Good news everybody:
It’s official: Most U.S. adults, by a narrow (and growing) margin, have gotten at least one shot of coronavirus vaccine. pic.twitter.com/G58N13VKIj
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) April 18, 2021
Keep it up.
Keep on getting your shots.
Keep on masking up.
Keep it going.
Soon enough a few beers with friends at a local brewery is a reasonable and safe thing to do.
Keep it up.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get over the infuriation I feel over Republicans who screwed it up and keep screwing it up and killed so many.
Or if I even should.
@WereBear: Remember it until at least 2024. They are going to run on the fiction that Florida (DeSantis) and South Dakota (Noem) had better COVID records than states who actually tried to contain spread. Fox News will start putting a D next to TFG’s name, when they admit he existed at all.
My wife and I are signed up for our first Moderna shots this Thursday. We have to drive nearly an hour and a half to a rural area of the state, but we’re doing our part to maximize that vaccination number.
I just signed up to get shot 1 of the Moderna vaccine Wednesday morning. Since Massachusetts was relatively late opening up vaccination to all adults, today was the first day I could. But the drop in Massachusetts’ death rate over the past couple of weeks suggests that, after a slow start, we’ve finally got decent coverage of the most vulnerable. The toll in elder care facilities over the past year was horrific and we finally crushed that.
I hope people are aware that some parts of the country are going to reach “herd immunity” a lot faster than others. I probably don’t live in one of those places. I am concerned about the story that there was a mass vaccination event in St. Louis that could have vaccinated 3,000 people a day and only 700 showed up on the first day. The article said they were going to work with community leaders to get the word out about the event. After all the bitching that the cities in MO didn’t get a fair share of vaccines, people better turn out when it’s available!!
My circle of peeps has been talking about this – what boxes do you want to have checked before you feel you can safely do this? Turns out, it varies.
ETA: Got Pfizer The Second this weekend. Looking forward to giving me mum a big hug for Mother’s Day.
Now it gets interesting. Watching to see at what percentage vaccinated the spread slows down. People will be demasking and taking other chances, so that is a counter trend. Will it be 60%? 75% is the number I see a lot of epidemiologists using, and it’s about what I expect, too.
And don’t forget that there is likely to be an overshoot where cases continue to spread even after herd immunity is reached, particularly in places that are currently hotspots.
We are also starting to see some definition in where cases are increasing and where they’re decreasing, so at some point we can shift to a strategy of ring vaccination around the hotspots, but that’s at least a month or two away.
@VOR: The idea that DeSantis “won the pandemic” infuriates me. They lowered the bar to the center of the Earth–“no more dead than New York City in the spring of 2020″ is the standard if you’re a Republican.
@Cheryl Rofer: I’m interested to see if more places over the next few weeks see the “decoupling” that seems to be happening in MA, where the case rate is still elevated but deaths go way down because they got the people at highest risk.
It was Alice’s birthday yesterday, and since we have been fully vaccinated since mid-March, we went to a fancy restaurant. It was delightful. The tables nearest, but more than six feet away, to us were occupied by fellow oldsters, so I’m pretty sure they were vaccinated, too. BTW, my daughter in France informs me that the French term for their mass vaccination sites is “vaccinodromes.” This is great and I think the US adopt it.
I live in central VA; driving 2 1/2 hours one way to Danville tomorrow so my spouse can get her second Moderna shot, and I’ll drive out one hour to Richmond on Sunday for mine.
For those in the Charlottesville area, CVS for the last few days have had appointments available at the 5th Street location if you check the website around 6am, so if you know any early risers who are still looking please spread the word…
I plan to keep meeting my friends outdoors now that it’s spring. After I have my second shot and two weeks pass… they are all getting vacced, too.
@Matt McIrvin: LA County has seen cases more or less stable for the last few weeks, but hospitalization, ICU, and death rates have been steadily dropping. The first two metrics are at 13 month lows, so the death rate is bound to keep dropping as well.
We just passed ‘half of all adults have had their first shot’ a few days ago.
