127 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Papers

  1. SOQ

    So people are going to be “allowed” to have Christmas- like it was going to be any different.

    Who exactly was going to police Christmas day activities?

          1. Janet, dreams of a steamed clootie

            +1
            you are being watched so behave ( odd message to teach as the reason to behave )

  2. Nigel

    The US presidential transition process has, finally, formally begun. Terfs enraged, and confused. Bodger still confident of Trump landslide.

        1. Junkface

          I think Trump must have finally listened to Ivanka and Jared, apparently they are the only two people who could convince him to accept it, and he still has hopes of hooking up with Ivanka so there’s that too.

      1. Rosette of Sirius

        I honestly can’t believe that some posters here got so suckered in to the narrative* that this election was riddled with systemic and preplanned fraud. Fraud on such a scale that, as Karl Rove exclaimed (yes, that Karl Rove), it would make for the plot of a James Bond movie. In other words completely and utterly preposterous.

        With that all said, I don’t doubt for a moment that there there was a spattering of fraudulently cast ballots. In every election there is usually some attempt at an individual level, and, in the US they’re usually rapidly caught and prosecuted.

        *others less so. It’s their modus operandi and penchant for Bacofoil and swallowing briQs.

        1. Junkface

          America will be a difficult place over the next 4 years. How will they deprogram 40 million Qanon nut jobs? Where to begin? Has there ever been such a mass indoctrination in world history? The numbers are just staggering.

          1. Junkface

            You can’t compare Qanon to those religions, as it has a more immediate and alarming agenda, its undermining democracy and trust in civil service.

            I think Islamic extremism is a different type of problem, with different challenges, even though it is the most dangerous, not necessarily in the USA but in the EU.

          2. bisted

            …honestly don’t know what Qanon is but you seem to know about Islam…how come when Macron clamps down on Islamists in France he is lauded but when China does it they are vilified?

          3. Rosette of Sirius

            ‘”…its scientology for trailer trash:)”

            I like that comparison. Rather apt… Art of the Deal = Dianetics?!

            All fear and all grift. L.Ron has Xenu and Trump the Kraken…..

          4. Junkface

            Bisted
            “honestly don’t know what Qanon is but you seem to know about Islam…how come when Macron clamps down on Islamists in France he is lauded but when China does it they are vilified?”

            Macron is trying to clamp down on Islamic terrorists and their support community within France. China is just straight up attempting a genocide on Uyghuir muslims, locking them up, breaking up families, using torture, sterilizing women, using them as slave labour, putting them through gruelling brainwashing sessions for hours at a time. Its a hardly a fair comparison to France.

          5. v AKA Frilly Keane

            Yeah you know what
            It would be great if there was less of this hard core rhetoric
            especially when describing voters

            c’mon trailer trash???
            that’s straight out of the Hillary playbook

            Any chance people could be a bit more grown up about this?

            I don’t subscribe to this whole Q thing either btw
            I tried to at the start, well not quiet engage as such, but more like to follow and understand,
            It just got to chaotic tbh
            And those “Drops”
            and the coded messages, and the deciphering
            and all the disciples giving their take on the latest drop
            Nah
            Gimme a dirty juicy political heave ho, or a bitta convention / Ard Fheis delegate poaching
            I’d be more a vanilla type conspiracy theorista

            but I can see how it has evolved in a type of new age Evangelical Movement
            all it’s teaching is online
            the vast majority of its followers got signed up, inducted and groomed in its ideologies online
            Likewise, they mostly engage with the Q prophesies online

            the QAnon Movement could easily be considered as a market segment and customer base
            or even a political lobby group or a religion
            It is its own Common Bond so to speak
            so they can do anything, and still be a thing to be reckoned with

          6. Nigel

            Also as I keep pointing out, the majority of Trump supporters are well off financially. Spare your ire and concern for the portion of the middle-to-upper-middle class that have been driving this, rather than scapegoating poor folk.

            (I absolutely gurantee that if Hilary Cinton ever uttered the phrase ‘trailer trash’ out loud she’d have been launched into the sun.)

        2. f_lawless

          There’s plenty of red flags pointing to a rigged election. Trump tweeting that he’s instructed his team to comply with initial transition protocols doesn’t make them simply disappear. Unless a proper audit is carried in those key red flag areas – and it was always on the cards that would be prevented from happening – the clouds of suspicion are going to hang over the 2020 election results.

