by Tom Chivers
Thursday, 28
October 2021
Debate
11:01

Red tape will cause more Covid deaths

Why can't western countries cooperate more on vaccines?
by Tom Chivers
Credit: Getty

Earlier this week, the FDA announced that it has approved a low dose of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged five to 11. The UK, meanwhile, appears to still be mulling over the decision: the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has said that while 12- to 15-year-olds can use it, it’s still conducting a review into under-12s.

In the grand scheme of things, the stakes here are not particularly high: the delay probably won’t lead to actual deaths. But there was a point during the pandemic when the stakes were high and delays in regulatory approval did cost lives.

The Pfizer vaccine, the first Covid jab to enter widespread use, was approved in the UK by the MHRA on 2 December 2020 and the EU on 21 December. The AstraZeneca vaccine was approved by the UK on 30 December. But in the US, the Pfizer vaccine was only formally approved in October 2021 (although it was granted emergency use authorisation on 11 December 2020). Meanwhile, the US has never approved the AZ vaccine, only finding it “suitable for export” to India and other desperately-in-need countries — in August this year.

Looking back now, the difference between 2 December, 9 December and 21 December doesn’t feel that much of an issue. But back then, with the second wave in full spate and 500-odd people dying every day in the UK alone, it really was. In the first nine days of the US vaccination programme, about 1.5 million people were vaccinated. At that point, there were about 650 new cases per million people per day in the country.

If you naively multiply those numbers together, you get about 1,000 people who got the disease while unvaccinated who wouldn’t have if the US had approved the vaccine on the same day as the UK did. Given an infection fatality rate (IFR) of about 1% (which is probably about right for the time), that means about 10 people would have died who otherwise might not have, which sounds bad enough — but actually it’s worse than that, since the first people vaccinated would all have been elderly or vulnerable. The IFR for people over 80 was somewhere around 7.5%, according to this study. So, given that the vaccines are imperfect, probably somewhere around 70 people died. That may not sound like a huge figure, but considering that these lives were lost to a stupid regulatory delay, it is.

The EU’s longer delay would have cost commensurately more lives, and the US’s bizarre months-long refusal to either approve or give away the AZ jab was even worse.

Americans, Europeans and British people are not significantly different, biologically speaking, and our medical standards are pretty similar. The EMA and FDA have even agreed that their regulatory approvals are basically the same, and presumably the MHRA has not diverged all that much in the 20 months since we formally Brexited.

The next time a pandemic comes around, this sort of regulatory delay will kill people, again. Might it be worth setting up a system between highly developed Western countries that says “If a drug or vaccine is approved in country A, it can be treated as being given emergency approval in country B, so that we can start getting it into arms more quickly”? The likelihood that the delay saves more lives than it costs, certainly in cases where a pandemic is raging around the world, is vanishingly small.

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Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
1 year ago

