Second Covid vaccine "94.5% effective" and can be kept in a fridge

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Considering the sample size of people in the trial that got sick, it really isn’t meaningful to assign that level of precision to the effectiveness rate. But this is more good news. It doesn’t help us today, but the high effectiveness of this and the other vaccine are a pleasant surprise that bode well for our ability to return to something like normal within the next few years.


I want to see the next hundred, and if it remains p<0.0001. That’s a pretty tight confidence on a small sample.

Also, who are the sample? “The 95 COVID-19 cases included 15 older adults (ages 65+) and 20 participants identifying as being from diverse communities (including 12 Hispanic or LatinX, 4 Black or African Americans, 3 Asian Americans and 1 multiracial).”

IMO, this is a start. It’s by no means representative of the population.

Regardless, I implore Moderna to produce the living shit out of this one and let’s get distribution going ASAP. We can’t wait until April. This is going to be the darkest winter ever in the USA if we don’t start putting our boot on this virus. It has to happen or it will rage out of control and kill many people we love, if it hasn’t already done so.


Sign me up, I’ll take them all. My work is full of people who refuse to take even basic precautions, it’s fucking stressful at the moment as more than a couple have symptoms and refuse to self isolate at all. (Note, not coworkers, who are all just as stressed as me, but ‘clients’ in a homeless shelter etc).


April is probably very optimistic still. I’m thinking this will be June or July.


It’s good that these companies realized that they didn’t want to “Comey” the US election and held up their findings.


Brace yourselves. Estimates for widespread availability of either of these new vaccines is Q4 2021. Remember that billions of doses need to be manufactured, even after approvals, which have a ways to go yet. From the day they make the first dose, it might be a year before you can get one.


For both these vaccines, they manufactured the first dose months ago.

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I’m talking about the first publicly available ones. I’m just telling you what the people in the pharma biz are saying.


It’s an open question. They (Pfizer, Moderna) have tens of millions of doses on hand now. We NEED hundreds of millions.

But we also need:
Relevant, up-to-date safety data
An emergency use approval
A means of distributing it and storing it safely
& a fucking PLAN for rollout, Jesus H. Christ already.


That’s interesting, because both Moderna and Pfizer have said they’ve been producing these since day one, ready for the EUA to start putting them into distribution. It’s why they are going to have 20 million doses for each in December, because they’ve been producing them all along. It’s part of the condition to get Operation Warp Speed money (and for Pfizer, who didn’t take WS money, the corresponding German program they did take funds from had similar conditions of requiring any candidate to be mass produced the whole time regardless of whether it passed or failed testing.)


The Skeptics Guide to the Universe did a story on this last week that is a good listen for more details on Warp Speed and how long manufacturing is really going to take. Remember also that one of the vaccines requires two doses, so we need twice as many, and all front-line workers will be prioritized. I’m just trying to make sure people have the right expectations about how long before we can all go sit in a movie theater again. It is not April, or June, or July.


If you don’t believe the people that are directly doing the work, and instead listen to a podcast of people who aren’t doing the work, I don’t know what to tell you.

You either believe what Moderna’s own people say about their own production capabilities, and Pfizer’s as well, or you don’t. If you don’t believe what they’re saying about production capabilities of their own companies, then I’d ask why you believe their announcements about successful early results.

The key thing there is wide/open availability. I think a lot of the dates for first availability are optimistic/marketing, people are claiming January or February. I really doubt we’ll even see approval by then.

But early roll out to medical staff and essential/at risk workers, then around big vectors for spread should start to have a material impact before next fall. It’s not like they’re going to hold off vaccinating anyone until they can vaccinate everyone.

I think most people would be pretty shocked about the number of people who’ve just been out on the world, in constant contact with the public this whole time. My job pretty much precludes any kind of quarantine. It can not be done from home, requires constant close contact with the public and continual travel around the region.

