Moderna’s vaccine candidate data is getting released to the public right now. The top line number looks good:
The FDA has released their analysis of Moderna’s data. It looks like a vaccine about to get authorized. Here’s the story from @noahweiland @nytDeniseGrady & me https://t.co/aq0PWVbBG5 pic.twitter.com/ybTPyADDN3
— Carl Zimmer (@carlzimmer) December 15, 2020
The safety data is, relative to the risk of COVID, good, but not as good as Pfizer.
There is a hint that this vaccine provides protection against asymptomatic infection:
Moderna #covid19 vaccine FDA briefing documents are out. One key detail included not in FDA’s briefing book but in addendum from Moderna: some potential protection from *infection* (not just symptomatic disease) after one dose: pic.twitter.com/67WcXikD1J
— Meg Tirrell (@megtirrell) December 15, 2020
This is new and valuable information that should partially inform who gets what vaccine.
Now that there is good news, I have a few questions:
When do I get vaccinated?
As soon as possible. Just that possible is going to be a while for me.
This weeks’ allocation is enough for a tiny sliver of front line medical personnel and congregate care facility residents. Right now, the December allocation of vaccines are enough for a tiny fraction of the population. I’m 40, in good health and I have the ability to safely minimize my risk of both infection and infecting others. I should be near the back of the priority line. Once there is a call for general vaccination of the general population, is it ethical for me to get in line in the first week? Or should I wait several more weeks/months?
What should I expect
The side effect profiles seem to indicate that feeling like shit for a day or two is quite possible. In an ideal world, I would get vaccinated on a Thursday afternoon with plans to take Friday off.
Cookies or Ice Cream?
After every vaccination that I receive, I treat myself to something small; cookies, ice cream, fancy coffee drinks. I am thinking that due to the high prevalence and value of this vaccination, a big reward is needed; double chocolate fudge brownie sundae is the leading candidate for my treat after the second dose.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
Sen. Chris Coons, according to my father, said on CNN today that athletes should be among the first in line to receive the vaccine. He said he heard it on the radio. I can’t find any reference to it online. Is this true?
That is a very pretty graph.
Once there’s general availability, by all means get in line as soon as you can. The various priority groups are going to be somewhere between a third and half of the adult population depending on who you ask, so by the time we work through them, many of those who are left will be in similar situations as you (and me).
And again, two weeks later. I think I read that the second dose was more likely to cause a reaction, but don’t remember the details. It was probably on Derek Lowe’s blog.
One of my hopes is that the appointment systems at Walgreens, CVS, etc. are being updated to automatically book that second visit. Also, that they are planning to follow-up with people who don’t get the second dose.
I was told I shouldn’t take aspirin after my yearly regular flu shot. I don’t know if this is true or not, but the advice was to avoid aspirin for a few days.
Is there anything to avoid after a COVID jab?
@germy: mostly just COVID, until it takes effect. (I’ll see myself out.) Curious re: the rationale for avoiding aspirin post-flu vax–I’ve never heard that one, so I had to go look at the medical lit, and it looks like any COX inhibitor might slightly reduce effectiveness in a first (but not a booster) dose. I would look at the protocols the companies used and whether or not volunteers were discouraged from taking fever-reducing drugs. If not, and it still worked fine, you could probably take them and not see a big reduction in efficacy.
The vaccine is 95% effective. How will I know if I’m in the 5% that it didn’t work?
I’m confused about the symptomatic/asymptomatic distinctions here. Don’t you either have a dose of the virus or not? How deeply it affects you depends. The vaccine is meant to prevent–or teach your body to easily fight off the virus when you get a dose of it. Of course the vaccine should help your body fight the virus, even after one dose.
Relatedly, saw this piece about mutations: https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-britain-variant/new-coronavirus-strain-spreading-in-uk-has-key-mutations-scientists-say-idUSKBN28P158
@Wayne: Hopefully, enough people will get vaccinated that you won’t know. No vaccine is 100% effective in everyone who gets it, but herd immunity (the real kind, provided by mass vaccinations) can protect the few for whom a vaccine doesn’t work.
The Moar You Know
Side effects are going to be a thing. Public messaging on it needs to get out ahead of vaccine distribution.
