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ru848789 last won the day on March 26

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About ru848789

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  1. As expected, the CDC greatly relaxed masking requirements for fully vaccinated people. This has been coming for awhile, which is why I've had so much confidence in full stadiums without masks by mid-summer, for example. Nice to see. "Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing," said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD. "We have all longed for this moment." She said that "based on the continuing downward trajectory of cases, the scientific data on the performance of our vaccines, and our under
  2. Loved this perspective on it from Nate Silver, which I had posted elsewhere... Governor DeWine of Ohio has put together an interesting approach to incentivize vaccinations, by putting up $1MM to be given out once a week for the next 5 weeks to eligible participants who have received at least one vaccine dose. On one hand, it's sad that we have to incentivize the use of extraordinarily safe and effective vaccines, which hugely reduce risks of death and severe disease from COVID, but on the other hand, the reality is a decent segment of the population does not understand science and
  3. Good news: the FDA just authorized the Pfizer mRNA vaccine for use in adolescents from 12-15, citing its excellent safety profile and very strong efficacy in the clinical trial in this age group. In the 2261 children enrolled in the phase III trial, no serious side effects were observed and all 18 positive COVID cases were in the placebo group, with none in the vaccinated group, for an efficacy of 100%. Keep in mind, however, that these trials were about 1/10th the size of the trials in adults, meaning it wasn't powered statistically to see as many cases in vaccinated children, so
  4. Not really. As per the tweet thread below from the Gupta group at Cambridge (and the preprint paper from this group), the Indian variant, B.1.167 is very unlikely to escape our vaccines, just like all the other variants so far. Sure there is a theoretical chance of a vaccine-eluding variant, but we're not that close to one yet - but it is why full global vaccination can't come fast enough, as reducing transmissions to very low levels is the best way to prevent probabilistic antigenic drift of the virus towards any vaccine-eluding variant. With regard to the other major variants
  5. Great article (1st link) in the Atlantic on how getting the rest of the US vaccinated is moving towards a much more customer-focused approach, vs. the current mass vaccination approach, as many of those who haven't been vaccinated either don't want to or cite barriers to getting vaccines, plus the 2nd link is to how the Biden Administration is working to help overcome some of the resistance and barriers. Finally, the 3rd link is from Derek Lowe's blog on the recent decision by the Biden Administration to waive vaccine intellectual property rights in an attempt to encourage greater production o
  6. The Pandemic Endgame... I'm sure most of you saw yesterday's announcement from NJ/NY/CT about significant relaxation of COVID restrictions and maybe some of you are wondering if it's "too soon" as we've seen in other states. IMO, that's a hard no, as we're now entering the endgame phase of the pandemic in our area (and in much of the US) and full reopening should occur by mid-summer (late June/early July?), as long as we don't see a major reversal in vaccination rates (we've seen a bit of a decline, but we're still making good progress) or some vaccine-eluding variant, which is ver
  7. Really great article in the Times on every step in the production process of the Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA vaccine, including some fantastic embedded video clips of a number of the key steps. If you read the part about 2/3 of the way into the article, called, "Assemble the mRNA vaccine," you'll see the kind of chemical processing I did for many years at Merck, with similar processing technologies (high flow nano-mixing of different ingredients to achieve a targeted suite of product attributes, albeit for different products) to what they use to effect encapsulation of the mRNA vaccines in lipid nano
  8. Do yourselves a favor and get the vaccine, as it's the only protection against the virus. Vitamins certainly can't hurt and might even help one's immune system a little bit, despite no clinical evidence to date of such protective effects, but even if they're helpful, it's a marginal effect at best, whereas the vaccines offer 90+% reduction in the likelihood of getting a COVID infection, but far more importantly, they offer essentially a 100% reduction in the chances of getting severe COVID (and death). Here's the way I've been phrasing it, which seems to have convinced some peop
  9. Fair point to question the comparisons, as India is likely testing less than we did by last summer, although during the exponential growth phase of the pandemic in March in NY/NJ, especially, with little testing available, we were seeing positivity rates around 50% for weeks, indicating that the case numbers we were seeing were likely 3-4X the reported numbers, which is why the 2nd wave we had this past winter was actually far less severe than what we had last spring, as hospitalizations were actually 2X freater in spring vs. winter (and hospitalizations are a much better measure of the pandem
  10. The COVID tragedy unfolding in India is heartbreaking. They've now surpassed the US record for cases in a day with over 350K (US record was 300K, although our max cases per capita were still 3X theirs, given India has 4X our population) and are over 3000 deaths per day and will likely reach 6000/day (which would be bad, but still only about half of our worst peak per capita) or more in the next 2 weeks, as deaths lag cases by 2-3 weeks. The worst part of this, like most other big COVID waves, is that much of it was preventable. India had been doing a good job of distancing/masking,
  11. Agree with these guys on keeping this topic open. With COVID certainly winding down in the US over the next 2-3 months and everything reopening by mid-summer, assuming we get 70+% adults vaccinated (which I think we will) and there being enough other infected/immune folks to get us to 80-90% of adults being immune (which is herd immunity at least for adults), and reach Dr. Fauci's goal of <10K cases per day (which I think we will as Israel is already there and we're 6-8 weeks behind them in vaccinations), the traffic in this thread will likely go way down (it already is much lower than it
  12. In light of recent comments by Fauci/CDC about potentially relaxing masking requirements outdoors, especially for those vaccinated, I think a short history lesson is warranted for those who inevitably will criticize scientists as being too late on this or having been inconsistent earlier on. Such revisionist history is annoying to observe and I've seen a bunch of it already, elsewhere. https://www.foxnews.com/health/fauci-outdoor-covid-transmission-low-updated-mask-guidance Like most things COVID, I've posted on this many times, but let's recap. When the pandemic struck
  13. 𝐋𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐬 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐰𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐧 𝐞𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐯𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐚... Maybe slightly "off-topic" for this thread, but this is an incredible breakthrough by researchers at Oxford in the UK, the KEMRI Wellcome Trust in Kenya, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Novavax, the Serum Institute of India, and the Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Sante in Nanoro, Burkina Faso (which has a very high malaria burden). The vaccine was shown to be about 77% effective in preventing malaria infections in infants and toddlers in a medium sized phase III trial in Burkina Faso
  14. 𝐂𝐃𝐂 𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐮𝐧𝐩𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐉&𝐉 𝐯𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐧𝐨 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 (𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐫𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐥𝐨𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐞𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐜𝐭). As expected, the CDC made the recommendation after its panel met today and voted on it. The pause was the right thing to do, as serious side effects, even rare ones, need to be taken seriously and investigated, as this one was, but there is zero doubt that a 1-2 in 1MM risk of blood clots (mainly in women under 50 - they did recommend including a warning for that group) pales in comparison to the incredible benefit of eliminating a roughly 100-10,000 in 1MM risk
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