%). So even if there is some possibility of "being infectious without being PCR-positive" it is clear that transmission is significantly reduced.
But most importantly, the UK reports no severe cases or deaths in their 40.000 people cohort, while Israel reports 98.5% less covid deaths in over 500K vaccinated over-70s. This is within the margin of error of "nobody has to die of covid"*.

Even if the mRNA vaccines take a significant hit in efficacy from the South Africa variant, which is not clear yet, this is tremendously good news. And even if 70% of the population vaccinated may not be enough to eradicate covid ("herd immunity"), this is enough to turn covid into something less dangerous than the seasonal flu, with spread hopefully reduced enough to even allow vaccine refusers to take part in everyday life.

*Since the US just crossed the 500K covid death threshold, let's work from this number: 98.5% less dead would leave 7500 people dead, which is well below the average US flu season.
 
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Punisher Bass

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In the middle of a very hellacious day yesterday, I was able to get Mama Bass booked for the first round of her vaccine for next Monday. I also got an email about scheduling my own first shot, but that's been a nightmare unto itself. Most of the time the website won't load anything and only a quarter of the time it will just tell me to fuck off because everything is booked. About 15 minutes ago it actually did let me get as far as choosing an appointment time, which would have been in about 2 hours, but after submitting it the page just froze and now I'm back to where I was.
 

Dr_Grip

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Bunch of new data on the J&J vaccine, different efficacy by region, important is: "There were there were six hospitalizations for those who received the vaccine and 42 for those who did not. [..] As of Feb. 5, there were seven Covid-19 related deaths in the placebo group and no [deaths] in the vaccine group."
 
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Dr_Grip

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Update: Derek Lowe reads the data differently, and more in line of what I got from earlier studies: "14 days after the single dose, there were 29 people hospitalized with coronavirus in the placebo group and only 2 in the treatment group, but if you look at the 28-day mark there were zero hospitalizations at all." I can't be arsed to dig out the study, so your guess is as good as mine as to who is right.

But the main takeaway is:
But the big message is the same: right now, variants and all, we’re winning. The vaccines work, there is a whole list of them, and their production is increasing while we watch. The countries that have gotten off to faster starts vaccinating their populations are already seeing the effects, and no bad safety signals are yet complicating things.

UPDATE: I could be arsed to look at the data after all. Derek's got it right, it's zero hospitalizations after 28 days.
 
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Punisher Bass

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A little while after my last comment the site worked long enough for me to reserve a slot this Saturday, but it's fucked up that I'm going to be able to get one before my mom does even if it's only by a few days. I'm being sent to the mass vaccination site and they want people sticking around for a half hour afterwards for observation.

My tenant is a nurse who got hers awhile ago and she warned me that her arm really hurt afterwards and that it wiped her out for a good two days after. Well I'm three times her size so we'll see what happens.
 

Dr_Grip

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...and in terms of "life insurance" - Moderna just sent three different boosting scenarios against South African super covid into clinical testing (third shot of current vaccine, mix of current and update, update only). And it will not be a full three-phase trial, but "only" a phase 1/2 test to check whether immune response is there, like with the yearly flu shots.

This means that if we need boosters later this year or sometime next year, we will be ready.

EDIT: 600K vaccinated vs 600K non-vaccinated people Israel study referenced above now peer-reviewed in the NEJM: https://www.statnews.com/2021/02/24/pfizer-biontech-vaccine-real-world-israel-study/
 
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gaasc

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After lord knows how much money, the first vaccines made it to Honduras. 5,000 of them, donated by Israel. We shall be able to keep 0.04% of the population safe now.
 

Dr_Grip

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Flo Krammer just tweeted the link to a pre-print from the same lab comparing AstraZeneca vs. BioNTech antibodies against South African world ending super covid. Both take quite a hit in efficacy, but BioNTech still works against South African covid on the same level as AZ works against vanilla covid. And while AZ takes quite a hit, it still has enough efficacy left to probably keep most if not all people out of the hospital.

I think the German/EU plan to give all AZ/J&J vaccinated people a BioNTech booster in Q4 2021/Q1 2022 looks like the best way out of the pandemic. It also so far seems like the Brit variant, in an unvaccinated population, seems to outgrow the South African one quite quickly, which might buy us much-needed time (the Brit variant is more infectious, while the "re-infection" advantage of the SA variant does not help when no one is immune).