          Just like Al Gore, John Kerry, Bernie Sanders, etc all accepted defeat when there was clear evidence of election rigging, Trump will ultimately do the same – albeit not quite as meekly as those before him (I see he’s still tweeting about a “rigged election” just a few minutes ago). They all know you cant go up against the US deep state and win.

          1. Nigel

            There has been absolutely no evidence whatsoever of election rigging. None – not one – of Trump’s or his lawyer’s claims have been backed up in court.

          2. Johnny

            …run Randy,run we are at the OJ chase part.

            “The Quaids were detained at the Canadian border Friday night while trying to re-enter the United States after Canadian officials granted Evi Quaid citizenship but denied Randy Quaid permanent residence and said he would be deported.
            They’re wanted in Santa Barbara, California, to face felony charges …”

            Yeah Americans are in the mood for a fugitives advise …

            https://www.businessinsider.com/randy-quaid-held-in-vermont-on-fugitive-charges-2015-10

          3. Johnny

            Rage,anger,shouting is not a strategy,there are some very serious and real pro’s coming in Jan.
            They will be surgical,tactical,well briefed,viscous and extremely effective.
            Trump telling country listen quaid is beyond parody.

          4. johnny

            yes and I..hope your felling better,clean up in aisle 5,lets try rehab that rep. with a very guidable cohort first…its Mark’s fault,Mark,Mark who ?

            “First lady Melania Trump said she wanted to light up the White House in rainbow colors for LGBTQ Pride Month in June, but the plan never came to fruition at a time when Mark Meadows as chief of staff played a role in blocking any sign of solidarity with the LGBTQ community..”
            https://www.washingtonblade.com/2020/11/24/exclusive-melania-trump-wanted-wh-lit-up-in-rainbow-colors-for-pride-month/

          5. v AKA Frilly Keane

            What’s the update on Sydney Powell?
            has she lodged proceedings
            what?

            btw, lads, I just learned today that Sydney represented the Enron Execs that time
            Probably means nothing to most of ye, but to me,
            feck
            I can see why Trump and Giuliani wanted to engage her

            so c’mon
            what’s the story

          6. johnny

            its thanksgiving i’m baked by noon-week off:)

            she’s Flynn’s lawyer i think.

            anyways that farmer be great on telly V-i can line up some really great food/farm porn from Hamptons/Berkshires- farming’s super hot and very chic at moment.

            Kevin Wallace, Founder of New Leaf Urban Famers-limerick.

            https://www.live95fm.ie/news/live95-news/irelands-first-community-supported-vegetable-box-scheme-launched-in-limerick/

            (really great idea scalable too – across island)

          7. f_lawless

            @v AKA Frilly Keane
            She was dropped from Trump’s legal team a few days back, but vowed to continue with her case separately, from what I last read. Maybe it dawned on Trump he was being led up the garden path with the whole “communist money” and “ghost of Hugo Chavez” angle! At this point I’d speculate that either Powell herself was duped or was purposely derailing Trumps legal campaign. Ironically for someone who’s supposedly good at hiring and firing Trump’s had a pretty poor record while in office.

          8. Nigel

            She either believes what she’s saying or she’s lying, it’s not any more complicated than that. She was dropped for attacking the Republican governor of a state with a vital run-off coming up. By all accounts Trump’s legal team is atrocious, with or without her.

      1. Rosette of Sirius

        Notice how the word fraud is being eased out and ‘rigged’ is now more in use by the squealers…..

        1. f_lawless

          I’ve tried responding politely to you, but to be frank,drawing attention to what are interchangeable terms as if you’ve uncovered something of significance, while dishing out insults gives the impression you’re not the most level-headed individual

          1. Rosette of Sirius

            You can take it whatever way you want but I’m sick listening to/reading the utter idiotic rage and bullpoo conspiracy that Trump somehow had his election stolen from him. First it was voter fraud and following a couple weeks or so getting laughed out of court for lack of evidence, now the rightwing narrative is all about it being rigged in some mass global/dark state conspiracy. Which of course – as an argument – will never see the inside of a courtroom. How could it? It’s just more provocation for his masses to keep his game alive. Because that’s all this is to him.