KayInMD (formerly Kay (not the front-pager))
My husband is fully vaccinated, I got the J&J, so I’m fully vaxed, and my son as an appointment on Thursday that hasn’t been cancelled, so he’ll get his first shot too.
I have a question about boosters that I haven’t seen addressed anywhere. Both Pfizer and Moderna have talked about boosters, but I haven’t seen anything about a booster for Johnson & Johnson. Do you need to get a booster with the same vaccine as your original? I’m starting to wish I’d held out for one of the mRNA vaccines.
I have become a person who is willing to have a couple of beers with friends at a local brewery. This is sooner than I expected, but I’m vaccinated and essentially all my friends are vaccinated too. It’s a sign of age, I guess, and also of good sense, that the whole crew has had two jabs plus two weeks. In a similar vein, I find myself wearing my mask in the elevator and lobby, but then taking if off and enjoying the fresh air on my face as I walk the dog or otherwise travel uncrowded sidewalks, keeping it handy to put back on where needed. Sometimes I feel a little like I’m letting down the side, but yesterday on a walk I ran into the doctor who lives upstairs, and she was doing the same.
Despite all of this amazing news, I’m still glad we were able to, and decided to, opt out of going to the Indy 500 this year. Friend would just barely be fully vaxxed, and . . . it’s still a large crowd, with folks coming in from all over the place, so we were both stressing about it. They’re letting us roll over the tickets, and keep our seats and seniority, so it also means they can spread folks out a bit while they continue to earn interest on our money. The other event–in Elkhart Lake WI–is outdoors, large open spaces (rather than large grandstand), later in June, and we’re camping rather than staying in hotels, so that feels more safe. But a beer with friends . . . dunno. July, maybe, on my back porch?
I’m getting my second Pfizer shot tomorrow morning. It was a hassle to arrange—website problems—and it’s coming at five weeks and five days after my first shot, so I’ll be glad when it’s done.
All of my siblings here in Seattle have gotten their first jab, One niece is under 16; another should be getting jab one soon. I’ll get my second jab on May 15. So I’m looking forward to a mid-June birthday party for my Dad, who’s turning 90. Fortuitous timing.
Not that I’ve heard. J&J is an adenovirus vaccine, so it might be better to get a different vaccine as booster, in case you have developed antibodies to the vaccine vector.
Gin & Tonic
My son is getting his Pfizer #2 this afternoon. My dear wife got hers some time ago (works in health care) and has been working vaccination clinics on and off for a month now (she works per diem.)
I was outside yesterday. A friend gave me a hug because I am going through a hard time. A couple of other people wanted to shake hands. I had so much anxiety about it.
I get my second vaccine on Friday.
@KayInMD (formerly Kay (not the front-pager)):
I’ve been wondering the same thing- or if the companies will try to figure out some way of working together to create a universal booster. I don’t imagine our flu shots come from the same manufacturer every single year (though, maybe they do, it’s not something I ever thought much about).
States that voted for Trump in 2016 have failed badly enough that even being spotted a massive lead in deaths per capita they’ve managed to throw it almost all away and are now about equal (less than 1% difference) with Clinton states.
And Red State vaccination levels are terrible. Thirteen Confederate states and 12 of them are below the national average with only Virginia being above average.
KayInMD (formerly Kay (not the front-pager))
@Matt McIrvin: I have a son in MA who insists that he has to wait for the state vaccination site to contact him with a vaccination appointment. His wife got hers that way for a health condition, so he’s sure he’s right that it’s the only way.
How should he go about setting up his own appointment? I pointed out that there’s a link on the MA vax website but he says it doesn’t work. Is it browser-sensitive or something? Or maybe down the one time he clicked it to prove to his mom she was Wrong!?!
I have my second Moderna jab scheduled for Friday. Less than 3 weeks till I’m bulletproof. Even so, I’m not sure I’m ready to fully join society again. I soooooo want to go to a restaurant, but I think I’ll wait awhile.
They defunded their governments. In 2016 Mississippi cut how much from its health department? In 2017, they had to make service cuts. How do you think that affected the pandemic response?
Tax cut Jesus did not show up to save people.
@Steeplejack (phone): Glad you persevered!
KayInMD (formerly Kay (not the front-pager))
@Ken: good point!
