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Covid 19, novel corona virus. Split from off-grid thread


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On 1/2/2021 at 6:00 PM, JohnD said:

Like those in Nick's "SM"'s practice, I was lucky to get my first vaccination, just before Xmas, only because I'm due to start vaccinating people next week and to have my second jab on the 10th, 20 days later.   I shall be p.o'ed if I don't get it!

Nick's account of several feeling queasy after the first jab is interesting.    I felt entirely normal - but then I'm hard to vaccinate.     Hepatitis 'B' was a risk in my old job so I had to have that vaccination, but after three goes, I showed no sign of "Sero-converting" - developing antibodies.     Either I'd already had HepB and never noticed - most unlikely - or my metabolism just chews up antigens and doesn't react.  Either way, I'm probably immune from HepB!     I hope it's true of Covid too!

Pfizer can't comment on the revised schedule, as their trials did not use it and they have no data.    The advice must come from the people in SAGE who look at graphs like this, generalised not Covid specific.

Topic 11.1 Antibody Production and Vaccination - AMAZING WORLD OF SCIENCE  WITH MR. GREEN

It is usual for a second 'challenge' with a vaccine to gain a bigger and longer response.    The Qs are, how large is the first and can it protect, and how long does it persist, to provide protection?      And we, and SAGE just don't know.    It is just an educated guess, but IMHO one that is a complete guess, with no data at all.    There may be some population modelling, to show that two jabs for some will not have as great an effect on the epidemic as one for twice as many.

What is missing is that this Government is not sharing that with it's population, but then we're used to that.

JOhn

Well, Vaccinate me!   Or rather, not.   I am gutted.   Just heard that my local programme has received the dictat, and the arranged 2nd doses of the Pfizer vaccine will not be given, including mine.   This is the latest evidence that we are governed by jerk of knee, rather than just by jerks.

Rather worse is that while Local Programme was ready to vaccinate 10,000 peoeple a week for the forseeable, there is't enough Pfizer coming through.  One delivery was completely cancelled and one was only of a very limited amount.   The efficient and effective Chief Nurse has just sent a circular email, at 2105 tghis evening, to say that she has to rejig all the shifts amd will be in touch tomorrow about work for the rest of this week.   Next week will depend on delivery, or not.    It's getteing to sound very like the days in March when PPE was arriving by special flight, tonight, er, tomorrow, er, as soon as the hardworking Cabinet can get their arses in gear.

"Out of this by the Spring"?  About as predictive as "Over by Christmas", vintage 1914.

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Well I’m still spamming because I think it’s important...... and this seems to bear it out Pity he takes half an hour when it needs 10 minutes tops but anyway..... Trial in a 

Earlier, I posted a link to the Royal Society symposium where several global experts spoke about Covid  and the vaccine.  They only had an hour and the speakers could answer a few questions from their

My work are very much blazing their own trail on this one: we've just been told that, unless pregnant or high risk, everyone must be in the office or will be marked as 'unauthorised leave' with subseq

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Sorry to hear this....

Jerks indeed. I should be used to it by now, but each time I think the “government “ have hit the bottom, they find a new hole to fall into.... Still in search of a responsible adult 4.5 years on..... Maybe the army could step in, lock them in the tower and sort things out? Not a coup, just an act of mercy on the country!

Will be interested to discover whether the vaccine actually shows up for the planned 2nd vaccination here at the weekend.

SM learned today that she has been promoted from mixer (fitting for a pharmacist one feels) to vaccinator........ She’s due some training on Wednesday afternoon at the flu clinic as she’s never given an injection before. Glad I’m not having my flu jab Wednesday afternoon......:ninja:

She should be pretty expert by Sunday evening after 11 hours practice!

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As a guide to understanding and action - when I left hospital in early July the serious ward nurse  gave me a bag of medication  and instructions on how to inject myself.

Looked quite simple and the needles are so fine a puff of wind would get them in. Into either shoulder once a day.

After about four days I decided to read the instructions that came with the pre-loaded jabs.

A nice big warning DO NOT INJECT INTER-MUSCULAR, They were designed for subcutaneous.

The ideal place would be the stomach area but that was covered in access holes trying to heal.

Blood thinners would not be helpful here. 

 I contacted my Macmillan specialist nurse and she said 'with a finger and thumb pucker up the skin on the shoulder and that should do it' 

So, left shoulder here I come - I puckered up with thumb and finger on right hand but now the syringe in my left hand will not reach !!!!!    in the end I used my welding clamps

 

and yes I did take it to the hospital to show them the problem.