            Now, the grown ups will soon be back in charge and after a good scrubbing with the wire brush and Dettol, the world can get back on track.

  3. Kate

    That is a bleak read of inhumane treatment in Cloverhill prison ….shoving vulnerable homeless people in there.
    We treat animals better.

  4. GiggidyGoo

    So the Gardai are to interview RTE buckos. ?

    Aren’t they to investigate Varadkar and his illegal gifting of a Confidential state document to his friend? Not a word about that. And it’ll be the same as regards RTE. Coffee and donouts all round in the RTE canteen.

  5. GiggidyGoo

    Oxford vaccine error in dose let to 90% success rate (reported today). Yesterday it was reported at 70% I suppose the others at +95% were getting too far ahead, so they needed a story of wonder and amazement to try keep in the loop.
    And the vaccine makers look for exemption from civil liability if their vaccines cause sickness or death. Instills real confidence alright.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      or, alternatively, we could be humbled and in awe at what’s been an extraordinary scientific accomplishment

        1. Charger Salmons

          It’s a tough choice.
          Do I ignore the concerted efforts of some of the world’s greatest scientific minds who’ve collaborated to produce an escape route from a modern pandemic in record time.
          Or take heed of some bozo with a theory on the internet instead.

          1. Brother Barnabas

            the ones that have been banned warrant special attention (ask yourself: banned? why? yeah, but what’s the real reason? what are *they* trying to keep secret?). special attention also warranted for those that have been dismissed and/or ridiculed by actual experts (what are they so afraid of?) and those that dont actually have any basic education, qualification or experience in the area (you see an IT project manager, I see a free-thinking maverick not bound by institutionalised groupthink)

          2. Junkface

            What do these “Scientists” know anyway? I’ve seen watched CSI New York, Independence day and many episodes of Columbo. I’ll figure this out on the internet!

      1. SOQ

        Well I am still unsure what the extraordinary scientific accomplishment actually is?

        We are told these are vaccines for CoVid-19 except CoVid-19 is a disease- or if you prefer a set of symptoms- it is not a virus. Am I right in assuming that they are to prevent CoVid-19 symptoms but not SARS-CoV-2 infections?

        If that is the case then SARS-CoV-2 is just going to keep flying around until enough people are naturally immune and it runs out of hosts.

        1. george

          They’ve developed brand new types of vaccine technologies that may be the basis for future vaccines that prevent types of cancers caused by viruses but sure tumors are just symptoms.

        2. Cian

          you are scraping the barrel if you are reduced to arguing about what lay people are calling covid-19.

          You know, in In the same way that we get a “flu vaccine” which (this year) is a vaccine against
          – A/Guangdong-Maonan/SWL1536/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
          – A/Hong Kong/2671/2019 (H3N2)-like virus
          – B/Washington/02/2019 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus
          – B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata lineage)-like virus

          But we all just call it the flu vaccine.

          1. SOQ

            Who likens this to HIV and AIDS..

            HIV is a virus but AIDS is a disease.

            Now if they came out with a vaccine for AIDS- meaning to prevent the disease from progressing- that will not inoculate you from catching HIV?

          1. Charger Salmons

            The words ” could ” and ” might ” always do a lot of heavy lifting in these Project Fear stories.

            Heh,heh,heh.

        1. V AKA Frilly Keane

          Hardly worth the gloat Charage
          Since I’m a Sasanach anyway

          Ya moron

          Last day or so
          The Charage discharage has been noticeably weak
          Anyone else notice?