It seems to me with regard to the COVID vaccines that there is a “true” reality, and an altered universe “reality” based on a lot of wishful thinking that Chivers, unfortunately, buys it on without questioning or thought. So much for a good, thoughtful and critical science writer.
The truth is vastly more problematic. When the vaccines first came out, most, and certainly the most vulnerable (i.e. the elderly, those with co-morbidities, etc…) were super keen. After all this was the way out of the COVID nightmare and what everybody had been waiting for. It was the “promised land” and the reason that we were subjected to lockdowns, masks, etc…. since the only purpose of such interventions was to slow the spread rather than reduce the area under the curve. But what has clearly emerged since is that the vaccines are failing. And more critically they are basically pretty much useless after 7 months. And that’s according to the latest UKHSA report, even if they don’t state that in their summary up front. Further, it would appear that the antibody response to infection of the vaccinated is much more limited than that of the unvaccinated, and the vaccinated produce no “N” antibodies which is a source of concern. (If the antibodies produced by the vaccinated only target the spike protein their efficacy is susceptible to mutations within the spike protein; if , on the other hand, the unvaccinated produce a broader immune response including antibodies directed against other viral proteins, such as nucleocapsid, it is likely that they will fare better against variants, and further will not be drivers of new variants).
So what are the consequences: boosters every 6 months accompanied by increased risks of bad side effects (i.e. effects that require hospitalization and may be associated with either death or long-term consequences)? Recall that Moderna had to stop its trials of anti-cancer vaccines because there was a limit as to how many times their liposome nanoparticle-encapsulated mRNA could be injected without major side effects (and that’s on patients where these anti-cancer vaccines were being trying as a method of absolute last resort).
It is important to realize that the effect of the vaccine is deterministic: once you get a shot you have no control over whether, for example, you develop myocarditis. Now it is said that most cases are mild. But what exactly does that mean. If you vaccinate 5-17 yr olds, for example, even if they develop sub-clinical myocarditis nobody has any idea what the impact of that will be in 50-60 yrs time. For example, will that result in an increased prevalence of congestive cardiac failure, of myopathies, of severe arrhythmias, when these individuals reach their early 60s, etc…..? And all to vaccinate a population that is essentially at zero risk of untoward effects of the actual infection.
Further, the recent decision by the FDA to go forward with vaccinations of 5-11 yr olds is not just unethical and insane, but more importantly completely unproductive to the vaccination effort. As my pediatrician daughter keeps telling me, a death of a child is vastly more consequential in emotional terms than that of an adult. All it will require is a few deaths in children subsequent to vaccination to be brought to the fore, for the whole vaccination program to come tumbling down and stopped (as indeed happened with the Swine flu vaccine). The authorities may try and hide this, but when it comes to children these things are very difficult to brush under the table, in contrast to the situation with adults.
Bottom line Chivers: be very careful for what you wish for. These vaccines were sold as the “promised land” and we all would like to believe that, but the vaccines are likely far from living up to their hype. There is a real risk/benefit ratio that has to be assessed by each individual and each individual parent. The untoward effects of the mRNA and adenovirus/DNA vaccines (all producing the spike protein), according to both the Yellow Book and the US VAERS, clearly show, no matter how one looks at the data, that deaths and major side effects following COVID vaccination over the last 9 months exceed all deaths and side effects of all other vaccines combined for the last 10 years. You can brush that little fact aside for just so long, Big Tech can try and censor any questioning for just so long, but also bear in mind Lincoln’s wise words: “you can fool all of the people some of the time, some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time”.
And my personal suggestion for Chivers: he may want to brush up on immunology and virology by perhaps taking a proper, deep course on these subjects, rather than his usual mumblings on Bayesian statistics.

Last edited 1 year ago by Johann Strauss
Anna Jacka-Thomas
Anna Jacka-Thomas
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Brilliant piece of clear concise, logical writing, please can someone publish this very very widely.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Mr Strauss – have you ever fallowed Dr Campbell on Youtube? He is the most important COVID youtuber on the net. A PhD teaching Nurse actually, but of vast experience and knowledge.

He is 100% pro vax and mask, but also brings up metastudies of Ivermectin as he has history of working in India and Africa where they used it – Very worth a watch of those (I keep horse de-wormer in my medicine cabinet)

He also does some on vax side effects by interviews, and this one is eyeopening – a Professional Mountain Bike rider, likely one of the fittest humans on earth, and his experience,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7inaTiDKaU