Another good point! They don’t. If I remember correctly, and this may be out of date now that our repub overlords have been in power often enough to deregulate and screw up good things, drug companies were required to rotate the production of flu vaccines from year to year and produce them at or near cost. Or maybe they produce them as a consortium. But certainly they aren’t produced by the same manufacturer, although they are produced using the same basic technology.
It’s the differing technology (is that the right word? Different biology? Techno-biology? Biotechnology?) that concerns me. Both Moderna and Pfizer use mRNA to teach your cells to recognize and create an immune response to the spike protein of covid-19. J&J uses an attenuated (or neutralized? See, I don’t really understand all of this) adenovirus to introduce the spike into your cells to produce an immune response. Since they use a different action to create an immune response, I don’t know if the follow-up booster would work the same on someone who didn’t have the original vaccine.
This is a case of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing, and possibly a touch of Dunning Kreuger.
@KayInMD (formerly Kay (not the front-pager)): The J&J and Astra Zeneca vaccines use the adenovirus only as a carrier for pieces of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that teach your immune system to respond. It’s been made incapable of replication.
There should be clinical trials of using a different vaccine later as a booster. Off the top of my non-virologist head, I can’t see why the booster needs to be the same as the original shots, but the m-RNA vaccines are totally new, and the adenovirus vaccines are relatively new. It’s not even totally clear that boosters will be needed, so I’m waiting for the trials and another year of experience with the pandemic before I start thinking too hard about boosters.
@Matt McIrvin: I’m convinced Florida is juking the stats something fierce. For example, they don’t count cases for people who are not full time residents of FL. Say you are visiting from New York for 3 months a year, say January-March, and die from COVID in late February at your winter place in Bradenton. My understanding is Florida would not count such a case.
At the most basic level, they use the same mechanism to create the immune response. They get some of your cells to manufacture a COVID protein and express it. At that point your immune system, “Monk“-like, says “that’s not right…” and goes into operation.
@KayInMD (formerly Kay (not the front-pager)): I have been helping folks all across the country to schedule a vaccine. Your son was right that the only way to get a vaccine at first was through the state. When the feds set up the FEMA clinics, most of them (here in Florida) didn’t require an appointment. They took walkins. When the feds started shipping vaccines to pharmacies, the pharmacies set up their own database to schedule appointments. Most pharmacies want you to sign up through their website by creating an account. They get you on their mailing list that way. So there are now multiple ways to get scheduled for a vaccine. I called a local hospital group to get my husband’s shot. I called the county health department for me and got an appointment the next day. I had signed up all three of us with the state and they contacted us about a week after our first jab. There are Facebook groups that have volunteers who do nothing but book appointments. See if there’s one in his area to help get his appointment. There are now lots of options and availability for a shot. I think J&J are still suspended but there’s still the others to choose from.
Because, they are.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
Signup process in our corner of SE PA is a little flaky but the vaccination clinics are astonishingly efficient. Had my first Pfizer on Saturday. I showed up 45 min early expecting I’d just hang out till my time. But 5-10 minutes later I was done and sitting in the observation room waiting out the post-shot 15 minutes. And I had a card in my hand with my appointment for shot #2.
My wife’s experience with a different clinic and Moderna a few weeks ago was identical.
@KayInMD (formerly Kay (not the front-pager)): Open enrollment for vaccines at the Massachusetts state Vax sites just opened today; the site will crash off and on for the next couple of days. Because Charlie Baker is a tool.
I don’t believe that the state is sending e-mails, as I haven’t ever seen one. At ChezToaster, our health system (that is, our primary care doctors are all MountAuburn, so Beth Israel-Leahy Health) sent notices for their vax sites as we became eligible; HerrDoktor got both of his at BethIsraelDeaconess, and I will get my second (like my first) at Leahy. Once Pfizer makes it through the EUA for ages 12-15, I’ll get a notice for WarriorTeen.
CVS, Walgreens, and Wegman’s all have appointments available; a lot of people have been using the vaxfinder (google it) to get down to their zip code for available appointments.