          Makes me think that this is another shared login

  6. alickdouglas

    E’Matty asked for some clarifications on the publicised vaccine efficacy rates for Pfizer, Moderna and Astra. I didn’t have time yesterday, so since its front page news today for Astra, I thought to add some clarifications here.
    The mathematical calculation of efficacy is, in isolation, pretty simple. The equation is ([risk among placebos] minus [risk among vaccinees]) all divided by risk among placebos. If you fill in Pfizer’s initial numbers, that’s (86 – 8) / 86 = 90.7%.
    I think it’s worth dwelling on where the 86 and the 8 come from, because this is where things get tricky, and somewhat controversial. What Pfizer specified as their first data analysis (first interim), was that they would run the trial (blind, i.e. without knowing who got what treatment) until 96 cases of COVID had been reported among all trial participants that had had two doses of vaccine or placebo, and had completed at least 7 days on the trial after dose 2. They would then look at the proportion of vaccinees vs. the proportion of placebo recipients in that 96. They report that there were 86 placebo recipients and 8 vaccinees who were diagnosed with COVID. In direct response to a point raised by E’Matty, note that what we’re comparing here is ‘vaccinees’ vs ‘non vaccinees’. Since the subjects are randomized, we assume that all other characteristics are evenly matched between groups. The ‘efficacy’ is therefore a measure *only* of the impact of the vaccine, and the likelihood that it is *non-inferior* to no intervention.
    The purpose of interim analyses is usually futility testing; you want to make sure that your intervention is doing something. It is very irregular that a sponsor highlight a blinded analysis in a press release. To Astra’s credit, I think their data sharing is based on a planned analysis that was intended by design to be made public. Nevertheless, the numbers are the numbers. Both Pfizer and Moderna plan their first data filing to the FDA with a higher number of cases than highlighted so far, closer to 200. Predicting what those analyses might show is a little bit silly, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the % changed a bit as the proportionality of cases between groups changes.
    All the trials are going to use some sort of variation of the simple equation highlighted above to deliver % results, although with statistical controls and corrections, and appropriate statistical tools for comparison (important to note that statistical methods, tools and data management are inspected to a mind boggling extent by the licensing authorities). I don’t recall the number of cases that FDA specified for the primary efficacy evaluation, it’s something like 200 cases.
    There are two other points I think worthy of highlight. First is the time of analysis, and second is the definition of disease. All the analyses we’ve seen published to date are indications of what the vaccine is capable of doing soon after dose 2. We have no data to date on capability to protect later, nor do we have indication on capability of a single dose (other than Astra’s utterly bizarre error that shows a half dose prime capability). Regarding definition of disease, it’s worth looking at the study protocols. The definition of disease is broadly similar, but differs in important details. Each of Pfizer, Moderna, Astra and the others have different definitions. In itself this isn’t necessarily better or worse, but it does limit comparability between the candidates since they are measured with different impact. Also of note, Pfizer and Moderna are principally looking at clinical symptoms with their protocol. Astra (and others) have measures in later analyses that will evaluate impact on a wide range of viral, antibody and t-cell measures, as well as a wide range of other definitions of COVID (severe, mild, complicated etc.).

    1. SOQ

      alick if you wouldn’t mind clarifying this for me as I am somewhat confused.

      We are told these are vaccines for CoVid-19 except CoVid-19 is a disease- or if you prefer a set of symptoms- it is not a virus. Am I right in assuming that they are to prevent CoVid-19 symptoms but not SARS-CoV-2 infections?

      1. Junkface

        Covid 19 is a virus: “Corona virus 2019” why do you say it is not? When people die of covid 19 it is their bodies immune response going into overdrive that kills them, isn’t it? The vaccines are to trick the body’s immune system into responding to the virus, even though it has not been infected by a small dosage of the virus, like traditional vaccines, as it is mRNA technology. Well two of the vaccines.

        1. E'Matty

          I don’t think you are recognising the distinction between the virus (SARS-COVID2) and the disease that it can cause (Covid19). You can contract the virus and never develop the disease. You cannot develop the disease without contracting the virus (obviously).

          “When people die of covid 19 it is their bodies immune response going into overdrive that kills them, isn’t it? ” Yes, you’re correct. The effect is known as a cytokine storm and involves an overreaction from the immune system causing it to attack the bodies organs (e.g. the lungs, brain). Given cytokine storms are the actual issue that the worst Covid 19 patients suffer from, it’s quite frankly amazing that they have not been front and centre in public discussion on the virus and protecting against it. Why is nobody in officialdom asking what is causing these cytokine storms in some and not others, for starters? This alone should be a red flag for people.

      2. alickdouglas

        Sorry missed that earlier. I think I’ve touched on it in another post below, but it bears emphasis.

        What appears in the label and the prescribing information is a function of the endpoints in the phase III trials (to be absolutely clear, some non-Phase III data is sometimes included, but this is usually only years after the initial license). An interesting example is Prevnar-13.