There’s pretty much no way that sort of thing hasn’t been a major, unsung factor in spreading this around.

My hope would be early targeted roll outs by spring or early summer. Most of the pharma companies and public health people are talking about exactly that. Though really rough plans and of course contingent on results and approvals.

That said there are a lot more front line/essential workers than even public health authorities seem to be considering. It’s not just medical staff, teachers and grocery workers. You have the entire wholesale industry, grocery workers, mechanics and trades people, farm laborers, truckers, transit workers, and so forth. I think we’re gonna need far more doses than expected even to get a start.

I won’t believe what they say. I’ll believe the numbers when they publish them. The data backing these claims are not out yet, and there aren’t any solid plans about roll out and expanding/licensing production yet. Especially in the US.

Even Moderna and Pfizer are telling us that. Everything we’ve heard so far is essentially a best case scenario. Even if approval dates and production level estimates are accurate the elephant in the room is distribution. You might have noticed that distribution of practically everything is a little fucked at the moment.

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The problem is really going to be that “essential workers” as states call them are not what the healthcare industry would call “frontline workers.” Sadly, the people you listed, wholesale industry, grocery workers, mechanics and trades , laborers , truckers, transit workers and all have historically been treated like crap. My suspicion is the front liners that are going to get this are rich doctors (and their families), ER nurses and doctors and maybe orderlies, and police officers.

I don’t think there’s any debate about, or problem with, medical staff and hospitals being targeted first. That’s only sensible and the obvious first step.

I’d hardly expect it to be “rich doctors” since we do exactly this regularly. Both yearly for the flu, where hospitals get the vaccines first and start vaccinating staff immediately. And whenever there is an out break of something we have a vaccine for.

They vaccinate everyone at the hospital, starting with staff who are in direct contact with the illness and rolling on out to everyone. It doesn’t work if you try to prioritize people by anything other than exposure. And no it doesn’t include their families, but it does include first responders who frequent the hospital. Like EMTs, cops and firefighters. My mother was an ER nurse and her hospital’s point person for pandemic/outbreak response. The food prep folks and janitors got their flu shots early, my siblings and I waited to get them through our regular pediatrician.

It’ll start in COVID wards and ERs and expand out from there. And that’s a good thing.

I was mostly talking about the next step. Just like it’d be dumb as rocks to just not vaccinate anyone until you could vaccinate everyone. It’d be dumb as rocks to just stop and wait once hospital workers stop dropping like flies.

But you poke any given next step with a stick and there’s a lot more people than you’d assume. Vaccinating everyone working at your local grocery store (and grocery stores are critical) doesn’t stop with vaccinating everyone employed by your local grocery store.

It’s also the dozens to hundreds of outside workers floating through there every week. There are five beer companies in my area, each sends a sales rep multiple times a week. 2 of them send in multiple merchandizers. Our trucks are delivering too, and there’s 2 guys on each truck. Then there’s 5 bread companies, 4 soft drink companies, multiple deli and chip companies. All descending on your local grocery store daily.

Each of these people visit 20+ locations a day. And drivers might cover a 200+ mile area over the course of the week. During the worst of the 1st wave my drivers were coming out from Brooklyn while it was setting world records, while there was a slow rolling outbreak in my warehouse.

That’s the sort of thing that moves an outbreak from point A to point B. Cutting off that vector involves vaccinating all those people, and likely their work places. Otherwise grocery workers will be OK, but grocery stores will still be spreading it around.

That’s just the one example I’m routinely panicked by too. I’m sure anyone else in a different essential business could give us an equally powerful panic attack.

The major point is that this is a lot more people than you’d think, at every stage. Hell even that hospital has a laundry service and a meat guy. Which makes me think it’ll take a lot more time and a lot more doses to target the critical stuff before “wide availability” is a thing. Maybe the best case is true. We’ll see an initial roll out as early as February. That doesn’t mean there’s an easy, linear ramp up by June.


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