Problems are there to be solved.

 

Roger

DSC_4899a.jpg

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LOL, Roger!   ROFLOL!  Well done!

The endless inginuity of the engineer!

Nick, it is a military skill to plan for the unexpected and to setup facilities and networks where there were none before.   We've heard of them providing advice to the children in No.10, which must have been the occasion for some black humour afterwards, and they were deputied to do so at a distance to advise on how teachers should do that job for testing school kids.      Seems that Gov are keeping them at arms length, but I can recall the Foot&Mouth epidemic in 2001, when the same party was in power and the response was similarly lackadaisical and chaotic, until the Army were involved.

 

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Yeah.... I had too inject myself twice (under supervision, as training) before leaving hospital in preparation for giving myself daily jabs for 2 weeks.  That was clexane.  Tiny little needles, the mechanics were simple enough, though caused some interesting "bruise" rings.  I didn't want to do it as I was pretty damn sure I was bleeding too much anyway, .  Nobody was interested in that theory though - even if I was proved right.  Didn't have any more after leaving that hospital - the staff at the next one agreed with me!

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Swiped from Guardian Comments, Credit ac0rn2oak.  

Nice bit of satire..... or is it?

"Behind the curve? Let's just think a moment...

As far as viruses go, SARS-CoV-2 is fairly easy to neutralize with antibodies - and as it turns out, straightforward to generate effective vaccines based on the spike protein. Perhaps, even probably, these two properties are causally related. Moreover, it appears quite difficult (albeit not impossible) to generate spike resistant variants that evade the polyclonal antibody responses elicited by said vaccines. All good news.

However, if I was Boris Johnson and destined to ensure that the new vaccines were rendered impotent, there are a few things I would try..

First I would want to maximize the viral population size and diversity. Because SARS-CoV-2 has a proofreading polymerase, we may have to work hard to achieve it. The four measures outlined below might help accomplish this, assisting the virus to attenuate as much genetic diversity as possible, generating every conceivable point mutation as frequently as possible.

1. Delay the rollout of testing and counter-measures, so the virus could spread undetected, seeding outbreaks geographically, demographically and culturally diverse host populations, rendering it almost impossible to quash with test, trace & isolate measures.
2. Implement partial and partial restrictions on movement and social interactions, thus maintaining consistently large reservoirs of infected individuals and transmission.
3. Keep schools and universities open, whilst claiming SARS-CoV-2 has low transmission in children; that they are mostly asymptomatic or have mild disease. This enables viral populations to spread undetected.
4. Give mixed messages on diverse subjects as face masks, the sensitivity of tests, herd-immunity, gatherings and social distancing – undermining the necessity for clear, cogent public health measures to keep transmission low.

Second, during or after the establishment of large and diverse viral populations, start to apply selection pressures to enrich antibody resistant mutations. For that, we would enlist the help of the medical establishment to implement the two final steps. Laudably, they want to try and help as many people as quickly as possible – and this can be fatally exploited.

5. Treat as many people as possible with uncharacterized convalescent plasma of weak/unknown potency, without proper clinical trials – to get the ball rolling in applying some selection pressures to enrich for antibody resistant variants. Immunocompromised patients with persistent infection might be especially helpful here.
6. Finally – the pièce de résistance: having developed a remarkable two-dose vaccine that is extraordinarily effective, ADMINISTER IT TO MILLIONS OF PEOPLE – BUT DELAY THE SECOND DOSE. Generating a pool of hosts with just the right amount of neutralising antibody to apply selection pressure, but also maintain sufficient levels of partially antibody-resistant virus to allow onward transmission is the key here. This might not be achieved following the first vaccine dose – but if we allow immunity to wane a little while –say 4 to 12 weeks, we might just hit the sweet spot.

The longer SARS-CoV-2 is in circulation, and the greater the number of people infected, the more of a chance escape mutants will have to form, and imperil the unprecedented efforts put into vaccine development.

And finally, even knowing this virus is zoonotic in nature, I would omit to tell you to stay away from your pets or any animals - including wild birds who are having their own viral pandemic presently too – if you are unfortunate enough to contract Covid.

Nothing like diversification when you're on the curve, huh?"

 

with a further point added by Hilll777

"Again you've omitted #7. True genius - combine two different vaccines in a casually random manner, blithely ignoring the warnings of the scientists who created and tested them through all those phases - which were the basis for your getting them approved in the first place."

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1 hour ago, RogerH said:

DSC_4899a.jpg

Roger

You are obviously an exceptional specimen - ordinary mortals of [ahem!] maturer years would be able to gather a good roll of skin in the vicinity of their bingo wings.

