COVID-19 vaccines

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  • Oddly, we don't have a thread about this yet. (We do now.) There are now numerous candidates for vaccines, despite the gloomy projections made at the start of the pandemic as to the likelihood of developing a successful one. As far as I can see, all are still in the testing stages, but have been given to plenty of people and five or six seem to be close to the end of the testing phase because regulators aim to speed up the processes involved in approving them.

    The first one we heard about was the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine, followed more recently by the Moderna vaccine and the 'Oxford vaccine' by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. Russia claims that its own homegrown one is better than all of those. Inevitably, all these claims still need to mature somewhat, as some of the announcements are probably designed to steal a commercial march on rivals.

    These are the main ones I've seen information about, but I'm sure there are numerous others--I think there were about 100 or more in development at one point?

    I've read that the 'Oxford vaccine' is meant to be not-for-profit or no-profit and much cheaper than the BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.

    The only other distinguishing characteristic I've seen is that the BioNTech vaccine needs to be stored at -70 degrees Celsius, whereas the others can be kept at 2-8 degrees, e.g. as in a standard fridge.

    Anyway, let's hope that the various claims of efficacy made so far survive into the real world and that by next year the disease is under much better control.

    It would still be much better not to let a disease like this escape from the area in which is originates, but beggars can't be choosers, and a vaccine will be necessary.

  • More than 170 vaccines in development according to­eractive/2020/nov/10/covid-vaccine-track­er-when-will-a-coronavirus-vaccine-be-re­ady with 12 in phase 3 (final) trials at the moment.

    The main thing we don't seem to know yet and probably can't for a while is if any vaccine provides long term protection or if we will need regular boosters.

  • Good points.

    For some reason I thought I remembered the figure of about 130, but maybe more have been added or I just misremembered it.

  • Anyone know why the BioNTech has to be stored so cold? I don’t know anything about bio, but what needs to be stored at -70C to stop it being destroyed?

  • Are these vaccines specifically against Covid-19 or are they likely to work against a range of coronaviruses? Such as SARS-CoV?

  • Apparently, the mRNA is very fragile. No, I don't have any idea why the other mRNA vaccine doesn't need -70C, or indeed the faintest idea how it all works, either.

  • A bit of background towards all the soothsayers of doom regarding vaccines and the quick development.
    TLDR version:- the backbone of the vaccine has been in development for years, then can be manipulated when the contagion comes.­71

  • Wonder how long it will take the tinfoil hat brigade to suggest Covid was man made because scientists had been developing the vaccine for years...

  • Good to see Astra Zeneca trial results being trashed in the US press who definitely have not been given a nudge by Pfizer­ess/coronavirus-vaccine-astrazeneca-oxfo­rd.html

  • While I'm sure you're right, what Big Pharma company would want to be competing with a rival that's (nearly) as effective as yours, is cheaper and much easier to store, to boot?
    But there again, if this article in the Graun
    https://amp-theguardian-com.cdn.ampproje­­0/nov/26/scrutiny-grows-over-oxford-univ­ersityastrazeneca-vaccine?amp_js_v=a6&am­p_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQFKAGwASA%3D#aoh=1606­4218925627&csi=1&referrer=https%3A%2F%2F­ %251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theg­­scrutiny-grows-over-oxford-universityast­razeneca-vaccine
    is even half true it sounds like someone at AstralZenecal didn't read the brief regarding FDA spproval

    Critics have also claimed the trials did not include enough ethnic diversity, gender and age balance to satisfy the US regulator, the Food and Drug Administration

  • Sinopharm (major Chinese state-owned pharma co) has a vaccine and some of the other state-owned pharma companies are developing others. They're not bothering with stage3 testing. 1 million people have been vaccinated so far - father of a friend of a friend who works in a part of Sinopharm was apparently vaccinated in early stages back in April, which is all levels of absurd.

    The pharma industry in China is dodgy as hell - bribery, corruption, fake vaccines, false test results, poor cold chain, sex scandals, etc etc etc... Approval for new drugs usually takes 12-24 months though this is often faster for drugs developed in China (see above: corruption; also, nationalism), but they're going for approval now!­article/3111347/coronavirus-sinopharm-ap­plies-regulatory-approval-china-launch

  • I've been told I'll get the Pfizer vaccine as early as next week. I work in one of the 50 hospitals selected for the first roll out.

    I'm not against having the vaccine, but I'm not thrilled about getting first, albeit after tens of thousands of trial patients.

  • If you tell me where and when to be I'll pretend to be you. You can have my shot in 6 months.

  • haha! good point.

    The suggestion is that the roll out to each priority group will be determined by organising the recipients rather than the availability of the vaccine. At least initially.

    You might have to wait 6 months, or maybe a lot less, and by then you may have more knowledge of the 'best' vaccine. Having the Pfizer one looks good now, but it may turn out that another vaccine is more beneficial, for example in both covid prevention and reduction in viral spread.

    I don't know anything about vaccines though.

  • I don't know anything about vaccines though.

    All you need to know is that they are one of the major achievements of all human endeavours.

    These vaccines have gone through all the required regulatory steps and are thus safe for us to take.

  • I haven't read the full report because I'm lazy but the NAO think the UK might vaccinate 25m people in 2021.­ion-into-preparations-for-potential-covi­d-19-vaccines/

    "As at 8th December 2020, NHSE&I is planning on the assumption it could vaccinate up to 25 million people with two doses throughout 2021"

    That probably means most of the people reading the list probably wont get a vaccine until 2022. Or they find a way to go faster.

  • 25 million people vaccinated in a year sounds like an big logistical win to me?
    6850 vaccinations an hour, 10 hours a day, then booking everyone in for a second dose and booking in a further 6850 vaccinations an hour.

    Anyone know how many flu vaccinations are given each year?

  • Anyone know how many flu vaccinations are given each year?

    'More than 14m' in 2019.

    I agree 25m is loads but I don't know if it is 'enough'.

    For me enough of the population are vaccinated when the numbers in hospital are declining while life goes back to something more normal (tier 1 or lower perhaps). There might be a lot of infected people about but as long as that isn't leading to hospitalization I'd accept that.

  • I agree 25m is loads but I don't know if it is 'enough'.

    I guess there are a lot of people for whom covid isn't a high risk virus. 25m would cover all over-50s and those vulnerable for instance. It's not perfect but it would hugely alleviate the stress on the system.

  • 14 million is a lot more than I expected.

    I guess we'll see whether they can cope with an extra 50 million vaccination appointments.

  • That's my thoughts too. Vaccinate the vulnerable and far fewer people end up in hospital. But there are still the unfortunate people that aren't vulnerable and still get very ill. If we haven't vaccinated under 50s and all go back to swinging parties will we uncover a lot of those unfortunate people very quickly?

  • My bet, having seen the efficiency of our local vaccine centre today, is yes.
    Absolute stars working there, incredibly efficient, and genuinely impressive.
    1 minute slots!
    Now to work.

  • I am a clinical research fellow based in Birmingham working for the NHS.
    Had my first dose this morning, all brilliant setup!
    Looking forward for the 2nd but more importantly LF to put COVID-19 into a shit hole forever.

  • Does the new more contagious variant require a higher % of the population to be vaccinated in order to bring herd immunity / natural r rate below 1?

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COVID-19 vaccines

Posted by Avatar for Oliver Schick @Oliver Schick