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Vaccine Progress, Approval, and Deployment

Bantamzen

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In regard to 16/17 year olds, will they be offered two jabs? I’ve read conflicting information on this.
My understanding is that they will initially be offered only the first jab, with a second to be considered later. It seems there is some question as to whether a second will be as effective in younger people.
 
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DustyBin

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My understanding is that they will initially be offered only the first jab, with a second to be considered later. It seems there is some question as to whether a second will be as effective in younger people.

Thanks, that’s what I thought. Is the question mark over the second jab due to efficacy or safety (or a combination of both)? I find the whole thing rather odd if I’m honest!
 

Bantamzen

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Thanks, that’s what I thought. Is the question mark over the second jab due to efficacy or safety (or a combination of both)? I find the whole thing rather odd if I’m honest!
If I recall correctly it is a bit of both. It might be down to younger people having immune systems that are developing at a faster rate than older people, at least that would be my guess.
 

DustyBin

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I see in Iceland they’re considering giving people who received the single shot Janssen vaccine a Pfizer booster. This (to me at least) completely undermines the former.

On a separate but related note, have any of the vaccines been “tweaked” yet? I mean in response to a variant just to be clear.
 

nlogax

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On a separate but related note, have any of the vaccines been “tweaked” yet? I mean in response to a variant just to be clear.

Moderna released a modified vaccine for the Beta aka South African variant back in the spring. They've modified it again for Delta, and alongside a similar response from Pfizer there are plans to test the tweaked versions this month.
 

DustyBin

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Moderna released a modified vaccine for the Beta aka South African variant back in the spring. They've modified it again for Delta, and alongside a similar response from Pfizer there are plans to test the tweaked versions this month.

I wonder if the latter will be ready in time for the first round of booster shots?
 

MikeWM

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I wonder if the latter will be ready in time for the first round of booster shots?

I'm fairly sure that in Israel, at least, the 'boosters' they've started giving out are the same as for the first two.
 

DustyBin

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I'm fairly sure that in Israel, at least, the 'boosters' they've started giving out are the same as for the first two.

Which begs the question; why not wait until the modified version is ready? If they expect to administer a fourth booster in (say) early 2022 I think it could wear a bit thin on people. Although having said that most will no doubt go along with it, and I don’t expect it to end there either.
 

MikeWM

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Which begs the question; why not wait until the modified version is ready?

From what I can see from their data over the last month or so, and their response to that data, they are very concerned that the efficacy is appearing to drop - quite alarmingly - by this point in those who were vaccinated first (ie. the most vulnerable). Which could imply that the vaccine doesn't give much in the way of long-term protection. Or I've seen it suggested by people who know a lot more about this than I do, that this may be due to early signals of ADE (let's *really* hope not). Or maybe they're just keen to give Pfizer yet more money (I note that Pfizer have just raised their price per vaccination dose - how kind of them). In any event we'll see if something similar happens here in the next few months.

If they expect to administer a fourth booster in (say) early 2022 I think it could wear a bit thin on people. Although having said that most will no doubt go along with it, and I don’t expect it to end there either.

They won't have any choice but to line up for whatever 'boosters' are offered, ad infinitum, if they want to keep their vaccine passport up-to-date.
 

brad465

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I was very unsure of where to put this, but we've had two articles about marginalising unvaccinated people today so far. The first was CNN firing unvaccinated staff who turned up to their offices, the second is Jennifer Aniston talking about "cutting off" unvaccinated friends:


US news network CNN has sacked three employees for going into an office without having been vaccinated against Covid, US media say.
It is one of the first examples of a US firm firing staff for breaching a company vaccination mandate.
It is legal in the US for firms to require employees to be vaccinated.
Many large firms - including Facebook and Google - say they will require employees to be vaccinated when offices fully re-open in the months ahead.
CNN chief Jeff Zucker mentioned the dismissal in a company memo sent on Thursday and seen by several US media outlets.
Vaccination is mandatory for anyone reporting in the field, working with any other employees or going into an office, he is quoted as saying in the memo.
"Let me be clear - we have a zero-tolerance policy on this," Mr Zucker, chairman of news and sports for WarnerMedia, is quoted as saying.
In May the US government said it was legal for employers to require staff attending the workplace in person to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Major airlines Delta and United Airlines are requiring new employees to show proof of vaccination, while investment bank Goldman Sachs is requiring its employees to disclose their vaccination status, although does not require staff to be vaccinated, AP reports.
President Biden has ordered two million federal employees to show proof of vaccination or be subject to mandatory testing and mask-wearing.