The clamp might hurt a bit more there, though.

Paul

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1 hour ago, Nick Jones said:

Swiped from Guardian Comments, Credit ac0rn2oak.  

Nice bit of satire..... or is it?

"Behind the curve? Let's just think a moment...

As far as viruses go, SARS-CoV-2 is fairly easy to neutralize with antibodies - and as it turns out, straightforward to generate effective vaccines based on the spike protein. Perhaps, even probably, these two properties are causally related. Moreover, it appears quite difficult (albeit not impossible) to generate spike resistant variants that evade the polyclonal antibody responses elicited by said vaccines. All good news.

However, if I was Boris Johnson and destined to ensure that the new vaccines were rendered impotent, there are a few things I would try..

First I would want to maximize the viral population size and diversity. Because SARS-CoV-2 has a proofreading polymerase, we may have to work hard to achieve it. The four measures outlined below might help accomplish this, assisting the virus to attenuate as much genetic diversity as possible, generating every conceivable point mutation as frequently as possible.

1. Delay the rollout of testing and counter-measures, so the virus could spread undetected, seeding outbreaks geographically, demographically and culturally diverse host populations, rendering it almost impossible to quash with test, trace & isolate measures.
2. Implement partial and partial restrictions on movement and social interactions, thus maintaining consistently large reservoirs of infected individuals and transmission.
3. Keep schools and universities open, whilst claiming SARS-CoV-2 has low transmission in children; that they are mostly asymptomatic or have mild disease. This enables viral populations to spread undetected.
4. Give mixed messages on diverse subjects as face masks, the sensitivity of tests, herd-immunity, gatherings and social distancing – undermining the necessity for clear, cogent public health measures to keep transmission low.

Second, during or after the establishment of large and diverse viral populations, start to apply selection pressures to enrich antibody resistant mutations. For that, we would enlist the help of the medical establishment to implement the two final steps. Laudably, they want to try and help as many people as quickly as possible – and this can be fatally exploited.

5. Treat as many people as possible with uncharacterized convalescent plasma of weak/unknown potency, without proper clinical trials – to get the ball rolling in applying some selection pressures to enrich for antibody resistant variants. Immunocompromised patients with persistent infection might be especially helpful here.
6. Finally – the pièce de résistance: having developed a remarkable two-dose vaccine that is extraordinarily effective, ADMINISTER IT TO MILLIONS OF PEOPLE – BUT DELAY THE SECOND DOSE. Generating a pool of hosts with just the right amount of neutralising antibody to apply selection pressure, but also maintain sufficient levels of partially antibody-resistant virus to allow onward transmission is the key here. This might not be achieved following the first vaccine dose – but if we allow immunity to wane a little while –say 4 to 12 weeks, we might just hit the sweet spot.

The longer SARS-CoV-2 is in circulation, and the greater the number of people infected, the more of a chance escape mutants will have to form, and imperil the unprecedented efforts put into vaccine development.

And finally, even knowing this virus is zoonotic in nature, I would omit to tell you to stay away from your pets or any animals - including wild birds who are having their own viral pandemic presently too – if you are unfortunate enough to contract Covid.

Nothing like diversification when you're on the curve, huh?"

 

with a further point added by Hilll777

"Again you've omitted #7. True genius - combine two different vaccines in a casually random manner, blithely ignoring the warnings of the scientists who created and tested them through all those phases - which were the basis for your getting them approved in the first place."

Nick

There is small consolation to be drawn from the fact that the UK's response has been driven by incompetence, misunderstanding and a history of clutching defeat from the jaws of victory.  It might appear an ominshambles, but it is nothing in comparison to the shameful, dishonest and damagingly political response in the US, for whom the formula offered by 'ac0rn2oak' might be amended with:

8. Perpetuate myths surrounding the origin and efficacy of the virus, to instill confusion and false confidence in your core voter demographic. Use all means to ensure the maximum dissemination of evidently baseless claims about the political motivation behind the virus and the limited potential it has for real damage. Delay, obfuscate and hinder attempts to accelerate the vaccination programme, using the sham of voter fraud to divert attention.

Paul

Edited by PaulAA
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36 minutes ago, PaulAA said:

Roger

You are obviously an exceptional specimen - ordinary mortals of [ahem!] maturer years would be able to gather a good roll of skin in the vicinity of their bingo wings.

The clamp might hurt a bit more there, though.

Paul

Being of an athletic nature - what the heck are bingo wings.  

