COVID-19/Coronavirus Discussion Thread (see OP for useful links)

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Joey D

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The FDA will meet on October 14th and 15th to discuss Moderna and J&J booster shots. Pfizer vaccines for 5-11 year olds, will be on the 26th.

In medication news, AstraZeneca will be looking for approval for its drug that prevents COVID and isn't a vaccine. Instead, it's an antibody prophylaxis. I mean I guess whatever you need to do to get people who outright refuse vaccines some protections. It's going to be wild though to see people flock to this but at the same time refuse vaccines. Hopefully, this is some big brain play from AZ.

Here's some more information on the drug @HenrySwanson posted about from Merck. Can we just take a second and appreciate that it is named after Mjolnir?
 
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It would be if it happened...but just how likely is that?
Yeah, I would think they would still look at this as a government pushed treatment under a Democratic administration which should be avoided at all costs.
 

Danoff

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So I've received my first Pfizer vaccination. Apart from a mild pain in my arm, which is consistent with every other vaccination I have received, I haven't experienced any side effects.

Unfortunately, one of my close friends is opposed to the vaccine. While I can ignore the anti-vaccine noise online, albeit begrudgingly, hearing it from my close friends is especially punishing. I noted hearing them say that they didn't want to take an 'experimental drug' & that people should be free to choose for themselves.

Thanks to a helpful description courtesy of Famine I saw while reading this thread I know how a vaccine is different from a drug. However, I'm thinking how best to communicate to this person that the vaccine is not experimental. I know their greatest hesitation is due to supposed unknown long term side effects.
 

Touring Mars

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My best argument when it comes to the long term side effects is that the same can be said of the virus itself, and with governments and populations across the world abandoning elimination strategies (or never even trying such a strategy in the first place), the net result is that most people are going to end up getting the virus sooner or later, so overly worrying about what the vaccine(s) might do seems odd when the virus itself poses much more substantial risks.

Last week a 15 y.o. girl here in the UK died just days after testing positive for COVID and sadly in the same week as she was due to receive her first vaccination shot. She died primarily as a result of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart that has been widely cited as a risk factor for vaccines. What most anti-vaxxers fail to understand or acknowledge is that the virus causes myocarditis in susceptible people, even young people, too - but while a vaccine is a controlled dose of a carefully designed and tested biological entity (that is the culmination of years of research into coronaviruses and related vaccines) administered in a controlled manner in a specific timescale, the virus itself is completely uncontrolled. Vaccines are designed to intentionally elicit a controlled reaction from the immune system, but alas that is not entirely risk free - but it is considerably less risky than the uncontrolled reaction of a random dose of the virus that can and does easily produce terrible effects that can and does kill orders of magnitude more people per instance than any of the approved vaccines.

A senior academic friend of mine is vehemently opposed to vaccinating young people, and I must admit that his views (and his frequent public repetition of them on social media) has damaged my view of him. That said, there is a legitimate debate about who should receive the vaccine, and I don't equate his views to those of anti-vaxxers who are opposed to the vaccine for everyone for reasons that are largely ideological, political, or just because they are contrarians looking for something upon which to grind their axe. But even my friend seems to largely ignore the fact that there is still a whole lot about the long term effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection in young people that we know very little to nothing about, hence I find it very odd that he speaks as if he knows that SARS-CoV-2 infection is 'harmless in the vast majority of children' while also arguing that vaccines should not be deployed in younger people because 'we don't know the long term effects'...
 
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Unfortunately, half of my school friends are opposed to getting the vaccine/vaccine hesitant. I was talking to my best friend about it, and he said that one of our friends is particularly against it - something about him not wanting to be "forced" to get it, for some reason.

Anyway, luckily the premier of the state they live in (Victoria) has mandated vaccines for a wide range of jobs, which means it's only a matter of time before they have to get it.

Hopefully that means I'll get to avoid any awkward conversations about the vaccines with them. I'd also hate to not be able to meet them when I go back to Victoria for the Christmas holidays. My dad is in the at-risk category, and I'm not willing to take any risks when I'm back home.
 

Danoff

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while also arguing that vaccines should not be deployed in younger people because 'we don't know the long term effects'...
Is there any merit at all to that argument? Are vaccines known to have long term side effects?

It looks like the ancient smallpox vaccine was "dangerous", at least more dangerous than modern vaccines. But still statistically quite safe.

cbsnews.com/news/the-most-dangerous-vaccine/
It could protect Americans from the unthinkable destruction of a smallpox attack. But the vaccine has a dark side.

"We know if we immunize a million people, that there will be 15 people that will suffer severe, permanent adverse outcomes and one person who may die from the vaccine," says Dr. Paul Offit, one of the country's top infectious disease specialists, and he knows all about vaccines that prevent those diseases. In his lab at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, he studies and creates new vaccines. There's nothing new about the smallpox vaccine.

The vaccine was created in 1796. The vaccine used today is essentially the same, Offit says. "We tend to think of vaccines as being very safe and every effective, which they are. But all the vaccines that we use today are the result of modern technology. That's not true of the smallpox vaccine. It has a side effect profile that we, we would not accept for vaccines today," he says.