Jennifer Aniston has expanded on why she has cut off some of her friends who have refused to be vaccinated.
Earlier this week, the Friends actress said she had "lost a few people from [her] weekly routine" who had decided against having a Covid jab.
Some of her Instagram followers have since asked why she was so worried, given that she had been vaccinated.
"Because if you have the variant, you are still able to give it to me," she posted on Thursday.
"I may get slightly sick but I will not be admitted to a hospital and or die.
"But I can give it to someone else who does not have the vaccine and whose health is compromised (or has a previous existing condition) - and therefore I would put their lives at risk."
The actress made the comments on her Instagram story, which allows users to post pictures, videos and messages which only stay live for 24 hours.
In her interview with InStyle, published on Tuesday, Aniston said: "There's still a large group of people who are anti-vaxxers or just don't listen to the facts. It's a real shame.
 

MikeWM

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I was very unsure of where to put this, but we've had two articles about marginalising unvaccinated people today so far. The first was CNN firing unvaccinated staff who turned up to their offices, the second is Jennifer Aniston talking about "cutting off" unvaccinated friends:

Worth remembering that the employment law situation is rather different in the USA than most other Western countries - employment there is mostly 'at will', and therefore you can be fired any time the employer feels like it, for whatever reason, unless they are doing so in a discriminatory manner. (Equally the employee can leave any time they like, without notice etc.)

And I think I'd survive not being friends with Jennifer Aniston :)
 

DustyBin

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PHE are reporting that infection levels in double vaccinated individuals are similar to those found in the unvaccinated, and that this may have implications on transmissibility. I should add that this relates to the delta variant specifically and is based on early data, but it seems strange to announce it unless the evidence is fairly compelling. It certainly doesn't do much to support the "vaccinate everybody and everything" message....
 

kristiang85

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PHE are reporting that infection levels in double vaccinated individuals are similar to those found in the unvaccinated, and that this may have implications on transmissibility. I should add that this relates to the delta variant specifically and is based on early data, but it seems strange to announce it unless the evidence is fairly compelling. It certainly doesn't do much to support the "vaccinate everybody and everything" message....

Well the data certainly supports the message "get vaccinated - it protects you from serious disease".

But, like most viruses, it still transmits even from vaccinated people, so it makes the passport ideas completely pointless.

The message needs to be: We are open for business again. Get jabbed if you can. If you don't, then you're at your own risk. But that's your choice.
 

adc82140

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PHE are reporting that infection levels in double vaccinated individuals are similar to those found in the unvaccinated, and that this may have implications on transmissibility. I should add that this relates to the delta variant specifically and is based on early data, but it seems strange to announce it unless the evidence is fairly compelling. It certainly doesn't do much to support the "vaccinate everybody and everything" message....
It's only in the "breakthrough" infections in the double vaccinated. The vaccination will still prevent infection to almost the level it did before with the other variants.
 

MikeWM

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PHE are reporting that infection levels in double vaccinated individuals are similar to those found in the unvaccinated, and that this may have implications on transmissibility. I should add that this relates to the delta variant specifically and is based on early data, but it seems strange to announce it unless the evidence is fairly compelling. It certainly doesn't do much to support the "vaccinate everybody and everything" message....

That's the same message the CDC were putting out - and then used it to justify making vaccinated people wear masks again. Maybe we're going to see something similar here :rolleyes:
 

adc82140

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Well the data certainly supports the message "get vaccinated - it protects you from serious disease".

But, like most viruses, it still transmits even from vaccinated people, so it makes the passport ideas completely pointless.

The message needs to be: We are open for business again. Get jabbed if you can. If you don't, then you're at your own risk. But that's your choice.
Now I'm confused...
 

DustyBin

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It's only in the "breakthrough" infections in the double vaccinated. The vaccination will still prevent infection to almost the level it did before with the other variants.

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here (sorry!). What is a "breakthrough" infection?

That's the same message the CDC were putting out - and then used it to justify making vaccinated people wear masks again. Maybe we're going to see something similar here :rolleyes:

That or another booster I suspect.

Now I'm confused...