I may well have them but I do not know where.

 

Roger

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Forgive the slight thread drift, but I saw an advert for GQ magazine a day or two ago, which features Catain Tom on its front cover.  If we pass over the dubious use of the fellow to boost GQ's sales (and I hope he got a decent fee into the bargain), I find that I'm a bit troubled by the praise surrounding Captain Tom.  I'm ready to be shot down in flames on this and - lest there be any doubt - I think his and his daughter's achievement is superb, but...

The NHS is a publicly-funded institution and not a charity.  By creating the appearance of a charitable cause, it begins to chip away at the Govt's obligation towards it and, potentially, easing the PR campaign to sell it off.  The cost of running the NHS is, at the moment, academic - if more funds are needed, the Govt can 'print' the money to support it, just as it does for other causes it finds relevant or essential.  If it chooses.

Whilst a huge amount for charitable purposes, the £39m he raised is but a drop in the ocean for their operational costs and risks setting a precedent.

Of course, he didn't aim to raise money "for the NHS".  His intention was to support the charities looking after front-line workers, because the Govt has elected to provide none, but this distinction has been lost in the printed and social media mele.

So, I'm wondering whether his remarkable achievement of persuading people, who would undoubtedly have objected to a corresponding rise in tax, to give money voluntarily is a shining example or a warning for the future.

Paul

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8 minutes ago, RogerH said:

Being of an athletic nature - what the heck are bingo wings.  

I may well have them but I do not know where.

 

Roger

Roger

 

Bingo wings.... remember, you cannot un-see this....

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images.jpg.36970fe850eebbf30ad24d1983a25ace.jpg

Paul

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1 hour ago, PaulAA said:

Roger

 

Bingo wings.... remember, you cannot un-see this....

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images.jpg.36970fe850eebbf30ad24d1983a25ace.jpg

Paul

I am far too beautifully developed to need those things.

However they may be useful for swimming - as I tend to sink.

 

Roger

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The South Africa variant with several mutations in the spike protein may evade current vaccines, at least partially. The only solution proferred by these experts is too re-jig the vaccine:

https://www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-the-south-african-variant/

and...... re-vacccinate.  However this variant can make yougsters seriously ill.....30 million at risk rises to nearly the whole UK population

The SA variant may have evolved to circumvent a high perecentage of the population becoming sero-positive. There will be many other such nations where the virus has infected a sizeable fraction, eg Brazil, USA. So we can expect yet more variants to arise.  How many vax tweaks will be needed is not known, but the logistics of re-mnaufacture and re-injection look to me to be nigh impossible.

D3's day will come. A trial in Argentina of 500,000 IU D3 given orally witihn the first 3 days of hospitalisation with C-19 has jsut completed, and we await publication.  The beauty of D3 is the first line of  defense, the anti-microbial peptides in mucosal fluids, is not virus-specific, Cathelicdin not only wraps around the spike protein hindering binding to cells,  but also disrupts the virus membrane and hence its viability.    The virus is exploiting large D3-deficient populations across the globe. Sun and/or supplements are all that is needed to halt the pandemic.

It  goes without saying that I regard the approach by SAGE to put all its eggs in the vaccine basket as crass stupidity.
Peter

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On 1/3/2021 at 2:28 PM, MilesA said:

My wife, recently retired, decided to apply to be a volunteer vaccinator. Although she qualified and practiced as a pharmacist that was 40 years ago, prePhD, post doctoral research and several decades working for a well-known medical regulator. So we anticipated that a certain amount of checking and learning would be required.

Well, the entire process seems to have been designed to discourage potential applicants and is not focussed on the immediate needs of the job in hand. At least she did not have to submit a copy of her marriage certificate as her friend did before moving to the training required to complete the application. This involves submitting 18 certificates. To achieve each involves a minimum of 45 minutes e-learning. So far, three full days of study and tests and not yet finished. Each is learning session is followed by a test in which you have to achieve 80-100% depending on the topic. If you get below the minimum twice, that is sudden death - your application fails.

Fair enough you might think until you look at the topics required: Conflict resolution, Equality, diversity and human rights, Fire safety, Moving and handling, Preventing radicalisation, Safeguarding children, Medico-legal ethics, Infection prevention and control. Thank goodness she now knows what coloured bag to place soiled hospital sheets into, which fire extinguisher should be used on a petrol fire and the application of the Gillick principle to teenagers (who won't be getting the vaccine).