EDIT: Sadly/luckily the E484K mutation that drives the immune escape in South Africa now showed up in New York as well, after being seen in some British samples earlier. That is bad because it means that covid, when faced with evolutionary pressure by population immunity, selects an escape tactic. But it's also good because, as scientists have speculated earlier, it increasingly looks like covid has nowhere else to go. The same immune escape variant shows up everywhere. As evolution is random, this might indicate that other pathways to immune escape come with too many disadvantages (like decreased transmission, or brutally increased mortality) to gain traction - otherwise we would have seen them by now. Remember the "Danish minx variant" scare a few months ago? This was an immune escape variant that for some reason or another just disappeared after a few weeks.
And why is that good news? Because it means that unlike with the flu, where scientists basically roll the dice each year on which H/N combination they should roll out vaccines against, there seems to be a clear-cut one shot fits all booster for the whole world.
Of course, where covid goes next after we covered E484K only time will tell...
 
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SirEdward

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I'd like very much if where Covid goes next would be into the list of eradicated viruses.
 

Dr_Grip

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While the FDA's vaccine committee right now is in session to approve the J&J vaccine (with the EU expected to follow suit on Mar. 11th), here's some more from the desk of "science by press release", this time from Germany's CureVac:
  • They say their vaccine also is effective against South African covid, promising study data "soon"
  • They say they expect approval in the EU by "late May, early June"
  • They promise to produce 300 million doses within 2021, 54 million of which are already spoken for by the EU
  • They have developed a "vaccine printer", a four meter long mini vaccine factory that can produce 100K doses a week - an interesting perspective for vaccine rollout to rural areas or to quickly react to coming mutations.
Source of course is in German.

EDIT: Here's a pixelfest prediction on when all German adults will receive their shot:
imfstoffverfuegbarkeit-100~384x216

Left: If all vaccines on pre-order are getting approved, right: With only BioNTech, Moderna, and AZ. If J&J gets approved by March, only CureVac is missing from the best case scenario.
As far as I understand the data, this is all German adults, i.e. 100% vaccine uptake. With 30% of all Germans currently being in the "unsure" or anti-vax camps, this means anyone willing to get vaccinated right now should be able to get his or her shot within H1.
As always, this data translates 1:1 to all EU countries since the EU has joint procurement and distributes deliveries by population size. So probably, the EU will only be a few weeks behind the UK in being done with covid.

EDIT2: 67 Million mRNA doses being shipped in Q4 shall make anti-variant boosters for J&J and AZ recipients a breeze.
 
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narf

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Our government wants to ramp up seriously now, talking about vaccinating 5 million people next week. If we can get to that pace the goal of a shot for everyone by end of summer is firmly in sight.
We've just passed 1M doses in a rolling 7-day window. Still a long ramp-up to 5M per week.
 

Dr_Grip

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We've just passed 1M doses in a rolling 7-day window. Still a long ramp-up to 5M per week.
Yep, ramp us is slower than expected but I believe that once GPs will join in we might double the speed...
 

narf

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Yep, ramp us is slower than expected but I believe that once GPs will join in we might double the speed...
Not unless we get more deliveries. Taking the past two weeks ending in the latest big Biontech delivery on February 23 combined we've gotten just over 3M doses delivered, so the near-future upper limit is 1.5M per week.
Good news in there: The delivery pace has doubled after hovering around 1.5M over the same 14-day periods from early January to early February.
Here's my chart, data source is as usual the impfdashboard.de backend, red line is said floating 14-day sum:

1614430542351.png
 

Dr_Grip

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Not unless we get more deliveries. Taking the past two weeks ending in the latest big Biontech delivery on February 23 combined we've gotten just over 3M doses delivered, so the near-future upper limit is 1.5M per week.
Good news in there: The delivery pace has doubled after hovering around 1.5M over the same 14-day periods from early January to early February.
Here's my chart, data source is as usual the impfdashboard.de backend, red line is said floating 14-day sum:

View attachment 3560375
We all know the huge ramp up in deliveries still is a few weeks away, but correct my if I am wrong, apart from the well publicised clash with AstraZeneca, all suppliers still say they will deliver on their quarterly commitments...
 
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