I think what @kristiang85 is saying is that the "get vaccinated to protect others" message is inaccurate and that vaccine passports are pointless as the primary benefit is to the individual.

Personally I'm firmly of the opinion that you should get vaccinated to protect yourself and that the "protect others" line is simply a form of blackmail/coercion. Whilst I take no satisfaction in reading the PHE findings it does potentially undermine that message.
 

bspahh

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PHE are reporting that infection levels in double vaccinated individuals are similar to those found in the unvaccinated, and that this may have implications on transmissibility. I should add that this relates to the delta variant specifically and is based on early data, but it seems strange to announce it unless the evidence is fairly compelling. It certainly doesn't do much to support the "vaccinate everybody and everything" message....
From https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus this is the latest announcement on that sort of topic that I can see from Public Health England
It says:
  • unvaccinated people were three times more likely than fully vaccinated people to test positive for COVID-19, with prevalence at 1.21% and 0.40%;
https://assets.publishing.service.g...t_data/file/1009243/Technical_Briefing_20.pdf has a section on page 35 which compares the Ct for patients who with and without 2 vaccine doses. The Ct score is the "cycle threshold". A low value means that you had lots of the virus, as it was able to be detected after only a few cycles of the PCR amplification. It says:

1.7.1. Comparison of viral load Ct by vaccination status In the NHS Test and Trace (NHSTT) case data, the mean and median lowest Ct values for all cases with Delta, where Ct data are available, since the 14 June 2021 are similar, with a median of 17.8 for unvaccinated and 18.0 for those with 2 vaccine doses (Figure 12). This means that whilst vaccination may reduce an individual’s overall risk of becoming infected, once they are infected there is limited difference in viral load (and Ct values) between those who are vaccinated and unvaccinated. Given they have similar Ct values, this suggests limited difference in infectiousness. To note, this analysis is undertaken on case data and are not age-stratified. Findings can be influenced by test-seeking behaviour, as well as true changes in the data, for example the age distribution of cases, which can also influence Ct values
I annotated the sentence in bold text.

Vaccination helps to prevent the illness.
 
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DustyBin

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From https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus this is the latest announcement on that sort of topic that I can see from Public Health England
It says:

https://assets.publishing.service.g...t_data/file/1009243/Technical_Briefing_20.pdf has a section on page 35 which compares the Ct for patients who with and without 2 vaccine doses. The Ct score is the "cycle threshold". A low value means that you had lots of the virus, as it was able to be detected after only a few cycles of the PCR amplification. It says:


I annotated the sentence in bold text.

Vaccination helps to prevent the illness.

Thanks. So once infected there's little difference but if you're vaccinated you're less likely to be infected in the first place. Is my understanding correct?

This is the article I originally saw incidentally:

COVID-19: Delta infections may produce similar virus levels regardless of vaccination status, early analysis suggests | UK News | Sky News

COVID-19: Delta infections may produce similar virus levels regardless of vaccination status, early analysis suggests​


Dr Simon Clarke, a microbiology professor, says the early findings are a "big deal" but more work is needed to confirm them and find a definitive answer.

Friday 6 August 2021 13:46, UK

Coronavirus levels in people with the Delta variant may be similar regardless of whether or not they've been vaccinated - and it could have implications for infectiousness, early analysis suggests.

Public Health England's (PHE) said initial findings suggested "levels of virus in those who become infected with Delta having already been vaccinated may be similar to levels found in unvaccinated people".

"This may have implications for people's infectiousness, whether they have been vaccinated or not," it added.

It stressed it was "early exploratory analysis" and that more targeted studies were needed to give confirmation.

Sky's health correspondent Ashish Joshi said PHE's language was cautionary with a number of caveats such as "early exploratory findings".

But he said if the findings are confirmed, it could have" huge implications for transmissibility" as "data has consistently shown the vaccine slows down and should, effectively, stop the spread of the virus".

Dr Simon Clarke, a microbiology professor at Reading University, told Sky News the early findings were a "big deal".

"We'll need more studies to find a definitive answer," he said.

"But if the vaccine only blocks transmission by, say, 50% you'll never get herd immunity even with a 100% vaccine uptake."

The Delta variant, which originated in India, remains dominant in the UK and accounts for approximately 99% of cases, said PHE in its latest variant briefing.