The smallpox vaccine is made from a weak biological cousin of the smallpox virus. When you get vaccinated with the weaker virus, you become immune to the smallpox virus.

But once in a while, the vaccine does more harm than good. If you scratch where the smallpox is at the surface, and you put it to the eye, you can transfer the smallpox to your eye. That occurs in about 500 people for every million that get the vaccine. If you get "progressive vaccinia," your immune system is compromised. The virus just continues to grow and grow, and is often the cause of death.

No one is certain how many people will be hurt by the vaccine. A 1969 study found that, out of every one million people vaccinated, 74 will suffer serious complications, and at least one will die.

These side effects were never a secret, but they were rarely discussed, when the law required every child to get a smallpox vaccination before starting school.
 
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Joey D

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Looks like it's the 26th.
Ah, I didn't see that at first, updated the initial post.
Is there any merit at all to that argument? Are vaccines known to have long term side effects?
It's very rare for vaccines to have long-term side effects and if they do, the side effects typically show up within two months. I think if there were any lingering side effects from the COVID vaccines, we'd certainly know by now since it's been nearly a year since the first doses were administered.
 

Danoff

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It's very rare for vaccines to have long-term side effects and if they do, the side effects typically show up within two months. I think if there were any lingering side effects from the COVID vaccines, we'd certainly know by now since it's been nearly a year since the first doses were administered.
Yea, I guess that's a pretty important distinction - when do the long term effects show up. You can tell I don't work in this field. So basically there is no merit whatsoever to the argument that "vaccines should not be deployed in younger people because 'we don't know the long term effects'..." because basically we do.

Also, from your link there, I'd say that long term effects basically don't exist. Statistically speaking, the chances are extremely low. Much lower than the same risk for the same event posed by the virus itself. So there is again no merit to "we don't know the long term effects". Because vaccines, even the most dangerous, don't seem to have a real downside. I know that's not technically accurate, 1 in 2.4 million oral polio vaccine recipients (no longer administered in the US) were paralyzed (from your link). But practically speaking, it's negligible.
 
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Blitz24

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Well, that sounds horrible. :P
He forgot the long term effect of death* (which was intentional as he's trying to avoid that strawman being used).

*I always found it strange how medicines list a "side effect" as death. If that is a side effect, I probably don't need to worry about the others as they will be irrelevant. Death is a MAIN effect!
 

Joey D

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So basically there is no merit whatsoever to the argument that "vaccines should not be deployed in younger people because 'we don't know the long term effects'..." because basically we do.
Pretty much and I'm in 100% agreement with this. We have more than a year's worth of data for people in the 12+ group and we have something like 6-8 months of data on the >11 group. I still think it's tragic that kids under 12 won't be fully vaccinated before Thanksgiving and depending on what the CDC/FDA comes up with, it might not even happen until Xmas or later. That's a whole lot of COVID spreading for no reason and while the kid will most likely be fine, their grandparents might not be so lucky.

Also, from your link there, I'd say that long term effects basically don't exist.
More or less, but they still have to report them as "existing" even if the chance of a long-term effect is so minuscule that it doesn't even register. For all we know the people who had adverse, long-term reactions could've all had an underlying condition or even been genetically predisposed to have issues. Unfortunately, the media latches onto one in a million chance, then one thing leads to another and you're crazy Aunt Karen is posting some BS on Facebook that she got from a reputable source that says vaccines will turn you into a gay communist zombie with swollen testicles.
 
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I always found it strange how medicines list a "side effect" as death. If that is a side effect, I probably don't need to worry about the others as they will be irrelevant. Death is a MAIN effect!
Robin Williams had a bit about drug effects; I seem to recall the anal leakage unpleasantness associated with excessive consumption of the fat substitute olestra was one of them.

The one that perplexes me is "may increase risk of hospitalization." What?

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Oof. I'm a side sleeper, so that's not great if it's standard protocol and I end up getting both at the same time.
 

McLaren

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Last week a 15 y.o. girl here in the UK died just days after testing positive for COVID and sadly in the same week as she was due to receive her first vaccination shot. She died primarily as a result of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart that has been widely cited as a risk factor for vaccines. What most anti-vaxxers fail to understand or acknowledge is that the virus causes myocarditis in susceptible people, even young people, too - but while a vaccine is a controlled dose of a carefully designed and tested biological entity (that is the culmination of years of research into coronaviruses and related vaccines) administered in a controlled manner in a specific timescale, the virus itself is completely uncontrolled. Vaccines are designed to intentionally elicit a controlled reaction from the immune system, but alas that is not entirely risk free - but it is considerably less risky than the uncontrolled reaction of a random dose of the virus that can and does easily produce terrible effects that can and does kill orders of magnitude more people per instance than any of the approved vaccines.
I caught a discussion about this topic regarding the vaccine and myocarditis; honestly, never even knew it was an issue until this past week. It was in a thread about a hockey player who was diagnosed with myocarditis as a likely result of having Covid. And folks were bringing up that anti-vaxxers had been latching on & becoming overnight experts on myocarditis (in the way they become "experts" on other things) about how the vaccine could cause it, therefore, "vaccines bad!".