        “Prevenar 13 is used to protect children aged between six weeks and 17 years against invasive disease, pneumonia (infection of the lungs) and acute otitis media (infection of the middle ear) caused by S. pneumoniae.”

        Note how the label focusses on the clinical manifestations (septicaemia, pneumonia and otitis). One of the reasons for this is the difficulty of demonstrating prevention of infection. For example, Prevnar prevents ‘invasive disease’ and so likely prevents the bacteria getting into the bloodstream, but it doesn’t prevent carriage of the bacteria in the nose. I assume that the COVID vaccines will say something like ‘to be used from x to y years of age against respiratory disease due to SARS-COV-2 [perhaps with more specificity]). Again, I find it feasible that the vaccines might prevent viraemia, but with PCR testing as sensitive as it is, I think even a vaccinated person could be shown to be infected even if that were clinically irrelevant.

        Also of note, as more data is generated, labels change. If ‘positive’ data becomes available and is submitted by the sponsor, this can lead to a more generous label (if memory serves, Prevnar-7, the precursor to Prevnar-13 was only vs. Otitis Media in young children). Likewise, if there are undesirable effects, labels can be withdrawn, narrowed, or ‘black boxed’.

    2. Cian

      Just to flag one thing that can happen when using small numbers in these sorts of calculation and how a small change can sometimes seem to have a large effect.

      The original numbers are 86 (unvaccinated) and 8 (vaccinated)
      (86 – 8)/86 = 90.7%

      If they have one more unvaccinated person this changes to
      (87 – 8)/87 = 90.8% (i.e. this is an increase of 0.1%)

      However, if they have one more vaccinated person this changes to
      (86 – 9)/86 = 88.5% (i.e. this is an decrease of 2.2%)

      As they release new figures (e.g. when they hit 200 cases) this might seem like there is a large swing in percentages – but it can be based on a small number of cases. It doesn’t mean the earlier figures were wrong.

    3. E'Matty

      Thanks Alick for the detailed and informative response, as always. You explain very well how they come to ascertain their vaccine efficacy rate but I am still unclear as to whether the efficacy being measured is in infection prevention or disease prevention and its implications? According to Ugur Sahin, the scientist behind the Pfizer vaccine, he seems to indicate that the efficacy rate being promoted by our media was for disease prevention, and not infection prevention, which he hopes will be at least 50%. It seems the Moderna vaccine’s efficacy rate as promoted is also the disease infection rate. If this is the case, can you confirm that this is essentially a measure of the vaccines effectiveness in negating the development of the Covid 19 disease in someone infected by the virus? As per my comment/query yesterday, given we already know that there is at least (and likely much higher as we haven’t tested the whole population so cannot know total infected rates) an 80%+ natural immune system defense to the development of the disease in those infected, this vaccine would provide at most a 10% (for 90% efficacy) or 15% (at 95% efficacy) added increase in protection against the development of the disease? These would in fact likely be even lower given the studies wdo not appear to have included the actual at risk groups (0ver 65, serious underlying conditions) and the very people who in the real world develop Covid 19 when infected by SARS-COVID2 were not included. We already know the general populace outside of these groups have a very high natural immunit to the disease.

      As many of the vulnerable will not be able to receive the vaccine (as we are always told by those arguing for vaccine herd immunity), were the infection efficacy rate to turn out to be quite low, wouldn’t those unvaccinated at risk people still be at risk of contracting the virus, even from someone who has received the vaccine? Indeed, wouldn’t the virus SARS-COVID2 still circulate through the population and even those vacinated could be carriers, albeit likely unwittingly as the enjoy some level of protection forom developing any symptoms i.e. the disease.

      It seems the Astra tests provide more comprehensive and possibly infection related information, though their message in respect of the doses has become quite confused in the media. Indeed, the announcements about all three vaccines are very confused and unclear though this hasn’t stopped people getting exicted at hearing of high efficacy rates, even where they don’t actually know what that means yet for ridding us of this virus.

      1. SOQ

        Yes if by efficacy they mean prevention of the disease then that is a maximum of 15% increase- but that still does not inoculate against the virus- It s all very vague and obtuse.

        And then how is it measured because there is no test for Covid-19, only SARS-CoV-2.

        1. alickdouglas

          OK, I have to be somewhere else, but two clarifications:

          1) the trials compare treatment (vaccine) vs. no treatment (placebo). For Pfizer the disease ratio was 8 cases vs. 86. it is not 15%. I realise what you are talking about is that 80% of people beat off the infection without intervention, but that’s not what the vaccine trials are comparing against; the data suggests that vaccine is markedly better than that (i.e. 8:86 or 90.7%)

          2) Yes you are corrrect there isn’t a ‘test’ for COVID-19, but it’s important to understand that the trials subvert that by ‘defining’ what they mean by COVID-19. Pfizer did this by saying (I’m paraphrasing) ‘if your doctor says you have COVID, you are a case’. Conversely, J&J have a table in their protocol which defines specifically what they mean by a ‘case’. For J&J it’s ‘if you are sick and it meets the criteria in our table, then you have COVID’. I agree it is a little bit round peg into square hole, but it’s very similar to how AIDS is defined (x number of criteria including clinical and virological measures–now defined by international consensus)

      2. alickdouglas

        Very fair point; each measure (‘endpoint’) is specifically defined in the protocol, and this seems to have escaped many of the media commentators. I realise we should be discussing the Astra one, but I have the Pfizer one open, so am referring to that. Their primary objective is:

        “To evaluate the efficacy of prophylactic BNT162b2 against confirmed COVID-19 occurring from 7 days after the second dose in participants without evidence of infection before vaccination”

        (I’m quoting the objective as it’s a bit more easy to read than the endpoint, but they are matched in intent).

        So the Pfizer efficacy of about 95% refers to ‘confirmed COVID-19 occurring from 7 days after the second dose… It does not refer to viral load or anything at all like that. For Pfizer, there are at least 20 endpoints in the protocol looking at impact, either clinical efficacy (impact on disease), or imune response (for Pfizer determined through different types of antibody testing). Thre are also a lot of safety measures. I don’t have the Astra protcol open, but from memory their endpoints are more to my taste, looking at a more tightly defined set of criteria (with more specificity for what they mean by COVID-19 disease). One of the impacts of having more specificly defined endpoints however is that it is feasible that such endpoints would deliver a lower estimate of efficacy as fewer cases of COVID-19 disease would meet the criteria of the protocol.

        When each of these studies is published, the sponsors will highlight the efficacy figures vs. the primary endpoint, but they will (and are obliged to) also provide efficacy estimates against the other endpoints. Typically the primary endpoint is the strictest, and this usually delivers the highest estimate. It’s not necessarily worrying if the secondary and exploratory endpoints deliver lower estimates as the figures have to be interpreted in relation to the definitions.

      3. alickdouglas

        Referring to your points in paragraph 2 and 3:

        I don’t believe any of the Phase III studies will give a robust insight into impact on viral shedding (i.e. the risk that people will remain infectious). Certainly Pfizer has no measures for that in it’s protocol. This likely will take years to tease out. We now know that for example inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) prevents disease but not shedding. There have been recent incidents of laboratory accidents where lab staff who had been infected with IPV were serologically immune, but shed virus after exposure to the pathogen. The mechanism in polio is relatively well understood, mainly because we have 66 years of experience with the vaccine, but the protected/shedding phenomenon was only recognised quite recently. I think there’s a certain degree of optimism/confidence that an efficacious COVID vaccine should control shedding, but the trials that are reading out now aren’t in a position to quantify that (not Pfizer/Moderna anyway). Likely this is something that will have to be explored in Phase IV, post licensure.

        I overall agree with your points in the third para. My own view is that Pfizer and Moderna’s announcements have been entirely unhelpful and uninstructive for public health because they only give a narrow view of vaccine impact on a broadly defined disease soon after dose 2. The media and many of the commentators to date have not been critical enough, and I’ve been thoroughly shocked by how few apparently well-informed commentators have actually read the protocols.

        We need to see a lot more safety data. Furthermore we need to see how the vaccine performs further out from second dose (i.e 6 months and beyond), we need more info on impact on viral load, on different definitions of disease, and a host of other readouts. Ultimately, a vaccine that needs -70 deg is not good enough. UNICEF already has struggles with +2 to 8 deg C and has been driving for room temp for standard vaccines vs. polio, DTP and measles for years.

        1. v AKA Frilly Keane

          Alick
          In fairness you go to tremendous trouble with your posts
          but I have no capacity for absorbing and interpreting science stuff

          if you were getting vaxxed tomorrow
          which one would you get?

          1. alickdouglas

            The short answer from me is that there isn’t even nearly enough data available in the public domain yet to make a decision. Pfizer and Moderna have only released percentages which give a snapshot of their main meausre of interest, impact on clinical disease. Before I consider a vaccine, I want to see the other 20 measures of efficacy too, and not just the percentages.

            As per the rules, these data have to be released before licensure (EMA in Europe do that).

            The data that is out there for Pfizer and Moderna says ‘the vaccine is highly likely to prevent COVID disease for an unspecified time after the second dose’. Nothing else. I am willing to accept on the face of it that the vaccine is probably safe (no serious events reported), but if I am going to take two shots and pay €100 for the privilage, I at least want to know how long it’s likely to work for.

          2. v AKA Frilly Keane

            100 yoyos?

            NWL this morning tweeted
            Oxford Vax £ 2.23 per dose * 2 change from five pounds
            Pfizer £ 30 for the 2 shots, so 15 pounds each

            Are you adding in the GP charge there Alick
            Or Pharmacist mark up

          3. alickdouglas

            Hi V, ok, fair point, I mis-spoke regarding the cash cost, but I live in a socialist country and get the vast majority of my health care costs refunded via insurance anyway so I shouldn’t really have equated value to cash. The point I should have made is that I think that the vaccine needs to make an impact that makes health-economic sense. The wholesale cost of the actual vaccine is only part of the equation. Vaccines are typically good health-economic value because you should only need a few shots for long-term duration. Developers telling us ‘it’s safe and it works at least for a short while, shure ya may as well take it’ isn’t good enough.

          4. v AKA Frilly Keane

            so it might end up having to be like the annual flu shot

            which is what, 20 yoyos in Boots

            or like the old sugar lump, in the local health centre
            for life and for free

            and seriously, thanks, V

          5. SOQ

            Thank you for taking time to explain the technicalities of HIV but I am still at a loss as to why a vaccine against AIDS would prevent a HIV infection?

        2. E'Matty

          Thanks for the information Alick. It’s quite clear from what you say that the excitement created by the media promotion of these 90-95% efficacy rates is seriously premature. It’s apparent we do not yet have any clear information on infection efficacy, which would be key in deciding whether such a vaccine is actually worthwhile, nevermind the numerous other efficacies you make reference to as well. We simply do not have sufficient data to make a sound judgment.

          If it does in fact turn out that they only provide disease prevention efficacy to a similar rate as the natural immune system amongst the general population and we have no studies including the actual group who we know develop the disease in it’s most aggressive form i.e. the over 65s with serious underlying conditions, and if (remains to be seen) people are still potential carriers and spreaders even after vaccination, the actual claimed gain is likely very small and hard to define. It certainly isn’t the silver bullet the media hype would suggest. Such a small gain would have to be taken into consideration and included with any risks of adverse reactions when deciding whether it would be worthwhile, particularly where children are concerned. There is certainly nothing in the information released to date which would indicate these vaccines would have a very significant impact on the Covid numbers. That is not to say that such data may not come out as these studies progress, but to date, it’s simply not there. Wait and see is the order of the day I think.

      1. Charger Salmons

        If you’re Labour and you trail the Tories by 162 seats in Parliament any lead, no matter how small, in a couple of opinion polls constitutes a surge.
        But you’re right.Everything is relative.

  7. Johnny

    -the Hamptons and Berkshires has seen a mini boom in small scale farming,funded by CSA’s.

    This method which is only now use in Irl on one farm is the future for small organic farming.

    “Community Supported Agriculture consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. ”

    https://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/community-supported-agriculture

    so for Christmas buy a weekly box of fresh organic vegetables,help fund a farmer.

    this is a fantastic way for small farmers to fund their operations and should be encouraged.

    https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2020/1119/1179140-new-leaf-urban-farmers-launches-beyond-organic-veg-box/

      1. johnny

        NA-its the future-subscription economy,you agree buy a box veg weekly,some do delivery or you pick up,on some you pick your own,its great.
        -we also have lots community gardens/allotments but Sagaponack is the most expensive zip code in states,so yeah lots really,really nice looking farms and farmers funded by boring obnoxious rich hedge fund chaps….

        slightly dated but just a example,its early jayzus V just grabbing coffee:)

        -The wife of noted hedge-fund tycoon Greg Lippmann — the shrewd investor played by Ryan Gosling in “The Big Short” — wants to build a fence around the couple’s 34-acre estate, claiming that she’s starting an organic farm.But neighbors in this pricey Hamptons hamlet aren’t having it, and questioned her farming credentials at a contentious town hall hearing on Monday.-

        https://nypost.com/2018/08/13/hedgie-couple-has-hamptons-neighbors-fuming-over-proposed-fence/

        1. v AKA Frilly Keane

          Hardly the kinda neighbours who would appreciate a slurry spreader rolling out first thing o((>ω< ))o

          anyway, there, on calling yourself a farmer

          I have just asked a Tipp lad there now, who gives his occupation as Farmer (dairy & beef)
          to define what makes him a farmer
          (he originally qualified as a Solicitor and practiced with his brother for a while)

          He says even though you get the land from family, and there's thousands moving in and out of your accounts, you're still always broke

          That kinda resolves that for the good and great of Sagaponack as they object to the girl's fencing

          Best bet is for her to state she is a part-time Farmer or a Farm Owner, who engages a full time Farm Manager
          Not that I really give a poo

  8. Charger Salmons

    Some of my loyal readers may remember this from yesterday.

    ‘ Here’s a wonderful picture from the north of Scotland by a professional photographer showing the raw beauty and natural phenomenon on display.

    https://twitter.com/OllieTPhoto

    And here’s the response from the pompous jackass who leads the SNP in Westminster.

    https://twitter.com/Ianblackford_MP/status/1330918524093665280

    What a miserable cretin. ‘

    https://twitter.com/RobDotHutton/status/1330932175336853504

    Well after a few hours of being roundly abused by all parties it seems even the Lard of the Isles has realised what a complete tosser he has been and withdrawn his tweet. What a tool.

    https://twitter.com/AgentP22/status/1331141839882227713

  9. Dr.Fart

    anyone find it a bit unsettling that once Pfizer announced having a vaccine, that loads of other companies said they also do, and now they’re all suddenly available at once? I think egotistical governments are rushing theirs through because they want to be known as the country who saved the world.

    1. alickdouglas

      While I agree that’s what it looks like, I think what’s happening is more commercial rivalry. Pfizer is a company that has a reputation for being first out of the blocks and dominating the markets they operate in. They only have one vaccine worth speaking of really, Prevnar, and it has no real competition because Pfizer dominated in science communication, marketing and ‘life cycle management’ (listening to the market and adapting their product to fit pediatricians desires). Moderna’s reputation is of a company trying to shake up the vaccine business with new technology. They have invested serious cash in their COVID program (or one might say, invested other peoples cash). Astra is a peculiar marriage of the academic driven Oxford group and the Astra behemoth. While they are a big player in the trad pharma market have no experience in vaccines. I think what we are witnessing is Astra mis-judging that the competition, and rushing to catch up. I suspect that other big players like GSK/Sanofi and J&J are happy to let these lads fight it out in the early stages. I don’t really think that the governments have much role here; Pfizer have done everything they can to distance themselves from the US Govt.

  10. v AKA Frilly Keane

    A hectic few days’ on the ‘Sheet

    some new divisions appearing
    along the strangest of lines
    not my scene, I don’t like it, and there’s a smell of a former hero of yere’s off some of them
    which give me the shivers if I’m being honest

    But look lets forget all that
    and forget the messing around what hugs you’re allowed
    or the type of hug that is effective
    even the burly ones

    tonight is the Bake Off Final
    so best behaviour
    and Hollywood Hugs for ye all

    xV

      1. V AKA Frilly Keane

        Recipe + Pics
        Or it didn’t happen

        Meanwhile
        I’ve a tray of triple (dark btw) choc + hazelnut brownies
        Gooing away there in the oven
        The aroma here now
        I tell ya
        WikiWonka stuff
        You’d put on a kilo just by the whiff off that oven

        Work in progress Pics tacked onto to tweeter link for this thread btw

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