New hospitalisation data confirm again that vaccines, while providing high levels of protection, are not 100% effective.

I completely agree with you that the vaccines are effective in preventing serious illness, the data is clear.
 

The Ham

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Thanks. So once infected there's little difference but if you're vaccinated you're less likely to be infected in the first place. Is my understanding correct?

This is the article I originally saw incidentally:

COVID-19: Delta infections may produce similar virus levels regardless of vaccination status, early analysis suggests | UK News | Sky News



I completely agree with you that the vaccines are effective in preventing serious illness, the data is clear.

That's my reading of it.

If that's the case, then whilst having the vaccine won't stop you passing it on if you get infected it will reduce the risk of you having it and so are unable to pass on something that you don't have (i.e. the not having Covid by being protected by the vaccine is how you protect others, not that if you get it that you won't pass it on).
 

Darandio

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Just had my second shot of Moderna at the Nightingale in Washington (like @Darandio online my only options are far from home and my GP surgery had washed their hands of vaccination since groups 1 - 9 were done).

Just had my second one done. Because Redcar has effectively washed their hands of anyone needing AZ I was in Middlesbrough today and managed to get off early to go to the walk-in at North Ormesby.
 

Kite159

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Had my 2nd dose (Pfizer) done tonight at Salisbury City Hall. I must have gotten lucky with timing as it was pretty much straight in, only a couple minutes of standing around waiting.

One of the ladies mentioned that it had been busy 30 minutes earlier, which doesn't surprise me as free parking kicks in at Salisbury after 6pm so I suspect some people were like myself and booked after 6pm to avoid paying the expensive car parking charges Wiltshire Council want
 

35B

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Got text this morning asking me to book 16 year old son in for his jab - now in the diary for the bank holiday weekend.
 

brad465

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While this isn't quite a UK issue, this seems like the most relevant thread for this story: turns out a German nurse has issued potentially as many as 8,000 saline doses instead of covid vaccine:


Authorities in north Germany have asked more than 8,000 people to get repeat Covid vaccinations because a nurse is suspected of having injected saline instead of vaccine in many cases.

Police are investigating the nurse's actions at a vaccination centre in Friesland, near the North Sea coast.
Initially just six people were believed to have received the harmless salt solution there in March and April.
Many of those affected were aged over 70 - a high-risk group in the pandemic.
Inspector Peter Beer, quoted by Süddeutsche Zeitung, said the 40-year-old woman had been sharing "corona-critical information" on social media, criticising the government's restrictions aimed at curbing the virus's spread.
Regional broadcaster NDR says 8,557 people have been asked to go back for repeat vaccinations, and so far about 3,600 new appointments have been confirmed.
In April the nurse had admitted giving saline to six people to cover up the fact that she had dropped a vaccine vial on the floor.
But as the police investigation unfolded it became clear that many more people had been given saline instead of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
Police are not ruling out that a political motive could have prompted the nurse's action, though her lawyers have rejected that and they also dispute the reported scale of the saline swap.
More witnesses are being questioned and so far no charges have been reported in the case.
Germany has seen many anti-vaccination protests.
Far-right groups are among those who reject the official data and conclusions about the spread of Covid.
While no cause has yet been identified, foul play is being suggested.
 

MikeWM

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While this isn't quite a UK issue, this seems like the most relevant thread for this story: turns out a German nurse has issued potentially as many as 8,000 saline doses instead of covid vaccine:

It would be interesting to know how they found out. How would you know?

I also see the BBC, as ever, takes the opportunity to throw the 'far-right' canard in there too, in order to smear anyone expressing doubts about the 'official conclusions about the spread'.
 

35B

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It would be interesting to know how they found out. How would you know?

I also see the BBC, as ever, takes the opportunity to throw the 'far-right' canard in there too, in order to smear anyone expressing doubts about the 'official conclusions about the spread'.
An observant patient? Stock taking? As for finding out how many have been affected, that's quite easy - either "vaccinated" patients falling ill, or where there's a suspicion, testing of the patients allegedly vaccinated for their immunity.

As for the far right reference, I'd not be so quick to call it a smear. She's identified as having shared "corona-critical information" online, which is frequently political in character, and police are stating that a political motive is in the question. I strongly suspect the reporter's put two and two together, possibly with the aid of a nudge from the police, and written in that way to sidestep confidentiality and sub-judice laws.
 

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