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I have indeed looked at some of Campbell’s Youtubes and most are pretty good. In terms of pro- versus anti-vaxx I think one needs to be more nuanced. There is an underlying assumption that all vaccines are effective and good. But that’s not necessarily or even generally the case. Some vaccines are rather ineffective. For example, BCG for TB, while it doesn’t produce any significant side effects, is really not very effective which is why, in the US at least, BCG is not administered. Others may be effective, such as chicken pox, but it isn’t evident that their use (which is now almost universal in the US) is actually a smart thing to do, given that chicken pox itself, in contrast to measles, is a very innocuous disease. Other vaccines are super effective and have great safety profiles, and, in this regard, polio comes to mind. Other vaccines have been introduced largely on the basis of promise and to make money: the HPV gardisil vaccine is an obvious example given that a significant number of deaths have been reported in young girls (the group where it is administered), and it is really unknown how effective gardisil is at preventing cervical cancer, given that cervical cancer (in contrast to HPV infections) is not exactly prevalent in young women but is more a disease of the 60 yr old plus group. Sure HPV may well be responsible for most cervical cancers but cervical cancer is easily dealt with by annual pap smears followed by early treatment.
When it comes to the COVID vaccines, obviously everybody would like these to be both effective and safe. One would like these to sterilizing if possible and come with a truly outstanding safety profile. But the problem, unfortunately, is that the efficacy of all the vaccines to date appears to wane dramatically after 7 months or so, and all of them come with a safety profile that is none too great (i.e. a lot lot worse than all other vaccines in general use in the UK and US. Sure overall the COVID vaccines are relatively safe, but only if you don’t happen to have a supposedly rare major side effect). Whether the COVID vaccines still protect against serious outcomes after 7 or more months is uncertain. So far they appear to do so to some extent, but any hospitalization due to COVID (i.e. not as an incidental finding) is serious by definition.
What all of this suggests, is that doubling and tripling down (as Israel has now done with the introduction of a 4th booster) is possibly not too wise, and it might be an idea to take a deep breath and pause a little, rather than introducing forced mandates as they have done in the US. It also suggests that alternative vaccine strategies directed at other protein components of SARS-CoV2 should be developed. After all, right now, all the COVID vaccines are effectively identical in the sense that they all produce or deliver spike protein in one way or another, whether by translation of mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna), transcription of DNA followed by translation of RNA (AZ, J&J and Sputnik), or directly in the form of spike protein (Novovax). And it doesn’t help that the spike protein itself may be toxic and that the range of safe concentrations of circulating spike protein may be rather limited. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that the drug companies have really investigated this.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

New preprint for the Lancet from Sweden titled
Effectiveness of Covid-19 Vaccination Against Risk of Symptomatic Infection, Hospitalization, and Death Up to 9 Months: A Swedish Total-Population Cohort Study
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3949410
TL;DR (from the paper)
Interpretation: Vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic Covid-19 infection wanes progressively over time across all subgroups, but at different rate according to type of vaccine, and faster for men and older frail individuals. The effectiveness against severe illness seems to remain high through 9 months, although not for men, older frail individuals, and individuals with comorbidities.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
1 year ago

You missed out the last sentence of their abstract: “This strengthens the evidence-based rationale for administration of a third booster dose.” They probably had to put that in to get the paper published, but it isn’t evident that repeated administration of boosters is the way to go. Certainly not beyond 1 booster.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

We have missed you around these parts Johann. Excellent commentary as usual.

Heidi M
Heidi M
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Beautifully and concisely put.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Terrific response, but, alas it seems unlikely that Lincoln actually said that — at least that is the conclusion of Quote Investigator and the Abraham Lincoln Association. see: https://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/12/11/cannot-fool/
https://abrahamlincolnassociation.org/you-can-fool-all-of-the-people-lincoln-never-said-that/
I didn’t hear this as a quote of Lincoln, but instead of P.T. Barnum, but looks like he never said that, either.

Bruce Haycock
Bruce Haycock
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Other points accepted, I’m not sure the early vaccines were characterised as ‘promised land’ More that they offered the prospect of relief from what was felt to be a pandemic onslaught

The short durations are not especially surprising, given that the culprit is an upper respiratory tract virus, the general category of which have defied long term vaccine protection

Surely, on a trade-off basis this initial generation of vaccines have delivered outstanding efficacy in confronting Covid and giving a chance for both endemic normalization at lesser loss of life and lesser hidden costs by relieving lockdown impositions.

Plus the chance for ongoing innovation and trialling of both preventative vaccines and effective post-infection therapies

I accept there is a legitimate case for questioning repeat boosters of the same vaccine technology and a very strong case for questioning general youth and child vaccination with the current state of art vaccines.