Once vaccine supplies are on full stream, we will need a great many people, working in teams, subject to appropriate supervision to vaccinate millions of people. They need to be intelligent, caring, capable of social interaction and reasonably dextrous. They also need to be vetted and trained appropriately. This approach seems to be completely unthought out - someone has simply dragged an existing process off the shelf without any thought for what is actually needed to identify suitable vaccinators or its disincentive impacts on potentially good candidates. I believe that even doctors who retired more than 12 months ago are required to undertake the same process.

Furthermore, given that the approximate dates of when decisions would be made by the MHRA on the vaccines, I would have thought this process should have been commenced some months ago so that sufficient numbers of volunteers would be ready and available to take the pressure off the NHS as soon as mass vaccination became possible. 

My wife will persist (she is very driven) and assuming she gets past this stage and her application is successful, more checks are required (more delay) and we will then see what actual training is available and how deployment actually happens. 

Yet again, the words 'p**s up' and 'brewery' come to mind in terms of this governments response...

Miles

Miles

I see this has just been debated in Parliament and Hand-cock has ordained that the training modules for terrorism and fire safety will be removed from the training programme.

Reality seems not yet to have bitten them.

Paul

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Solid bone, the lot of them.  Or "you can't teach pork".

Senior Management has just gone for her training session..... glad I'm not booked in for a flu jab this afternoon :ninja:

Can't speak for the rest of the country, but locally the limiting factor is not the lack of people to do the job, indeed, remove the stupid and unnecessary training requirements and you'd have have a volunteer army ready to work 7 days a week to get the job done.  Instead, the limiting factor is vaccine.  There is none......

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Sad to say, inadequate management at the higest politocal level seems not to be a UK speciality.      The Guardian today reviewed vaccination progress across the world.

In the US, 17.5 million doses have been distributedf, but only 4 million given.  A lack of federal organisation is blamed.

France vaccinated, by the end of last week, 516 people - that's five HUNDRED, I haven't left off any zeros.

Germany and Denmark are said to, like the UK,  be looking to postpone second doses to conserve supplies.

Israel is said to be doing well, no figures quoted, but running short of vaccine.     Their Health Minister has said that they may stop giving first doses to ensure that second doses may be given!

South Africa is short of vaccine, India wwhich makes more of the world's vaccines than any other country, has only just approved AstraZeneca and one of thier own, 

Shortages are appearing, not in the vaccine supply, but in the resources needed to produce them and package them, like glass vials.  

China has given 4.5 million doses, but as part of a trial of a Sinopharm vaccine.

 

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Heard mention of global shortage of glass vax vials.  Now.........how much warning have the authorities had . almost a year.  One hand doesnt appear to be told what the other is doing.

Peter

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1 hour ago, JohnD said:

Israel is said to be doing well, no figures quoted, but running short of vaccine.

 

Phenomenally well.  But they are refusing to vaccinate Palestinians, which rather tarnishes the achievement.

Meanwhile, here in the Church-fearing Communist Paradise of Poland, we are deep into recriminations about why the 6th dose in each bottle has not been thrown away and has, instead, been given to unworthy liberal lackey actors, even though they are all over 70 and each has a pre-existing condition giving them at least second tier status.

The UK may want to send a represenatative or two over here to fully understand what incompetence, ignorance, religious bigotry and willful obstruction can really achieve in a pandemic.

Paul

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17 hours ago, PaulAA said:

Miles

I see this has just been debated in Parliament and Hand-cock has ordained that the training modules for terrorism and fire safety will be removed from the training programme.

Reality seems not yet to have bitten them.

Paul

Indeed. If he or his staff had looked even superficially at the other modules they would have realised that many others were also irrelevant to the role. 

My wife has now successfully passed all modules - the final one took  about 4 hours study (I did mention she was driven). We will now see what the next stage in the process is.

Miles

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16 hours ago, PeterC said:

Heard mention of global shortage of glass vax vials.  Now.........how much warning have the authorities had . almost a year.  One hand doesnt appear to be told what the other is doing.

Peter

Peter

My understanding is that the individual doses for each of the two leading vaccines have to be taken from a larger quantity in a vial. The final dosage could not have been determined until the outcome of the human trials and approval by MHRA. Supplying in single shot disposable devices like flu jabs would have been the ideal. However, shifting manufacture to that would had lead to further delay and so pragmatically and in the interests of speed, what is more commonly available to the manufacturers has been deployed.

Miles

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The shortage of Vials/Phials could have been overcome by using bigger containers.

I would have used marmalade jars.

Stop the production of Keillers marmalade for a month and use their jam jars - sorted

 

Roger

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