I recently had the shingles vaccine. I felt a little crappy after the first shot. The second was a doozy: I had it on a Thursday, had about six to eight hours where I was seriously considering going to the emergency room (the lack of fever and anaphylactic reactions kept me home, but I felt like I was seriously, seriously ill) and didn’t feel remotely okay until Sunday. Recipients need to be prepared and told they may be in for something like this.
If there are huge lines and you hear that vulnerable populations in your area are still not done, I might wait. Otherwise I will take it when it’s offered so that I can be checked off as done and so that I can’t carry it to someone else worse off. These vaccines seem to take a lot of system support-cold storage and supply chain issues. I am thinking that they might have to rotate areas to cover and that it’s important to use up what is out there quickly. The longer it has to be stored the more problems are likely, so they are going to want it injected quickly.
@The Moar You Know: My spouse got the shingles vaccine recently and also found it tough. Fortunately, he’d been well informed ahead of time about the side effects so his two days of feeling very ill didn’t freak us out, but yeah, you aren’t kidding; that’s a serious vaccine. He says he felt equally ill after the 2nd shot, but as I guess he was familiar with the side effects from the first shot, they didn’t drag him down quite as hard. He might differ with me in that opinion, but I recall him being up and about more than after the first shot.
I agree, there should be a mass information campaign to let people know they may feel sick after getting the shot, but that it’ll be okay. I think a lot of folks don’t understand that what’s making them feel sick is their own immune system jumping into action.
Question: I’ve heard the vaccine has to be stored at -70 degrees Fahrenheit. Is it -70 going in too, or do they take it out before hand to let it warm up?
@Nicole: Same here but I got them first so my bride had an idea of what was coming.
Why Does Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Need To Be Kept Colder Than Antarctica?
Lots of info
@LurkerNoLonger: I heard that they take the vaccine out of the freezer ahead of time to let it warm up. Once it warms up, the vaccine has a limited shelf life before the vaccine is no longer effective.
@The Moar You Know: I also got slammed by the 2nd Shingrix shot. I thought I was coming down with the flu. Then I checked the list of possible side effects, and I had most of them.
I’ve been slammed by flu shots in the past, as well. I’m at the point where if I don’t have a reaction to a vaccine, I wonder if it will work.
@raven: The shingles vaccine really seems to be a hard one for everybody. Worth it, compared to having shingles, but a hard one. I am so happy that they eventually developed a chicken pox vaccine, even if it was too late for me to get it. Lovely to think of all those kids who may never have to worry about shingles as older adults.
Ha! I now have a mental image of your immune system seeing a shot poke into your arm and yelling, “YEAH BABY HERE WE GO! LET’S DO THIS!”
With any virus, though, there’s at least some time while you’re infected but aren’t showing any symptoms like fever, cough, etc. With most diseases, there’s a correlation between the strength of the symptoms and how infectious you are, but COVID breaks that rule. It looks as if people are most infectious before they show any symptoms, and some people are quite infectious without ever showing any symptoms. This is one of the things that’s made COVID so nasty, and why universal mask wearing is so important: you can’t tell who’s infectious by looking for symptoms.
I heard a bit yesterday on public radio that there may be “emergency call lists”. Sign up and you might get a text “get your arm in here in 45 minutes or this vaccine is going down the sink”. For when people don’t show up to their appointments and the vaccine is already thawed in the fridge – I think it has about a six hour life at that point?
Anyone heard of this? (the suggestion was that it might be open to anyone, rather than going in priority order)
@Nicole: The chicken pox vaccine came out when I was in my late 20’s. I never had chicken pox as a child, confirmed with blood work, and I got the shots as soon as they came out. Got a third about ten years ago as a booster. Gives me much peace of mind.
The -70 storage conditions are just for storage. The vaccine stays good for a while after being thawed, but you don’t want to thaw and refreeze it, and you do need to use it promptly after thawing. It makes the logistics more difficult, both because of the need for ultra-low temperature freezers and because it takes a while to thaw from that cold to a temperature where it’s safe to inject, so you want to know how many people you’re going to vaccinate to avoid wasting doses.
@LurkerNoLonger: The way I saw it explained:
@eclare: I am equal parts happy and envious. What a good feeling that must have been. I got chicken pox when I was 15; I missed the vaccine by about 5 years. Though I had a fairly mild case, for getting it so late, so it’s possible I had a mild case of it as a child, too (some people manage to get chicken pox twice. Rare, but it happens).