For these groups the health risk is low and the long term unknowns are just that. Whereas the health of the current 40s and up are far more likely to compromised by myriad other health challenges

I’m very happy I’ve had my two Pfizer shots but will be carefully evaluating the ongoing options. A dose of endemic Covid is probably my preferred option if i could organise for it

Fran Martinez
Fran Martinez
1 year ago

I always wonder if Tom Chivers gets paid according to the number of pro Big Pharma articles that he writes. Promoting to jump regulations and controls for an age group that does not need the vaccine is a new low, though.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Fran Martinez

Mr Chivers is necessary for Unherd as they on rare occasions have some covid skeptical articles, and in this day to be a vax denier, or to do the crime of promulgating ‘Misinformation’ (views which are against the official view) is the ultimate crime leading to being shut out of all the Social Media, Unherd is well advised to keep some hard orthodoxy articles to leaven out the wrong thinking ones.

Peter LR
Peter LR
1 year ago

How much does national prestige and financial gain affect these decisions? You can’t help thinking that France’s rejection of AZ was motivated by envy because their vaccine development had run into trouble. Pfizer costs a bomb and adds to US GDP presumably whereas AZ is offered at cost price.
Is the US decision to vaccinate kids motivated by financial incentives too? Why inject children with chemicals when they don’t suffer badly from Covid and don’t appear to be vectors of transmission?

Jordan Flower
Jordan Flower
1 year ago

Tom, maybe you can write a Post about why so many countries with highest vaccination rates are also struggling with higher than average infection rates.
Most people knew the vaccine wasn’t ever supposed to stop transmission (despite the CDC director and Joe Biden “errantly” saying so). But you vax acolytes all still insist it has an attenuating effect on transmission. So does it? Or does it not?

Last edited 1 year ago by Jordan Flower
George Glashan
George Glashan
1 year ago
Reply to  Jordan Flower

Those deplorable unvaccinated must be spreading it to the vaccinated, probably by sneaking down chimneys at night. The only solution is to ban Christmas, ban the unvaccinated, ban everything until “The Science” determines that life on this planet is sufficiently safe for the vaccinated to reach the promised land of ZeroCovid

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Jordan Flower

Transmissions seem to have dropped somewhat here in the UK lately and hospitalisation rates have plummeted.
It’s hard to compare like with like, because people are not only going out and mixing a lot more now, but also more are getting tested, and more often. So for example, UK has about 5x as many tests as Germany per/1000 but 2x the case rate.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago

“How did Florida end up with one of the best COVID-19 case and death rates in the US despite Gov Ron DeSantis refusing to implement mask or vaccine mandates?” (oct 27, 2021)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-10136983/How-did-Florida-end-one-best-COVID-19-case-death-rates-US.html

DM article, how Florida with no restraints has its cases plummet JUST like it does where Lockdowns are forced. Same way, same rate of decrease – but NO lockdown, masks, or vax mandates. There appears to be a 2 month cycle no matter what you do.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago

I did read that the high numbers of infections have largely been caused by children going back to school, which also explains the much lower rate of hospitalisations. Now a majority of children have had the virus (75% is the latest estimate) there simply isn’t the amount of people with no immunity that there was previously, so the virus doesn’t spread anywhere near as quickly

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Jordan Flower

That would be because those with the highest vaccination rates presumably started their vaccine rollouts first, and so now their populations have less protection against the virus than those that started later due to effects of the vaccine diminishing over time. The countries with higher vaccination rates also now tend to be more open, so there’s more chances for the virus to spread especially amongst children going back to school who by and large haven’t had the vaccine as it’s not needed for their age groups.
The main thing the vaccinations have clearly done is reduce the need for hospital treatment, meaning that those that catch the virus will rarely get seriously if they’ve had a jab recently, which in turn means their natural immunity to the virus will also improve.
Infection numbers on their own are largely meaningless, the only important statistics are hospitalisations and deaths, both of which should be able to be kept to a minimum with vaccines and booster jabs for the vulnerable

