Coronavirus: How dangerous a threat?

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Crazy we are having the ECs now, all over Europe. Anyway, I just read:

After the positive corona tests of Sergio Busquets and Diego Llorente, the Spanish national team should be vaccinated before the start of the European Championship. The Ministry of Health confirmed this to the AFP news agency on Wednesday. According to a spokesman, Health Minister Carolina Darias will announce in the afternoon that "the Spanish national team will be vaccinated". The decision to vaccinate the Spanish Olympic team for Tokyo, but not the national team, had previously been criticized. Spain start on Monday in Seville against Sweden in the EM. Because of the corona cases in the team, the Spaniards have formed a "B-squad" with 17 players, which is in its own bubble and could be used against Sweden in the event of a team quarantine.

Maybe this belongs into the football thread. Anyway, now?? A few days before the start? Isn't that a bit nonsensical, because the effect should not be immediate, but surely some players will feel the side effects? None of my business, I was just wondering.
 
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Crazy we are having the ECs now, all over Europe. Anyway, I just read:

After the positive corona tests of Sergio Busquets and Diego Llorente, the Spanish national team should be vaccinated before the start of the European Championship. The Ministry of Health confirmed this to the AFP news agency on Wednesday. According to a spokesman, Health Minister Carolina Darias will announce in the afternoon that "the Spanish national team will be vaccinated". The decision to vaccinate the Spanish Olympic team for Tokyo, but not the national team, had previously been criticized. Spain start on Monday in Seville against Sweden in the EM. Because of the corona cases in the team, the Spaniards have formed a "B-squad" with 17 players, which is in its own bubble and could be used against Sweden in the event of a team quarantine.

Maybe this belongs into the football thread. Anyway, now?? A few days before the start? Isn't that a bit nonsensical, because the effect should not be immediate, but surely some players will feel the side effects? None of my business, I was just wondering.
I know that there was some discussion about having unvaccinated Olympic athletes get their vaccination when they get to Japan. That could potentially mess with heir performance so getting it by April would have been smarter.
 
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At least in the US, delta represents a pretty small minority of the sequenced viruses. What I think we will see over the summer might not be increased case counts due to delta, but an increase of the proportion of delta within the viral pool. By October, I think it will be the dominant strain in the US and that is when there will be issues in places with low vaccine uptake (i.e. rural and south). So, there is reason for optimism as you note, but delta really is a problematic variant for the future and bears watching. It already is picking up mutations associated with immune evasion.
Pfizer and Moderna are also aiming at sometime in the fall to have a booster vaccine specifically for the Delta variant ready. So I suspect many who have had one of the vaccines will also be getting the booster for this variant. (My husband definitely will as soon as possible due to his auto immune diseases and working in a hospital). I've suspected that areas with low vaccine rates are going to be hot spots for variants and I suspect you're correct about sometime in the fall for that to happen with the Delta variant.
 
I know that there was some discussion about having unvaccinated Olympic athletes get their vaccination when they get to Japan. That could potentially mess with heir performance so getting it by April would have been smarter.
One of Movistar's riders who is going to the Olympics for track just got his first dose of Pfizer two weeks ago. My biggest question with waiting until the end of May to start vaccinating your Olympic athletes, doesn't that present a timing problem depending on what events they are participating in before the Olympics?
 
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Ahhhh, so shocking. And this was with vaccination requirements for all passengers and crew. There is no legitimate public health reason for re-starting the cruise industry at this point in time. It is happening because some of the regions need the tourist money (Greece, Alaska) and the big cruise ship lines feel like they are above health and safety regulations.

View: https://twitter.com/AFP/status/1403128564929728512
When I saw that headline yesterday my thoughts were:
1- germ vessels!
2- vaccinated people aren't 100% safe.
---vaccine ~95%, they might have compromised immune systems...
3-were they really vaccinated?
 
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When I saw that headline yesterday my thoughts were:
1- germ vessels!
2- vaccinated people aren't 100% safe.
---vaccine ~95%, they might have compromised immune systems...
3-were they really vaccinated?
All good points.

Re:2. If you are not a frequent cruiser, it is hard to emphasize just how old the passenger demographics are for most cruise lines besides Disney. And old people do not respond as well to vaccination. Protection will inevitably be much lower that 95%.

Re:3. In MD, I can log on to a state database that confirms my vaccination and can print out a certificate in addition to my vax card. But, not all states have those resources. So, the cards are going to be the 'proof' of vaccination and we know that there has been abuse related to them. It isn't a stretch to think that in a pool of 1000 cruisers that you might be getting some fraudulent documents. Then there are U12 kids who can't be vaccinated. I believe the requirement is that all the adults must be vaccinated. Kids can board with negative tests as long as the ship is 95% vaccinated (population including kids).

Cruising should be the last thing plugged back in considering how uniquely terrible it is at propagating viral transmission.
 