@The Moar You Know: @Nicole: I got my 2nd shingles shot last Friday. Other than a still sore arm I’ve had no side effects.(knock on wood)
@Nicole: I do indeed believe that this is the case. ?
@Nicole: Some of my older relatives have had horrible cases of shingles, why they don’t get the vaccine is beyond me.
I read that it was more like 6 days in a refrigerator, don’t recall if that was one or the other or both.
I still haven’t gotten my flu shot for this year, though I likely will do so this week. I go so few places that (a) going somewhere to get the shot means I’m increasing my risk of catching Covid/something else and (b) where would I pick up the flu anyway? It’s not just going to float into my apartment. But I know I should, so I will. Haven’t gotten the shingles vax yet (thanks for the heads-up about the reactions), nor Hep A/B–they’re on my list–but I admit to being amused by the MMR pushes we see every now and then. I had two of the three–mumps and rubella (and chicken pox)–and I remember standing in line at the local youth center to get the measles vaccination.
@eclare: It’s a good question- I guess, if they’re feeling fine “right now” maybe the fear of vaccination reactions outweighs? Or the hassle factor of setting up the appointment. People are not rational animals.
My brother was born in Cambodia, and came here when he was almost ten. He has a terrible fear of needles (probably from having to get vaccinated for everything all at once when he and his brother and my stepmom left the country). I found out, in conversation with my stepmom, that he’d had a terrible case of measles when he was very young- he almost died, and mentioned it to him. He was VERY indignant- he had no idea as our mom had never told him- to not find this out until he was in his 40s, and I bet he was thinking, “Man, there’s one shot maybe I could have skipped.” Heh.
@Nicole: Yeah, I understand the concept, but with this disease, and an underlying issue, I think masks are going to be a way of life down the road.
I’m between the first and second shots on Shingrix–I’ve been thinking of it as the dry run for COVID vaccination, given the similarity between the reported effects. I had soreness and a mild headache after the first one, have heard the second is much worse. One difference is that you have to wait months between the two shots with Shingrix, and it sounds like with the COVID vaccines it’s shorter.
An intriguing thing I’d read a while back is that recent vaccination, of *any* sort such as flu or shingles, might provide some protection against severe COVID (maybe because the adjuvant has your immune system on general alert).
@Nicole: I had shingles in my eye, one does not want shingles.
I had chicken pox when I was about 18 mos old. I never bothered to inquire about the shingles shot until last year when there was a shortage and I missed out. This year I was able to get it and both doses left me feeling a bit shitty for about a day and a half. No shingles so far.
That’s one sundae after each dose, right?
It’s absolutely ethical, unless you’re pulling strings and somehow landed on the Giuliani gold-status list. We need vaccination to be widespread as quickly as possible for this to work and that means get it when it’s offered.
There are going to be a lot of logistical complications with delivery and priority will already have been given to those most at risk. Doctors already going to be wrestling with anti-vaxxers and needle-shy patients, you don’t need to be another hurdle for them to deal with.
@Nicole: When I shipped to Korea we got tons of immunizations including the dreaded gamma globulin. 18 months later when I was getting ready to go to Vietnam I faked my shot card to indicate I was up to date . Pretty stupid but I was 18 and bulletproof.
@Jinchi: The VA seems to be on the case.
@raven: One of the things I remember from my army immunizations is that one of them was for bubonic plague. So I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.
Hopefully, you won’t. An accurate anti-body test might give you an idea, but that 95% number is based on a measure of people who got the vaccine and then got corona anyway.
It sounds like those who did got milder cases so it’s possible the vaccines help even if they aren’t entirely effective.
Mitch McConnell just acknowledged President-Elect Biden’s win. Which reminds me of that famous Niemöller poem:
First, the people voted Joe Biden for President, but I did not speak out, because state courts decide elections.
Then, the state courts voted Joe Biden for President, but I did not speak out, because federal courts decide elections.
Then the federal courts voted Joe Biden for President, but I did not speak out, because state legislatures decide elections.
Then the state courts voted Joe Biden for President, but I did not speak out, because Congress decides elections.
Then Congress voted Joe Biden for President, and there was no one left to decide the election.
@Wayne: I totally agree with you. I choose to look at masks as another fashion accessory now; makes it more fun. And, on the bright side, keeping my nose and cheeks covered when outdoors has done wonders (in a good way) for my rosacea.
@raven: Oh my God. Shingles in the eye?! That’s terrifying. I have a friend with Type 1 herpes (the oral kind, most of us have it, even if we don’t show symptoms) and when he gets an outbreak, he’s often in danger of it showing up in his eye, which can cause blindness. I haven’t had a cold sore since I was in my 20s, and they were always around the mouth, but I swear, that’s the stuff of my nightmares.
@The Moar You Know: and you know what? I had the shingles vaccine two years ago and after the second dose I was in bed for two days with what felt like a bad case of flu. I told my doctor and he said cheerfully, “Oh, yeah, that can happen with either first or second shot.” So the word still isn’t publicized? That’s just wrong. What if I’d been about to leave on vacation or a business trip?
@The Moar You Know:
I’ve had a massive reaction to every flu shot I’ve ever had. High temps etc.
I was hospitalized the day after we got immunized for 5-100 things in boot camp, ran a 105 fever for 8 days before it broke. Was fine after.
Shingles vaccine didn’t bother me in the least, the one I had was 2 injections, many days apart.
I’ve had vaccines for literally decades and have only gotten ill from flu and whatever it was in boot camp. I’ll risk this unless someone can give me a good medical reason not to take it.
@dnfree: My doctor, the nurses who gave the shots, and the handout I got warned me about it. It came as no surprise when I felt like shit afterwards.
@Nicole: Yea and it can be stress related and I was at the end of writing my dissertation so I couldn’t stop. It was like having an ice cream headache fort a month. I was lucky it didn’t impact my vision.
@The Moar You Know: There’s a tightrope to walk–if you don’t tell people and they get a nasty surprise, that might fuel “the vaccine gave me COVID” stories, but on the other hand I’ve seen some rumors going around Twitter that this is going to be vastly worse than any vaccine anyone has ever experienced, which seems to be just untrue and is going to scare people away before vaccination even properly gets started.
@raven: I had a coworker who got an outbreak of shingles on her face, and the nerve pain continued for years afterwards. I’m glad your eye was okay; that’s really scary.
When my spouse had his first outbreak (confined to his side, the most common spot), it was definitely triggered by stress, too. I am hopeful the CDC and insurance companies will push the age back at which to get the vaccine- the coworker was in her 30s and my husband was barely 40 at the time.
@Nicole: A good friend of mine also got shingles before she turned 40.
I’m getting one as soon as I’m told I can and I have no qualms about it. I’m over 60 and work directly with students when we are allowed to do such a thing and I’d like to get back to that as soon as humanly possible. I never thought I’d miss going into the office, but I really, really do.
I get a flu shot every year and have rarely had a reaction. Maybe once or twice, tops. Never had chicken pox as a kid. Not sure about whether I was ever inoculated, but I’m guessing I must have been at some point. My ex had shingles on his forehead and near his eyes. His doctor was a bit frantic about it getting to his eyes because of the distinct possibility of blindness. After seeing him go through it, I’d advise anyone who had chicken pox to have the vaccine, regardless of side effects. Shingles are awful.
@eclare: I read that cases of shingles among younger cohorts are on the rise. I’m curious if there will be a fall-off over the next few decades as the people who got the chicken pox vaccine move into those age brackets. I just googled, and they started giving it in 1995 and I imagine it wasn’t given to a ton of kids in the first decade
ETA: I just googled that, too, and you can still get shingles even if you’ve been vaccinated against chicken pox, but you’re much less likely to than someone who had chicken pox itself:
I found that a bit confusing as well.
It seems that they always did a nasal swab when people came in for their second shot, and that gave them the comparison data they’re reporting on there.
Sounds like they did collect other data on asymptomatic cases but didn’t have time to finish analyzing them before they turned in their report. I’m guessing that the cut-off point for the study was set in terms of number of symptomatic cases rather than total number of people infected, though that is also a bit puzzling.
Still in awe of the work behind these vaccines.
@Lyrebird: “Still in awe of the work behind these vaccines.”
Yes, for sure. The speed of this is really amazing. If only there were one man around to take all of the credit. Seriously, I’m guessing the drug companies only needed money/orders to do their work, and they did it well.
@Nicole: That would make sense, that shingles cases would decline. I knew the vaccine came out in the mid-nineties, I had kept track of its development. As soon as it was out, a coworker and I rushed to get it, even though insurance didn’t cover it.
Another friend has never had chicken pox, and he asked his dr about the vaccine. The dr said it didn’t really matter whether or not he got it because all the kids are getting the vaccine now. That seems like horrible advice to give to a parent of young kids, but my friend has kind of gone off the deep end and hasn’t gotten the vaccine.
I’m going to PT today and hospital tomorrow for tests. I’ll check out if the crew are getting the vaccine. It’s AZ so I’m not confident.
@Nicole: I also get the impression that most people over 50 or so who think they haven’t had chicken pox… really have had chicken pox, though they may have had no visible symptoms.
And it seems like they don’t give the chicken pox vaccine to cohorts who are in the age group to get the shingles vaccine. They’re different types of vaccine though they’re for the same virus.
The Moar You Know
My wife and I are trying to figure out the logistics of this. She’s a teacher and will be getting it soon, and then thrown back into a classroom 5 days a week, full capacity. (the district’s policy on that is Trumpian, unnecessary at this point and utterly appalling, but that’s a discussion for another time) She WILL be infected with coronavirus. No sickness, no biggie for her, but I live in the house too and we’re trying to figure out how we’re going to deal with that. I will probably be living in the backyard, in a tent, until summer. Pretty grateful to be living in Southern California.
For those of you who are confused by this, there are several human pathogens that work this way: herpes zoster, pertussis (whooping cough) and if I’m remembering properly, polio.
@mad citizen: What was really nice is that there was already a head start. The COVID virus was similar enough to the SARS virus from 2003 that the work from that outbreak (there was a vaccine close to ready but then it died out on its own) could be extrapolated to cover COVID. It was a nice coincidence. Otherwise we’d have to go from jump and we’d be really ungestuppt.
@Matt McIrvin: I think your impression is right. I was just googling the vaccine and I read “studies have shown 99% of people before the vaccine have had chickenpox” apparently they show by virus reaction or something. That is a really high number.
The same way that you know your polio, measles or chicken pox vaccine didn’t work.
Heard from a good friend who works in the local ER as a nurse that she is scheduled for her COVID jab on Friday. So it’s starting to roll out in my area. As a kid, I was terrified of needles and avoided shots at any cost. Serving in the Peace Corps kind of cured me of that though, as we had a different vaccination or two every week during training. I got chickenpox at age 16 (no fun!) which was right around the time the vaccine was rolling out…guess I need to keep an eye out for shingles and consider getting that one too.
My kiddo’s pediatrician is super cool and uses lots of pain reduction techniques (numbing cream, cold packs, etc.) so that the actual jab doesn’t really register, so I’m hopeful that my little one can grow up without the paralyzing fear of needles that I had.
That doesn’t surprise me; that most people prior to the vaccine may have had chickenpox, even if they don’t remember. It’s so freaking contagious. I know I had it at 15, but I found photos a few years back (that I don’t remember) of me at 3 or 4 covered in bumps with my mom’s handwriting saying, “Nici- Chicken Pox?” I happily told people I had not had chicken pox (I took great pride in it and was pretty bummed when I caught it), but in fact, maybe I was just a two-fer.
And it’s one of the herpes viruses, which are super contagious, but not everyone who gets them develops symptoms. They think 90% of people over age 50 have been exposed to herpes type 1, but many never show symptoms (even though they can still transmit it).
@eclare: I will hope your friend maybe did have chicken pox as a kid and doesn’t remember, because, like a lot of childhood illnesses, it’s more likely to be serious if you get it as an adult. People do die from chickenpox. Rare, but it happens.
For me getting a COVID vaccine will be reward in itself.
Sometimes but not always I get mild flu symptoms from a flu shot. About one day where I feel feverish, weak, and achy. Didn’t happen for a while, then pretty consistently for several years; now it’s been years since a significant reaction.
This was the standard treat after we were taken to the pediatrician as kids. Ice cream at the Farmers Dairy.
FINALLY, Anderson earns his keep! I mean, all the stuff about how ACA exchanges work and his related expertise about insurance in general is pretty good, interesting and useful and all, but his idea to treat oneself after getting an injection is sheer genius, and well worth giving him all the space he takes up on BJ!
@eclare: My brother had chicken pox when he was in college and it was bad. He was running a 104 fever for several days and they were seriously considering hospitalization.
I had a very brief course of chicken pox as a toddler so there was a question whether I had immunity. My sister-in-law brought her daughter, with an active case of chicken pox, to a family event and exposed everyone. I went to the clinic the next day to get tested and confirmed I actually had the immunity.
I usually always have a reaction to the flu shot, and this year was no different. What was different was length of time and variety of symptoms. First 12 hours, intense muscle aches, particularly the pectoral muscles, which had me wondering, “if I were having a heart attack right now, would I ever know the difference?” Next 12 hours: feeling slightly feverish and generally crappy, plus muscle aches. Next twelve hours: muscle aches and feverish feelings diminish, but now gastrointestinal distress and slight nausea. That goes away with a dose of charcoal tablets. Next 24-36 hours: Headaches. Just bad and persistent enough to be taking Ibuprofen, which the nurse had recommended, but which I then discover also does something to your ACE-2 receptors, which can make you more susceptible to COVID. Whew! I’m thinking, “if the shot was this bad, this year’s flu would be a doozy!”
Still haven’t got the shingles shots – I want to, but they are in short supply and really expensive.
Waiting on the COVID vaccine. Come on, baby! We wanna open up the theater again!
I’m 65, diabetic, and have a history of cardiovascular issues. Planning on talking to my primary care doc right after the holidays. I will get vaccinated at the first opportunity. I don’t want to hear about the NFL buying it’s way to the front of the line.
I distinctly remember having chicken pox as a kid, probably 7 or 8 so I got the new shingles vax last year. I didn’t have any reactions for either shot besides a sore arm like someone punched it hard. I will happily get the COVID vaccine as soon as I can but I will be able to wait.
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
@Matt McIrvin: I too am in-between the first and second dose of the shingles vaccine. They had a flu shot drive a block from my house and I went to get the flu shot, and in the paperwork it of course said I was 51 and the age for shingles is 50 now (I think it used to be older) so they asked if I wanted it too. I said sure.
I was fine for several hours but that evening started feeling feverish – I had chills and muscle aches, not a headache though. For about 5 hours I felt sick, and then it slowly went away overnight and the following day I was still feeling not 100% in the morning but got progressively better.
As a person who has no preexisting conditions and is 51 but is married to a health care worker, I kind of feel like the immediate family members of essential workers should be given some level of priority. They’re at a higher risk of infection which means that we’ve also been bearing a higher risk of infection for the better part of a year now, and we’re providing them with emotional support. I don’t want it before the high risk folks but kinda feel like they could make sure we get treated as “first among the general population” at the very least. That goes for the families of the grocery store clerks etc. too, not just the front line health care workers. Maybe it’s selfish but I feel like we’ve earned the right to be a little selfish.
Cheryl from Maryland
Both my parents had shingles in the last months of their lives — it truly put them over the edge. I’ve had the first single shingles shot and just completed the double Shingrex shot. For the first Shingrex shot, I thought sure I had COVID the night after as I had chills and fever and nausea, but no fever or cough, and then it passed. The second shot was a breeze. My spouse gets his second shot later this week — one serious issue down, now the COVID vaccine to come.
Not as nice as you might imagine, Oh-Oh. Back in the 90s I was co-author of a series of reports for the Army on potential biological warfare agents, one of which was Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic plague. IIRC the protection factor for the vaccine then in hand was in the 30-40 range (i.e., the median lethal dose or LD50 was 30-40 times as high for vaccinated individuals), which is not all that hot – and it was totally ineffective against pneumonic plague, a much nastier and faster-progressing disease caused by the same stuff entering via the lungs.
Anyway, the nice thing about Y. pestis – which FTR is still endemic in rodents in the western USA among other places – is that the wild (unmodified) form is exquisitely susceptible to antibiotics that have long since been laughed at by more common infections. An MD who notes the symptoms & suspects you’ve been bit by a flea from an infected prairie dog can put you on a course of streptomycin, fer dogsake, & knock it out toot-sweet.
Y, pestis is a rather fragile organism outside a living host. In ~20 years the US offensive BW program never figured out how to weaponize it. (The notorious Japanese Unit 731 didn’t bother;- they raised a shit-ton of fleas on infected rats & then bottled the carriers up into bombs to drop on the Chinese.) The Soviets however, did solve the weaponization problem, and mounted warheads full of the buggies on several ICBMs targeting CONUS But even they had to be refilled about once a month. I don’t recall if they ever managed to engineer an antibiotic-resistant strain…
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
@Cheryl from Maryland: Yep same symptoms I had from the first one. I got that back in October so anytime between now and 4 months from now I need the second one.