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Most of your comment is correct, but there is one statement that I believe is not true: it is not the case that natural immunity will also improve due to vaccination. Indeed, exactly the reverse can be the case and is probably the case. That is vaccination and the generation of antibodies against spike protein, and not a spike protein from a virus that no longer exists, given that the virus has since mutated from the original, may reduce one’s ability to produce antibodies against other components of the virus. Indeed, this is exactly what is stated (albeit in the weeds) in the latest UKHSA report: the vaccinated don’t produce N antibodies upon infection, in contrast to the unvaccinated – that is the vaccinated only produce antibodies against spike, while the unvaccinated produce a much broader antibody response. And that’s probably why once an unvaccinated person is infected and recovered, it is very unlikely that they get reinfected.
The key to remember is that the immune system and its responses is very complex. And ideas that may be great on paper don’t necessarily pan out. Right now, basically a massive but non-randomized phase 3/phase 4 trial is being carried out worldwide. And what’s worse is that the results are not being analyzed objectively but rather, anything that goes against the public health narrative, is dismissed and thrown away. That is always a risky proposition and strategy in science.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

OK that makes sense. As you say it’s now essentially a large experiment to see how long the vaccines are effective for and against how many strains, however I’d guess now we have a starting point for the vaccines it wouldn’t take much to tweak it slightly to combat new variations when they occur to be administered to the vulnerable in the form of boosters much like the flu jab. Ultimately through a combination of protecting the elderly and at risk groups through vaccination and the younger generation getting immunity through infection it should plateau.
I’m not sure why my original comments have been downvoted mind you, no doubt if I’d waxed lyrical about the unproven benefits of horse dewormer because I’d read it on a tin hat website I’d have been upvoted massively

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

If things were that simple it would be fine. Synthesizing new mRNA to correspond to the current prevalent stains and even having a combo of mRNA sequences is trivial. Same is true of the DNA-based vaccines. The issue relates with the delivery systems. The liposomes used by Moderna and Pfizer (incidentally developed and manufactured by the same Canadian company for both) cannot be administered too many times before severe reactions set in to the liposomes. That’s why Moderna had to stop their mRNA cancer vaccine trials (and that was the purpose for which Moderna was originally set up). So you can gather from that that the severe reactions must have been life threatening given that they were dealing with very ill cancer patients to start with. For the adenovirus delivery systems, you then have the issue of antibodies developing against the adenovirus with the result that the adenovirus doesn’t have a chance to deliver its DNA content into cells. That’s why the Russian Sputnik vaccine uses a different adenovirus strain for the 1st and second doses (the first being identical to that used by J&J).

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Johann, would you consider any of the vaccines as a booster. I am vaccinated (and mostly regret it), with Pfizer – clearly I should not have an mRNA vaccine. I want to qualify for a vaccine passport – I am too old to spend a sizeable chunk of my life unable to move around.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
1 year ago

I’m also doubly vaccinated with the Pfizer mRNA vaccine and luckily I only had a slightly sore arm at the site of injection for a few hours. Right now I wouldn’t consider a booster for myself. Rather, I’d prefer and see what actually turns out over the next few months or so before deciding. And to be honest I don’t really see much difference between the mRNA and adenovirus/DNA vaccines. They are both using the cell’s machinery to produce spike protein whether directly from mRNA, or indirectly from DNA to RNA to spike. The only difference then between these various vaccines relates to the efficiency of spike protein production, and that could depend on a whole range of factors. I personally would be a bit worried about multiple boosters of the liposome delivery vehicle used for the mRNA vaccines, if only because of Moderna’s previous history/experience with mRNA anti-cancer vaccines that employed the same delivery vehicle. Bottom line: really hard to offer any advice to others.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Thanks… though it would appear if one took something for the passport, the J and J is on paper less offensive.

Last edited 1 year ago by Lesley van Reenen
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

Dr Thomas Sowell was a Marxist until he started to work in one of the US government agencies and it became clear that the aim of the agency was not to do what was best for the country but how best to preserve the agency and agency jobs.
That ultimately is the aim of any bureaucracy and that is why they will fiercely resist any suggestion that another agency’s tests should automatically be accepted, and the politicians who rely on bureaucratic votes will support them for the most part. So don’t look for a sensible reform to emerge in a hurry.