There was a very direct statement made though in the thread (just as you have): Yes, myocarditis can come from the vaccine and Covid. However, the odds of it developing are much higher with Covid than the vaccine, so it shouldn't be hard to come to a conclusion about which route to go if you're that concerned over it. But, as 1 comment pointed out, what looks like common sense just means the anti-vaxxers will ignore logic.
 

Danoff

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will ignore logic.
I mean, in this very thread we had someone say that they would rather take their chances with covid than get the vaccine because at least with covid it was their choice.... 🤯
 

Joey D

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This is kind of an interesting look at how the pandemic is costing health systems a boatload of money.


According to the findings, a 500-bed facility (an average hospital size in a large metro area) is paying an additional $17 million in labor costs. Normally, this wouldn't be a huge deal but due to hospitals filling up with plague rats unvaccinated people, elective procedures are way down and that's where a majority of health systems make their money. As a result, American health systems are expected to lose $54 billion this year alone. This is even with all the money they're getting from the government too.

So what does this mean? Major hospitals in large metro areas will likely be OK, however, they might need to lay people off, reduce services, or scale back on improvements assuming things turn a corner for the better in 2022. While not devastating, it's not exactly great for the community since you'll have unemployed people, a harder time getting in to see a specialist, and no improvement in care. Lower-income people will also likely suffer due to a reduction in hospital programs that help them.

Rural hospitals on the other hand will be hit the hardest, which is really bad for those communities. Unless a major health system comes in and buys them, they very well might have to close because they don't have the money to continue operating. Unlike major health systems, these smaller hospitals don't really have much of a cash reserve to whether a long-term storm like we're seeing now. Due to this, patients will have to travel further to get care and probably even further still to get specialized care.

At the end of the day though, really what this means for the average person living in the suburbs though is that they will likely need to pay more for their healthcare, you know because it wasn't already high enough.
 
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This is kind of an interesting look at how the pandemic is costing health systems a boatload of money.


According to the findings, a 500-bed facility (an average hospital size in a large metro area) is paying an additional $17 million in labor costs. Normally, this wouldn't be a huge deal but due to hospitals filling up with plague rats unvaccinated people, elective procedures are way down and that's where a majority of health systems make their money. As a result, American health systems are expected to lose $54 billion this year alone. This is even with all the money they're getting from the government too.

So what does this mean? Major hospitals in large metro areas will likely be OK, however, they might need to lay people off, reduce services, or scale back on improvements assuming things turn a corner for the better in 2022. While not devastating, it's not exactly great for the community since you'll have unemployed people, a harder time getting in to see a specialist, and no improvement in care. Lower-income people will also likely suffer due to a reduction in hospital programs that help them.

Rural hospitals on the other hand will be hit the hardest, which is really bad for those communities. Unless a major health system comes in and buys them, they very well might have to close because they don't have the money to continue operating. Unlike major health systems, these smaller hospitals don't really have much of a cash reserve to whether a long-term storm like we're seeing now. Due to this, patients will have to travel further to get care and probably even further still to get specialized care.

At the end of the day though, really what this means for the average person living in the suburbs though is that they will likely need to pay more for their healthcare, you know because it wasn't already high enough.
Gosh, it might occur to someone looking at this situation that having a debilitating-if-not-deadly disease ripping through a population with members unwilling to mitigate it, even enacting measures to stop mitigation efforts, is actually a bad thing. It's a shame someone didn't come out early and suggest this as a possibility. It would have been even better if someone came up with a catchy phrase to get people to do more, something like "squash the surge," and people actually heeded it instead of denying there was cause for concern and even attacking, sometimes physically, those who disagreed with them.
 
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Barra333

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The FDA will meet on October 14th and 15th to discuss Moderna and J&J booster shots. Pfizer vaccines for 5-11 year olds, will be on the 26th.
Let's hope they also discuss mixed vaccinations for travel. A huge number of Canadians have a combination of AZ/Pfizer -> Moderna due to the available supplies. But, there are a bunch of countries (including the US) that don't recognise those people as fully vaccinated. Then there are place like Australia that don't recognise Moderna at all.
I got Pfizer -> Moderna, so unless policy changes somewhere, I can't got to the US or back home to Australia until vaccine mandates for travellers are lifted. Also, Ontario doesn't allow for third shots if they are a travel requirement.
 

R1600Turbo

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Some of you may or may not know who this is. I do not know his vaccination status, but I'd venture to guess he wasn't.


Also, I'm on a big road trip / vacation right now and the first thing I see when I get to my home town is anti-vaxxers standing on every corner near the hospital with their big "Jesus is my only savior" banners, etc. 🙄
 
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My dad knew his elder brother.

Really hits hard when your community is ravaged by it.

His son is going to grow without a father really tragic.

Rest in peace 😭
 
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35mm

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We've hit 85% of the population fully vaccinated today.

Restrictions have relaxed a lot and life's getting back to "normal" (we'll never have normal again, I know). But news like the posts above still leave me aware and make me keep my guard up for the time being.