Archive for the ‘vaccines – immunization’ Category

What if the COVID vaccine had been launched sooner?

December 22, 2020

Bias alert: I’m pro-vax and plan to get vaccinated as soon as I can.
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On one hand, Trump has been justifiably basking in the success of his Operation Warp Speed program that encouraged and enabled pharma to speed up the development process.

It has been a sheer delight seeing the video loops of media pundits and “experts” looking ridiculous when previously dismissing the possibility of a vaccine by now.

See It’s official: Fauci whiffs, again!

Even Sen. Dickie Durbin — to his credit — stepped to the podium on the Senate floor to give Trump a shout-out for a job well done.

And yesterday, Biden conceded that “the Trump administration deserves some of the credit”.

But, headlines the past couple of days seem to be highlighting the logistical challenges, priority controversies and possible negative consequences of the COVID vaccines: “Man in Alaska Suffers Serious Side Effects”, “40% of Chicago Medical Staff Refuses the Vaccine”, etc.

So, I realize that I may be swimming upstream today, channeling a very provocative point-of-view that I saw offered up by Holman Jenkins in the WSJ:

Science triumphed but shouldn’t we have cut corners and moved faster?

Let’s drill down that…

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More on the COVID vaccines’ 95% effectiveness rate…

December 18, 2020

Probably overstated but, nonetheless, I’ll get vaccinated as soon as I can!
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It’s undeniable that Operation Warp Speed’s financial support and streamlined regulatory processes motivated rapid development of COVID vaccines,

That was largely predictable.

What wasn’t so predictable was the apparent sky high effectiveness of the early-launch vaccines.

Both Pfizer and Moderna report about 95% effectiveness.

Gotta ask: Are these effectiveness rates too good to be true?

In a prior post, we noted that  the 95% effectiveness is, indeed, sky high compared to previous flu and pandemic virus vaccines.

Today, let’s drill down on the 95% number…

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How do COVID vaccines’ effectiveness stack up against prior vaccines?

December 17, 2020

Answer: 95% is sky high compared to previous flu and pandemic virus vaccines.
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Today, let’s put the current COVID vaccines into perspective.

September 2019 White House report looked specifically at flu and coronavirus vaccines, noting that….

There is considerable variation from year to year in how much the flu vaccine reduces the risk of contracting the seasonal flu and flu-related illnesses.

Over the past 14 years, influenza vaccine effectiveness has ranged between 10% and 60%.

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Much of the variability depends on which viral strains predominate in a given year and, more specifically, whether the vaccine matches the viral strain that is circulating in a given flu season.

Although a mismatch between the vaccine and the virus circulating during a flu season reduces efficacy, vaccines still provide some protection against flu illness and decrease the severity of the illness, due to immunologic similarity between the viruses.

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When it comes to pandemic viruses

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How effective are vaccines?

September 9, 2020

Answer: Not as much as you might expect.
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Excerpted from a September 2019 White House report which looked specifically at flu and coronavirus vaccines ….

There is considerable variation from year to year in how much the flu vaccine reduces the risk of contracting the seasonal flu and flu-related illnesses.

Over the past 14 years, influenza vaccine effectiveness has ranged between 10% and 60%.

clip_image002_thumb2

Much of the variability depends on which viral strains predominate in a given year and, more specifically, whether the vaccine matches the viral strain that is circulating in a given flu season.

Although a mismatch between the vaccine and the virus circulating during a flu season reduces efficacy, vaccines still provide some protection against flu illness and decrease the severity of the illness, due to immunologic similarity between the viruses.

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When it comes to pandemic viruses

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