alden rodwell
alden rodwell
1 year ago

Having worked in the pharmaceutical industry, what struck me was the mindset of those in regulatory positions. There are many very intelligent people, but with the life outlook of a traffic warden on steroids. The system, the process to be followed, these had the status of holy writ – I use the comparison very deliberately. Slavish interpretation of guidelines without ever seeing the bigger picture, unable to think for oneself, to make cost-benefit decisions, or even understanding that such decisions exist in the real world. This applied both to people within the industry, and within the quangocracy/regulatory arms of the governments. It is true that there have been safety concerns of drugs in the past, but these will never completely go away – any novel activity has unforseen and unforeseeable risks. However the current approach simply creates hugely expensive jobs for pen pushers – next time you hear someone complaining about the cost of drugs and the greed of big pharma, remind them that we (and our elected politicians) created this impersonal machine by belief in regulation and procedures as a substitute for genuine scientific evaluation. After 1000 years I still don’t see any likelihood of the various Christian churches reuniting because of their often petty and obscurantist doctrinal differences, and similarly I don’t see any chance of easy alignment of pharmaceutical regulation.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  alden rodwell

It’s a form of protectionism.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago

The Swamp is not just in government….

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago

What always occurred to me, when vaccine sceptics asked why they should accept a vaccine that was released on the market so quickly, was “But why is it the norm to take so long?”.
The assumption that longer delay = safer surely becomes less true the longer it goes on.
Then we had the absurd spectacle of the EU rejecting AZ on the basis of a few dozen tests when UK had already given it to millions.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago

I am a great fan of H.L. Mencken who was writing around the time of WW1. He was fighting for people to get vaccinated against typhoid. Many refused saying that it wasn’t safe; the preachers preached that people didn’t need vaccines because God was there to help.

What changed things was the entry into the European war when the government forced soldiers to get vaccinated. The population slowly followed.

Is Covid connected with retribution from someone on high?

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris Wheatley
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

“Is Covid connected with retribution from someone on high?”

Yes, the whole covid response is done by the Elites to destroy the system which now exists. The spending and lockdowns decreasing productivity wile still getting paid – via debt, wile doubling imports paid by deficit debt…and interest at zero and inflation at 5.4%, Stagflation has arrived!

this is to cause inflation, to steal the savings and pay from the workers, to depreciate the money, and to inflate the kind of assets the wealthy own. (Equities and hard assets)

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

And your money is under the floorboards along with the gold and silver. I guess you can shoot your food and use trees for fuel.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Unfourtnately a lot of my money is in cash, enough to build a couple houses but I have not broken ground yet, still in permitting, and as I hand build them myself with just one employee it takes me close to a year a house, from foundation to roof peak, and the cash disappearing in the inflation at a furious rate wile prices of all building materials is rising metiorically. I have a pretty big stash of silver, some gold, but in the bank safety deposit.

I fish semi-commercially, and grow a veg and fruit garden – but food is not an issue in the West, it is chaos from economic collapse causing UBI poverty to become the norm I worry about. Welfare is a trap, and if people get snarled into it, from bad economics OR AI and automation taking the jobs, I do not see that ever reversing.

My sort, the old generation construction worker, will be fine, as we can do anything – but the younger people are so soft and helpless – I think they will be crushed by hard times.

Marcus Scott
Marcus Scott
1 year ago

It is not only safety that an extended trial tests for. Efficacy is also, hopefully, established. In the last several weeks the Israelis have concluded that a third and fourth booster is required. They are revaccinating their entire population while the UK, for the time being, is revaccinating the “vulnerable”. While nothing is settled it seems probable that the vaccine will need to be taken annually or, perhaps, twice a year.
It has taken almost a year since the vaccines were released to figure that out and we still don’t know with certainty what the vaccination cycle will be. It strikes me as unusual to release a drug to the general public when the manufacturers cannot say with any certainty how long that drug would be effective for because they had not had time to run studies that would have confirmed that information.
If Pfizer had released Viagra with a warning on the box, “we don’t know for how long each one of these magic pills will keep your solider standing at attention. Ideally, it would be for about two hours. But it could be 60 seconds or it could be 6 month. Give it a try and let us know how you get on,” many people would have been Viagra hesitant.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Marcus Scott

It’s taken a year to gather a years experience, of course.

Would it have been better then to withhold vaccine from the general public for that year?

I don’t think so.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
1 year ago

A difficult question. Perhaps the answer would have been to pursue a safer and wiser course: that is vaccinate the elderly and those with especially problematic co-morbidities, while not vaccinating anybody else. I suspect that would have been difficult from a public policy perspective, especially given the politicization of the whole COVID business, as well as the fact that a large proportion of the population were clamoring to be vaccinated. Nevertheless a more cautious approach may have been the wiser one. The experience in Israel and for that matter the UK (looking at the latest UKHSA report) suggests that there are real issues with vaccine efficacy, never mind untoward side effects that are hugely more frequent, judging from the last 9 months or so, than for all other vaccines combined over the last 10 years.
What is abundantly clear is that the current crop of COVID vaccines do not have the efficacy, durability or safety margin of say the polio vaccine. And not by a small amount but by several orders of magnitude.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago

It is very possible that use of Ivermectin would have been much more effective, and magnitude times cheaper, than the vax.

Dr Campbell on ivermectin meta analysis, surprising good results

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j7am9kjMrk

interesting, and he has a number of them more recent, yet no government studies done as there is no money in ivermectin

..

Peter Dawson
Peter Dawson
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Any talk of Ivermectin is censored on Twitter etc.
Why?
Because it is cheap, effective and also prophylactic when augmented by other medicines which have an incredibly safe history of human consumption.
Yet doctors are losing their livelihoods with legal force just because they use their skill and knowledge to use the best available medications to help and support their patients.
To tell people to stay at home taking paracetamol and only contact a doctor if you became really ill was monstrous.
A FIVE-DAY COURSE of molnupiravir, the new medicine being hailed as a “huge advance” in the treatment of Covid-19, costs $17.74 to produce, according to a report issued last week by drug pricing experts at the Harvard School of Public Health and King’s College Hospital in London. Merck is charging the U.S. government $712 for the same amount of medicine, or 40 times the price.
This is why/

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
1 year ago

What I think you forget is that while bad side effects including the ultimate one, death, are rare post COVID vaccination, they are very far from zero, and more importantly they are vastly more common, by orders of magnitude, than for all other regular vaccines virtually everybody has had. So each individual is presented with a dilemma: what is their personal benefit/risk ratio. This will depend very much on their circumstances (age, co-morbidities, nature of job, whether one is in a high risk environment, etc…).
The truth is also that the initial trials were all too small to pick up signals from anything with say an incidence of 1 in 50,000. Well if you’ve avoided getting COVID for 12-18 months , go and get your shots and then end up with thrombocytopenic blood clotting, a set of conditions that is exceedingly rare in the general population but not so rare post-vaccination (around 1 in 50,000), and has a greater than 50% chance of death, I think you would be none too happy (especially if you happen to be in the most susceptible age group of females under the age of 50 where the incidence is even higher). I think anybody can see both the tragedy and irony of this sort of situation. It’s sort of like Ann Frank: she managed to survive virtually the whole of WWII both in hiding and subsequently in Bergen-Belsen, only to die of Typhoid barely 1-2 weeks before the allies liberated the concentration camp. I appreciate that the analogy may be a little difficult to appreciate but I think it brings home the point: i.e. you avoid getting COVID for 18 months only to die of a vaccine that is supposed to protect you against COVID!

Last edited 1 year ago by Johann Strauss
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

“So each individual is presented with a dilemma: what is their personal benefit/risk ratio. This will depend very much on their circumstances (age, co-morbidities, nature of job, whether one is in a high risk environment, etc…).”

You sound very like George Gammon on ‘Rebel Capitalist’ youtube who rails, not against the vax, but against the mandates.

His whole Youtube channel ‘Rebel Capitalist’ was shut and removed two days ago for this! But a Twitter campaign by important people got him re-instated.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm1XW5Q9W98

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

That’s cool. Obviously great mind think alike!!!! I’ve never actually listened to George Gammon. From my perspective I think this should be all common sense, but unfortunately common sense seems to have been thrown out the window by so many in the Public Health Establishment, with the exception of Sweden.

Philip L
Philip L
1 year ago

Good grief. Frances Oldham Kelsey spinning in her grave.

Peter Dawson
Peter Dawson
1 year ago
Reply to  Philip L

If they had listened to her – the Thalidomide tragedy would never have happened.