@KayInMD (formerly Kay (not the front-pager)): That is NOT the only way to get vaccinated in Massachusetts. There’s a confusing profusion of ways.
I think that state vaccination website is ONLY for the several state mass-vaccination sites. He can also try to get an appointment through a pharmacy–that’s a completely separate system. And what I did was a third system–I signed up with, actually, my city recreation department to get notified about a clinic for city residents only–many towns likely have something like this going on.
The fourth system accessible to me is “grapevine through my mother-in-law the vax volunteer”, but that’s not generally applicable. I suspect a lot of vaccination going on is “I know a guy”, especially given the use-it-or-lose-it situation with leftover doses.
@VOR: When Kieran Healy compared excess deaths to recorded COVID deaths across states, Florida seemed to be one of the states that was undercounting COVID deaths by maybe 50%. The interesting thing is that it was far from unique in that regard.
The state with the highest excess death percentage for the whole pandemic was, if I recall correctly, actually Arizona. But some of the states that apparently had the lowest COVID death counts, like NH and Hawaii, also seemed to be undercounting really badly.
Cheryl from Maryland
Just back from getting my 2nd Pfizer shot at the MD vaccinodrome at Six Flags. Line considerably less than when I went for my 1st shot three weeks ago, which is somewhat concerning. However, fewer people meant that we were able to reschedule my husband’s appt. for his 2nd shot tomorrow, so no 1-hour drive up to Baltimore for us.
Oh, yeah, and I think that people who are capable of getting to New Hampshire can now sign up to get vaccinated there even if they’re not New Hampshire residents! Though I don’t know how this is done. Anyway, that might be another option for my fellow Massholes. Credit where credit is due, NH has decided to go completely bugfuck wild with the COVID vaccinations.
@FlyingToaster: My city is sending emails to people who have signed up to get notified about city vaccination events, but that is completely separate from the state system (and it’s actually kind of hard to figure out how to do it through the city website–they’re being handled as Recreation Department events!)
You didn’t feel like partying (carefully) when you got your jab?
I would feel better if our freaking cases would start dropping already. EHHHH.
Both mRNA and adenovirus vaccines use different mRNA segments of the original virus as their payload and cause the body’s cells to produce differing versions and parts of the spike proteins the antibodies learn to attack. It’s likely that receiving more than one type of vaccine will improve the body’s response to an infection but that’s not proven and there’s possibly some interaction which is detrimental and that would have to be ruled out before any widespead rollout of mix-and-match would be authorised.
There are some trials going on at the moment to see if mix-and-match of the two-dose vaccines provides better or worse or the same results in terms of protection but it will be a while before they report. It will be difficult to show any improvement though, given how effective the current vaccines and especially the mRNA versions have turned out to be in practice.
@Cheryl Rofer: I believe I read somewhere the UK is trialing mix n match.
New Deal democrat
By and large, the news is really good.
Nursing home and other facility cases are down over 95%, with deaths down 90%.
Many states have also seen overall declines in cases approaching 90%.
That 80%+ of seniors have had at least one shot suggests to me that vaccine hesitancy will quietly dissipate over time.
Anyway, here’s a link to the relevant dashboard:
More COVID-19 news from the UK — Britain is banning travel from India, starting on Friday. Anyone with citizenship or residence rights can fly here from India but they will have to undergo supervised quarantine at their own expense and prove clear of COVID-19 before they will be released. The health authorities are monitoring clusters of cases thought to derive from Indian variants of the disease.
@Robert Sneddon: Has singling out particular countries for a travel ban worked anywhere? The only successes I know of are in places like New Zealand and Taiwan, where they’ve imposed a mandatory quarantine on all visitors.
How are we figuring that a majority of Americans have now received at least 1 Covid shot?
Is this just the numbers for over 18?
Because the NYT and Our World in Data sites have the vaccination rate for at least one dose at more like 39-40%. Which seems like the more relevant number if we are looking to evaluate how close we are to herd immunity.
@Robert Sneddon: I don’t think so. And such bans typically always include exemptions for citizens returning home from abroad (but might contain quarantine requirements). so they aren’t 100% anyway.