It’s why I think I may have had it twice, once as a young child and again at 15. My brother, at 13, was much sicker than I was (he got it right before I did) and his poor face looked like a surface relief map of the moon for years afterwards, while I got it right after freshman year ended the first week of June and by the time July arrived all the signs of pox were gone.
Potentially very important, if this holds up. FDA:
3 M is a drop in the bucket – I hope they can ramp up production. But the accuracy numbers look great.
I also hope that it’s cheap enough…
Had shingles on the side of my face/neck, I’d agree, you do not want shingles, no way, no how. But in the eye!
I bet that wasn’t fun.
I got a sheet like that at the VA, had to sign that I’d read it before the shots. I liked that they do this before any risky procedure.
It’s more than just that. mRNA vaccines like the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are simply much easier to design than old-school vaccines, which is one of their biggest advantages. Knowing a lot about closely related viruses was obviously an advantage, but mRNA technology should make it possible to design vaccines against many kinds of infectious disease much faster.
Visit Trump’s White House.
@What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?:
You remember correctly. The first shingles vaccine (Zostavax) wasn’t very good. The protection wore off, and you weren’t supposed to get a booster when it did. Because shingles typically gets worse the older you are, they recommended getting it only after 60. The newer shingles vaccine (Shingrix) is more effective and provides longer-lasting protection, but it has more severe side effects.
ETA: FWIW, Zostavax is no longer available in the US; it was discontinued last month.
@Yutsano: This is a 3rd-hand anecdote I heard last spring, and missing details, but … a biochemist told me the research that was closing in on a SARS vaccine was shut down due to a refusal to continue funding the work. He described it as primarily the work of a single researcher. How upset that researcher must have been at the time, and ever since. I’d like to know how his research contributed this year. I wonder if he’s given any interviews.
@Aleta: OK, here’s a story. Sounds like the same one.
@Aleta: My ignorance comes from not watching TV news.
(NBC news, Dec 8) Dr. Peter Hotez: The covid vaccine discovery was not a 4 month process, it was a 17 year process
From his March interview w/ NBC
The politics of funding and of dealing with Big Pharma and this cursed administration always remain mostly between the lines.
(From Wiki) Peter Jay Hotez serves as founding dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, where he is also Director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair in Tropical Pediatrics, and University Professor of Biology at Baylor University.
Anonymous At Work
Can you post Moderna’s chart against Pfizer’s chart for Incidence Rate over Time? Looks like Pfizer works better, sooner, but both only begin to show a difference after 10+ days.
Day job or I’d pick through it myself…
Quick comment about the “95%” figure we see with the Pfizer and Moderna (mRNA) vaccines, and the “70%” figure we see with the Oxford/AstraZeneca (adenovirus) vaccines. Out of the all the vaccinated groups, in all three trails, which had more than 100,000 people between them, nobody progressed to a hospital admission, ICU, or death.
So in terms of avoiding those three outcomes, all three vaccines that have gone through Phase III trials are 100% effective. The 5% of the mRNA vaccine and the 30% of the adenovirus vaccine participants had “mild” cases of CV19, which did not require hospital admission.
I’m going for a Wendy’s Baconator. My metabolism in my 30s could process two of those a day, not so much anymore.
There’s an oddity that arises from a comparison of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and Moderna’s vaccine, with respect to their protective efficacy against severe COVID-19. Most of the power in constraining that efficacy comes from the trial recruitment strategy: you’d like to have as many “severes” as possible in your placebo group to get the best possible handle on it.
It turns out that Moderna did a much better job recruiting people with co-morbidities than Pfizer did, resulting in a placebo group “severe” rate that was 4.5 times larger than Pfizer’s. As a result, Moderna’s “severe COVID19” efficacy is much better constrained (90% credible region is [0.917,1.0]) than Pfizer’s (90% credible region [0.452,0993]). The two regions overlap, and the two efficacies could be the same, but Pfizer has a weaker claim on severe protectiveness, as a result of suboptimal trial design.
If there are any Bayesian nerds around, I put a preprint up about this, at https://medrxiv.org/cgi/content/short/2020.12.07.20244954v1
@Wayne: Confirming for you in a non-snarky way what some other jackals have said: two weeks after second dose of vaccine, get a COVID antibody test. If it comes back positive the vaccine was effective. It’s the same kind of method used to test whether you still have immunity after taking a hepatitis B shot.