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Local public radio station here in San Diego interviewed a woman who contracted Covid while pregnant. She gave birth to a healthy baby. She lost her sense of smell and taste. She is in an ever evolving state of recovery. As of now, she describes the smell of her baby and husband varying between warm to hot sewage..
I was overcome by her great attitude..
Guy I have not camped or fished w for @2 years..he got a mild case..5 weeks recovered and back to work..he said that he had shortness of breath..he explained that it's still that way 6 months later
 
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Ahhhh, so shocking. And this was with vaccination requirements for all passengers and crew. There is no legitimate public health reason for re-starting the cruise industry at this point in time. It is happening because some of the regions need the tourist money (Greece, Alaska) and the big cruise ship lines feel like they are above health and safety regulations.
Desperation in the travel industry makes it so especially in countries that rely on tourists so much. But more and more countries are about to open up or have plans to start soon so its not just going to be the cruise industry but why anyone would see the need to travel on a tourist ship at the moment is odd. Portugal was complaining about missing out on their regular tourists from the UK. The next 12 months should be interesting.
 
Ed Yong is still the best on the medical journalism beat. Another excellent perspective.

View: https://twitter.com/edyong209/status/1402602673174683649
Yong earned a well deserved Pulitzer today for his pandemic work.

Desperation in the travel industry makes it so especially in countries that rely on tourists so much. But more and more countries are about to open up or have plans to start soon so its not just going to be the cruise industry but why anyone would see the need to travel on a tourist ship at the moment is odd. Portugal was complaining about missing out on their regular tourists from the UK. The next 12 months should be interesting.
I would like to visit Portugal. It was in the plans for last May before covid. I still haven't left my state, so I doubt international travel is happening for me this year either. Maryland does make some port, but it isn't quite the same.
 
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Desperation in the travel industry makes it so especially in countries that rely on tourists so much. But more and more countries are about to open up or have plans to start soon so its not just going to be the cruise industry but why anyone would see the need to travel on a tourist ship at the moment is odd. Portugal was complaining about missing out on their regular tourists from the UK. The next 12 months should be interesting.
For most mediterranean countries it must be hell.
I'm very critical of all the effects that tourism has in other regards, but economically, the way that the system worked so far, it's a disaster and most of those countries do a lot to bring tourists in again.
 
Novavax Offers U.S. a Fourth Strong Covid-19 Vaccine
The company’s large U.S. trial found an efficacy rate of about 90 percent. But at this point, the nation is awash in other shots.


By Carl Zimmer

June 14, 2021Updated 8:40 a.m. ET

Novavax, a small American company buoyed by lavish support from the U.S. government, announced on Monday the results of a clinical trial of its Covid-19 vaccine in the United States and Mexico, finding that its two-shot inoculation provides potent protection against the coronavirus.

In the 29,960-person trial, the vaccine demonstrated an overall efficacy of 90.4 percent, on par with the vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, and higher than the one-shot vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. The Novavax vaccine showed an efficacy of 100 percent at preventing moderate or severe disease.

Despite these impressive results, the vaccine’s future in the United States is uncertain and it might be needed more in other countries. Novavax says it may not seek emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration until the end of September. And with a plentiful supply of three other authorized vaccines, it’s possible that the agency may tell Novavax to apply instead for a full license — a process that could require several extra months.

The company’s chief executive, Stanley Erck, acknowledged in an interview that Novavax would probably win its first authorization elsewhere. The company is also applying in Britain, the European Union, India and South Korea.

“I think the good news is that the data are so compelling that it gives everybody an incentive to pay attention to our filings,” Mr. Erck said.

By the time Novavax gets the green light from the U.S. government, it may be too late to contribute to the country’s first wave of vaccinations. But many vaccine experts expect that, with waning immunity and emerging variants, the country will need booster shots at some point. And the protein-based technology used in the Novavax vaccine may do a particularly good job at amplifying protection, even if people have previously been vaccinated with a different formulation.

“They may be really the right ones for boosters,” said Dr. Luciana Borio, who was the acting chief scientist at the F.D.A. from 2015 to 2017.

Last year, the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed program awarded Novavax a $1.6 billion contract for 100 million future doses. The company won this tremendous support despite never having brought a vaccine to market in over three decades.





The Novavax coronavirus vaccine does not need special refrigeration.Credit...Alastair Grant/Associated Press


In January, Novavax announced that its 15,000-person trial in Britain found that the vaccine had an efficacy of 96 percent against the original coronavirus. Against Alpha, a virus variant first identified in Britain, the efficacy fell slightly to 86 percent. In South Africa, where Novavax ran a smaller trial on 2,900 people and the Beta variant was dominant, the company found an efficacy of just 49 percent.

But the South Africa trial was complicated by the fact that a number of the volunteers had H.I.V., which is known to hamper vaccines. In addition, the study was so small that it was difficult to estimate how much protection the vaccine provided H.I.V.-negative volunteers.

With the support of Operation Warp Speed, Novavax drew up plans for an even larger late-stage trial in the United States and Mexico. But difficulties with manufacturing delayed its launch until December.

By then, the United States had authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. In February, with the Novavax trial still underway, the government authorized Johnson & Johnson’s.

As it waited for trial results, Novavax partnered with other companies to start making massive quantities of its vaccine. In India, it joined forces with the Serum Institute, and in South Korea, SK Biosciences. Novavax reached an agreement with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to supply 1.1 billion doses to middle- and low-income countries.

But the company’s difficulties with scaling continued, and it needed more time to develop special tests used to confirm the quality of its product.

The new results were based on 77 trial volunteers who came down with Covid-19. The volunteers who received placebo shots were far more likely than the vaccinated ones to get sick, a statistical difference that translated to an efficacy of 90.4 percent.
 
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