In fact depending on the composition of foreign travel, they might be well less than 50%. Here in the US, for example, I expect the number of travelers from most foreign countries is mostly going to be Americans returning from work or vacation and not citizens of those countries or other countries who traveled through.
@Ken: The news from India is looking grim, a big increase in cases and spread with some worries about variants. A Delhi to Hong Kong flight recently was identified as a superspreader incident with something like 47 cases from that single flight detected in quarantine, some identified as late as 12 days after arrival.
The UK government has been schmoozing up to India recently trying to get trade deals and the like to show a benefit from Brexit. PM Johnson was supposed to fly there in the next few days to meet with PM Modi, get some positive press coverage and probably come home with some kind of deal. This meeting was cancelled yesterday and the flight limitations announced today in Parliament so I’m guessing the restrictions were decided during the weekend.
@Cheryl Rofer: I heard a BBC News report last night about Michigan. They talked with Quinn Kleinfelter (sp?) who is often on NPR news reports. He was pretty good (very little both-sides stuff), talking about how Michigan was doing great early on, but then the Teabaggers and the MI courts ruled that she had gone too far with the restrictions. So, now, predictably, the BBC reporter was asking leading questions about why she’s not doing more to stop the spread rather than just “requiring 2 year olds to wear masks (hur, hur)”.
Unless things change, I expect the person (at TheAtlantic a week or two ago, I think) talking about Covid being like a tornado (rather than a wave) going forward will be right. Community Spread, infections, hospitalizations, deaths will probably be concentrated in certain areas and those areas will move across the country. So I don’t know if we’ll be able to make statements like, say, “73.5% is herd immunity for the Wuhan variant” any time soon.
It’s all so disheartening. And the Teabaggers and their enabling press who push this nonsense (because they have no other way of riling up their base than to push culture-war stuff – they know they can’t win on policy) have so far paid little if any political cost which makes it infuriating.
Major Major Major Major
@Cheryl Rofer: NYC’s stats have been looking really good lately. Like most places we’re at about 50% partly vaccinated, but we also have a significant portion of the population that’s already recovered from an infection. I don’t know what the exact overlap is but antibody tests are coming back around 50% positive too. The hospitalization rate is just plummeting, as is the PCR positivity rate, and of course infections as well. https://gothamist.com/news/coronavirus-statistics-tracking-epidemic-new-york
And this is in the face of B117 and the “New York variant”, both of which IIRC are handled just fine by the mRNA vaccines.
ETA I’m double-mRNA plus two weeks so I’m doing indoor stuff.
@Robert Sneddon: India’s first COVID wave abated for reasons that were never quite clear, and for a few months there was the occasional “why is COVID over in India? scientists baffled” news story. Apparently it wasn’t over.
(My coworkers and I were puzzled over this in advance of the media, because we’d talk to people in Pune and they’d say “yeah, it’s basically over here, everything’s back to normal.” But now Pune is, like, ground zero.)
Major Major Major Major
@Robert Sneddon: I believe the mRNA vaccines all code for the exact same protein. They have slight variance in base pairs but it produces the same protein.
Got Moderna #2 just an hour ago in rural Georgia. I remained amazed at our collective technological prowess vis a vis vaccines, etc. and simultaneously dismayed at the troglodyte brain level of so many fellow Americans.
I suppose it was always this way, and may always be so.
@Major Major Major Major: Though the manufacturers have got modified ones for the variants in the pipeline and are already talking them up in the media.
Major Major Major Major
@Matt McIrvin: yeah. The mRNA vaccines are really easy to modify so that will hopefully be straightforward.
@Cheryl from Maryland: I think we’re getting close to the changeover where the main bottleneck in getting the general public vaccinated is going to be demand rather than supply.
(We had this earlier with the very first targeted phases, but that was because of artificial restrictions to groups that had less universal desire to be the first-vaccinated than anyone expected.)
Mr. Rudbek will have to drive out to Fredericksburg from Northern Virginia to get his first shot, but at least it will be tomorrow! And I get my second vaccine on Wednesday.
I think that the only reason that the state of Virginia is doing well on vaccination is Northern Virginia pulling up the average.
Or as Kurtz would put it: