NWR new zero tolerance covid thread

Not sure about the nobody really knows comment. Israel gained priority access to the vaccines in the first place because it agreed to share data from the program. That data is now showing pretty clearly that vaccine effectiveness drops meaningfully about 8 months post the 2nd jab. Hence, the problems in Israel compared to here since most people here still have a few months until they hit that 8 month point. That finding is what is driving western countries this week to announce booster programmes to be administered in q3/4. The UK data also released this week still showed strong protection from the vaccines vs delta which is the most important point. Net, net, if boosters maintain that level of protection we should avoid the Israeli situation.

Good news on the effectiveness.
It was for me slightly disappointing the latest data suggested the viral load and transmissibility wasn’t as we hoped.
Previous reports on the alpha / beta variants suggested 30-50% less chance of even passing it on and often with lesser viral loads.

The report suggests it makes little difference, though I’ve only briefly read headlines rather than look fully at the numbers. This is a slight blow to the ability to drive down numbers by a very highly vaccinated population.

Version 2 and 3 of the vaccines I remain hopeful for, though the last AZ tweak I saw getting tested / produced was to help counter the Beta version. I fear things have already moved on and they need to be ahead of the game.

One good bit of news I did see was a very early trial on a vaccine that should work against ANY coronavirus but let’s see how that goes.
 
Not sure about the nobody really knows comment.
I used that phrase, because it is currently a unique situation. Obviously behaviour is also going to influence the number of cases. I agree that the scenario you describe seems to be the likely situation, but there is a lot that remains to be learned about the waning of immunity from different vaccines and vaccination intervals. We simply don't have enough experience yet, though it is beginning to emmerge.
 
Version 2 and 3 of the vaccines I remain hopeful for, though the last AZ tweak I saw getting tested / produced was to help counter the Beta version. I fear things have already moved on and they need to be ahead of the game.
Yeah, whatever happened to the idea that we could get out vaccine tweaked for a new variant within a 2(?) weeks? I always thought is sounded optimistic, but it depends what exactly that 2 weeks covers - maybe just the research aspect? Nevertheless I had hoped that by now we would have been for some weeks putting vaccine targetted on the delta variant into people's arms.
 
Yeah, whatever happened to the idea that we could get out vaccine tweaked for a new variant within a 2(?) weeks? I always thought is sounded optimistic, but it depends what exactly that 2 weeks covers - maybe just the research aspect? Nevertheless I had hoped that by now we would have been for some weeks putting vaccine targetted on the delta variant into people's arms.
Was that mRNA vaccine, or traditional?
 
I think, both but mRNA is easier - and cannot remember the precise times that were claimed.

Vaccines recently used in the UK have in any case been mainly Pfizer
From memory they can produce a tweaked vaccine in under two weeks. Production takes time as a batch typically took around 100 days which they already have reduced to around 60 days. There was talk of creating a huge library of vaccines based on COVID variant DNA, they could pull from the shelf and ramp up production quickly. This is part of the Darlington facility and the Uk production which was due to be up and running mid - late summer.

I need to find the article and look up latest news on versions and testing.
 
From memory they can produce a tweaked vaccine in under two weeks. Production takes time as a batch typically took around 100 days which they already have reduced to around 60 days
So by "produce a tweaked vaccine" you mean develop in the lab presumably? And test in the lab too? And must it undergo clinical trials?

Sorry - lots of questions - I don't expect you to answer them all. I'm just wondering to myself if the time to get a vaccine out explains why we don't have one targetted at delta. Or did we just consider that the one we had was good enough.
 
So by "produce a tweaked vaccine" you mean develop in the lab presumably? And test in the lab too? And must it undergo clinical trials?

Sorry - lots of questions - I don't expect you to answer them all. I'm just wondering to myself if the time to get a vaccine out explains why we don't have one targetted at delta. Or did we just consider that the one we had was good enough.
No clinical trials as it’s a modification not a brand new drug. So theoretically it can be done and out to manufacturing in 2 weeks.
 
No clinical trials as it’s a modification not a brand new drug. So theoretically it can be done and out to manufacturing in 2 weeks.
So allowing (say) a couple of months to manufacture batches, we could have been rolling out a delta-targetted vaccine by now. I think it was clear delta would be a problem before mid-June wasn't it?
 
Definitely worth reading...

It says the jury is out, covid infection may give one a broader kind of protection as it's not just focused on the spike, but that: "There is clear evidence that adults who have not had any vaccine dose will have stronger immune defences if they do get vaccinated, even if they have caught Covid before."
 
Definitely worth reading...

I am not saying what weight it should be given, but in addition to the points made in the article, in a longer term cost-benefit analysis, after things have settled down a bit, we should also consider the costs of a succession of minor illnesses, both in terms of human discomfort/suffering and days off work.

Several years before I reached the age where I got a free flu vaccine, after a bout of flu that lasted a few weeks, I decided it was worth a tenner a year to help prevent reoccurrence.

With colds it would be a close-run thing for me if a vaccine were available. Most years I would get at least one cold that lasted over a week, and for a few days made me thoroughly miserable (mainly congestion in sinuses I think), causing me to work a lot less effectively.
 
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So allowing (say) a couple of months to manufacture batches, we could have been rolling out a delta-targetted vaccine by now. I think it was clear delta would be a problem before mid-June wasn't it?
Yes about 3 months from start to the first batch getting injected. (I believe they have very limited trials while production occurs) The latest article I saw the other day suggested that given variants move so quickly that actually by the time it was produced then rolled out we would be looking at the next variant.

I guess it’s the same as flu seasons, in that they produce the northern hemisphere vaccine based on what the Southern Hemisphere has had. The vaccines are very strain specific hence they need to monitor and change the vaccines every year.
There is research into a broader vaccine and universal vaccine but I’ve not read much at all on this area.

This leads back to COVID specific strains and the fact that previous natural infection may not work so well or protect you for a developing or future strain, just like the vaccines, though so far they are doing a good job. It could be once COVID settles then they will have yearly or biennial versions, like flu vaccinations, but I don’t know.
A universal covid vaccine may well be the next big step.
 
The latest article I saw the other day suggested that given variants move so quickly that actually by the time it was produced then rolled out we would be looking at the next variant.
In general that could well be the case, but when the strain is particularly infectious (like delta) it is likely to stay dominant - until one even more infectious comes along.

I suppose another reason for not targeting delta is that the immunity it confers to those infected by it might offer protection against the more deadly beta variant.
 
In general that could well be the case, but when the strain is particularly infectious (like delta) it is likely to stay dominant - until one even more infectious comes along.

I suppose another reason for not targeting delta is that the immunity it confers to those infected by it might offer protection against the more deadly beta variant.
Steve,

Do we know that the Beta variant is “more deadly”?
 
Steve,

Do we know that the Beta variant is “more deadly”?
Yeah, I think so. That is, I am sure I read it or heard it somewhere, but didn't check the evidence. If you get infected with beta the consequences are more serious than alpha or delta, but the good news is that it is less infectious than delta.

Edit: Actually the point I heard was that the vaccines we have been given protect us against the more serious consequences of catching alpha and delta, but are a lot less effective against beta. So it is more about our vaccine protection, rather than the beta variant per se.
 
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"numbers of people admitted to hospital or dying are also higher than this time last year".

But we may be 'nearing the "endemic equilibrium" - the point where cases are neither increasing nor falling.'
 
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But we may be 'nearing the "endemic equilibrium" - the point where cases are neither increasing nor falling.'
It's a rather difficult article to unpick IMO.

The bit you quoted comes from an expert who was interviewed, but the same expert is also reported to have said:
"Pretty much everybody was predicting that cases would rocket and they fell.
They sort of levelled off but are drifting up again and they're drifting up in summer when viruses spread less readily."
Which implies to me he is expecting a large increase soon, rather than equilibrium.

In context what he meant might have been clear, but the article could have explained better.
 
Yeah, I think so. That is, I am sure I read it or heard it somewhere, but didn't check the evidence. If you get infected with beta the consequences are more serious than alpha or delta, but the good news is that it is less infectious than delta.

Edit: Actually the point I heard was that the vaccines we have been given protect us against the more serious consequences of catching alpha and delta, but are a lot less effective against beta. So it is more about our vaccine protection, rather than the beta variant per se.
Yeah, I thought that they were all about as “deadly” as each other, just not as good at spreading as delta, hence delta seems to become the dominant variant wherever it goes.

It‘s all a bit counterintuitive, as the layman’s explanation is that there is a sort of inverse relationship between the two ie. as the virus mutates towards spreading better it tends towards becoming less “deadly”. It seems that as in many things a shorthand explanation is a useful communication model but inevitably misses some important details that can make a big difference. I did read somewhere that delta was a sort of “perfect storm” which led to it being at least as deadly as previous variants yet be an excellent spreader. The spreading ability we can take as a certainty based upon evidence from all around the world, I just wasn’t sure about what the current thinking was on its “deadliness”.
 
Well, after thinking that I had finally shaken off long Covid at the end of May, I'm now thinking that my celebrations were premature. My senses of taste and smell are definitely still compromised, I'm having to have a post-lunch lie down most days and my domestic auto-pilot is going haywire again. And, bizarrely, I seem to be experiencing phantom odours for the first time - I keep getting wafts of asparagus-pee smell without a spear having been consumed. It's now eight months since my infection...
 
Well, after thinking that I had finally shaken off long Covid at the end of May, I'm now thinking that my celebrations were premature. My senses of taste and smell are definitely still compromised, I'm having to have a post-lunch lie down most days and my domestic auto-pilot is going haywire again. And, bizarrely, I seem to be experiencing phantom odours for the first time - I keep getting wafts of asparagus-pee smell without a spear having been consumed. It's now eight months since my infection...
Frustrating! All you can do is live healthily and drink cheap wine for a while longer.
 
Well, after thinking that I had finally shaken off long Covid at the end of May, I'm now thinking that my celebrations were premature. My senses of taste and smell are definitely still compromised, I'm having to have a post-lunch lie down most days and my domestic auto-pilot is going haywire again. And, bizarrely, I seem to be experiencing phantom odours for the first time - I keep getting wafts of asparagus-pee smell without a spear having been consumed. It's now eight months since my infection...

Geordie, it seems that many people who experience parosmia & phantosmia do so months after Covid for some reason. It's supposedly part of the healing process of the olfactory nerve, but extremely frustrating (I had a very minor case which didn't last long but it was concerning at the time so I feel for you).

Have you tried smell training? You can buy kits online (cheaper on Ebay I found), and it's supposed to help. My smell/taste issues didn't last long - I took a concoction of multivits, Vitamin C, turmeric, bromelain, quercetin, probiotics and lion's mane mushroom (on your advice for the brain fog!). I also drank lemon & ginger tea as well as green tea (because coffee smelt & tasted foul to me for a while). I can't really say if any of them worked other than the fact that I got better, but I may have done without them too.

The only other thing I read online during my search for help was that ivermectin has helped people to cure both long Covid and smell & taste issues - within a short period of time too. I didn't try it so can't vouch for it personally but if you get desperate it might be worth giving it a go.
 
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Also now being trialled by Oxford University after some promising small studies:


"Ivermectin is readily available globally, has been in wide use for many other infectious conditions so it’s a well-known medicine with a good safety profile, and because of the early promising results in some studies it is already being widely used to treat COVID-19 in several countries. By including ivermectin in a large-scale trial like PRINCIPLE, we hope to generate robust evidence to determine how effective the treatment is against COVID-19, and whether there are benefits or harms associated with its use."
 
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